Monday, March 26, 2012

Winning Recipe Number 2 - Butterscotch Shortbread Bars

Going into the second week of the competition, Mrs. BA was torn. She has a killer Pecan Bar recipe - but everyone at her work knows she makes them and the anonymity of the contest would be compromised - so we went back to the drawing board to find a new winner. She was going to go with Lemon Bars, but we found this one instead - and it was another winner!

The recipe appeared in a 2002 Christmas Cookie magazine we had on our cookbook shelf, I have transcribed it here - hopefully there are no errors (I couldn't find it online).

Butterscotch Shortbread Bars
If you're looking for something deliciously sweet and old-fashioned, you can hardly do better than this grandmotherly concoction of butterscotch and nuts atop a shortbread cookie.
Prep: 25 mins
Bake: 37 mins

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped cashews (!)
  • 1/4 whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x9x2 inch baking pan with foil; extend foil over pan edges. Butter foil; set aside.

2. For crust, in a medium mixing bowl combine flour, the 3 tbsp brown sugar, and the baking powder. Using a pastry blender, cut in the 1/2 cup butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press crust mixture into the prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

3. Meanwhile, for butterscotch sauce, in a heavy medium saucepan melt the 1/4 cup butter. Stir in granulated sugar, the water, and salt; stir in the chopped cashews. Bring to boiling over medium-high heat, stirring constantly (Mrs. BA would really like to avoid recipes that say this - but they are so much better when stirring has taken place constantly). Boil, uncovered, for 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove saucepan from heat. Stir in whipping cream and vanilla.

4. Spread butterscotch sauce evenly over the baked crust. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes more or until most of the surface is bubbly. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Using the foil, lift the shortbread out of the pan. Carefully peel the foil from the sides of the shortbread. Cut the shortbread into bars. Makes 24.

To store: Cover and store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

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