How do I love walnuts, let me count the ways. In fact, I think I have a walnut addiction. I love them for so many reasons, but especially how they interact with sweet desserts. I’m pretty sure it’s the walnut’s tannins that balance out sweetness. It makes them perfect in ice cream, cakes and these Butterscotch-Walnut-Chocolate Bars. I couldn’t live without them.
My oldest son finds them bitter, I think a lot of people do. But he’s coming around and realizing so many of the things I make have walnuts. He’s slowly jumping on the bandwagon. Smart boy.
Anyways, these bars are the perfect holiday treat. They are sturdy, but moist and delicious. Full of chocolate chips and nuts, what’s not to love?
I wanted to go over some of my favorite, must have, baking items I used when I made these bars; with the exception of the parchment paper. However, I use parchment so much, I want to make sure you have it in your kitchen. And since we bake together all the time, it would just be cool if we were all using the same tools.
Anyway, the one item I couldn’t live without is my Magic Line pan. It leaves no edges. It is perfect and the best pan to buy if you are a baker. Get one soon, we use it a lot here. I also used a large and small offset spatula to spread the batter. It makes it so easy.
The bench scraper will save the bottom of your metal pans when cutting bars like these. A knife, can easily damage the bottom.
The best part, all of these items have many, many uses in the kitchen and I promise you will love them all. Add them to your holiday list!
Here is the batter in the pan, it’s very thick. The sturdy spatula made it easy to get it in all the corners, creating a smooth layer.
When the bars were done and completely cooled, I sliced them with the bench scraper. It’s a great tool for cutting, not just scraping pastry dough off the cutting board. In fact, once you use your bench scraper to cut bars, you’ll wonder why you hadn’t done it in the first place.
The bars turned out delicious. My oldest son could not stop eating them, requesting them in his lunch box. Score for me! You and your family will adore them too.
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2-1/12 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 1-3/4 cup packed golden brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract (I use bean paste)
- 1-1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes*
- 1-1/4 cups finely chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease the sides and bottom of a 9 x 13 pan with butter.
- Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. In your stand mixer bowl, cream together butter and sugar for 3 minutes. Add eggs and vaniila until all is thoroughly combined. Add flour and coconut until just blended. Drop in chocolate chips and mix on low until combined.
- Scrape the dough into the pan and spread it evenly using an offset spatula. Sprinkle nuts evenly over the top. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the middle is set (mine took 50 minutes). Check it with a toothpick, you will have some chocolate on your toothpick.
- Cool completely before slicing with your bench scraper. If using a knife, don't scratch your pan! Cut into bars and serve.
- *I used unsweetened coconut in this recipe. I am finding that sweetened coconut makes some recipes so sweet, so I have been experimenting. You don't miss the extra sugar here. I find my unsweetened coconut in the bulk section of my grocery store. It is finely, finely shredded, almost like powder. I would not use the medium or large flaked, unsweetened coconut I see in the baking aisle. Regular sized shred (just like the sweetened version) would be okay too.
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