Sunday, October 13, 2013

Browned Butter Butterscotch Brownies

Do you need a delicious, easy, relatively quick go-to dessert?  These bars are it.  They are bar cookies, but my little one calls them butterscotch brownies.  Whatever you decide to call them, they are pretty amazing!  Bonus?  They are easy enough to mix by hand so I don't need to pull out my kitchen aid mixer.

I first found this recipe in a novel.  They are called Butterscotch Bonanza Bars.  I like to read mystery series, especially ones with cooking themes.  The Hannah Swensen series by Joanne Fluke is a bit fluffy for my usual reading taste, but the recipes are amazing.

I only made one change to the author's recipe, but I think it makes a big difference.  Instead of simply melting the butter, as originally called for, I brown it.  You know I am a little obsessed with brown butter, but using it in this recipe is a match made in heaven.
the mixed butter and sugar

½ cup salted butter
2 cups light brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs, beaten
1½ cups flour
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

2 cups butterscotch chips or flavor of choice (you can even mix flavors)

                        I sprinkle the baking soda
                             and salt all over.
                  Then mix.
Preheat oven to 350.  Butter and flour a 9x13 pan. Brown the butter.    Add brown sugar and stir well. Mix in baking powder and salt; stir in vanilla and eggs. Add flour by ½ cup increments, stirring in each half cup before adding the next. Stir in nuts and chips.
Spoon batter into the and smooth it out. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. Cool completely before cutting. 

Helpful hints
  • If you have dark brown sugar, mix 1 cup dark brown sugar and 1 cup white sugar. You can make brown sugar by mixing molasses into white sugar until it’s the right color.  I have done both of these and have everything come out great.  
  • If you are too nervous about the brown butter bit, you still need to melt the butter.  That is part of the beauty of this recipe.  You are already melting the butter.  Just take it to that next level.  I promise, you can do this.  I found that using a pan, not a pot, speeds the process.  It won't take nearly as long as when browning 2 sticks of butter for cookies.  It's still worth it for the cookies, by the way.
  • Feel free to get creative with the chip/nut combos.  I have made these with no chips or nuts; chips only; nuts only; butterscotch only; chocolate only.  And I rarely use 2 cups of chips.  I kind of eyeball it.  Or see what I have left in the pantry.  
  • You really do need to let these cool completely.  
  • The pan I like to use is a tad smaller than a 9x13.  I need to cook these for about 30-35 minutes.  The edges get incredibly and deliciously crispy.  If I think they are going to get burned, I turn down the oven to 325. 
I had a handful each of butterscotch and mini chocolate chips.
Ta Da!  And yes, those crispy edges taste even better in real life.  

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