Here's another Grange Favorite for Fall: Maple Bars with oats and walnuts. Topped with my Maple Fudge Icing, they are just what you need after stacking firewood.
There's a full moon tonight, and the sky is amazingly clear. To the left of Orion, Mars is a brightly flickering pink beacon. This evening, we had dinner over in Manchester, and as usual, we were the only local people at the restaurant; everyone else drove for hours to be here. I was reminded once again of how lucky we are to now live in Vermont.
And Vermont is about to get really cold. The woods were booming with the sound of deer hunting today, and Thanksgiving is just days away. The turkey is purchased and several cords of wood are stacked, but there is a sense of urgency, a need to get ready for winter.
We have a new French door to paint and fit on the dining room, weatherstripping to do, vegetable garden to mulch, summer tires to put away. Time to prune the fruit trees, tie up the espaliers, and bring in the lawn furniture. Winter's coming.
With these homey considerations in mind, I made this batch of Maple Walnut Bars, using a recipe from the Vermont Grange Favorites cookbook from 1979. These bars are the oatmeal-filled kind our moms used to make, moist and chewy. I dressed them up with some smooth Maple Fudge Icing. Try them and experience a late Fall day in Vermont.
Maple Walnut Bars with Maple Fudge Icing
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Spray an 8"x8" square pan with cooking spray. (Optional: a pan with a removable bottom, allows the bars to be lifted out together and plated)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), softened
1/2 cup Vermont maple syrup, grade B
2/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 cup rolled oats (not instant)
For the Maple Fudge Icing:
1 cup Vermont maple syrup, grade B
1/3 cup light cream
1 1/2 teaspoons corn syrup
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 Tablespoon light cream
- In food processor bowl with blade attached, combine sugar, butter, and maple syrup. Process until smooth.
- Add the egg and vanilla, process until combined. Then add the flour, baking powder, and pulse until mixed in. Add the nuts and oats. Pulse until combined.
- Spread the bar mixture in the prepared pan. Then bake at 350F for 30 minutes. Watch the bars for the last ten minutes, to avoid over-browning. Remove from oven and place pan on rack.
- While the bars are baking, make the Maple Fudge Icing.
In a saucepan, combine the maple syrup, cream, corn syrup. Boil. Continue heating to 236F, then cool, undisturbed, to around 120F.
- When almost cool, beat in 2 Tablespoons of softened Unsalted butter and 1 Tablespoon cream. This will provide an icing consistency.
Pour the warm icing on the cake still in the pan. Spread to the edges with a spatula.
- Allow to cool in the pan until the icing is set. Remove bars from pan and serve
Heidi's Sense of Snow: