Maple-Wal­nut Bars

with short­bread crust

Vegetarian Today - - In Season -

Makes 9 bars To­tal time: 11/4 hours + cool­ing

FOR THE CRUST, CREAM:

11/2 sticks un­salted but­ter, soft­ened (12 Tbsp.) 1/3 cup maple sugar or packed light brown sugar 13/4 cups all-pur­pose flour 1/2 tsp. ta­ble salt

FOR THE FILL­ING, BEAT:

1 cup pure maple syrup 2/3 cup maple sugar or packed light brown sugar 2 eggs, lightly beaten 2 Tbsp. bour­bon (op­tional) 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla ex­tract 1/4 tsp. ta­ble salt 1 cup chopped wal­nuts, toasted Heavy cream or whipped cream

Pre­heat oven to 350°. Lightly coat bot­tom of an 8-inch square bak­ing pan with soft­ened but­ter. Line pan with an 8-inch square of parch­ment pa­per, then lib­er­ally coat pa­per, sides, and cor­ners of pan with more soft­ened but­ter and flour, shak­ing out ex­cess.

For the crust, cream 11/2 sticks but­ter and 1/3 cup sugar with a mixer on medium speed. Add 13/4 cups flour and 1/2 tsp. salt; mix un­til in­cor­po­rated. Press crust into pre­pared pan; re­frig­er­ate 30 min­utes. Bake crust un­til lightly browned, 20 min­utes.

For the fill­ing, beat syrup, 2/3 cup sugar, eggs, bour­bon, vanilla, and 1/4 tsp. salt with a mixer on medium speed un­til com­bined; stir in wal­nuts. Pour fill­ing over crust.

Bake bars un­til fill­ing is golden brown and set, 35–40 min­utes.

Trans­fer pan to a rack and let bars cool 10 min­utes. Run a knife around edges to loosen bars from pan. Let bars cool com­pletely be­fore cut­ting into squares. Serve bars with heavy cream.

Per bar: 512 cal; 25g to­tal fat (11g sat); 82mg chol; 224mg sodium; 68g carb; 2g fiber; 6g pro­tein

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