Wednesday, February 2, 2011
I grew up loving the flavor of maple because my mom is addicted and fed us kids maple-infused foodstuffs regularly. I've made maple desserts before. Try the Northern Maple Nut Pie on Happy Go Marni. Heaven. Or the Maple Walnut Cookies. Delicious. And as I've preached before, don't you dare use Aunt Jemima as a substitute for real maple syrup in these recipes! Not only is it tragedy, it's illegal! I'm going to call the Maple Police if you do that.
This maple-walnut brownie has a third of a cup of maple syrup in the recipe. And that's only for an 8-inch square baking pan! The raw batter was super mapley. Mmmm. I could have eaten the entire batter without baking it.
If you see multiple maple syrups in the grocery store and you're not sure which to use when, go for Grade B for baking and Grade A for drizzling on your waffles and pancakes. The way I remember it is B is for Baking. Easy!
I often skip frostings and glazes in recipes because I'm either lazy or it cuts back on the calories and doesn't seem necessary. With these brownies, though, I highly recommend you go forward with the maple glaze. It adds so much, not only in flavor, but it moistens the brownie. And it's simple to make.
Hooray for another successful maple dessert! Mom is probably bursting with happy tears right now.
Maple Walnut Brownies with Maple Glaze
Adapted from a recipe on the King Arthur Flour website
Makes 16 two-inch brownies
1 1/4 cups (5 1/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
3/4 cup (5 5/8 ounces) brown sugar
1/3 cup (3 1/4 ounces) maple syrup
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon maple flavor (you can use maple extract or imitation maple flavor, too)
3/4 cup (3 ounces) chopped toasted walnuts
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare an 8-inch square baking pan by lightly greasing the bottom and sides. If you want, line with foil and then grease. I did this so I could easily lift the bars out of the pan and cut on a cutting board (plus, it kept my pan nice and clean!).
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder; set aside.
In a medium saucepan set over the stove or a medium microwave-safe mixing bowl, melt the butter and brown sugar together. As soon as the butter is melted, remove from the heat and stir to wet the brown sugar and make a smooth mixture. Stir in the maple syrup. Let the mixture stand about 20 minutes or until it cools to lukewarm.
Add the eggs, one at a time, and stir to combine well. Then stir in the maple flavor. Gently fold in the dry ingredients but don't overmix. Fold in the walnuts.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes (it took me 21 minutes), just until the edges pull away from the sides of the pan. Don't overbake or the brownies will be dry. Err on the side of underbaking. :) Take the pan out of the oven and let cool on a cooling rack.
Once completely cool, cut into squares and drizzle the glaze on top. I placed the individual squares on a sheet of wax paper and then drizzled the glaze so the glaze didn't make a huge mess everywhere. Transfer the glazed squares to a container and place in the fridge for 20 minutes so the glaze can set.
1 cup (4 ounces) confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 to 2 tablespoons milk or cream
Place the confectioners' sugar in a small bowl or 4-cup measuring glass. Add the maple syrup and barely any milk or cream. Whisk together and determine if you should add more milk or cream. My glaze was liquidy enough for drizzling with only 1 tablespoon milk. You want the glaze to be able to pour easily but you don't want it so thin that it slides right off the brownie and into a puddle on the wax paper.
Step-by-Step in Pictures
Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder; set aside...
In a saucepan, melt together the brown sugar and butter...
Remove from the heat and stir in the maple syrup, then let cool to lukewarm...
Add the eggs, one at a time...
Add the maple flavor...
Fold in the dry ingredients...
Fold in the walnuts...
Pour into the prepared baking pan...
Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes, then let cool completely...
To make the maple glaze, combine the confectioners' sugar, maple syrup, and milk...
Stir until smooth and add more milk as necessary to make a pourable liquid...
Cut the brownies into squares and place on wax paper...
Drizzle the maple glaze on top and let set (you can place in the fridge to set more quickly)...