National Butterscotch Brownie Day
annually on May 9th
Butterscotch brownies, called blondies or blonde brownies by many (more on that in a bit), are baked, eaten, and celebrated today on National Butterscotch Brownie Day! These confections—somewhere between cookies and cakes in texture—date to the nineteenth century, and were around before their chocolate counterpart. A recipe for brownies was published in 1896, but it contained no chocolate, and essentially was a butterscotch brownie or blondie. The name "brownie" was a nod to the elfin characters in Palmer Cox's publications. These brownies soon became known as butterscotch brownies, while the name blondie didn't appear until the 1970s or '80s (some sources say both names didn't appear until this time).
Blondies and brownies both have flour, sugar, eggs, and butter. Blondies are lighter in color and use vanilla extract and brown sugar instead of chocolate. Brownies use chocolate—chocolate chips, baking chocolate, or cocoa—and white sugar is used instead of brown sugar.
While some say butterscotch brownies are the same as blondies or blonde brownies, that's not completely true, and there's a bit more nuance. The brown sugar in blondies gives them a butterscotch flavor. These blondies are considered to be butterscotch brownies. Some of these blondies have butterscotch chips added to them, and they are also called butterscotch brownies. Sometimes peanut butter or mint chips are added, which means they are still blondies or blonde brownies, but might no longer be considered to be butterscotch brownies. Essentially, all butterscotch brownies are blonde brownies or blondies, but not all blonde brownies or blondies are butterscotch brownies. A butterscotch brownie is a specific type of blonde brownie or blondie—which already has a butterscotch flavor on account of brown sugar (an ingredient used to make butterscotch)—that may also have butterscotch chips. This differentiates them a bit from other blonde brownies, which may have other flavors besides butterscotch added. Today we celebrate butterscotch brownies, whether they get their flavor from brown sugar, or have butterscotch added to them too.
How to Observe National Butterscotch Brownie Day
Celebrate and enjoy butterscotch brownies! Make your own or pick some up at a bakery or cafe. If you are looking for more celebration of blonde brownies, mark your calendar for National Blonde Brownie Day.