These brownies were a great lesson. I now know that if we find ourselves with unexpected company, I can whip together an amazing dessert without a trip to the grocery store or an abundance of time. And this hypothetical company is in luck, because these brownies are absolutely delicious. They’re sweet, fudgy in texture, and bursting with butterscotch flavor, real butterscotch, because it comes from butter and brown sugar instead of a Hershey’s bag.
So let’s take a step back. It was Antonia’s birthday. Last year for her birthday she got Cinnamon Chip Pumpkin Blondies. I love baking for her as she’s happy to devour it all, from the healthiest Carrot Bran Muffin to the most decadent Snickerdoodle Mini Loaf. A baker couldn’t ask for a better audience! So I sent her to my Pinterest boards and she picked out these wondrous and simple Butterscotch Brownies.
Because I was going to start out with melted butter and then add everything in, I measured it all out ahead of time. The only change I made was to swap out 1/3 of the flour for wheat germ, and the rest stayed as is. It’s a perfect recipe; I found it on a blog called Finding Joy in My Kitchen, but that blogger found it in a Betty Crocker cookbook. I think Betty Crocker is like Martha Stewart but a whole lot nicer., except that Betty Crocker was never a real person. (Some people say the same thing about Martha Stewart.) Real or no, they both have some rock solid recipes. The difference? It seems like Betty’s trying to help you, whereas Martha has expectations you can’t possibly live up to. And Betty keeps things simple.
(The Betty Crocker story is a fun one. She was a creation of the Gold Medal flour company to respond to all the questions sent in about baking from their customers. Without ever being a real person, she had a signature, hosted a radio cooking show, was a cookbook author and a television personality, and at one time was the second-best known woman in America after Eleanor Roosevelt. Read more here.)
So back to our Butterscotch Brownies. Decadent but not ridiculous. Here are our simple ingredients.
With everything assembled and ready to go, I took the butter — a mere quarter cup — and dropped it into a saucepan for melting.
The rest of the action took place on the kitchen counter. With the pot now off the stove, I added the brown sugar, milk (1%), vanilla bean paste, and the egg.
Badoom! Butterscotch was created.
It looked a little weird at this point,with an occasional lump. I added the flour & wheat germ, the baking powder, and the salt. Things improved visibly.
Now THAT looks like brownie batter.
And that was pretty much it. I poured the batter into a glass 8 x 8″ dish.
It was hard to get a decent picture. No natural light + a light-bouncing glass pan = one bland photo. I definitely should have put a nice cloth or something under it but I was too busy thinking about making sure the brownies turned out okay and not focused on esthetics.
I baked for 25 minutes, and didn’t even need to do the toothpick test once I saw those nice cracks on the top. I think brownies are supposed to have cracks.
Dave and I hovered over them for a bit, inhaling.
Once I recognized that I didn’t want to bring the actual pan with me to work, it made sense to cut up the brownies for delivery, and once I was cutting them up, it made sense for Dave and me to split one.
Oh my. Sweet sweet butterscotch in a perfect brownie texture. I had to hide the rest of them immediately because I really like Antonia and she deserved brownies, not brownie leftovers.
I didn’t have much of a chance to take pictures of them. I had about five minutes the next morning, and then I delivered them, and then they were gone. But they turned out fantastic and I highly recommend making them whenever you need to whip together a dessert. They’re sweet and filling and make your taste buds very happy. You could serve them with ice cream or chocolate sauce or fruit or just a napkin, because they won’t last long. Exquisite.
BUTTERSCOTCH BROWNIES RECIPE (original)
My version of Butterscotch Brownies (adapted from Finding Joy in My Kitchen)
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons 1% milk
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1 large egg
2/3 cup whole wheat white flour
1/3 cup toasted wheat germ
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Heat the oven to 350 degrees, and spray or grease an 8 x 8″ glass dish. Then measure all your ingredients ahead of time, so you’ll have them at the ready.
Whisk the flour and wheat germ together.
In a medium/large saucepan (mine is a 2-quart), melt the butter on medium heat.
Once melted, remove from heat and add the sugar, milk, vanilla, and egg. Stir well.
Add the flour and wheat germ, baking powder, and salt. Stir well.
Pour into the pan and bake for 25 minutes, until a nice crackle appears on top.
Let cool in the pan for at least five minutes, then cut and devour.