These sweets have a maple shortbread crust and a topping not unlike pecan pie. For best results, have all ingredients at room temperature. Granulated maple sugar is sold in specialty stores.
1-1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
1/3 cup plus 1/2 cup granulated maple sugar, divided
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature, plus extra for pan
3/4 cup maple syrup (preferably Grade B)
1 large egg, beaten, at room temperature
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 cup chopped almonds, pecans, or walnuts
Preheat oven to 350°. Make the crust: Whisk together 1-1/2 cups flour and 1/3 cup maple sugar; then cut in softened butter. Using a standing mixer, or a fork if you're working by hand, blend until mixture resembles coarse meal, dry and crumbly. Press mixture into the bottom of a greased 8- or 9-inch square pan. Bake 15 minutes.
To make the topping, combine 3/4 cup maple syrup, 1/2 cup maple sugar, beaten egg, melted butter, cream, vanilla, 1 tablespoon flour, and salt. Beat well; then stir in nuts. Pour batter carefully over half-baked crust.
Return crust and topping to the oven. Bake until set, about 35 minutes. Cut into small bars and remove from pan to cool.
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