Cashew Butterscotch Bars

We’ve all be eating better this month, right? Sticking to our resolutions, exercising more, healthier eating choices, yes? Excellent! Then I don’t feel guilty about introducing you to a crazy crazy good treat, award winning actually. Take a look at the Cashew Butterscotch Bar…

Cashew Butterscotch Bars on serving dish

This recipe is from one of my favorite cookbooks, The New York Times Cookbook, edited by Amanda Hesser. In her intro to this recipe she writes, “I never thought I’d recommend a recipe containing butterscotch chips, but I’m open to change. Are you?” Like Amanda, I never thought I’d use butterscotch chips, but let me tell you- I’m eating humble pie now, or actually Cashew Butterscotch Bars and I’m not going back.

Cashew Butterscotch Bars on cutting board

I do have some standards though. The original recipe called for corn syrup; I couldn’t do butterscotch chips AND corn syrup at once, so I used Lyle’s Golden Syrup instead. The Golden Syrup actually adds a warmer more buttery flavor which compliments the butterscotch nicely. Corn syrup would have been just too straight up sweet.

Ooops, I almost forgot. In case you’re still on the fence… this is an award winning recipe; I have the trophy to prove it. My friend holds a cookie swap most years; but it’s not just any cookie swap. This is serious business. There is voting. A winner is declared. And in 2012, I was the winner, Jean “The Cookie Machine” with these Cashew Butterscotch Bars. You may notice there hasn’t been a cookie swap since… something about blizzards, busy lives, etc. I’m not buying it. They’re scared. You, on the other hand, should not be scared.  These bars are easy, addictive, and well worth the occasional indulgence.



Cashew Butterscotch Bars

Cashew Butterscotch Bars

  • Servings: 5-6 dozen squares
  • Print

*adapted from the New York Times Cookbook

2 sticks plus 5½ tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup plus 2 Tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1¾ teaspoons kosher salt
2½ cups all-purpose flour
One 10-ounce bag butterscotch chips
½ cup plus 2 Tablespoons Lyle’s Golden Syrup
5½ teaspoons water
2½ cups salted cashew pieces

Center a rack in the oven and heat the oven to 350°F degrees. Line a 13-by-18 inch rimmed baking sheet with foil, including the sides. In a mixer fitted with a paddle, beat 2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons butter and the brown sugar together (or mix in a bowl with a rubber spatula) until smooth. Stir the salt into the flour, then add the flour to the butter and sugar mixture and mix until the dough is well combined but still crumbly (if the dough is mixed until a ball forms, the crust will be tough).

Pat the dough evenly into the bottom of the lined pan. Bake for 5 minutes. With a fork, prick the dough deeply all over, return the pan to the oven, and bake until the dough is lightly browned, dry, and no longer soft to the touch, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack (leave the oven on).

Combine the remaining 3½ tablespoons butter, the butterscotch chips, golden syrup, and water and cook in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the butter and butterscotch chips are melted, about 5 minutes. Pour the topping over the crust, using a spatula to spread it evenly all the way to the corners. Sprinkle the cashew pieces on top, pressing down lightly.

Bake until the topping is bubbly and the cashews are lightly browned, 12 to 16 minutes. Transfer to a rack and cool completely before cutting into bars.

Note: These are rich and sweet; I cut them into approximately 1-1½ inch squares.

Butter and brown sugar in standing mixer.
Place 2 sticks + 2 Tablespoons of unsalted butter into a standing mixer fitted paddle attachment.
Creamed butter and brown sugar in standing mixer.
Cream butter and sugar until smooth.
Flour and creamed butter and sugar mixture in standing mixer.
Stir salt into flour, then add to creamed butter and sugar.
Crumbly flour mixture in standing mixer.
Mix quickly and lightly until crumbly. Do NOT mix so long that dough forms a ball otherwise cookie base will be too tough.
Butterscotch Bar cookie base
The cookie base is golden brown. Keep oven on as this will be going back into the oven as soon as we spread the butterscotch and sprinkle the cashews on top.
Cashew Butterscotch Bars
Cool completely before removing and cutting into squares.

Cashew Butterscotch Bars


49 thoughts on “Cashew Butterscotch Bars

  1. These look delicious! They’re very nice & I like your blog. If you get a chance, check mine out 🙂 I’m an newly established cake business here in London, UK and will be posting my cakes, bakes & projects I endeavour. 🙂 #baking

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oddly enough I’ve just put golden syrup on my shopping list …. it’s such a taste of home and I felt the need to have some in the cupboard. Now I know why! I HAVE to make these. After all they won the cup! Felicitations a vous for the prize!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, you have the training for your walk coming up!?! The original recipe said the yield was 3 dozen cookies, but they’re so satisfying all you need is a bite or two. I cut them into about 72 squares, and share them! 😋


  3. WOWEEEE! You got me at cashews, but butterscotch too??? Although I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, I would definitely eat one of these if offered. They look so decadently delicious! Your lead photo is the ultimate eye candy, too! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much!!! The cashews + butterscotch combo is delicious, and the salt from the nuts satisfies any salty/sweet cravings perfectly. The original recipe said it yielded 36 bars, but I cut them into 72 squares because a little bite will do you just fine! 😋

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I really enjoy researching recipes. The Kremowka looks delish!!! I haven’t signed up for anything yet… I should go see if anything is left! Good luck with the cake, and definitely share any other Polish gems you find along the way! 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, at least my book is being written now, thank, Jean. I ignored it for a lot of last year – not a good thing to do. It’s so hard to balance writing a book and blogging and so on. I joined Twitter recently, too – for my sins!
        I’d intended to put a post up about my Book 1 being free again on Amazon on 4th and 5th February, yeasterday, but decided to do the flash fiction instead! Now, that says a lot about my marketing abilities. Lol I’d much prefer just to write. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s