Monday, December 23, 2013

Mom's Butterscotch Chews

Butter Scotch Chews

This is something my mom made a lot while we were growing up.  You might also think of these as blondies (which is really like a brownie minus the chocolate.) The bulk of the flavor comes from the molasses that makes brown sugar just that little bit more special. Every time I bite into one it's like a little bit of heaven. They have a rich butterscotch flavor, without the finicky process of making a caramel.

The prep is easy, the ingredients are few and the pay off is most definitely worth it.

 I don't know where she first learned them, but I make them so much that I have it memorized now.  In fact my actual written recipe is more like a basic guideline.  But these are so simple, I'm sure you'll enjoy not only making them, but eating them too.

  • 1/4 cup - unsalted butter
  • 1 cup - brown sugar
  • 1 - egg
  • 3/4 cup - all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp - baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp - salt
  • 1 tsp - vanilla

Optional Additions
  • 1/2 cup - chopped nuts
  • Powdered Sugar for dusting
  • Saucepan
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Rubber Spatula
  • Sifter
  • Small bowl
  • Measuring Cups
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Brownie Pan
Prep time:
     about 45 minutes
    12+ (depending on size)

In Saucepan, melt together butter & brown sugar. The goal is to melt, not boil. As soon as the mix looks like a loose peanut butter, you're ready to remove from the heat.  Now you wait, about 10-15 minutes.  You need the mixture to cool so the next step doesn't create scrambled eggs.
While you wait, grease your brownie pan (paying special attention to the corners), and preheat oven to 350 degrees.   I use a brownie pan which makes a thinner result, but you could also use an 8x8 if you want a thicker bite or even a small cake round for a cookie shaped one.

In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder & salt - set aside. 
When melted sugar has cooled, it will have hardened a little, looking almost like a brittle.  Don't worry, once you've added the egg and vanilla, and spent a little bit of time working it to remove the lumps, you'll be all set to move on to the next step.
Add flour mix to saucepan batter - mix with wooden spoon until just combined.
If you opted for nuts, now is the time to add them.
Pour out to greased brownie pan. 

Spread evenly and bake for 20 minutes.

It should be evenly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean.
Allow to cool completely before cutting, and if you opted for powdered sugar, dust just before serving.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

About 4 Square Feet

Today is day 1 of a new blog.  I don't see it being an every day thing, but I'm hoping for something close to once a week.

I moved to Southern California two years ago.  My time here started with December in a hotel, getting to know my new team.  I was able to go to my last Christmas back home with family and then we moved in January. 

Before we moved I worked in a team of 3.  After moving I am leading a team of 14 so co-worker Christmas is quite a lot bigger than I've ever experienced previously.  In both offices I bake.  Birthday, holiday & sometimes just because.    Always looking for new recipes to try, why not I have lots and lots of taste testers on my team alone, but up to 150 in just the office I work in, not to mention friends & family.

My first Christmas in the office, I prepared little tins with a bunch of treats in them.  Best Ever Cocoa Brownies (by the Smitten Kitchen)Shortbread Cookies, Mock Turtles, Meringue Christmas Trees & my Mom's Butterscotch Chews (recipe in next post).

This year I opted for more recipes and a different delivery method.  Instead of little individually packaged tins, they got a couple of days to pick from a variety tray AND that gave me the chance to offer treats to more people too.

My second round had those same cookies again, plus Sweet Potato Fudge, Chocolate Haystacks, Chewy Oatmeal Raisin, Brownies, Mom's Butterscotch Chews, Spritzer Cookies & Melomakerona

So why this blog? 
Today I discovered
The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap

OMG I am super inspired and have already put my name on the notice list to participate next year. But that means I need a food blog, so today I start one...

Since I'm still in the baking mood, I have a couple of days worth of posts already dreamed up.  Why 4 Square Feet?  Well you'll see why as I begin posting.  My kitchen is itty bitty and I have very limited space in which to work, maybe I'll show it to you soon.  I have an oven, the top of a lift top freezer, a sink, a bunch of gadgets, small appliances, baking tools and about 4 square feet of counter space in which to make amazing things happen.  Hey, if the Smitten Kitchen can do it, why can't I.

I take inspiration from blogs, pinterest, tv and oh so many cookbooks.  I will always show you my sources and I wish I could share my treats with you too.  If you are thinking that you can't bake, or that it's too hard... stop, and give any of the recipes I hope to share with you, a try.  I hope you enjoy.