Call these maple walnut squares whatever your heart desires. Bars. Blondies. Brownies. Bar cookies. They still offer the same superlatively sweet and gooey maple awesomeness atop a sweet shortbread crust regardless of what they're dubbed.
Curious what to expect from these maple walnut squares? “Delicious and intensely maple-y.” “Similar to a pecan pie but creamier with a caramel chew.” “So much easier than making pie and with amazing results.” “I would eat these before any chocolate dessert any day.” “A recipe I’ll make again and again.” That’s what folks are saying about these superlatively gooey maple walnut squares or bars or blondies or bar cookies or brownies or whatever you want to call them besides perfection. This recipe has been updated. Originally published October 26, 2015.–Renee Schettler Rossi
Maple Walnut Squares Recipe
- Quick Glance
- 25 M
- 2 H, 30 M
- Makes 9 (or more) squares
- For the crust
- 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pieces and chilled, plus more for pan
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
- 1/4 cup maple sugar*
- For the filling
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup maple sugar* or turbinado sugar
- 1 cup maple syrup (preferably American Grade B or Canadian Grade A Dark)
- 1 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- Make the crust
- 1. Heat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, allowing the excess to hang over the sides, and butter and flour the parchment, tapping out any excess flour.
- 2. In a food processor, process the butter, flour, and maple sugar until combined. Press the crust evenly in the bottom of the pan. Bake until lightly browned, about 15 minutes.
- Make the filling
- 3. Whisk together the flour, maple sugar or turbinado sugar, maple syrup, walnuts, salt, and eggs. Pour the filling over the warm baked crust. Return the pan to the oven and bake until the filling is golden brown and set, 30 to 35 minutes.
- 4. Let the maple walnut squares goodness cool in the pan for about 2 hours. Then lift out the entire block using edges of the parchment paper as handles, place it on a cutting board, and cut into squares. (You can cover and refrigerate the maple walnut squares for up to 5 days. The maple flavor will intensify somewhat the longer the bars are left in the fridge.)
*What Can I Substitute For The Maple Sugar?
- We subjected ourselves to the tyranny (ahem) of making these maple walnut squares over and over again with you in mind, dear reader. Sometimes we baked the bars with pricey maple sugar exactly as the recipe directs. Other times we swapped the less expensive and more readily available turbinado sugar because we wanted to see if there’s a discernible difference. Recipe tester Suzanne Fortier summed up our findings quite well, saying “The maple sugar changed the texture slightly, making it a little thicker and more pudding-like. Although the maple sugar version was delicious and intensely maple-y, all my tasters felt it was too sweet. The turbinado (cheaper) version was preferred.” If you wish to try it with maple sugar and don’t mind tracking it down and paying the rather steep price tag or making it yourself, by all means, have at it. We like the maple sugar from King Arthur Flour. Although as for us, we’ll make our own or stick with the less pricey and readily available turbinado sugar, thank you very much.
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