Brown Butter Cowgirl Bars

Brown Butter Cowgirl Bars
My daughter is a horseback rider and competes in shows in the warmer months. Before I was involved in this sport I imagined it was a Ralph Lauren world filled with girls with long silky hair, perfect bone structures, trust funds and eyes that said "you don't know anything about my world and you never will".

How different reality is. Lots of girls with long, but rarely silky, hair (due to the rain, humidity or sweat from being in a helmet in 85 degree weather) with every kind of face and eyes that say "Hey, how are you? It's so cool you're here". In the show ring, everyone looks much the same - a picture of snooty equestrian life in tan breeches, tall boots, tailored jackets and sleek helmets. Before and after it's cutoffs or jeans, dusty tee shirts and muck boots - an essential because the place is crawling with horses, of course, but also dogs. So. Watch. Your. Step.

Everyone is friendly. Everyone. And as long as you like animals - you'll feel right at home. Plus they play the craziest music mixes over the intercom - everything from hair bands to classic country to college alt. Find a spot in the shade, bring a good book and watch them pack around the jumps...not a bad way to spend the day (unless it's rainy and muddy or freezing and windy which it often is, but we're focusing on ideal conditions for this post).

I brought these cookie bars to the last show to share with everyone - they have delicious brown butter flavor, chocolate chips, and oats and walnuts to power the athletes (human variety - the equines just stick with oats). Browned butter brings out the butter flavor plus a subtle carameliness. Worth the extra step.

Brown Butter Cowgirl Bars

Makes approx. 20 large bars

3 sticks unsalted butter, browned and chilled*
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup oatmeal, not quick-cooking
1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
2 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350ยบ

2. Beat butter and sugars with electric mixer until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until incorporated.

3. Put flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl and whisk to combine. Add to batter in a few additions mixing until combined.

4. Add oatmeal, walnuts and chocolate chips and stir with a wooden spoon (or clean hands) to mix them into the dough. It's a very dry dough.

5. Spread into an ungreased cookie/sheet pan pushing into corners and smoothing out top (I used a pastry scraper to get it smooth and even).

6. Bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool, cut and share.

* Heat butter in a saucepan and let bubble until brown bits appear on the bottom and edges of the pan, swirling a bit as it cooks. Pour into a heatproof dish and chill until solidified but still soft (about an hour).

Brown Butter Cowgirl Bars


Patricia said…
This recipe of bars with brown butter makes it better than most. And love, love it's description of young riders. Keep up the good work. Your site is worth reading for, not only the recipes, but also the writing. I'm always entertained!
Laurie said…
Thanks Patricia - that's very kind of you!

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