I looove making bar cookies. They’re so easy, with endless possibilities. They’re portable, delicious, and can either go chocolate-y and rich, fruity and light, or totally caramel-y. I love how I can whip up a batter or a dough, usually a one step process, and throw it all into a parchment-lined pan to bake. No mess, no hassle, no cookie scoop. It makes like so much easier.
So, no surprise, a ridiculous amount of bar cookies have been coming out of my kitchen recently. Because they’re so easy, I just keep on making them. Bad for my waistline, but good for you guys!
I constantly seek recipe inspiration from all over the web, but since this bar cookie kick, I’ve been going back to Averie Cooks over and over. Her bar cookie recipe list is to die for. I drool just looking at it!
No surprise, this recipe is derived from a recipe on her site. These bars are sweet, but also have a nutty depth of flavor from the browned butter. If you’ve read my blog for a while, you know I love brown butter. I thought it was time to bring it back…it had been a while since it had been featured in a recipe here!
When I found the recipe for these Browned Butter Caramel and Butterscotch Bars, I couldn’t resist making them immediately. I mean, hello?! Look at the ingredient list! It’s pretty much a list of Rachel’s Favorite Things (excluding chocolate and peanut butter. I should remedy that…).
I did kick the caramel to the curb to allow the butterscotch to shine, because I feel like it’s butterscotch that usually gets kicked to the curb. It doesn’t get nearly enough love from me.
These bars are so chewy, almost fudgy for something that doesn’t have chocolate in it. They are super sweet, but the brown butter and salt counteract it a bit. If you don’t want them as sweet, reduce the sugar by 1/4 cup and you’ll be in heaven. Not a butterscotch fan? Get out!
…Just kidding, you can totally replace the butterscotch chips with chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, white chocolate chips, a mix of all of the above; really, whatever floats your boat! These bars are versatile.
I hope you give these a shot, and if these aren’t your thing, don’t worry…more bar cookies are coming your way! :)
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup butterscotch chips
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-by-8-inch pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper and spray with cooking spray; set aside.
- Place butter in a medium sauce pan and heat over medium-low to medium heat. Butter will melt, then begin to bubble and foam. Brown specks will begin to form in the bottom of the pan, with a white foam will appear on top of the melted butter. Stir the butter very frequently to prevent burning. It should smell very nutty and the butter in the bottom of the pan should have brown flecks in it. This process should take 2-4 minutes. Butter can go from being browned and nutty-smelling to burnt and inedible in less than one minute. Watch for the brown specks and once you see them, remove the pan from the burner, continuing to whisk for another 30 seconds. Transfer butter into large mixing bowl and allow it to cool for a few minutes.
- Add the brown sugar to the browned butter and whisk to combine. Add the egg, vanilla, and whisk to combine. Add the flour, salt, and stir until just combined, taking care not to over-mix. Fold in the butterscotch chips. Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing it lightly with a spatula or offset knife.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the bars are set. The edges will be slightly pulling away from sides of pan. Allow bars to cool for at least 2 hours before slicing and serving into 16 squares. I like to refrigerate them before cutting to make them easier to cut. Bars can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.