maple squares with walnuts

9 squares    |   
Prep Time:
20 minutes    |   
Cook Time:
50 minutes

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It was payback time in California this weekend. After weeks and weeks of ridiculously good weather while the rest of America frosted, we got a record blizzard in the mountains. Still, I was determined to ski on my birthday last Thursday so off we went to Squaw Valley. Thirty-six hours later we limped home, our tires wrapped in chains, Sam’s back sore after digging us out of 8 feet of snow at the cabin where we stayed. I did manage to get a few awesome powder runs in, so it was worth it. As were these maple bars, which I adapted from the latest issue of Saveur magazine. I mean, if they eat these up in Quebec, they must be good in the snow, eh?

note: the original recipe calls for maple sugar, which is hard to find on my coast, so I used brown sugar instead. This makes the bars slightly less sweet and a little more gooey (both good things, if you ask me). Grade B maple syrup is darker and sweeter than Grade A, so this balances it out.

maple bars


8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes, plus more for pan
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
1/4 cup plus 2/3 cup maple sugar or loosely packed brown sugar
1 cup maple syrup, preferably grade B
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten


Preheat an oven to 350°F. Butter and flour an 8-inch square baking pan; set aside.

In a food processor, pulse butter, 1 cup of flour, and 1/4 cup maple sugar or brown sugar until clumpy; transfer to pan and press evenly into bottom with the heel of your hand or with an offset spatula. Bake on middle rack of the oven until lightly browned, about 15 minutes.

Whisk remaining 2 tablespoons flour and 2/3 cup maple or brown sugar with the maple syrup, walnuts, salt, and eggs in a bowl; pour over baked crust. Bake until filling is golden brown and set, 30–35 minutes. Cool completely before cutting into squares.