by Paige Okun
I was going through an old cookbook, The Pioneer Kettle, from my grandmother and came across this gem:
Take 1 large field, half a dozen children, 2 or 3 small dogs, a pinch of brook and some pebbles. Mix the children and dogs well together; put them on the field stirring constantly. Pour the brook over the pebbles; sprinkle the field with flowers; spread a deep blue sky over all and bake in the sun. When brown, set away to cool in the bathtub.
Since we don't have a brook or field near my house, I nurtured my nostalgia with my grandmother's Butterscotch Chewy Bars. These dense, caramel treats are delightfully not-too-sweet. My family isn't crazy about nuts, so I swapped out the toasted pecans for a mixture of chocolate and butterscotch chips. YUM!
Butterscotch Chewy Bars
1 1/2 cups sifted all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons salted butter
1 1/2 cups toasted chopped pecans OR chocolate chips OR butterscotch chips OR a combination of the three
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 180 C/350F. Grease 9 x 13 inch baking pan and set aside.
Sift together flour and baking powder; set aside.
In a double boiler over gently simmering water, whisk eggs until barely warm. About 1 minute. Add brown sugar and butter stirring until butter melts and sugar dissolves. 3-4 minutes. Watch carefully and keep stirring.
Remove caramel mixture from boiler. Add vanilla.
Add flour to caramel all at once. Mix until well blended. Then add nuts. If adding chips, pour into pan and sprinkle on top. If you mix into the hot batter, they will melt.
Spread mixture into greased pan and bake 20-25 minutes until center springs back slightly when touched. Cool and cut into bars. Store in an airtight container.