Butterscotch and Fudge Brownie Bars

If April showers bring snow rather than flowers, baking a batch of homemade bars is a good, cozy undertaking. Plus, it’s a much-appreciated undertaking anytime, really, whether you’re having guests, you are the guests, or you’re staying put at home.

Chocolate or other flavored chips make a recipe very doable. These brownies have a layer of butterscotch and walnut on the bottom, a layer of chocolate fudge on top, and a vein of chocolate chips in the middle. The different layers are made from the same batter, which is divided and flavored with either melted butterscotch chips or melted chocolate chips, so it’s easy to make and bakes in one pan.

(This recipe from Real Food magazine is by Elinor Klivans, author of many cookbooks including Big Fat Cookies and Fearless Baking: Over 100 Desserts That Anyone Can Make.)

Butterscotch and Fudge Brownie Bars

Makes 16 to 25 bars

2 c. (12 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips
1 c. (6 oz.) butterscotch chips
2 c. all-purpose flour
1½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 c. packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
¾ c. (3 oz.) coarsely chopped walnuts

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch square pan, then line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper long enough to extend over two ends of the pan. Butter the paper.

Put 1 cup of the chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl or the top of a double boiler and place over, but not touching, a saucepan of barely simmering water. Stir until chips are melted and smooth. Set aside. Put butterscotch chips in another heatproof bowl or the top of a double boiler (or transfer melted chips to another container and clean and reuse same bowl or double boiler top) and place it over, but not touching, a saucepan of barely simmering water. Stir until chips are melted and smooth. Set aside.

Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside. In a large bowl and using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and brown sugar until smoothly blended, about 1 minute. Mix in eggs and vanilla. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture, mixing just until incorporated.

Spoon 2 cups of batter into a medium bowl and stir in melted butterscotch chips until smoothly blended. Stir in walnuts. Spread butterscotch batter in prepared pan. Sprinkle remaining 1 cup of chocolate chips over butterscotch batter.

Stir melted chocolate chips into remaining batter in bowl until smoothly blended. Drop spoonfuls of chocolate batter over chocolate chips, then use a metal spatula to spread chocolate batter evenly over chocolate chips. (It’s okay if some chocolate chips get mixed into chocolate batter.)

Bake just until top feels firm when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted in the center (without spearing a chip) comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool completely, about 1 hour.

Loosen sides of brownies from unlined sides of the pan and use ends of the paper to lift brownies from pan. Use a large, sharp knife to cut brownies into 16 (4 rows of 4) or 25 (5 rows of 5) pieces and slide brownies off paper. Brownies can be covered and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Nutrition info (per serving) Butterscotch and Fudge Brownie Bars: CALORIES 268 (147 from fat); FAT 16g (sat. 9g); CHOL 45mg; SODIUM 96mg; CARB 30g; FIBER 1g; PROTEIN 3g

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Mary Subialka is the editor of Real Food and Drinks magazines, covering the flavorful world of food, wine, and spirits. She rarely meets a chicken she doesn’t like, and hopes that her son, who used to eat beets and Indian food as a preschooler, will one day again think of real food as more than something you need to eat before dessert and be inspired by his younger brother, who is now into trying new foods.