Margaret’s Lucky Butterscotch Brownies

These are also known as Blondies or Toffee Bars.

I found this recipe in Joy of Cooking back in 1983, when I was a cook’s helper at Sherwood Forest camp, on Willapa Bay, Washington. The “lucky” part of the name comes from the fact that I could whip them out with one hand tied behind my back, but when some campers went into the kitchen on my day off and tried making them, they turned out as tasteless bricks.

Twenty-six years later, Barry tried to make them when I wasn’t around, and he ran out of propane. He switched tanks and restarted the oven, but didn’t know how long to finish cooking the half-done brownies. As a result, he became known in the boatyard as the guy who served up concrete cookies. And my lucky streak continues … hundreds of batches without a failure.

Seriously, though, they are easy to make. I recommend that you double the recipe and make it in a 9×13 pan.

1/4 C melted butter
1 C brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 t salt
3/4 C flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t vanilla
1/2 C nuts

Mix all ingredients; spread in 8×8 buttered pan. Bake 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Cut while warm.

For an elegant chocolate version, you can sprinkle the top with chocolate chips when you take it out of the oven. Let sit 5 minutes to melt (be patient — when the chips are ready to spread, you’ll know, because they’ll look glossy) and then spread with a knife. Let it cool a bit more, then cut into squares before the chocolate cools and hardens completely.

You can also mix a half-cup of chocolate chips into the batter.