Butterscotch Bars

This week I decided to switch it up a bit – away from chicken, anything Asian, anything with garlic, basil, tomatoes or rice! I was also in the mood to bake – I don’t bake very often, in terms of making cookies, cakes, or muffins. But, I love to bake! Especially in the winter or fall, I find it so relaxing to put together pumpkin pies, quick breads, etc.


A couple of months ago, a picture in Cooking Light jumped out at me – and I just KNEW I would make this recipe someday. Of the dozens of recipe “cards” that I have for all of my cooking magazines (I write down the name/date/page number of recipes which I genuinely expect to make someday)…this is the one I pulled out of the box last week when I started looking for something sweet to bake.


My favorite part of this recipe is the crunchy outside – it’s buttery, sweet and has a great texture. The center, on the other hand, has most of the flavor and is quite a bit softer. I would love to try this recipe with melted caramels in the center, or white/dark chocolate – and for the record, it goes perfectly with a glass of milk before bedtime 🙂

Butterscotch Bars

1 C packed brown sugar

5 TBS butter, melted

1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
9 oz all-purpose flour (just over 2 cups)
2.5 C Quaker oats
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 C fat-free sweetened condensed milk (I used lowfat)
1 1/4 C butterscotch morsels
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 C finely chopped walnuts (I used food processor – way faster!)

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Combine sugar and butter in large bowl. Stir in vanilla and egg. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup, and level with a knife. In separate bowl, combine flour, oats, 1/2 tsp salt and baking soda. Add oat mixture to sugar mixture; mix with a fork until combined (this will take some arm strength! It’s a pretty thick, crumbly mixture.) Place 3 cups of the oat mixture into the bottom of a 9×13 pan (spray with PAM first.) Press firmly into bottom of pan; set aside.
3. Put condensed milk, butterscotch morsels and 1/8 tsp salt into microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute, stopping every 20 seconds to stir well. Stir in walnuts. Scrape mixture into pan, spreading evenly over oat crust. Sprinkle evenly with remaining oat mixture, gently pressing into butterscotch layer. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes, or until top crust is a golden brown. Run knife around edge of pan – and although this is the hard part, do not eat until bars have completely cooled, at least 2 hours…!!!!! Cut into squares. Otherwise, it will be more of a mushy cobbler – once they are set, they are perfect little bars!

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