Ding ding ding! Sounded perfect to me! Nothing seemed to catch my eye though when I was going through saved recipes I have on the computer, but flipping through a favorite cookie book led me to these Vintage Butterscotch Bars that I kept going back to.
Besides reading incredible, with an ingredient list kept to a short ten items, there is very little effort required to prepare the batter. Out of habit, I like to whisk the dry ingredients all together in a separate bowl, which has the benefit of making sure the leavning and salt is evenly spread throughout. If you don't want the extra dish to wash, you could easily make these a one-bowl wonder by thoroughly stirring in the baking powder and salt just before you work in the flour.
Nuts are often an accompaniment in brownies/blondies, though I could go either way when it comes to nuts in baked goods (I wasn't a fan though growing up). Pecans, toasted first, would be a good choice to stir into the glistening batter, but walnuts won out this time as that was Jeff's request. He also suggested shreds of coconut, which was an intriguing recommendation, but sadly I didn't have any in the house and neither of us wanted to wait! You'll want to keep a keen eye on these as they bake - look for them to be done when the top looks set and the edges are just beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan. If you are a toothpick tester, you are not looking for the toothpick to come out clean - what you do want it moist crumbs clinging, but not any raw batter.
While these shiny bars are dense and quite moist like a decadent brownie, they also held together well (great for travel!) and were not too gooey to cut cleanly. With two cups of brown sugar, I was wondering if the sweetness would end up leaning towards the side of being cloying, but with Jeff's request of walnuts, their nuttiness cut through the sugar and kept them in check. They didn't rise as high as I thought they would - however, since we found them to be fairly rich, that made me appreciate their thinness more than I thought I would. You could always try a smaller pan, adding extra minutes to the bake time, for a thicker bar.
Vintage Butterscotch Bars