Butterscotch Brownies... so easy, so good! Chewy with the addition of oat bran, a slight crunch from the pecans, and deeply, madly butterscotch, these rich cakey squares will not disappoint! Find the recipe @www.red (7)

Isn’t it funny how food goes in and out of fashion? (I mean certain ingredients of course, not food in general!) Ingredients that were once commonplace – such as suet, copha or even glace cherries – are rarely seen or eaten anymore. New or recently discovered foods are in vogue; health-conscious foodies eat kale and quinoa, gluten is in the bad books, and now it seems any type of grain is bad. I haven’t yet been tempted to try kale, but we did enjoy quinoa the other night with dinner. As for gluten, I like to bake gluten-free from time to time, but bread and pasta are still regular staples in this household.

Butterscotch Brownies... so easy, so good! Chewy with the addition of oat bran, a slight crunch from the pecans, and deeply, madly butterscotch, these rich cakey squares will not disappoint! Find the recipe @www.red (4)Butterscotch Brownies... so easy, so good! Chewy with the addition of oat bran, a slight crunch from the pecans, and deeply, madly butterscotch, these rich cakey squares will not disappoint! Find the recipe @www.red (2)

It turns out that suet isn’t the only food to become unpopular. Wheat germ, which apparently used to be all the rage in healthy cooking, is almost impossible to find these days. I know, because these brownies (we can call them blondies if you prefer), being flourless, nevertheless had as a main ingredient, something called wheat germ. . I had an idea what the stuff was, because my late grandmother used to use it in her favourite biscuit recipe. The germ of the wheat kernel, the heart of the grain, is the reproductive part that germinates to grow into a plant. (thanks, Wiki!)

Butterscotch Brownies... so easy, so good! Chewy with the addition of oat bran, a slight crunch from the pecans, and deeply, madly butterscotch, these rich cakey squares will not disappoint! Find the recipe @www.redButterscotch Brownies... so easy, so good! Chewy with the addition of oat bran, a slight crunch from the pecans, and deeply, madly butterscotch, these rich cakey squares will not disappoint! Find the recipe @www.red (3)

I went searching the aisles of my local supermarket, and could not find it anywhere! I even asked the staff to help me, which was when I learned that it just isn’t stocked anymore. What to do? Turn to the ever-informative internet, of course! A quick Google search uncovered a few “easy substitutions for wheat germ” in baking. I learned that oat bran is a suitable alternative and possibly almond meal as well. I was curious to learn how oat bran worked, so that’s what I’ve used here. It provides a welcome chewiness to the texture of these rich, butterscotch flavoured brownies (okay, blondies).

Butterscotch Brownies... so easy, so good! Chewy with the addition of oat bran, a slight crunch from the pecans, and deeply, madly butterscotch, these rich cakey squares will not disappoint! Find the recipe @www.redhotcentrButterscotch Brownies... so easy, so good! Chewy with the addition of oat bran, a slight crunch from the pecans, and deeply, madly butterscotch, these rich cakey squares will not disappoint! Find the recipe @www.red (6)

Butterscotch Blondies
Oat bran provides the chewy texture, brown sugar and molasses that deep, butterscotch flavour and pecans provide a satisfying crunch… these butterscotch brownies won’t disappoint!

{For gf/df/grain-free version, see below}

Makes 16 squares

Ingredients
50g (¼ cup) butter
1 tablespoon molasses or golden syrup
¾ cup soft brown sugar, firmly packed
2 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons dry milk powder
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup wheat germ or oat bran
65g (½ cup) chopped pecans

Method
Preheat oven to 170 deg C. Grease and line a 20 x 20cm (8 x 8 inch) pan with baking paper, creating an overhang on two of the four sides, for ease of removal later.

Melt butter in a large, heavy-based saucepan over low heat. Once melted, remove from heat and stir in molasses (golden syrup), brown sugar, beaten eggs and vanilla extract. Stir well. In a separate bowl, sift together milk powder, salt and baking powder. Add dry ingredients to wet, and then add wheat germ (oat bran) and chopped nuts.

Stir only enough to blend, using no more than 20 strokes. Spread into prepared pan. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until cake is deeply golden brown and begins to pull away from sides of pan.

Cool entirely in pan on wire rack. When cool, remove from pan using paper overhang for handles, and on a chopping board cut into squares. Sift icing sugar over them before serving, if desired.

Adapted from the More with Less Cookbook by Doris Janzen Longacre

Butterscotch Brownies... so easy, so good! Chewy with the addition of oat bran, a slight crunch from the pecans, and deeply, madly butterscotch, these rich cakey squares will not disappoint! Find the recipe @www.red (5)

Butterscotch Blondies {gf/df/grain-free}

Makes 16 squares

Ingredients
50g (¼ cup) dairy-free spread (coconut oil would also work)
1 tablespoon molasses or golden syrup
¾ cup soft brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons dry coconut milk powder
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup almond meal (husks included, not blanched)
65g (½ cup) chopped walnuts or pecans

Method
Preheat oven to 170 deg C/320F. Grease and line a 20 x 20cm (8 x 8 inch) pan with baking paper, creating an overhang on two of the four sides, for ease of removal later.

Melt dairy-free spread in a large, heavy-based saucepan over low heat. Once melted, remove from heat and stir in molasses (golden syrup), brown sugar, beaten eggs and vanilla extract. Stir well. In a separate bowl, sift together coconut milk powder, salt and baking powder. Add dry ingredients to wet, and then add almond meal and chopped nuts.

Stir only enough to blend, using no more than 20 strokes. Spread into prepared pan. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until cake is deeply golden brown and begins to pull away from sides of pan.

Cool entirely in pan on wire rack. When cool, remove from pan using paper overhang for handles, and on a chopping board cut into squares. Sift icing sugar over them before serving, if desired.

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