Joyful Walnut Bars
(Chef Charina Cano for The Maya Kitchen)

IMG_2680 copy-2IT’S December 30, 2013, a date sandwiched between Christmas Day and the New Year. The celebration for Christmas, including Noche Buena on Christmas Eve and most of the gift-giving, is done. But there’s still the New Year, particularly Media Noche on New Year’s Eve and the festive bidding of farewell to 2013 and a blasting welcome to 2014, to look forward to. Then of course there are also some holiday gift-giving chores that you haven’t been able to pay attention to before Christmas which must still be done. Well, now’s the time to do it. Why not head for the kitche, turn on your oven and start baking away?

Here’s an easy yet really delicious edible treat that you can make as you get ready to blow your horn to welcome the New Year. It’s from The Maya Kitchen and it’s highly recommended.

THE CRUST:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1-1/4 cups Maya All-Purpose Flour, sifted

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a 9-inch square pan with aluminum foil, then grease lightly. Set aside.
2. Cream butter and sugar until light. Add in flour and mix until combined.
3. Press dough to cover the bottom of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes.

THE CHOCOLATE WALNUT FILLING:
1-1/2 cups walnut
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 eggs
2 tbsps. cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. vanilla

1. In a blender, combine walnuts, 1/4 cup brown sugar and salt. Process until finely ground.
2. Beat eggs until thick. Beat in cocoa powder and vanilla until well combined.
3. Pour filling over pre-baked crust. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes more. Cool.

THE CHOCOLATE FUDGE:
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tbsps. corn syrup
2 tsps. rum
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts

1. Melt chocolate chips in bowl over a double boiler or in a microwave oven.
2. Stir in corn syrup and rum. Spread over filling.
3. Sprinkle walnuts on top. Chill.
4. Cut into bars.

Yields 1 piece 9-inch square pan.

Category(s): Cakes/Pastries, Recipes
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