When I was a little girl, the traditional desserts at family holiday celebrations always included tray after tray of cookies and squares, in what seemed like every possible variation. It was a children’s paradise, and I remember standing transfixed in front of the buffet, trying desperately to decide which treat to choose. These Butterscotch Squares, made by my lovely Aunt Dorothy, were always one of my favorites. Although perhaps not the most beautiful, their intense butterscotch hit and fabulous texture made up for in taste what they might have lacked in beauty. Even though I struggle to get the ingredients for them here in England, I still make them at least once every year, and we all love them.
Butterscotch morsels and vanilla wafers are hard to find here in England, but you can get them via mail order and at The American Sweets Company in Aldershot and Guildford. This year I was completely unable to source vanilla wafers, so I substituted graham crackers and although it altered the flavour slightly, the squares taste every bit as good. For those of you who live in North America, these ingredients should all be pretty easy to find!
Aunt Dorothy’s Butterscotch Squares are no bake squares, and all the cooking is done on top of the stove. Once you’ve chopped or crushed the cookies up, their really isn’t much effort involved and you can throw these together in no time at all. Although you do need to store them in the fridge, they keep really well, and make fabulous gifts as part of a cookie tray, or just on their own.
To make an 8 x 8 inch pan, you need:
½ cup butter
½ cup brown sugar
1 beaten egg
4 cups vanilla wafers, chopped in pea size bits or graham crackers, crushed
¾ cup chopped nuts
¾ cup butterscotch morsels
1 teaspoon vanilla
Melt the butter. Remove from heat. Add sugar and egg; stir to blend well. Put back on the burner and heat over moderate heat, stirring almost constantly until mixture boils.
Allow to boil for one minute, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla wafers, nuts, butterscotch morsels and vanilla. Put the mixture into a buttered 8 x 8 inch pan.
Press in this toffee-like rubble into the pan firmly. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
Cut in small pieces to serve. Store in fridge.
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