Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Butterscotties -- a fun cookie #recipe from @LeslieBudewitz


LESLIE BUDEWITZ:  I bought a cute little cookbook, Bar Cookies A to Z by Marie Simmons, ages ago and thought I’d made most of the recipes. Turns out I missed quite a chunk of the alphabet – or maybe I didn’t make notes on the pages, as I usually do! So, since we love a good cookie and bars are particularly easy, I’m out to remedy that. 

We particularly enjoy a moist, chewy brownie style bar cookie, and these were a big hit. The chocolate chips are completely optional, but they do add a layer of flavor we quite enjoyed. (I didn’t have quite half a cup, so I added a few extra butterscotch chips as well.) It’s a simple recipe that I think is just about foolproof. 

Bar cookies make a great contribution to a potluck or a casual gathering as well. And as I uploaded the pictures and saw the contrast between the chocolate and butterscotch chips, it occurred to me that this would also be a fun Halloween treat!



Adapted from  Bar Cookies A to Z by Marie Simmons

2-1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1-3/4 cups packed light brown sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1-/12 cups coarsely chopped walnuts

½ cup butterscotch chips

½ cup semisweet chocolate chips (optional)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9X13 inch baking pan

Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. With a mixer, cream together butter and brown sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla, and mix well. Gradually add in the flour mixture. Add walnuts and butterscotch chips and stir by hand until well blended.

Spread in prepared pan, using a spatula or your fingers if necessary. Sprinkle the top with the chocolate chips, if you’d like. Bake 30-35 minutes, or until the edges begin to brown and pull away from the sides of the pan. Cool in the pan on a wire rack before cutting into bars.

Makes 24 bars. 


PEPPERMINT BARKED: A Spice Shop Mystery (coming July 19, 2022 from Seventh St. Books)

From the cover: 
A Dickens of a Christmas turns deadly…

As the holiday season lights up Seattle’s famed Pike Place Market, Pepper Reece’s beloved Spice Shop is brimming with cinnamon, nutmeg, and shoppers eager to stuff their stockings. Add to the mix a tasty staff competition—a peppermint bark-off—along with Victorian costumes for this year’s Dickensian Christmas theme, and Pepper almost forgets to be nervous about meeting her fisherman boyfriend’s brother for the first time.

But when a young woman working in her friend Vinny’s wine shop is brutally assaulted, costumed revelers and holiday cheer are the last things on Pepper’s mind. Who would want to hurt Beth? Or were they looking for Vinny instead?

The vicious attack upsets everyone at Pike Place, but none more than Pepper’s own employee, Matt Kemp. At first, Pepper is baffled by his reaction, but his clandestine connection to Beth could hold the key to the assailant’s motive. Or perhaps it’s Vinny’s ex-wife who knows more than she’s letting on . . . and what about the mysterious top-hatted man with whom Pepper saw Beth arguing that morning?

As the secrets of the market come to light, long-held grudges, family ties, and hidden plans only further obscure the truth. Is it a ghost of the past rattling its chains, or a contemporary Scrooge with more earthly motives? As Pepper chases down a killer, someone is chasing her, and in the end, the storied market itself may hold the final, deadly clue.

A cozy holiday mystery full of culinary delights and a rich cast of characters, the sixth installment in the Spice Shop Mystery series will keep you turning the page . . . and reaching for another piece of peppermint bark. 

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries, and the winner of Agatha Awards in three categories. Death al Dente, the first Food Lovers' Village Mystery, won Best First Novel in 2013, following her 2011 win in Best Nonfiction. Her first historical short story, "All God's Sparrows," won the 2018 Agatha Award for Best Short Story. Peppermint Barked, her 6th Spice Shop mystery, will appear in July 2022, and Blind Faith, her second standalone suspense novel (written as Alicia Beckman), will release in October 2022. 

A past president of Sisters in Crime and a current board member of Mystery Writers of America, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher.

Swing by Leslie's website and join the mailing list for her seasonal newsletter. And join her on Facebook where she shares book news and giveaways from her writer friends, and talks about food, mysteries, and the things that inspire her.


  1. Thank you for the Butterscotties recipe. Sounds delicious! I'll be trying them for sure.

    Can't wait for the upcoming release of "PEPPERMINT BARKED". Love your books!
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  2. Sounds delicious! Thanks, Leslie!

  3. Yummy! Blondies with goodies added. Perfect.

  4. YUM!! Thanks for sharing this!

  5. My pleasure -- and soon to be yours, I suspect!