I got an idea to make these and figured I’d find a recipe for them online. But I didn’t. So I adapted the “Pecan Bars” recipe from Baking Illustrated.
The inspiration for these came from the giant jug of Grade B maple syrup sitting in my fridge. My dad buys gallons of it at a time from an online source. I asked for a syrup refill and he brought me a partially full gallon jug of it. At this point, I either had to start eating a lot more pancakes and waffles or bake something with it.
I thought these were a failure because I didn’t think the bars were going to set properly…the boyfriend was being impatient and wanted one while they were still warm. He kind of scooped one out of the pan…while it was delicious, it didn’t hold its shape. So I put the pan in the fridge to fully chill. After that, they held their shape when cut into bars. I do recommend storing these in the refrigerator as they are pretty gooey.
These may be my favorite baked good of 2008. The boyfriend thinks the S’mores Tart was better. Go figure that both of them are hideously rich and sweet.
The recipe is below and it’s adapted from the “Pecan Bars” recipe on page 496 of Baking Illustrated.
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped coarse
- 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1/3 cup light corn syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6-7 tablespoons maple syrup (I used Grade B)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 3/4 cups walnuts, toasted and chopped coarse
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line baking pan with two sheets of aluminum foil arranged perpendicular to each other. Spray foil with nonstick cooking spray.
Place the flour, baking powder, salt, brown sugar and 1/4 cup walnuts in food processor. Process the mixture until it resembles coarse cornmeal, about five 1-second pulses. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles sand, about eight 1-second pulses. Pat the mixture evenly into the prepared pan and bake until the crust is light brown and springs back when touched, about 20 minutes.
While the crust is in the oven, whisk together the melted butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, maple syrup and salt in a medium bowl until just combined. Add the egg and whisk until incorporated.
Pour the filling on top of the hot crust and sprinkle the remaing 1 3/4 cups walnuts evenly over the top. Bake until the top is brown and cracks start to form across the surface, 22 to 25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Transfer to refrigerator and chill completely. Remove from pan and cut into bars of desired size.