By now you know that I will eat just about anything if it’s dipped in maple, filled with maple, or has maple in its top ten ingredients. I didn’t ask for this addiction…just playing the cards that were dealt me. So (because I’m so rational) to celebrate a two pound loss at the weekly weigh-in of my weight watching club today, I decided to sabotage myself and make MAPLE BARS!
A truly fresh maple bar disappears in your mouth before you have a chance to chew, which is heaven. Pure heaven. I’ve also been known to eat maple bars that were so stale the only redeeming quality was the icing – which is all that matters, really. That’s where the maple flavor is…the pastry is just there to guide the icing to your mouth.
Even if you aren’t stoked about making fresh, warm, succulent maple bars, please scroll to the bottom of this blog. I’ll show you how to make a REAL breakfast sandwich. This started out as a spoof of Paula Deen’s horrifying video about making a hamburger with glazed doughnut buns, and turned into a new guilty favorite. Yummy and disgusting at the same time!
I found a maple bar recipe I liked on Food.com, and of course I tweaked it a bit. A little more sugar, a little more water, a little less cinnamon, rolled out a whole lot thinner…etc. If you have absolutely no trust in me, (pfffft!) here’s a link to the original. Maple Bars This is probably a really old recipe because it has you scald the milk, which you rarely see anymore in recipes. They did it years ago (mostly to kill any bacteria) but it can make a little bit of difference in the rise of yeast breads, so we’ll do it just in case.
Grab your apron and let’s make some…
1-1/2 cups milk (2% or whole milk is best. I added a little half & half to my 2%)
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup shortening
1-1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup warm water
2 packages active dry yeast
½ teaspoon sugar
5 cups all-purpose flour
peanut oil (if you prefer to fry them)
4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon maple flavoring (like Mapleine)
- In a small pan on medium-high heat, scald the milk. To do this, let the milk heat until there are bubbles all the way around the outer edge, but catch it before it boils. Remove from heat.
- Add 1/3 cup sugar, shortening, salt, and cinnamon. Allow the mixture to cool down until it’s lukewarm.
- In a large bowl (I use my stand mixer) combine the warm water, yeast, and ½ teaspoon sugar. Let it sit until bubbly – about 5 minutes.
- Mix the lukewarm milk mixture into the yeast mixture. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well.
- Slowly add the flour, mixing until combined. Knead well–5 minutes with stand mixer using the dough hook, or 7-8 minutes by hand on a lightly floured surface.
- Set the dough to rise in a large oiled bowl, turning once to coat the dough with oil. Allow to rise until double–about an hour. Punch down.
- Roll out the dough into a rectangle. The dough should be a little less than ½ inch thick. Trim off the rounded edges to get nice straight sides, and cut into 12 rectangles. They will look thin, but trust me…they puff up like crazy when they’re cooked!
These can be baked or fried – they’re wonderful either way, though I’m partial to the texture and flavor of the fried version.
If you want to bake them, space the dough evenly on a cookie sheet. cover with a dishtowel and allow them to rise for 30 minutes. They’ll still look a little skinny, but don’t worry! Heat the oven to 425 F. Bake for approximately 8 minutes, (until golden brown) and move them with a spatula to a baking rack to cool.
If you want to fry them, just leave them right there on the counter. Cover with a dishtowel and allow them to rise for 30 minutes. Pour at least 2 inches of peanut oil in a large pan and heat to 350 F. Drop in a few pastries at a time, giving them lots of room to move around. Once the bottom is golden, flip the bars over. If yours are like mine, they’ll have minds of their own and might insist on flipping right back over. Don’t let them win! When both sides are brown, remove and drain on paper towels. Move to a baking rack to cool.
To make the icing, mix the powdered sugar, butter, salt, and Mapeline in a medium bowl. Slowly stir in milk until it’s the consistency you want. (Make it thick for spreading, or make it thin for dipping.) I really like to use an electric hand mixer for this…it comes out so smooth and creamy that way.
Ice the bars (if you haven’t already eaten the icing) and leave them uncovered so they can dry a bit. If you plan to store them, cover them loosely; they’ll get really gooey if they’re covered tightly with plastic wrap or foil. My guess is they won’t be around long enough for that to happen!
So…I was watching this video of Paula Deen making a hamburger. She used two glazed doughnuts for the buns and added a fried egg and bacon. If that wasn’t funny enough, I saw her lick her finger while she was putting it together, and then she gave it to the other gal to eat. Here’s a link: Paula Deen’s Mess Even as I was busy being grossed out, I was thinking: “now if she had only used breakfast sausage…” Oh-oh, you know what’s coming, don’t you?