A few days ago I discovered two new bags of chips in my baking cupboard, chocolate and butterscotch. They were a sweet surprise from my dad, who had been grocery shopping and thought I might like to have them around. While thinking of what to make for my next blog post, my mind went straight to that unopened bag of butterscotch chips and then to the ever-so-popular cookie, Oatmeal Scotchies. Scotchies, oatmeal cookies studded with butterscotch chips, have always been a favorite of mine and I realized that I hadn’t had one in years! However, I had just made cookies a few days before and decided to make Oatmeal Scotchie bars instead. I decided that these bars were going to be packed with all-out butterscotch flavor; there would be no holding back on creating the chewiest, richest, butterscotchiest (yes, that is a word because I say so) bars known to man. It was a tall order, but I knew deep down that I was ready.
Originally, I figured I would just create my own recipe by adapting a simple Oatmeal Scotchie recipe. I knew I wanted to use dark brown sugar rather than light, rolled oats rather than quick-cooking, and melted butter rather than creamed. All of this would make the bars extra chewy and rich, which was what I was aiming for. It suddenly hit me that if I wanted to get an even richer flavor I should use browned butter, which is a magical, magical substance. I was so surprised when I came across this recipe for Oatmeal Butterscotch Bars which was almost exactly what I had been imagining! It did call for quick-cooking oats, which you can totally use if you prefer a denser, more compact bar, but I went with the old-fashioned because I like the texture of individual oats. The recipe also included a butterscotch glaze, which sounded like the perfect finishing touch! You’d think that these might have a sweetness-overload but there’s actually less sugar in this recipe than your average cookie-bar recipe…the flavors from the butterscotch chips and browned butter more than make up for it!
In short, if you are a butterscotch fan, definitely give this recipe a shot! I can’t promise with 100% accuracy that they are the chewiest, richest, butterscotchiest bars known to man, but I can say that they are by the far the chewiest, richest, butterscotchiest bars known to me!
Oatmeal Butterscotch Bars
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup butterscotch chips
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup butterscotch chips
2 Tbs dark brown sugar
1 Tbs water
pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9″x13″ glass baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang. Lightly spray the pan with cooking spray and set aside.
Whisk together the flour, oats, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Pour the 3/4 cup butterscotch chips into a large bowl.
Melt the butter in a small pan over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until butter is golden-brown and flecks begin to appear, about 10 minutes. Butter can go from browned to burned in a matter of seconds, so keep a close eye on it! Pour the hot butter over the butterscotch chips and whisk until smooth and combined. Whisk in the brown sugar until smooth, then whisk in the egg and vanilla. (Mixture will be thick and sticky.)
Stir the flour mixture into the butterscotch mixture until incorporated. Evenly scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until edges are golden and an inserted toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs attached. While the bars are cooking, make the glaze.
For the glaze, combine 1/4 cup butterscotch chips, 2 Tbs dark brown sugar, water, and a pinch of salt in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second intervals on 50% power for about 2 minutes, or until chips are melted. Stir until smooth.
When bars are done, drizzle on the glaze immediately. Allow the bars to cool completely before cutting into squares.
(Recipe adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe)