I traditionally host Easter each year, and part of the tradition seems to be a household disaster during Holy Week. This week has been no exception. My dishwasher hasn't been draining for days. After some valiant repair attempts by my handy husband, a repair guy came today. Even though my Easter guests are low-key, and would be fine if I served cold cuts, I'm behind on my preparations. As a result, I don't have time for much blogging this week.
I thought I'd share an easy dessert recipe I made for a recent dinner with friends and their children. Since so many people (particularly kids) don't eat nuts, I usually provide alternatives with and without nuts. In this case I put nuts on top of half of the bars instead of stirring them into the dough (not a good alternative if you're serving people with nut allergies).
The bars were delicious -- chewy and butterscotch-y. I much preferred the bars that had the pecans. My mistake was adding adding extra butterscotch chips to compensate for using fewer nuts. The butterscotch chips are just too sweet and artificial tasting, so the bars would have been better if I had stuck with the amount called for in the recipe.
Adapted from the King Arthur Flour Bakers Companion
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
2 cups brown sugar (I used one cup dark and one cup light)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon butter-rum flavor, or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (I used 1/8 teaspoon rum flavor and 1 teaspoon vanilla)
1 1/2 cups (6 1/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups (9 ounces) butterscotch chips
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) diced pecans or walnuts (I used less)
Preheat the oven to 350.
Melt the butter in a medium-sized mixing bowl in the microwave, and mix in the sugar, salt, baking powder, and flavorings. Stir in the flour, then the eggs, one at a time. Stir in one cup of the chips and one cup of the nuts (I didn't stir in the nuts). Scoop the batter into a lightly greased 9 by 13-inch pan. Sprinkle the remaining chips and nuts over the top of the batter.
Bake the brownies for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is shiny but the middle is still gooey (though not liquid). Do not overbake - underbake a bit for a chewy texture. Remove them from the oven and cool completely before slicing.
Makes 2 dozen 2x2-inch brownies.