Friday 16 December 2011

Maple Walnut Squares

I never buy maple syrup.  It’s not that I don’t like it.  I do, but our limited budget doesn’t allow for such luxuries.  You can imagine my delight, then, at receiving a bottle of maple syrup as a gift this week.  What a treat!  I will, of course, be enjoying it with pancakes but I thought I’d like to bake with it too so I went in search of a recipe.

Often, when I’m looking for a baking recipe, I begin with Marion Cunningham’s “Fannie Farmer Baking Book.”  There’s a good variety to choose from there and I’ve never had one of her recipes fail.  Today’s recipe is one of hers; baked with walnut pieces instead of pecans because we are fortunate enough to have a walnut tree from which we harvested this fall.

To make Maple Walnut Squares you’ll need:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1-1/2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts

Cream together the butter and 1 cup of the sugar.  Mix in the egg yolk so that it is well incorporated.  Add the flour and, mixing first with a spoon and then with your fingers, work it into the butter mixture to make a crumbly dough.

Press the dough into a buttered 9 x 13 inch pan.

Put the 2 eggs in a bowl and beat them until they’re a little bit frothy.   

Add the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and the maple syrup.  Beat until frothy.  I used a whisk to do this but don’t recommend it.  A rotary beater will make far quicker work of the job.  If using a rotary beater, beat the mixture for about 1 minute.

Pour the syrup mixture over the top of the dough and sprinkle the chopped walnuts evenly over the top.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes at 350˚F.  The baked square should be caramel coloured.  Check to make sure it’s not soggy in the center by pressing the top with your finger.  It won’t be hard, but it shouldn’t be sticky.

Remove the pan from the oven and cut the square into pieces while it’s still warm.  It will firm up as it cools.  Allow it to cool completely in the pan, then re-cut the squares before serving.

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