Friday, October 14, 2011

Recipe: Chocolate-and-Butterscotch-Chip Cookies

I went out for groceries earlier this week, and while roaming up and down the baking aisle, looking for Halloween sprinkles and soft caramels (for caramel apples I'm making this weekend), I came across bags of flavored "chips," like mint and peanut butter. Among the assorted bags of "chips" were bags of butterscotch chips, something I rarely eat but really enjoy. I love the taste of rich chocolate and salty-sweet butterscotch blended together, so I thought making chocolate-and-butterscotch-chip cookies was the best way to get that flavor I was craving. Despite spending my morning in the hot training kitchen for class, slaving away (okay, not really slaving, but seriously, you really have to hustle when there's a lot of food to make) at three (yes, three) different soups, I was really eager to bake as soon as I got home, and I was especially excited about the prospect of the traditional cookies-and-milk for an afternoon snack. I followed the classic Nestle Toll House chocolate chip cookie recipe (minus the nuts) that my family has used for years, substituting Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips (richer and better-tasting than Nestle chocolate chips, in my opinion) instead of Nestle chocolate chips and adding half a bag of butterscotch chips. The result: perfectly crispy-yet-soft cookies, oozing with warm chocolate and butterscotch chips. Best right of the oven, and great anytime with a glass of milk or just on their own.

Yields: About 4 dozen
Prep. time: 10-15 minutes
Cooking time: about 9-13 minutes per batch
Difficulty: Easy
Equipment needed: Baking sheets, mixer (use the paddle attachment, not a whisk or other attachment)

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white/granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2&1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups (12 oz. bag) chocolate chips (I use Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips—they are so much better than cheap chocolate chips)
  • 1 cup (half of a 12 oz. bag, a.k.a. 6 oz.) butterscotch chips

Preheat the oven to 375*F. Combine the flour, salt, and baking soda in a bowl and set aside. Combine the butter, brown sugar, white/granulated sugar, and vanilla extract in the mixer's mixing bowl and beat on low on medium speed until creamy. Add one egg at a time, and thoroughly beat each into the cookie dough on medium speed. Slowly add the flour mixture, beating on low or medium low speed until it's fully incorporated. Slowly add in the chocolate chips and butterscotch chips, beating on low speed to help blend them into the dough. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets, being sure to leave room in between each ball of dough to allow the cookie to spread as it cooks (I just use my hands and scoop out tablespoon-sized blobs of dough). Bake for 9-11 minutes, or until golden brown (mine took about 13 minutes to bake perfectly). Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheets for 2 minutes, then remove cookies from sheets and place on wire racks to cool completely. Store in an air-tight (tupperware) container. (Helpful tip: To keep cookies soft, place a slice of bread in the container they're stored in. The cookies draw out the moisture in the bread and that helps keep them soft. Be sure to replace the bread slice once it's dried out).

 These are your quintessential chocolate chip cookies, just dressed up a bit with the addition of butterscotch chips. They're soft on the inside, but lightly crispy around the edges and the "chips" have that magic way of staying melty, even after the cookies have cooled all the way. Delicious!

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