Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Maple Bars

Maple bars are a favorite at our house! The preschoolers and I will make them for an after school snack and they are devoured within a matter of minutes. They are also easy to make ahead and have in the freezer for a quick and easy breakfast treat. School friends often request that we bring them for parties and snack days because they have learned to love them as well.

Any basic bread dough recipe will work fine. My recipe is below. I like to add 1 tsp of cinnamon to the dry ingredients for extra flavor. I also always do them with 1/2 whole wheat flour and 1/2 white flour to get the added nutrition of the whole grain. Once your dough has completed the first rise, punch it down.

Roll it out so it is about 1/2 inch thick.

Cut into bars using a pizza cutter.

Place on a baking tray.

Spray the tops with Pam so they won't dry out as they rise.

Cover with a towel and allow to rise for about 20 minutes. Bake at 375° F 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

While rising or baking, make the maple icing. Mix 3 cups powdered sugar with 2 Tbsp butter or margarine and 1 tsp maple flavoring. Add 1-2 tsp milk to thin to the right consistency.

Here it is all ready to spread.

Here is the pan of bars all baked to a golden brown.

Place bars on a wire rack to cool. Brush the tops of the bars with melted butter - my shortcut is to just rub the stick of butter on top of the hot bars. Frost those that you will be eating right away. Freeze leftover bars without icing in a ziplock bag or freezer container. Frost them once you thaw them out. The icing will stay good in the fridge for quite a few weeks.

Oh, so good!

Basic Bread Dough

3 + cups bread flour
1 tsp salt
3 Tbsp gluten flour
1 Tbsp yeast
3 Tbsp dry milk powder
2 Tbsp oil
2 Tbsp sugar
1 ¼ cups hot water

Mix according to basic bread making instructions (found here). I always do ½ white and ½ wheat flour. Cover and allow to rise until double in size. Shape and bake as desired.

Maple Bars: Add an additional 2 Tbsp sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon to the above recipe. After the first rise, roll dough out to about ½-inch thickness and cut with a pizza cutter into rectangles. Place on a greased baking sheet. Allow to rise for about 20 minutes. Bake at 375° F for 10–15 minutes or until lightly browned. Frost with maple icing and enjoy! I always triple the batch and freeze any extra before frosting. Pull them out of the freezer at night and frost in the morning for a quick breakfast treat or serve for a fun after school snack.

Maple Icing: Mix with a hand mixer 3 cups powdered sugar, 2 Tbsp margarine or butter, 1 tsp maple flavoring and just a bit of milk (1–2 tsp).

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