11.26.2013

Maple Walnut Blondies with Maple Butter Glaze

Autumn snow!
Happy Tuesday! I hope everyone had a fantastic start to the week. I don't know about you, but I am soooo not able to concentrate on anything work-related this week; between a packed weekend that included a burlesque show and a clothing swap, the transition to winter weather, and the upcoming holidays, my brain is off in a million different directions. Thankfully, today is actually my last day and then I'm off for a lovely five day stretch (if only every week could be like this!). ;-)

As with many of you, I also already have Thanksgiving food on the brain. I've never been in charge of a full dinner and honestly, I prefer it that way. I'm mostly interested in making various side dishes and desserts (aka the best parts of the meal!). The recipe I'm highlighting today is not only one of my new favorites, but also one that would be a perfect addition to the T-giving dessert bar (especially for those of you who may not be big fans of pie): Maple Walnut Blondies with Maple Butter Glaze. While my love of pumpkin has been well recorded on this blog, I've sadly neglected to mention my almost equivalent love for maple. I'm one of those people who has at least six different types of maple syrup in the refrigerator at all times - not only is my kitchen flooded with syrup options, but I also always have at least three varieties of maple sugar on hand (this is the best). Bottom line: I love maple! These Maple Walnut Blondies are straight up full of maple-ly deliciousness. I gave some to two of my maple-lovin' friends and they proclaimed them to be super fantastic (in their totally unbiased opinions, of course). If you love maple, I promise these blondies will make you very, very happy... and I bet they would go swell with this fabulous pumpkin pie martini!

As always, Mario and I will be spending the holiday with our friends and will enjoy a day filled with awesome food, video games, movies, and board games. I hope you all have a wonderful (and delicious) Thanksgiving... I'll see you back here next week! :-)

Maple Walnut Blondies with Maple Butter Glaze

INGREDIENTS
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup packed light brown sugar (I also sprinkled in a bit of maple sugar)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)
1/2 cup grade B maple syrup (I used this)
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (I used this)

Maple Butter Glaze:
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup grade B maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare an 8-inch square baking pan by lightly greasing the bottom and sides with butter or baking spray.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, salt, baking soda, and walnuts.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together the melted butter, maple syrup, eggs, and vanilla bean paste. Pour the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients, and gently fold together (be careful not to overmix!).

4. Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 18-20 minutes (until the edges just begin to pull away from the sides and the center is set, but still soft).

5. Cool the pan on a rack and make Maple Brown Butter Drizzle: melt the butter in a small saucepan, then stir in maple syrup, brown sugar, and vanilla bean paste. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook at a full boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

6. Drizzle warm glaze over blondies and set aside for an hour to cool.

4 comments:

Ana said...

Is there a reason why you used vanilla bean paste instead of extract?

I can't wait to try these!

Renee @ Tortillas and Honey said...

This looks delightful!! I love blondies and I love maple, so these are a winner! Happy Thanksgiving!!

chicago foodie girl said...

@Ana: Vanilla bean paste essentially is a jar of the vanilla pod innards. It's much more fragrant & intense than vanilla extract. The ratio of extract to paste is the same, so you can use either/or, but I do find the paste heeds a far richer vanilla flavor.

@Renee: The same to you, girlie! :-)

Nami | Just One Cookbook said...

Maple walnut blondies! Hmm sounds really delicious. I love maple syrup and usually get one from Canada. Love that you used it abundantly here. :) Looks delicious!