Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Chocolate Maple Nut Bars

Choc Maple Nut Bars2

Is anybody else in spring cleaning mode early?

I sure am. I don't know why (and no I'm not pregnant). I just have been going through the house with a vengeance lately. It all started with the spice cupboard. I have a skinny little closet near my fridge that holds most of my spices and some cleaning supplies.

I was in a mood and decided to just empty the whole thing out. I put everything on the kitchen table, armed myself with some big ole trash bags and began to purge.

You can't use 3 year old cumin can you? Nope. In the trash it went. These ice cream sprinkles aren't supposed to be in a clump are they? Trash. 10 Swiffer handles? I think I can part with some of these. Doubles and sometimes triples of the same spice. I'm bringing them to Mitchell. We have a little saying at the house. When we don't want something anymore we ask "Mitch it or pitch it?" I'm Mitching the spices. He'll use them.

When I was finished I had 3 trash bags full of stuff, a spanking clean space with lots more room.

I also discovered some things that I had totally forgotten about, like my Watkins Maple extract.

I love maple. Love it. I opened the bottle and took a big sniff. I had to use this in something, so I googled maple extract and found this recipe...Chocolate Maple Nut Bars. Looked pretty easy to make. I was sold.

I did make a few tiny changes to the recipe. I reduced the amount of nuts by a cup. Two just seemed like way to many. I'm glad I did. I also just sprinkled enough chocolate chips over the top to cover the bottom crust. No measuring.

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Chocolate Maple Nut Bars
from Eagle Brand Recipes
For the crust
1 ½ cups flour
2/3 cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup cold butter (12 tablespoons)
1 egg

The topping:
1 can (14oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 egg
1 ½ teaspoons maple extract
1 cup chopped nuts
1 cup chocolate chips

Combine the flour, sugar and salt. Cut in the butter until it looks crumbly. Stir in 1 egg and press firmly into a parchment lined 9x13 inch pan. Bake the crust in a preheated 350 degree oven for 25 minutes.

In a medium bowl beat the condensed milk, 1 egg and the maple extract. Stir in the nuts.

When crust comes out of the oven, let it cool for 10 minutes then top with chocolate chips. I didn’t measure mine I just covered the crust with chips. Top with the sweetened condensed mixture and bake 25 to 35 minutes longer or until golden brown. Cool thoroughly and cut into bars. Store in an air tight container at room temperature.

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