From my story, “Ol’ Faithful”
Makes about 18 3 ½” x 2” bars
½ cup (one stick) butter or butter substitute (I use Earth Balance.)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
4 tbsp maple syrup (I used Extra Dark Amber)
1 ¾ cups flour
½ tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
½ tsp cinnamon
1 cup walnuts, divided
2 tbsp demerara sugar (a/k/a Sugar In The Raw) (Optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 13” x 9” x 2” pan by lining with one piece of parchment that “overflows’ the pan.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the sugar and butter for approximately three minutes, until butter lightens.
Scrape bowl. Add egg, mixing on medium until smooth and combined with butter.
Add the maple syrup and vanilla extract to the butter / egg mixture. Mix on medium. Mixture may appear slightly curdled. This is normal.
Scrape bowl, add the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Mix on medium until dry ingredients combine with butter and eggs and dough is smooth.
Add ½ cup of the walnuts and mix on medium until they are distributed.
Transfer the batter to the pan. You may need to press the sticky dough with wet hands to distribute it evenly in the pan. The top doesn’t need to be perfectly smooth, and there may not be quite enough batter to fill in the corners of the pan.
Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup of walnuts over the top of the batter. If using the optional demerara sugar, sprinkle it over the batter.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before using parchment to lift and remove from pan. Slice with a serrated knife on a cutting board. Store tightly sealed.