Butterscotch Brownies are wonderful, super quick and easy bar cookies you can make with ingredients in your pantry. If I'm craving something sweet and don't have a lot in the house, this the recipe I turn to.
The term "butterscotch" is interesting. This candy is similar to caramel, but butterscotch is made with only brown sugar, whereas caramel made from scratch uses white sugar. The part of the word "scotch" comes from the method used to cut the hard candy; it means "scored.' When you "score" candy, you cut lines in it with a sharp knife before it has hardened completely, so it can be broken into pieces after it's cool.
If you are offering a tray of bars or brownies for dessert, it's nice to include some different kinds. Since most brownies are made with white or dark chocolate, another option is a good idea, especially since some people don't like chocolate, although no one I know falls into that category.
The doneness test is critical with this recipe. Never overtake these brownies, or they will become hard and granular and lose their soft and chewy quality. Bake only until they seem set when lightly and carefully touched with your finger.
These brownies are very rich, so a small square will satisfy most people; this recipe should serve at least 24. You can serve them unfrosted, or for a change, frost them with a nice plain vanilla buttercream, then drizzle butterscotch ice cream topping in lines over the brownies. Use a toothpick to make a pattern in the ice cream topping for a pretty finish.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 13" x 9" baking pan with nonstick baking spray containing flour, or grease it using solid shortening and dust with flour.
In a heavy saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Then remove from heat and stir in the brown sugar until blended.
Add eggs and vanilla and beat until combined. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and mix. Stir in nuts, if using, until blended.
Spread the batter and spread into the prepared pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the brownies are just set when lightly touched with your finger. Then cool on wire rack.
Frost as desired and cut the brownies into squares to serve.