If you’d like a delicious yet distinct dessert this Christmas season, I highly recommend these Double Decker Butterscotch Bars with Eggnog Cream Cheese Frosting. Made from an adaptation of a recipe a former roommate gave me years ago for the actual cookie, the first level consists of a chewy butterscotch-chip bar, which is then covered with a rich butterscotch candy layer and topped by creamy, eggnog cream cheese frosting.
Much like the cookies I posted about last year (found here: https://anticipatingadventure.com/2020/12/02/almond-cherry-chocolate-chip-cookies/), these cookies came about thanks to an annual Christmas cookie competition that I entered this fall. Also much like last year’s recipe, these cookies did not win a prize. These bars are too good to keep to myself, however, so I wanted to share this tasty treat with you all this Christmas season.
The cookie bar and frosting come together fairly quickly and easily, with the butterscotch candy layer requiring a bit more work and concentration. Nonetheless, these bars are so good (and quite addictive!) that the extra effort is worth it. Below I’ve included a few tips for this recipe, including some comments that should make the butterscotch candy layer a bit simpler.
As always, please leave a comment if you make this recipe to let me know what you think. I hope you enjoy these bars as much as I do! Now please excuse me as I make my way to the fridge to eat another…
DOUBLE DECKER BUTTERSCOTCH BARS WITH EGGNOG CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
For the Cookie Bar:
- 1 box yellow cake mix
- 1 box (3.5 oz) vanilla instant pudding and pie filling mix*
- 2 T flour
- 1 t cinnamon
- ½ t nutmeg
- ¼ t cloves
- ½ c oil
- 2 eggs
- ½ c butterscotch chips
For the Butterscotch Candy Layer
- 3 T butter
- 3 T heavy whipping cream
- 15 butterscotch disks, crushed
For the Eggnog Cream Cheese Frosting:
- ¼ c heavy whipping cream
- ½ c and 1 T powdered sugar, divided
- ¼ c eggnog
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- ½ t cinnamon
- ¼ t nutmeg
- A pinch of cloves
Additional crushed butterscotch pieces, finely chopped nuts, or ground cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9×13 baking sheet and set aside.
Mix the cake mix, pudding and pie filling mix, flour, 1 t cinnamon, ½ t nutmeg, and ¼ t cloves together, then add the eggs and oil and mix well until combined. Mix in the butterscotch chips, then spread the mixture over the baking sheet, patting it down and into the edges until the bottom of the baking sheet is covered by the dough. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until done.
While the cookie bar is baking, make the candy butterscotch layer. Crush the butterscotch candy into smaller pieces** and set aside. Heat butter over the stove on medium low heat until melted. Add the 3 T heavy whipping cream and stir to combine, then slowly add the butterscotch pieces, stirring constantly. Use an additional spoon alongside the stirring spoon to try to separate the candy pieces as they try to stick together again. USE CAUTION! The candy and butter-cream mixture will be very hot! Continue stirring over medium low heat until the butterscotch dissolves completely into the mix, roughly 7-10 minutes. Immediately spread over the baked cookie bars as the butterscotch mixture will begin to harden once allowed to cool. Set aside to cool completely before adding the frosting layer.
For the frosting, whip the ¼ c heavy whipping cream with a beater until peaks start to form, then beat in the 1 T powdered sugar. Once combined, slowly add the eggnog, beating continually, until left with a thick mixture (the peaks will become softer once the eggnog is completely added). Set aside.
In a separate mixing bowl, thoroughly beat the softened cream cheese with a hand beater, then add the ½ c powdered sugar, ½ t cinnamon, ¼ t nutmeg, and a pinch of cloves and beat until combined. Combine the eggnog mixture with the cream cheese mixture and beat together to blend. Spread over the butterscotch candy layer of the cooled cookie bars and serve immediately. Refrigerate any leftovers. Makes 16 bars.
*For a richer butterscotch flavor, substitute the vanilla instant pudding and pie filling mix with butterscotch instant pudding and pie filling mix.
**To make the butterscotch candy easier to crush, drop each one to the floor a few times in their individual wrappers, then carefully open over a resealable gallon storage bag and roll over the crushed candies on a flat surface with a rolling pin (I suggest rolling over the candy on a cutting board to avoid damage to any other surface due to possible jagged pieces of candy).