When I was in high school, my best friend Amanda and I both wanted to give a small gift to our numerous friends but we needed it to be economical. So, we joined forces to make goody bags and then delivered them together to our friends in the days before Christmas. It was great fun to decorate gift bags (just simple lunch bags with paint), bake and package the goodies up together. We included many different kinds of treats like:
- Reese's Chewy Chocolate Cookies (chocolate cookie with peanut butter chips)
- Snickerdoodles (sugar cookie coated in cinnamon-sugar mixture)
- Chocolate Chip Cookies (this wasn't the recipe that we used, but it is now my favorite!)
However, as a special treat, I also included Walnut Bars from a special family recipe. I closely guarded this recipe in my high school years since I gave it out for gifts often. Many of my friends just loved these and wanted the recipe! At high school graduation, I relented and gave out the recipe as a gift. So, as a Christmas in July gift to you all, I thought I'd share the recipe with you today!
2 cups brown sugar (lightly packed)
3 rounded Tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups walnuts (coarsely chopped)
- In a medium bowl, stir eggs with a fork. Add brown sugar and stir until all lumps are gone.
- Sift flour, salt and baking powder into mixture. Stir well.
- Add vanilla and nuts. Stir until combined.
- Pour into a greased and floured 8 x 8 pan. Bake at between 325 - 350 degrees for 20 - 30 minutes or until golden brown.
- The bars will puff during baking and flatten out during cooling. Once you take the bars out of the oven, use a knife to separate them from the side of the pan so that they flatten evenly while cooling.
- Cool them completely and then cut into squares. They usually taste better the second day - a little more chewy and carmelly. You can package them for gifts by wrapping individual squares with plastic wrap.