A few months back I bought The Sweet Melissa Baking Book on complete impulse after seeing a baking group using it. I participated in the group for two weeks and then the next recipe called for ricotta. At that point, the thought of ricotta made me nauseous so I dropped out of the group and I haven’t picked up the book since then until recently.

I was thumbing through the book looking for holiday-ish recipes (because having a newborn isn’t going to be enough to keep me occupied in December apparently) and these butterscotch cashew bars called out to me. They looked so simple and I’m a sucker for anything with cashews. And a shortbread base? Oh man, I went to the store that day to get the ingredients.

I made them on a football Sunday and the pan was gone by the time our guests left. They were just gobbled up and everyone raved about them.

Butterscotch Cashew Bars
Ingredients
  • 1/2 pound 2 sticks, or 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 & 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 11 ounces butterscotch chips
  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon water
  • 2 cups roasted salted cashews
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9″x 13″ pan with cooking spray. Using two sheets of parchment paper, line the pan’s width and length, creating a parchment “sling.” Spray parchment paper with cooking spray.
  2. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter, brown sugar, and salt for 1 to 1 & 1/2 minutes. Decrease mixer speed to low and add the flour. Mix just until combined. Lightly press dough evenly into the prepared pan. Poke holes in the dough with a fork. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the crust is a golden color. Remove to wire rack to cool.
  3. In a heavy saucepan over low heat, stir together butterscotch chips, corn syrup, and water. Stir until mixture comes to a simmer and butterscotch chips are melted. Pour over crust.
  4. Sprinkle cashews over the butterscotch caramel. Bake for 5 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack. After cooling, remove from pan and use a very sharp knife to cut into bars.

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