These butterscotch brownies have many things going for them, but good looks isn’t one of them.
They are, however, ridiculously easy to make, only use one saucepan, and have a delicious caramel flavour that makes them difficult to leave alone. I baked two trays today – each took me less than 10 minutes to knock up, and under half an hour to bake in the oven. That’s hard to beat!
The batch above has a mix of walnuts and chocolate chips, whereas the one below has extra chocolate in place of the nuts (as Small Man is nut allergic) and as a result is gooey and flatter, but equally moreish.
I’ve substituted unsalted butter for the vegetable shortening in Beth Polazzo’s original recipe, and I’ve also omitted the specified ½ teaspoon of salt. That’s our personal preference – we’re not big fans of the salt-sugar combination that seems to be so popular in the US.
(adapted from Beth Polazzo’s Butterscotch Brownies in Molly O’Neill’s New York Cookbook)
- 75g (½ cup) plain (AP) flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 65g (¼ cup) unsalted butter
- 215g (1 cup, packed) brown sugar
- 1 large (59g) egg
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract (I used homemade)
- 55g (½ cup) chopped walnuts OR extra 90g (½ cup) chocolate chips
- 90g (½ cup) semisweet chocolate chips
Note: for the all chocolate version, I used 90g broken Callebaut bake-stable sticks (44% cacao) and 90g Callebaut 811 callets (54% cacao).
1. Preheat the oven to 175C/350F or 160C/320F with fan.
2. Line a 20cm/8″ square pan or a 31 x 14cm/12 x 5½” biscotti pan with parchment paper.
3. In a small bowl, combine the flour and baking powder and stir together with a fork.
4. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over a low heat, then add the brown sugar and stir briefly until softened and moist. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes (this bit is important – or you’ll end up with scrambled eggs and melted chocolate).
5. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, quickly stir in the egg and vanilla until incorporated. Add in the flour and baking powder, and stir vigorously to combine. Gently mix in the walnuts and chocolate.
6. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and gently work it into the corners. There’s not a lot of batter, so expect a fairly thin coverage over the base of the pan. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until the top feels just firm. The original recipe said to test with an inserted toothpick, but there’s usually so much chocolate in mine that it’s hard to judge.
Remove from the oven and allow the brownies to rest in the pan for at least half an hour before transferring them to a wire rack to finish cooling. The brownies will sink a little as they cool.
Expect these to be flat and ugly, and to crack as they’re sliced (use a sharp, thin knife). Also expect them to be deliciously moreish with a brown sugar caramel flavour and a fudgy, gooey centre. Enjoy!