Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Butterscotch Brownies for the Win!

Mindy here, and would you believe that we actually had winter here in south-central Texas last week? Yes, I can say it like that because while winter may, indeed, pay the Lone Star state a visit, it never sticks around long. That's probably why we get so excited when it snows. We know it'll be gone in a day or two, instead of dragging on into March or April. And deep inside, I think that's why officials call off school for only a half an inch of the white stuff. We never know when it'll show up again!
Unfortunately, this was the extent of our "snow." And it wasn't really snow, but sleet. And only toward the end. No, what we got was freezing rain, aka ice.
Granted this wasn't near as bad as the Icemagedon we had in North Texas a few years back, but when you're talking ice, even a little can cause a whole lot of trouble.

So I stayed inside and simply enjoyed the view. I love looking out of my kitchen windows. No roads or privacy fences. Just trees and who knows what else.
Cattle, coyote, a hawk, feral hogs... Or just a couple of does enjoying a lazy Saturday. Can you see them there at the back?
By the time gameday arrived, though, the ice was a distant memory as temps moved into the 70s. If only our temperatures would be so varied in the summer.

But it was gameday and I was in search of a quick dessert for me and my guys. But what? I wasn't in the mood for chocolate (did I really say that?). I wanted something more substantial than cookies, plus I didn't want a huge batch of anything because yours truly would eat all the leftovers. I was in one of those moods where I had no idea what I was hungry for.

Then a taste popped into my mind. Something I hadn't had in years. Something I used to make when I was a kid. It was easy. Check. I had all of the ingredients. Check. It only made an 8x8 pan. Score!

When I was growing up, back before the internet and Food Network, if I wanted to make something, my search started, and usually ended, with Mom's Betty Crocker Cookbook. So, just like I did back then, I reached for Betty and quickly located these quick and easy Butterscotch Brownies. Though I think I prefer the name blond brownies. Whatever you call them, they're yummy.

Here's what you'll need:
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup chopped pecans
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Melt shortening, either on the stove or in the microwave on a low setting. You don't want it to get hot. To the shortening, add the brown sugar, egg and vanilla and mix well.
Blend in flour, baking powder and salt.
Then add your pecans.
 And stir to combine.
Spread the mixture into a greased 8x8 baking pan.
Yes, it will be thick, so take your time.

Bake 25 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. You want the brownies to be warm when you cut them, not hot like mine were.
They'll come out prettier if you wait until they're warm. But either way, they'll still taste delicious. This was exactly the flavor a was looking for. And that crunch of pecan... YUM!

I am contemplating something for the next time I make these small-portion babies. What if I substituted butter for the shortening? They're both fats, so I don't think it would change the texture. The flavor, though... Well, it would definitely be more buttery. And that's not a bad thing. 

I'll keep you posted.

So teams for the "BIG GAME" have been decided--the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles. Though I don't really care as much about the teams as I do the actual game and, of course, THE FOOD. Whether my Cowboys are in the mix or not, it's still party time. Not to  mention the one day when people actually look forward to the commercials. As I recall, last year's were kind of lame, so I'm hoping for better things in 2018.

Now it's your turn. Did you do much cooking/baking when you were young? Did you have a go-to cookbook? How about a favorite recipe? If so, when was the last time you revisited that recipe?

Mindy Obenhaus lives on a ranch in Texas with her husband, the youngest of her five children and two dogs. She's passionate about touching readers with Biblical truths in an entertaining, and sometimes adventurous, manner. When she’s not writing, she enjoys cooking and spending time with her grandchildren. Learn more at www.MindyObenhaus.com  


  1. Oh, now I want Butterscotch Brownies! I haven't had them in...like...forever! (See? Even my speech patterns are reverting!)

    And Betty was my go-to cookbook back in the old days (aka, when I was still living at home). I loved the way some of the recipe steps were illustrated - I learned tons from that cookbook! Just a few years ago, I found a copy on ebay. Not the same as having my mom's copy, but I still love those illustrated recipes. :-)

    And your ice! I hate ice storms. There is nothing good about them. So glad you stayed in and stayed safe!

    1. You know, Jan, I don't think I could tell you which version of the BC cookbook my mother had. However, she gave me my own copy for Christmas one year when I was in high school and that's the one I still use today, tattered as it may be. That thing has, literally, traveled across the world with me.

      And like I said, one of the best things about this recipe is that it makes such a small batch, perfect for you and hubby.

      As for the ice, it's a pain, but I'm thankful we're getting at least some cold weather and I hope we get more. The last two winters have been very warm, so we'd benefit from several hearty freezes.

  2. Mindy, these look delicious!! I always scoop out a hot serving of brownies straight out of the pan. Just spoon it out (no way it'll cut)! LOL

    When I was a kid, our go-to was no bake oatmeal cookies. :)

    1. Missy, I remember those no-bake oatmeal cookies. Were they the ones with chocolate and peanut butter in them? Those were great. I don't really recall making them, but my neighbor always made them, so I'd just go hang out at her house. ;)

      So when you scoop out that hot brownie, do you ever top it with some ice cream? Mmmm... Just thinking about all that melty goodness makes me want one.

  3. Feral hogs?! Just when I think I can wrap my head around scorpians and snakes you throw feral hogs into the mix???? I am such a Northern city girl!!!!

    I was going to ask you about the butter switch because I never use shortening and I do have some recipes that say butter or shortening so I think it would work. I've never had a butterscotch brownie so I think I'll try this soonish. Can I throw butterscotch chips into the mix????? Or would that be overkill?

    We're in the middle of a nasty freezing rain event -- started with lots of snow, switched to freezing rain yesterday afternoon and hasn't stopped yet. Don't think I'll get a walk in today. :-( It's been a strange winter.

    1. LOL! Kav, don't get so worked up. Feral hogs don't bother people. They just wreak havoc on the land, which is why ranchers hate them. They've torn up more than their fair share of our property. Last year, some had a litter of piglets in the thicket behind our camphouse. Two weeks later, the parents up and left, leaving nearly 20 babies behind. They're a real nuisance, especially when they reproduce so rapidly. But only as far as the land goes. So you're safe.

      As for the recipe, I suppose you could add butterscotch chips. Not sure if it would mess with the texture or not. I'm not a big fan of butterscotch chips, so I never thought about it. And if you try it with the butter before I do, let me know how they turn out. Of course, if you've never had them before, then I guess you wouldn't know how they're supposed to taste. Hmm...I might need to make another batch in the name of research.

      Ugh on the freezing rain. All it does it coat everything in ice. Yes, you'd be better served staying put. Would hate for you to take a nasty fall, especially with all the progress you've made this past year.

    2. LOL I'm reading Lord of the Flies with my class and I feel like we could take a class trip to your ranch.

    3. Oh, come on, Mary Cate. It’s not that bad. Though the kids would have a ball.

  4. Pecans and brown sugar. I'm sold. I would definitely go for the butter though. Butter makes everything better.

    1. Exactly! My two favorite ingredients. And why I always add more pecans than the recipe calls for.

  5. Oh, and Mindy - half of my family lives in Philly, the other half are mad dog Patriots fans. May be war in Brooklyn!

    1. Ooo... Get them all together on game day and it may be more fun to watch them watching the game. Via satellite, though. In case war breaks out.