I love bar cookies.
Not because they taste good, though they almost inevitably do. No, I love them because they are easy and quick.
True, cookies bake faster — 8 to 12 minutes in most cases — but cookies also make the baker stand in front of a mixing bowl with tempting batter as she scoops, and scoops, and scoops for sheet after sheet.
Bar cookies don't demand that kind of attention. A few swipes of the bowl and the whole shebang is in the pan. Smooth out the top, slide that puppy into the oven, and Bob's your uncle. (I like to imagine Uncle Bob loves bar cookies, too. He's a fan of the simpler things in life.)
This recipe for butterscotch blondies comes from the That Skinny Chick Can Bake blog (www.thatskinnychickcanbake.com), which was based on a recipe from the Hugs and Cookies blog (hugsandcookiesxoxo.com). They really hit the spot when you're craving something sweet but not overly chocolaty. I reduced the amount of white chocolate chips a bit from the original because I wanted to retain more of the chewy butterscotch texture throughout.
The recipe works for an 8-by-8 or 9-by-9 pan; I prefer the larger pan and smaller cuts to create bite-size treats. Using the larger pan, I cut 36 blondies. All of them were gone in less than 24 hours.
Be sure to follow the instructions to refrigerate the blondies after removing them from the oven. Once chilled, they'll pop free of the pan with a swipe around the sides and a gentle tap, and a chef's knife will cut through them with ease (and without damaging your pan).
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup butterscotch chips
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray the pan (8-by-8 or 9-by-9) with cooking spray or line the pan with nonstick foil or parchment and set aside.
In mixer, beat butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla. Mix until combined.
Microwave the butterscotch chips until melted. Take care to use only 60 percent to 70 percent power. Heat for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring after every minute.
With the mixer on low, add melted butterscotch chips and mix until smooth, scraping sides as needed.
Still on low, add baking soda, salt and flour and mix only until combined. Stir in white chocolate chips.
Spread in pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven.
Cool the pan in the refrigerator, then cut the blondies into bars.
— Reach Mel Barber at email@example.com.