Bruce Springsteen was Right!

lakemillssantadiptych4

Santa has made it as far as Lake Mills, Wisconsin!  As you can see from this unretouched fake-vintage stealth survelleilance photo I took from my car, contrary to popular myth, this dude is HUGE!  So yeah, you better watch out!  Of course he sees you when you’re sleeping…it’s a wonder his breath rattling your windows doesn’t bolt you straight upright out of your dreams of locally-sourced, humanely-raised sugarplums.

Clearly, Santa’s metabolic demands are, literally, gargantuan.  This explains his fondness for sugar far more plausibly than a previous theory I have seen put forward: that sugar helps Santa do sweet things.  Well, maybe it will keep him from stomping on your car in a low-glycemic rage.  So that’s sweet….I guess….

This year, don’t take chances with Santa.  For your own safety, keep some home-made bakery on hand.  But don’t offer him fruitcake. (You cheap bastard, he knows you are just re-gifting it!  Remember, he’s psychic!)  Instead, make him these Butterscotch Squares, formulated for optimal sugar density by the cooks at Farm Journal in 1966.  Sure, the caramelization will take you a week to scrape out of your pan, but isn’t it worth it?  You don’t want a 20 foot elf in a red suit chasing your car down Main Street because you pissed him off taking pictures and didn’t have a cookie in your pocket to throw at him.  Trust me.

Butterscotch Santa Rations
preheat oven to 350; baking time 25 minutes.

1 pound brown sugar
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

Cook brown sugar and butter in top of double boiler over hot water until sugar dissolves.
(20th Century note:  Yes, you can do this step in a microwave – carefully!  But are you really in such a hurry?  Do you really not have 2 saucepans that fit on top of each other?  Here’s a thought – boil water in the microwave, pour it into the bottom pan, and whilst you stir the butter and brown sugar into perfect solution, have a drink.)
Cool. (That’s an instruction, not an adjective.)
Transfer to a bowl large enough to hold the flour.
Add eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition.
Stir in other ingredients.
Spread in a 15 1/2 x 11 1/2 by 1/2 UNGREASED pan (or whatever pan you would use to make thin bar cookies or brownies).
CUT WHILE HOT into 40 squares.  Not more, not less.  Forty.
Give them all to Santa.  Remember, he can see you.

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