14 April 2012

Oatmeal Scotchie Bars

I have taken to enjoying the flavour of butterscotch much more recently. It was one of those flavours that I never really liked when I was younger (butterscotch Lifesavers, bleh). Maybe it's just one of those more "adult" flavours, the subtleties of which I was too young to appreciate. However, it is now my goto add-in for blondies, and you will no longer find me turning down a butterscotch swirl ice cream.

I have no idea what a scotchie is exactly, but the idea of a light and crispy oatmeal mechanism to deliver rich butterscotch flavour was one that I could not resist; especially in my current condition. I halved the recipe and although had intended to slightly reduce the brown sugar, looking back, it appears that I actually increased it by two tablespoons. Not a huge deal, but annoying in hindsight :). At the time I also failed to recognize that I would require softened butter for the recipe and instead resorted to tossing the butter into my mixer for a few minutes until it had come to a more resasonable temperature. Though it was still a tad chilled when I added the sugar, it was much better than when I had started.

As I watched the scotchie bake I noticed that it had risen much more then I had expected judging from images appearing on Peabody's original recipe. I assume that the cause was the extra whipping of the butter, but I can't be sure. As it cooled the middle sank and the edges stayed high, though just by looking at it I could tell it was going to be more crispy than not, which instantly had me excited.

When you first bite into them, these little bar cookies may encourage one of those eyes closed moments. Granted, it was a tad sweeter than I had imagined, but rich with butterscotch flavour which, for some reason, made it okay. My version had definitely risen more than the original, but it had wonderfully crispy outer layers surrounding a slightly chewy centre; and with just the perfect amount of butterscotch chips. The chips served to not only break up the texture, but really enforce the flavours. During Easter dinner my uncle, quite literally, attacked them. I don't think he's ever taken to anything I've baked quite like this. If I were to make any changes to the recipe it would be to add more whole oats as their flavour tends to get a bit lost. But this is so minor, they were fantastic as I had made them, and would quickly make them again. In fact, this might be one of my new favourites.

Though this was my first experience with scotchies it was a terrific one. But you have to be prepared for what you're going to get. If you're vehemently opposed to things that are a tad on the sweet side, and/or have no appreciation for butterscotch flavours, then you should probably stay very far away. If you fall anywhere on the other side of that line then I highly recommend you give these a try.


Oatmeal Scotchie Bars

Adapted from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody

1/2 cup + 2 tbsp all purpose flour (82g)
1/2 cup old fashioned oats, ground fine in a food processor
1/3 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (113g)
1/2 cup sugar (100g)
1/2 cup packed golden yellow/light brown sugar (110g) --this should be 1/4 cup + 2tbsp (83g)
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup butterscotch chips

Preheat oven to 350 and line an 8" square baking pan with foil and grease foil.

In a medium bowl add flour, ground oats, whole oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt and whisk to combine.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and both sugars together until light and fluffy.

Add egg and beat until incorporated, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Add vanilla and beat until combined.

Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add dry ingredients, mixing until completely incorporated.

Fold in the butterscotch chips.

Add batter to prepared baking pan and spread evenly. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean (this took me 27 minutes).

Allow to cool completely in pan on rack.


  1. Anything oat-y is totally up my alley!

    I love British cookies that have slightly ambiguous, rude-sounding names (like Hobnobs). Scotchie sounds like scootching up behind someone to give them a pinch. As in I 'scotchied' you!

    I have an increasingly long list of things I must bake, and these are on them! I think I will have to reduce the sugar a bit, because the butterscotch chips I have access to in the States are VERY sweet. Like, so sweet I like baking with them but I can't really eat them 'raw' (versus chocolate chips and nuts). I like them baked in stuff, but they definitely need to be counterbalanced by other flavors.

  2. Can't say I had that interpretation of the name :). Granted, maybe my imagination is just too lazy :). I just assume everything with prefix or suffix "scotch" was/is somehow boozy :).

    My suggestion might be to reduce the sugar to the actual amount or perhaps just a 1/4 cup (my original intent) and then/or if your chips are too sweet, reduce the chips and maybe increase the amount of oats to mellow it out... or add some type of nut :).

    Yeesh, these really are good... I'm going to have to revisit these soon ..