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 Old Fashioned Butterscotch Squares, made by my lovely Aunt Dorothy, were always one of my favourites. I also had a real weakness for my Auntie Irene’s Cherry Date and Coconut Squares.
Although perhaps not the most beautiful squares, Aunt Dorothy’s Old Fashioned Butterscotch Squares have an intense butterscotch hit and fabulous texture most people find absolutely irresistible. I’m pretty disciplined about my healthy eating plan, but when it comes to Aunt Dorothy’s squares, all bets are off! They also make sweet holiday gifts.
Sourcing the Ingredients and Substitutions
I struggle to get the ingredients for these butterscotch squares here in England, but I still try to make them at least once each year at Thanksgiving or Christmas. Whenever I am able to source Vanilla Wafers and Butterscotch chips/morsels throughout the year I’ll make a batch just for fun. On a few occasions I have substituted graham crackers for vanilla wafers. This altered the flavour slightly, but the squares still tasted delicious.
For those of you who live in North America, these ingredients should all be pretty easy to find. For UK based readers, McVitie’s Digestive Biscuits can be substituted for the vanilla wafers. Or you can make your own homemade Vanilla Wafers. Butterscotch chips/morsels are a bit harder to source, but they can be found online and in speciality stores.
Easy, No Bake Butterscotch Squares
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 wafers or cookies up, their really isn’t much effort involved and you can throw these Butterscotch Squares together in no time at all.
Store Butterscotch Squares in the fridge, where they will keep happily for almost a week. They make fabulous gifts as part of a cookie tray, or in sweet little gift packages just on their own.
Aunt Dorothy, now my only Auntie, is ninety years young and still going strong. Making Old Fashioned Butterscotch Squares always brings back wonderful memories. I’m so glad Aunt Dorothy shared her recipe with me!
Aunt Dorothy’s Old Fashioned Butterscotch Squares – Printable Recipe
Aunt Dorothy’s Old-Fashioned Butterscotch Squares
- ½ cup butter plus extra for greasing the pan
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 beaten egg
- 8 ounces vanilla wafers, chopped in pea size bits In a pinch, you can use lightly broken up graham crackers or Digestive Biscuits.
- ¾ cup chopped nuts
- ¾ cup butterscotch morsels
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Grease an 8 x 8 inch square pan with butter.
- Melt the ½ cup butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
- Add sugar and egg; stir to blend well.
- Put the pan 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.
- Press the toffee-like rubble firmly into the buttered 8 x 8 inch pan.
- Press in this toffee-like rubble into the pan firmly.
- Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
- Remove from the fridge an hour or so before cutting. Cut in small pieces to serve. You should get about 20 squares from the pan.
- Store leftovers (if there are any) in the fridge.