Maple Walnut Cookie Bars with whole-grain nut crust, naturally sweet raisins and only 8 grams of added sugar from maple syrup.
- 2 cups walnut halves, divided
- 1 tablespoon maple sugar or sugar
- ¾ cup whole-wheat pastry flour
- 3 tablespoons plus 1 ½ teaspoon all-purpose flour, divided
- ½ teaspoon salt, divided
- 2 eggs, plus 1 egg yolk, divided
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, divided
- 3 tablespoons canola oil, preferably organic
- 3 tablespoons cold water
- ½ cup pure maple syrup, dark or amber
- 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup raisins
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat an 8 x 8 baking dish with cooking spray.
- Place ½ cup walnuts and maple sugar or sugar in a food processor fitted with steel blade attachment. Process until the walnuts are the consistency of rough meal. Add whole-wheat pastry flour, 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour and ¼ teaspoon salt and pulse until combined. Stir 1 egg yolk, 1 tablespoon melted butter and canola oil in a small bowl. With the food processor motor running, drizzle yolk mixture through the feed tube and process until completely mixed in. Drizzle in water with the motor running and then pulse just until mixture clumps together.
- Turn mixture out into the prepared pan; spread evenly and press firmly into the bottom to form a crust. Prick all over with a fork and transfer to the oven. Bake, pressing down with the back of a fork only if it starts to puff, until dry and slightly golden along the edges, 13 to 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk maple syrup, vinegar, vanilla, the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, the remaining 2 eggs and the remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a medium bowl. Set aside ¼ cup of the maple mixture for glazing the walnuts for the top of the tart. Chop 1/2 cup of the walnuts halves and add to the medium bowl with the larger amount of maple mixture. Stir in the raisins. Mix the reserved ¼ cup maple mixture in a small bowl with the remaining 1 cup of the walnut halves for the walnuts for the top of the bar cookies.
- Remove the crust from the oven and reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. While the crust is hot, brush the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons flour over the crust with a pastry brush to fill in any holes or cracks. Spread the raisin and chopped walnut mixture in the baked crust. Arrange walnut halves decoratively over the top. Drizzle any remaining maple mixture over top. Bake until the center no longer jiggles when gently shaken, the top is lightly crackled and the filling is set-up, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely, at least 1 hour. Cut into 16 squares.
- Serving Size: 1 bar
- Calories: 228
- Sugar: 12 g
- Sodium: 83 mg
- Fat: 14 g
- Saturated Fat: 2 g
- Carbohydrates: 25 g
- Fiber: 3 g
- Protein: 5 g