“Growing up, my grandma would make these ‘dream bars.’” says Ann Kim, the executive chef at the Garden & Gun Club in Atlanta. “I always thought it was something she made up, but I looked it up later in life, and turns out it was a super retro recipe that lots of people were making.” Armed with nostalgia, Kim set out to create her own perfect version of the gooey bars, and the addition of nuts, butterscotch, and a dash of salt made the treats an instant crowd pleaser. “I’ve been making these for friends and family for years, and they’re always so impressed that I’m reluctant to admit how easy they are.”
The recipe requires just one bowl and one pan. “It’s the easiest process with the least amount of clean up,” Kim says. First, bake the buttery crust to a light golden brown. “Make sure it’s baked all the way before you add the filling,” notes Kim, as the crust will stop baking once the butterscotch mixture goes in. On the second bake, Kim advises home cooks stay close to the oven and pay special attention. “It sounds silly, but I listen to them—because of the eggs, the filling will make a slight foaming noise as it cooks, and when that stops, you know they’re done.”
Adjust the bake time by a few minutes to achieve your desired consistency—about eighteen minutes for gooey bars and twenty for a bit more firmness. After dusting with powdered sugar, let the bars cool before cutting into bite-size squares. “They may seem small,” Kim says, “But they’re so rich.”
The Garden & Gun Club at the Battery Atlanta is open for lunch and dinner and is accepting walk-in diners and reservations. Online ordering for pick-up is also available. Visit the Club’s website for more information.