Saturday, April 19, 2014

Chocolate & Butterscotch Chip Bars

These babies are just as tasty as they sound & are much easier to make than chocolate chip cookies.  You gotta love a recipe that doesn't call for any planning like taking out the butter to soften.

Chocolate & Butterscotch Chip Bars, slightly adapted from King Arthur's Flour

2/3 cup unsalted butter

2 cups + 2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
2 3/4 cups flour
3 large eggs, room temp
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder, optional
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste 
1/4 teaspoon vanilla butter & nut flavor
3 cups of any type of "chips" and/or nuts (I used butterscotch & semi-sweet)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9" x 13" pan. 

Melt the butter in a large bowl & stir in the brown sugar. Add the vanilla & flavoring, stirring until well combined. Allow the mixture to cool slightly (so that the eggs do not cook once added).  While the butter mixture cools whisk together flour, baking powder, espresso powder, & salt in a medium bowl.  Once the butter mixture is cooled add the eggs one at a time.  Beat well after each addition & scrape down the sides as needed. Next add in the flour mixture stirring until just combined.  Stir in the chips or other additions of your choice. Pour the batter into your prepared pan, spreading it to the edges with a wet spatula (or your wet fingers) & smoothing out the top.

Bake the bars for 30 to 32 minutes, until they've risen, and their top is shiny and golden. Bake for the shorter amount of time in a darker pan; the longer time in a light/shiny pan. A cake tester inserted into the center won't come out clean; in fact, the center of the very middle of the pan may look quite molten when you dig into it. So long as no wet batter is showing farther out towards the edges the bars are done. (Do not over bake!) As the bars cool the center will solidify. 
Remove the bars from the oven, and use a heatproof spatula to press down the risen edges; this will make bars with flat, rather than humped tops. Let the bars cool completely before cutting; overnight is best. Once bars are cool, wrap airtight. Store wrapped bars @ room temperature for a couple of days.