This week’s Sweet Melissa Sunday selection was chosen by Pamela of Cookies with Boys: butterscotch almond and walnut bars. I’m actually not a fan of butterscotch, but I knew I’d be able to give these bars away so I was happy to participate. The recipe as written actually calls for cashews but I didn’t have any on hand so, as you can see, I substituted a combination of almonds and walnuts.

One of the best things about this recipe is how few ingredients it requires. It combines a shortbread crust (4 ingredients), butterscotch caramel layer (3 ingredients) and then roasted nuts to top the bars. The shortbread crust is prebaked first – mine puffed up a bit in the oven despite poking a ton of holes in it but as it cooled it settled down fairly evenly. The butterscotch caramel layer comes together in a saucepan in just a few minutes and is poured over the prebaked crust. It’s fairly gooey, but spread across the shortbread crust easily for me. I threw the roasted almonds and walnuts on top, stuck it back in the oven for a few minutes and I was done. Simple!

We were heading out to lunch yesterday and I was bringing a few of the bars with me to give away. They had only been out of the oven for a bit and cutting them was challenging as they were quite gooey. (They also “melted” a bit in the warm car on the way to lunch but hopefully they still tasted just as good!) Thanks to a recommendation from my friend Wendy of Pink Stripes, I knew it’d be easier to cut the remaining bars if I chilled them first so that’s exactly what I did. I definitely agree with Wendy – once chilled, the bars were easy to cut with a bread knife!

I didn’t try one of the bars since I knew I wouldn’t like the butterscotch, but I did taste a few pieces of the shortbread crust that broke off as I cut the bars and thought it was fantastic! I can absolutely see using this crust and topping it with a layer of chocolate for a variation on these bars. Thanks to Pamela for a fun selection this week! You can find the recipe on her blog and you can check out the other bars this week at the SMS site.