Peanut Butter Butterscotch Bars
Peanut butter and butterscotch is such an awesome flavor combination, and so under-used.
One of my favorite peanut butter cookie recipes is in my cookbook and it’s a peanut butter-butterscotch cookie.
I was craving something with butterscotch so I made these easy, no-mixer, soft, chewy bars.
They begin like blondies with melted butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla.
Add peanut butter, flour, and quick-cook oats, which lend incredible texture and chewiness to the otherwise soft, buttery bars.
If you don’t typically buy quick-cook oats and only have old-fashioned whole rolled oats, simply pulse or blend the old-fashioned oats for about 10 seconds in your food processor or blender. Now you’ve got quick oats.
Before baking, sprinkle with butterscotch chips. The scent of melting butterscotch chips, peanut butter, and oats that wafts from the oven while the bars bake is positively intoxicating.
Bake the bars until the edges are slightly firm and the center has just set. It’s a little tricky to tell if the bars are done because the surface is covered in semi-melted butterscotch chips, but 25 minutes did the trick for me.
While the bars bake, make the frosting because it goes on right as the bars emerge from the oven. No waiting around for them to cool.
The peanut butter frosting is thick, luscious, and you’ll be tempted to eat the whole bowl during those 25 minutes while the bars bake.
The frosting sets up satiny smooth, creamy, and beautiful. I’m going to remember this frosting for other recipes because it’s so easy, the texture and taste are both wonderful, and it would be great on most any cake, muffin, banana bread, or cinnamon rolls.
The butterscotch flavor is prominent and really shines. Sweet with a bit of saltiness, caramely, and buttery. If you’re a fan of butterscotch, you’ll love these.
The bars taste much more complicated than the simple, everyday ingredients used. Love it when that happens.
Peanut Butter Butterscotch Bars
Peanut butter and butterscotch is such an awesome flavor combination. The butterscotch flavor is prominent and really shines. Sweet with a bit of saltiness, caramely, and buttery. If you’re a fan of butterscotch, you’ll love these. The bars are soft with slight chewiness and texture from the oats. The peanut butter frosting is thick, luscious, rich, creamy, and you’ll be tempted to eat the whole bowl before it even makes it onto the bars. Make the frosting while the bars bake and add it right as the bars emerge from the oven. The bars taste much more complicated than the simple, everyday ingredients used.
heaping 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup quick-cooking oats (not old-fashioned whole rolled)
pinch salt, optional and to taste
3/4 cup butterscotch chips
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup cream or milk (I used half-and-half)
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-inch square pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray; set aside.
- Bars – To the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or large mixing bowl and electric mixer), add the peanut butter, butter, sugars, and beat on medium-high speed to cream, about 3 minutes.
- Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the egg, vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed until mixture is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the flour, oats, optional salt, and beat on low speed until just combined, about 1 minute; don’t overmix.
- Turn batter out into prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula.
- Evenly sprinkle with butterscotch chips.
- Bake for about 25 minutes, or until edges are slightly firm and the center has just set. It’s a little tricky to tell if the bars are done because the surface is covered in semi-melted butterscotch chips, but a toothpick inserted in the center (if you can find a bare patch to test) should come out clean or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter. While bars bake, make the frosting.
- Frosting – To the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or large mixing bowl and electric mixer), add the peanut butter, confectioners’ sugar, cream, and beat on medium-high speed until smooth, satiny, and creamy, about 3 minutes. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl, cover bowl with plastic wrap; set aside.
- As soon as you pull bars from the oven, add the frosting (don’t wait for them to cool). Smooth the top lightly with a spatula or knife, and allow bars to cool completely in pan before slicing and serving. Bars will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 5 days.
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