butterscotch fail

March 28, 2011 § 10 Comments

I have a bit of nostalgia for oldentimes kitchen things. I love aprons, and antique cake pans, and most of all: handwritten recipe cards. In fact, I think this blog may have sprung from my love of recipe cards and the personal touch they carry; it’s a good substitute given my mediocre handwriting (I’m a child of the Internet age) and my propensity for losing things. Then recently I found a handful of passed-down recipe cards, and I leapt at the chance to recreate an oldentimes dessert.

However, I should have taken a cue from the cards themselves. The chocolate dream brownies called for no butter, only shortening. The rum balls were definitely a product of their time. Suspicious, I still decided to attempt the butterscotch bars, and here is the gooey mess that ensued:

yes, those are spoon marks. Don’t judge.

The bars stubbornly wouldn’t cook through, and were thus a bit of a failure. Even though the middle didn’t set, though, the edges did, and I ate them ALL (yes, I felt sick after), and they were insanely delicious. And ever since I’ve had butterscotch on the brain, and have been on the lookout for a better recipe. One that firms up with only moderate gooeyness, but without any crazy modern add-ins like coconut, or resorting to melting butterscotch chips. Since I am so unreasonably picky, I haven’t found one yet (let me know if you have suggestions!), but got my butterscotch fix in another form: cupcakes!

I was lured in by chocolate cupcakes with fleur de sel and butterscotch icing. Embarrassingly enough, this didn’t quite work either – I guess maybe the butterscotch issues are my fault and not that of the recipe card. But despite an icing that was more drippy than intended, these cupcakes were absolutely delicious and definitely worth sharing: a simple chocolate cupcake, hint of salt, and deeply flavoured butterscotch topping. No matter how gooey they may have been, I’ll take it as a success!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Butterscotch Frosting – adapted from Salty Sweets

For cupcakes:

    1 cup flour
    1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
    5 tablespoons butter
    3 tablespoons canola oil
    1/3 cup water
    1 large egg
    1/4 cup buttermilk
    1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
    fleur de sel

For frosting:

    1/2 cup light brown sugar
    1 cup heavy cream
    2 tablespoons butter
    1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line or grease a 12-cup muffin tin.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, sugars, baking soda, and sea salt. In a small pot or in the microwave, heat together the butter, oil, and water, stirring until the butter is completely melted. Whisk butter mixture into the dry ingredients until thoroughly combined. Whisk in the egg, and then the buttermilk and vanilla.

Fill the cupcake liners with the batter and sprinkle a little fleur de sel over each. Bake until the tops are set and a cake tester comes out clean, 22 to 25 minutes. Let cool a few minutes in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

For icing, combine all the ingredients in a pot and heat over medium low, stirring until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved, 3-5 minutes.

Turn the heat to low and let simmer for 8 minutes (I needed more like 15 and it still wasn’t thick), until thickened. Remove from heat and let cool completely to thicken further. Spread cool icing over cooled cupcakes.

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§ 10 Responses to butterscotch fail

  • Danielle says:

    Can I have the recipe for the butterscotch bars? I know you said they were a failure, but I’d love to have a go at them anyway!

  • First, I so would have eaten half that pan with the spoon myself. If not all. Way past the point of feeling sick, rest assured.

    Those cupcakes look SO good. I ADORE butterscotch, and you just don’t see nearly enough of it. YUM!

  • Danielle says:

    same here! (part of why I asked for the recipe… it looks delicious as is!)

  • Laura says:

    I’m glad you guys are so understanding :)

    and Danielle, here’s the recipe, please let me know if it works out for you!

    Butterscotch bars (old-fashioned style):

    Cook 2 cups brown sugar and 1/2 cup butter till brown. Cool to lukewarm. Add 2 unbeaten eggs and beat well. Sift twice 1 1/2 cups flour and 2 teaspoons baking powfer. Add to mixture. Add 1/2 cup walnuts.

    It then just proclaimed ‘Bake’, so I stuck it in an 8-inch square pan and baked at 350 for almost an hour. Apparently that wasn’t long enough.

  • Danielle says:

    Thank you so much! I’m sure I’ll enjoy them even if they don’t turn out. And I will be trying the cupcakes as well – at least the frosting!

  • Joanne says:

    Talk about rustic, I would have gone at those bars with my bare hands! No spoon necessary.

    That butterscotch glaze looks beyond amazing. I will definitely keep my eye out for a butterscotch bar recipe for you…but until one is located…I’m just going to drown myself in glaze.

  • I would NEVER judge the spoon marks! Ever! ;) The cupcakes looks grand!

  • Definitely a sweet and delicious result, this is what is important!

  • Brittany says:

    Oh, I love old recipes hidden away as well! Shame that the bars didn’t work out but your cupcakes sure look like they did.

    Ps. Don’t worry, I’ve been known to eat all the edges of brownies as well!!

  • This butterscotch glaze sonds amazing! I usually make the glaze from confectioners’ sugar but this glaze is absolutely genius.

    Thanks for sharing!

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