These butterscotch bars are made from simple ingredients – flour, butter, eggs, vanilla, brown sugar, and cashew nuts. I prefer to use light brown sugar over dark primarily because of the nice, golden brown color it gives, but if you don’t have one then dark brown sugar is okay.
I would also like to note that preferably, use bleached all-purpose flour (APF) instead of unbleached variety. I tried using unbleached APF and although they taste the same, they had a slight difference in terms of volume and texture. To give you an idea here’s a photo baked using unbleached APF:
And here’s a photo baked using bleached APF:
You can really see the difference, right? Foods made with bleached APF tend to have a softer texture, more volume, and a brighter color than those made with unbleached APF.
I thought they differ only in color – bleached is whiter, of course. Now I learned that aside from color, the process of bleaching actually results to a finer grained and softer flour which will reflect in your finished baked goods. When I used bleached flour, the caramel bars were softer, fluffier, and had a brighter golden yellow color. When I used the unbleached flour, the bars were still delicious, but because of their different textures, there is a slight variation in the outcome. They were less fluffy, denser, and darker in color. Now enough with the science of baking and let’s start making these caramel bars!
How to Make Caramel Bars Step-by-Step
When they are mixed, return the eggs back in the saucepan (that is still over low heat) with the remaining butter mixture. Mix thoroughly with a whisk. Gradually add the flour mixture into the butter mixture until combined. Be careful not to overmix or the bars will be tough. Turn off the heat.
Craving for something sweet, soft, and nutty? Try these easy caramel bars with your favorite coffee or tea.
- 156 grams (1 1/4 cup) bleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 227 grams (1 cup) unsalted butter
- 250 grams (1 3/4 cup) light brown sugar
- 3 pieces large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup cashew nuts, chopped
Preheat oven to 350F/ 180C. Grease and flour an 9 x 13 inch baking pan.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. In another mixing bowl, beat the eggs and vanilla extract. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add the brown sugar and mix until combined. (Do not turn off the heat yet.)
Temper the eggs (Note 1) by adding about ⅓ of the butter mixture into the egg mixture while whisking constantly (to avoid cooking the eggs). When they are mixed, return the eggs back to the saucepan with the remaining butter mixture. Mix thoroughly with a whisk.
Gradually add the flour mixture into the butter mixture until combined. Be careful not to overmix or the bars will be tough. Turn off the heat. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Evenly distribute the batter into the pan by gently spreading the batter to the sides using a spatula.
Sprinkle top with chopped cashew nuts. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick/ cake tester inserted into the centre of the bar comes out clean. Cool completely before cutting them.
(Note 1) Tempering eggs mean you need to add a hot liquid to an egg mixture. If you just combine the two mixtures, you’ll end up with cooked eggs in your sauce. The goal is to slowly bring up the temperature of the eggs without scrambling them.
(Note 2) Store in airtight container at room temperature for 3-5 days.