Fantastic butterscotch brownies make the flax seeds go dowwwn…

It’s fascinating how the human mind works. I wanted to post a recipe for butterscotch brownies, which is a childhood favorite of mine. I also want to find ways to make rich bakery treats like these, less caloric or at least healthier.

So I made these and tweaked my Mom’s recipe including adding some ground flax seed. Then I started thinking about how one can add or remove ingredients, change a recipe a little and make something wonderful better for you, many times with just a subtle difference.

In writing this post, the song “A Spoonful of Sugar” from the movie Mary Poppins, ‘popped’ into my mind… “just a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down, the medicine go dowwwn”.  Adding or altering to make the-not-so-appetizing “go down”.  This lead me to think about playing the “favorite all time” game with my husband or friends. The topic of movies is an easy one.  Mary Poppins is one of my top three movies – along with Out of Africa and wait for it, Raiders of the Lost Ark.

“Fantastic Mr. Fox” is a movie our family loves – no sugar required to make the humor in this one “go dowwwn”. Fox Searchlight Pictures.

My criteria is that I can watch the movie over and over again, without getting sick of it – well, with a limit of maybe once or twice a month a month, for years. If I can watch and enjoy it that often, then it is great. Another movie that is creeping up to the top of the pops is Fantastic Mr. Fox.

Based on the novel by Roald Dahl, it’s chocked full of adult humor and witty repartee, it is also a clean movie and even our 4-year-old loves it – although she is clueless over why we are both chuckling most of the time. It’s good like that. Looking back it should have been named “best picture” of 2009… in my opinion.

Now dear hubby is a movie buff. He knows a lot about movies, old and new, with a particular fondness for science fiction and old classics like Lawrence of Arabia. Me, I can be content with viewing a movie relaxing on the couch at home, but he loves a real movie experience, i.e. going to the theater, eating popcorn, etc. I admit I do enjoy this too, although between the prices of the tickets and the snacks, our authentic movie theater “experience” is going the way of the dodo. I can wait awhile until the movie comes to blue ray or on-demand cable, thank you very much. We save the authentic and expensive movie experience for actual, great movies we truly want to view on a big screen, not a poorly written, awfully acted romantic comedy or special effects-laden bomb with no plot.

So you ask, what about those butterscotch brownies, huh? I got off on a tangent… see how the human mind works? Or maybe it’s just my human mind. Sigh. These butterscotch chewies remind me of childhood summers… picnics at the lake, fish fry’s in our backyard, and taking turns swinging in the hammock at the beach house. And while they’re certainly not “Mrs. Bean’s Famous Nutmeg Ginger Apple Snaps”, the inclusion of healthy flax seeds makes this snack just that much more, well, fantastic. Here’s hoping Mr. Fox would agree…

Straightforward ingredients including just 2 eggs and 1/2 cup of butter. I used light brown sugar but the dark brown variety will work too.

Melt the butter in a heavy bottom medium-sized sauce pan. We mix everything in this sauce pan except beating the eggs and milk together first.

This is a good recipe for young cooks and bakers – my daughter can break the eggs (no shells, either!) and whisk in the milk.

Once the butter/sugar mixture has cooled and the egg mixture has been incorporated, we add the flour mixture and those ground flax seeds.

After adding the vanilla and nuts (I like walnuts), pour into a greased 9 x 13 inch baking pan. Pop into a preheated 350 degree oven to bake about 25 minutes. Hint: Check after 22 minutes or so just in case your oven bakes fast – you don’t want to over bake these. They should be ‘chewy’.

…and soon enough you’ll have these gooey, delicious brownies. Allow to cool for a few minutes in the pan (that is elevated on a rack) and then cut into bars. Like chocolate brownies these travel well…for picnics, cookouts, tailgating.

Butterscotch Brownies

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 tbl. vanilla
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chopped nuts
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tbl. ground flax seed
  • 1 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom and sides of 9 x 13 pan with shortening.

In a medium saucepan, melt butter over low heat and stir in sugar. Stir until edges bubble, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool 10 minutes. Mix together the flour, salt and baking soda.

In a mixing bowl whisk eggs and milk until well blended. Using the whisk quickly add in a little of the warm butter/sugar mixture in the egg mixture. Then whisk the egg mixture back into the butter/sugar mixture. Beat until very well combined.

Add in the flour mixture until just combined. Stir in the vanilla extract and nuts. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 23-25 minutes. Do not over bake. Allow to cool on rack for 5-10 minutes before cutting into bars.

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