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Maple-Walnut Bars

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 pecking around and a gently worn but not entirely decrepit red barn as a backdrop. I was drawn to 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, and wanted to put something together with no need to run to the store. Perusing through this compilation magazine, I was intrigued by a recipe for Maple-Walnut Bars, mostly because I had all the ingredients on hand. 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. Interestingly enough, they are also featured on the cover!

Maple-Walnut Bars

Ingredients

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 2 tsp maple flavoring
  • 1 tsp vanilla (not in the original recipe, but it gives a little more depth to sweet things
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (I did it in the microwave for about 45 seconds.)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. In a bowl, mix the brown sugar, butter, and maple flavoring. Add in the eggs, one at a time.
  2. Mix the flour, salt, and baking powder, and add to the wet ingredients.
  3. Fold in the toasted chopped walnuts and scrap into a greased 9×9 cake pan.
  4. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Makes 16 bars.

Source: Taste of Home, Country Cooking Collection, 1999

A Recipe to Repeat?

Yes! 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 some changes; I added the salt, boosted the maple flavoring, added vanilla, 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.

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