I know it's bad form to try out new recipes on guests, but I confess that I do it all the time. For example, these butterscotch bars. I was having friends over for a dessert night (friends that I knew wouldn't judge me if something turned out badly) and decided it would be a good time to try a few new things. Some definitely turned out better than others, but that's the beauty of having friends that don't care how pretty something looks, as long as it tastes good. Fortunately, these bars are both easy on the eyes and your mouth; one of my friends even asked for the recipe. The butterscotch has a more subtle flavor than you would initially think, given the amount of butterscotch chips, but the browned butter flavor really compliments the butterscotch in a wonderful way. Plus, I really love desserts that incorporate oatmeal. Basically, I couldn't stop eating these until the entire pan was gone. And that didn't take long.
Browned Butter Oatmeal Butterscotch Bars
(from Mel's Kitchen Cafe)
Makes 18-24 bars
1 1/4 cups flour
2 cups oatmeal
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butterscotch chips
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup butterscotch chips
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon water
1/8 teaspoon salt
1) In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Place the 3/4 cup butterscotch chips in a large bowl.
2) In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and let the butter cook until golden brown in color, about 10 minutes, taking care not to burn. Pour the hot butter over the butterscotch chips and whisk together until melted and smooth. Whisk in 1 cup brown sugar until combined. Whisk in the egg and vanilla. Stir in the flour mixture, just until incorporated.
3) Scrape the batter into a greased 13x9 pan and smooth the top, spreading the batter evenly to the edges. Bake the bars until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs, about 15-17 minutes.
4) While the bars are baking, place the 1/4 cup butterscotch chips, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, water and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a small pan or microwave-safe bowl. Melt the mixture over the stove until melted and smooth, or in the microwave, about 2 minutes on 50% power. Whisk to combine well.
5) Drizzle the glaze over the warm bars. Let the bars cool completely. Enjoy!