Oatmeal Butterscotch Bars

Admittedly, there aren’t tons of photos with this recipe. Oatmeal Scotchies (as my mom called them – turns out it wasn’t a name she made up!) were a family favorite growing up. I loved how the butterscotch chips almost turned into caramel around the edges of this wonderfully nubbly cookies. My plan had been to simply duplicate her recipe in a bar form. I find drop cookies to be laborious, and I would already be doing enough cooking for this week’s Wednesday Night Dinner.

I will say this this experience was a lesson in reading the recipe first! I am usually quite good at doing that, but I had failed to check the pantry before I got started.

Flour in the bowl, check!

Hiccough One: I, in my infinite wisdom, had thrown out my baking soda when I moved recently. It was at least two years old, and while it still worked, I thought it was just time to spend another dollar and buy a new box. Have I purchased this box yet? No. So, a-substituting-we-will-go! Turns out that you can use three times as much baking powder as a stand-in for baking soda. Originally, I was just going to do a 1-1 substitution, and I’m quite glad I checked before I did so.

Moving on with the rest of the dry ingredients, we’re fine. Butter is softened and tossed in the bowl with the sugars, beat until it’s fluffy. Eggs are next, one at a time. Thank God I had them because, do you think I had applesauce or other odd baking substitute on hand? Please.

Hiccough Two: No vanilla to be found. I swore up and down that I had vanilla, and for the life of me I can’t remember what I used it on. The recipe called for 1 teaspoon of orange zest if you didn’t have the vanilla, but do you think I had that on hand? Please. Sadly, there isn’t much to be done about no vanilla.

Continuing along this adventure, slightly demoralized, but not to be defeated, I added the flour mixture a bit at a time, scraping the bowl like a champ. Pour in the butterscotch chips. Next the quick cooking oats.

Hiccough Three: Yes, I had oatmeal. However, the recipe called for 3 cups. I had just over 1 1/2 cups. I was not about to back out now. Who knows what this thing will turn into, but I’m not backing out now for missing half my oats.

Into a 9×13. Into the oven. Time to wait.

And I’ll be darned if they aren’t pretty good. Good enough to serve for dessert tonight at Wednesday Night Dinner (though that crowd is pretty easy to please). Admittedly, you miss the vanilla, more than I thought I would. I pretty convinced that the missing oats are what made these bars a success. Normally, Oatmeal Scotchies are crisp, crumbly cookies; however, with half the oats gone, they are able to hold up pretty well as bars. I will say they are dense little suckers and they won’t win any beauty pageants, but tasty!

A quick note, because I always forget this: if you’re using a dark or glass pan, turn your oven down! The bottoms of these bars are a bit…carmelized. However, if you drop the oven temperature, it should turn out ok.