Quick, easy, and oh so yummy!
I have been flipping through Taste of Home magazines since I was a kid. I always felt like the recipes painted a picture of a wholesome, rural, simple life, possibly with well-behaved chickens and a gently worn but not entire decrepit red barn. I loved the church-potluck-style, old-world German/Scandinavian feel that so many of the recipes seemed to have. But I’m being honest here, I feel like the magazine has fallen a bit from those roots in recent years. It’s just a little too fancy-fancy for me now. I don’t receive a subscription anymore; instead, I pick up “vintage” issues at Goodwill and yard sales. (And I refer to their website a lot.)
Like this one.
I needed a dessert item for a church gathering a while back, and wanted to put something together with no need to run to the store. Perusing through, I saw a recipe for Maple-Walnut Bars, mostly because I had all the ingredients on hand. Interestingly enough, they are also featured on the cover!
Off we go! The maple flavoring is the one maybe oddball ingredient, but Steve’s grandma had given me a bottle years ago, and uh, it apparently never goes bad.
Mixing in the toasted walnuts. That step was not noted in the original recipe, but everyone knows that nuts are improved with a ‘lil toasting in the microwave, say, 45ish seconds.
Ready to bake!
They are chewy, not insanely sweet (if you do what I do and cut down on the sugar the second time around), and have a lovely maple flavor. I made them essentially as written the first time and then made them again with my changes. I added the salt, boosted the maple flavoring, and cut down on the sugar. And toasted the walnuts. I also found that I needed to bake them a little longer than the recipe suggested.
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 2 tsp maple flavoring
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
- In a bowl, mix the brown sugar, butter, and maple flavoring. Add in the eggs, one at a time.
- Mix the flour, salt, and baking powder, and add to the wet ingredients.
- Fold in the chopped walnuts and scrap into a greased 9×9 cake pan.
- Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes. Makes 16 bars.
Source: Taste of Home, Country Cooking Collection, 1999