Williams-Sonoma Butterscotch Babies

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.

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.

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Joanna O'Leary