Thursday, August 27, 2009

Quick Scotch Teas

This past Monday morning, I found myself in a quandry. I was supposed to bring a treat into work for a birthday celebration for a good friend and colleague, but the night before, I'd managed to ruin a batch of Peanut Butter Brownies and I had to throw them all out. Since I didn't know the brownies were ruined until about 10:00 p.m., after they'd cooled, I didn't have time to make another batch. So I went to bed and tossed and turned half the night, trying to think of something quick and easy that I could make on Monday morning. All I could come up with was cut-up vegetables with dip, but that presented a problem since the only raw vegetable I had on hand was baby carrots, and I had absolutely nothing in the fridge to make a dip with.

And then I remembered Quick Scotch Teas. The recipe for these delightful bar cookies was given to me by my good friend Renee many years ago. True to their name, Quick Scotch Teas can be thrown together quickly, and the delicious topping is "created" immediately after the hot crust is pulled from the oven, so there's no waiting around to finish the cookies. Long story short: I made the Scotch Teas before work on Monday, brought a pretty platter along with me, cut them into bars when I got to my office, and collected raves and compliments on them the rest of the day. Yep, they're THAT good. So what's not to like about a recipe that's quick AND delicious?

Quick Scotch Teas

1 cup butter or margarine
2 cups brown sugar, packed
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
4 cups quick oats (NOT old fashioned oats)
12 oz. bag chocolate or butterscotch chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large saucepan over low heat, melt the butter and brown sugar until smooth and combined. Remove pan from heat. Stir in vanilla, salt, baking powder, and oats until ingredients are well-combined and mixture is crumbly. Press mixture into a greased 13 x 9 baking pan. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes. (Note: Do not overbake, or cookies will be difficult to cut.) Immediately upon taking the pan from the oven, sprinkle the entire bag of chips over the hot crust. As the chips melt, spread them over the crust to make a thick, smooth layer. Allow to cool and cut into bars. Makes about 36.

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