My lovely sister Margaret recently sent me a Butterscotch Babies baking mix. She knows that while I usually bake from scratch, I'm a sucker for gourmet mixes. In spite of my unreliable oven, I've had good experiences in the past with other Williams-Sonoma packaged mixes; for example, the giant sandwich cookie cake.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Unfortunately, Williams-Sonoma failed me this time. I didn't expect my Babies to turn out exactly like the picture, but in this case W-S is guilty of some false advertising. Correct me if I'm wrong: The package illustration implies the bars sandwich a gooey layer of butterscotch and praline between two shortbread cookie crusts. The recipe, however, constructs a far thinner, decidedly non-sandwich bar comprising only one layer of shortbread cookie and one layer of butterscotch studded with pecans. Rather than prematurely abort my Babies, I decided to bake them anyway and hope for the best.
The end result was sadly lackluster. The shortbread cookie was dry and over-sugared; the butterscotch thin and sticky rather than thick and gooey. Although it's possible I overbaked the Babies, I don't think a softer texture would have made them that much better.
One minute in the microwave did the Babies a world of good, as did the addition of a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The butterscotch flowed more freely, the pecans provided a nice crunch, and the shortbread softened slightly.
But the future looks bleak for these Babies. They'll only get less appealing with time, so perhaps it's best I just cut my losses and release them into the garbage.