I remember falling in love with butterscotch: It was 1976 and I had just finished my first est for Children Seminar (if you haven't heard of est, it's also known as the Forum or Landmark and back in the 70s they had est training for children. That's even weirder considering that a friend of a friend of mine was in my est group and, via Facebook, got in touch with me 30 years later). After a grueling day of getting to know myself and raising my consciousness, I was provided sustenance via a Dixie cup filled with salted peanuts, raisins, and butterscotch chips. [To be fair we had lunch too: cold fried chicken (yum) and salad with black olives and mealy tomatoes. I cried when I didn't want to eat the olives, but since I already informed them I was allergic to tomatoes I had to eat the olives -- it's very est-like not to let you get away with stuff like not eating olives because they are "hairy."] OH MAN those butterscotch chips! As awful as that day was, I was happy to go back the next day, just so I could have more of those salty-creamy-sweet-toasty-flavored yummy bits again... I lived in a world where treats were either made from a combination of carrots, zucchini, carob, and honey or were relentlessly Jewish, like poppyseed hamentashen. Butterscotch was so foreign, so deliciously WASP-y like American cheese or white bread, that I was hooked and later became somewhat addicted to Butter Rum Lifesavers.
Flash forward a lifetime or two to last year's Polarpocalypse or whatever and...We had not shown so much as a modicum of restraint during the holidays (there was a day where we had cheeseburgers for breakfast for goodness sake!). So because we didn't want to have to buy all new clothes or, like, die, we were trying to rein it in a bit. But the need to bake prevails..plus it was -5° F outside. I had just gotten back from the accountant and I wanted something warm and sugary and found a recipe on the King Arthur Flour website for butterscotch blondies. Because I can't let things be, I decided to kick them up a bit both with a glop of miso for flavor and, for extra crunchy crunch (I tried to fool myself into thinking I was adding protein in the form of good fats), I thought to add walnuts but I had no walnuts so I subbed flax seed meal, which worked well. I have since upgraded to chopped Marcona almonds because really flax seed has no place in a luscious butterscotch brownie.
These are SOOOOO delicious—very sweet and kinda salty—and they pack up and ship very nicely. (They also make great ice cream sandwiches). —Aliwaks
WHO: Aliwaks lives in Brunswick, Maine with her husband and their 3 cats.
WHAT: A butterscotch bar that sets the bar high.
HOW: Heat butter with vanilla and miso paste. Wait patiently for the butter to brown, then use it to make a batter with your standard ingredients (eggs, flour) and a few wildcards (ground almonds, Scotch, apple cider vinegar). Mix in the butterscotch chips and bake.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Blondies? Zzzzz. Brownies? Sigh. Lemon bars? We’ve seen it before. But butterscotch bars with miso? Wonderfully strange and surprisingly savory, they’re weird enough to impress your friends as gifts, yet delicious enough that you’ll want to keep a few for yourself. —The Editors