Butterscotch Squares Recipe (30 Minutes, One Bowl)

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Part of the passion and knowledge I have for baking comes from my grandmother, whom my cousins and I affectionately call Nanny. As a child, I was always delighted to open the freezer door on any visit to my grandparent’s house and find a huge stock of homemade baked goods, just waiting to be enjoyed. Nanny always had something to choose from for dessert or to share with a friend if they stopped in for tea.

Several years ago, Nanny gifted me with one of her mother’s (my great-grandmother’s) cookbooks. The tattered hardcover green book was a publication of Purity Flour Mills, a flour mill that was one of Canada’s largest, operating from 1905 to 1981.

The copyright inside the book is dated 1932 with a third revision in 1954, so I have to assume this was a book my great-grandmother Violet was cooking from in the late 1950s. It has dried splatters on many pages, with pencil checkmarks next to her favorite recipes along with additional recipes and notes in her handwriting in the back. 

Not only is the book incredibly special to me because it’s evident my great-grandmother cooked and baked from it often, but I was also born in Canada. It ties me back to my roots in multiple ways, while also offering insight into the baked goods being served during that time.

One of the check-marked recipes is these butterscotch squares. When I mentioned to Nanny that I was baking them, she said, “Oh yeah, those are good!”

Simply Recipes / Molly Allen

Old-Fashioned Blondies

In essence, these squares are blondies by another name. They’re a simple combination of melted butter, brown sugar, and egg, with flour and baking powder to provide structure. I love to make them in one large bowl, mixing with a wooden spoon—no mixer required! 

They’re not fancy by any means, but they’re wonderfully chewy with a slight crispiness on the outer crust. The flavor of brown sugar is more pronounced than a typical blondie recipe, making them the tastiest simple-to-make treat.

2 Tips for Making These Butterscotch Squares

  1. Don’t Overbake: The key to achieving the gooey, chewy texture of these butterscotch squares is to avoid overbaking them. The original recipe notes baking the bars for 15 to 20 minutes. I found 18 minutes to be the sweet spot to avoid overbaking and producing the best texture.
  2. Add Mix-Ins: The original recipe in the cookbook suggests adding in 1/4 cup of chopped nuts. I chose to add chopped pecans, but walnuts would be wonderful as well. The beauty of this recipe is the opportunity for customization. While these are packed with flavor on their own, consider adding in 1/4 to 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips, M&M’s, butterscotch chips, toffee bits, and more.

Simply Recipes / Molly Allen

Bars for Your Sweet Tooth

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