Salty Bourbon Squares

Salty Bourbon Squares  |  Amandeleine

I did not intentionally go on a bourbon kick… but I seem to have gone on a bourbon kick.

In my previous post there was the bourbon in the whiskey marshmallow, caramel and bacon bark, and now there’s these squares.

Squares that are essentially blondies that are strongly bourbon flavoured.

And I claim to not even like alcohol.

Bourbon Whiskey

I mean, I don’t generally like alcohol, much to others’ chagrin. I’ve discussed the situation in the past.

But it actually turns out that it doesn’t like me either.

Brown Sugar Butter

Apparently a lot of my distaste for alcohol was probably my body’s defense mechanism, trying to make sure I didn’t drink alcohol as it does wacky things to my blood pressure.

Turns out that the weird loud beating my ears, extreme heat and general physical discomfort I would feel after half a drink wasn’t me being a cheap drunk, it was my body’s inability to process alcohol like a normal human being.

Salty Bourbon Dough

That one time I had barely had a full drink of alcohol, was definitely neither drunk nor even tipsy, and passed out anyway, was probably the clearest sign.

So with that, the only way alcohol and I can ever get along is if I dilute it in something, whether its among many many marshmallows, or in this case, brown sugar goodness.

I’ve determined I love the flavour of bourbon with brown sugar, which somewhat weirds me out considering how much I generally try to avoid alcohol for its flavour as much as for medical reasons.

Salty Bourbon Squares  |  Amandeleine

The darker molasses flavour of bourbon, akin to brown sugar, but with an edge really makes the brown sugar something else.

If you’ve never made a bourbon butterscotch sauce, I highly recommend making one. And putting it on anything you consider worthy.

Salty Bourbon Squares  |  Amandeleine

And also make it a salted butterscotch because, as these bars will show you, salt is a fabulous idea.

Salt usually is.

Salty Bourbon Square  |  Amandeleine

The originator of this recipe over at The Vanilla Bean Blog mentions that you can “Use 1 tablespoon bourbon for a lighter flavor, or you can omit all together…”.

Even as someone who avoids alcohol with a pinched nose, I agree wholeheartedly with her follow-up comment… “…but really, you don’t want to.”

Salty Bourbon Squares

Recipe from The Vanilla Bean Blog

The recipe increases beautifully into a 9×13-inch pan if you increase the eggs to two and multiply all the other ingredients by 1.5x.


  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel or coarse salt (to taste)


  1. Preheat oven to 325. Grease a 9 inch square pan, and line pan with parchment such that there is at least a one inch overhang on two opposite sides.
  2. Heat the brown sugar and butter together in a saucepan until the sugar is melted, stirring occasionally. Let cool.
  3. Whisk flour and baking powder together, and set aside.
  4. Add egg, vanilla, salt, and bourbon to the cooled butter mixture, and beat together.
  5. Stir in the flour, and then the chocolate, until just combined.
  6. Spread batter in the pan, and bake 18-22 minutes, until light golden brown, and a tooth pick comes out clean, being very careful not to over bake.
  7. Sprinkle with fleur de sel. Let cool in the pan, then carefully lift from the pan, holding on to the parchment overhang, and cut into squares.

6 thoughts on “Salty Bourbon Squares

    • Not sure, to be honest, as my knowledge of alcohols and their flavours are limited! From a “would it work” perspective, it should bake just fine by swapping out the alcohols! I have no idea if the amount would be good for rum though in terms of how strong the flavour would be after baking. Worth a try though if you’re a rum fan!

  1. I am a bourbon girl at heart so I for one am loving your recent kick! Thanks as always for the delicious inspiration.

  2. Pingback: Salty Bourbon Squares | Amandeleine | ThisRightNow

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