These Maple Frosted Walnut Squares are some of the most delicious treats imaginable. A shortbread crust, a buttery, chewy nut center, and rich maple frosting make these easy dessert bars the perfect addition to your holiday buffets or gift baskets!
My friend Jen has a daughter named Grace who goes to preschool with my older two boys. Grace is one of those little girls who always looks adorable in the cutest outfits and the latest trendy styles. But don’t be fooled — she also knows how to hang with the boys! Gibbs and Casey adore her, and (for some reason) she seems to enjoy their rowdy company as well.
So when Jen invited Gibbs and Casey for a play date after school one afternoon, we all jumped at the opportunity! I enjoyed a couple of hours of time with Spence, and the older boys enjoyed some special time with Gracie. They ate lunch, built with blocks, played hide-and-seek outside, snacked on popcorn, and dressed up in Grace’s costumes! Jen sent me this picture while they were there…
Gibbs was sure to tell me that he stayed far away from Grace’s princess costumes, because those are “for girls.”
And even though Jen found Casey peeing on a tree next to her back yard patio (ah! so embarrassing!), she fortunately has a sense of humor and even invited them back for another date. Yes, she really is a saint, and I knew that I had to properly thank her for her bravery. So I whipped up a batch of these Maple Frosted Walnut Squares, which seemed almost good enough to show her how appreciative I was!
Little scavengers that they are, of course my boys had to taste-test the goodies before we delivered them!
It’s a good thing that Gibbs and Casey were headed out on a bike ride when they grabbed these treats to go…giving them plenty of opportunity to pedal off that instant sugar rush!
My boys LOVED these squares and assured me that their girlfriend would too.
Are you ready to make your own? Check out the simple recipe below, which comes together quickly and easily. The shortbread crust is topped with a rich, buttery, brown sugar and walnut filling that reminds me a lot of pecan pie. Top it all off with some Maple Frosting and it doesn’t get much better than that! I really think that these are a must-serve at all of your holiday gatherings this season!
- For the Walnut Squares:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 1 ½ cups packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons flour
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- For the Maple Frosting:
- 2 ¼ cups powdered sugar
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1-2 tablespoons whole milk, as needed to reach desired consistency
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
- For the squares, start by making the crust:
- In a large bowl, use a pastry blender to cut the butter into the flour. Press the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 12 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, combine filling ingredients.
- When the crust comes out of the oven, pour filling over the warm crust and spread evenly. Return dish to oven and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes.
- Allow to cool completely before frosting.
- For the Maple Frosting:
- In a medium bowl, beat sugars, butter, and salt with an electric mixer until combined. While beating, slowly add the maple syrup. Mix in the vanilla and beat on medium-high speed until the frosting is light and fluffy. If necessary, add milk one tablespoon at a time until the frosting reaches a spreadable consistency.
- Spread frosting over cooled filling. Cut into squares and serve.
Looking for other delicious sweet treats? Try these favorites: