Sunday, May 23, 2010

May's Cookie of the Month: Butterscotch Chocolate Chip Cookies


I was hoping to try something a little more off the beaten path this month, but my aforementioned monkey demanded something "normal" with chocolate chips.

The Butterscotch Chocolate Chip Cookies are very, very normal. In fact, I could barely taste the butterscotch in them at all. My independent taste tester said the dough reminded him of the NYTCCCs' caramel flavor dough, which results from the long resting period. Another factor in the subtlety of the butterscotch flavor might have been that I used Ghiradelli 60% Cacao chips. Had I used a basic Nestle Tollhouse chip or even a milk chocolate chip, I might be able to taste more of the butterscotch. Me, I prefer to be bowled over by my butterscotch, the way straight butterscotch chips taste. For what it's worth, the butterscotch flavor of the dough was more evident the next day.

According to the previously lauded handy little icon in the top corner of the recipe, the Butterscotch Chocolate Chip Cookies are intended to be crunchy to hard. My independent taste tester said these cookies are his ideal texture - crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside. So nowhere near hard. Which is cool with me, because I'm not a fan of hard cookies. The handy little icon also gives cakey as an option and I think I'd almost use that to describe my results here. But I'm wondering whether I did something wrong. Other indicia of wrongness include the following. The recipe says,

Flatten each ball slightly with your fingers just until the sides begin to crack.
I got no cracking. Just mushing. It goes on to say,
Use an oven mitt or a hot pad to hold on to the baking sheet, then give it two or three hard raps against the oven rack to make the cookies fall. Bake for about 1 more minute, or until the cookies are flat and crackly, but somewhat soft to the touch.
I did not notice any falling when I rapped my cookies and I would not describe my cookies as "flat and crackly." Undercooked? My oven thermometer always seems to register on the cool side of 350 - like closer to 300. Low humidity? I do live in the chaparral of Orange County. Oven and environment aside, could not allowing the butterscotch/butter mixture cool for 5 whole minutes cause softness?

There's a helpful note at the end of the recipe in the book that says something about not freaking out if your butterscotch/butter mixture turns to a big oily mess prior to the addition of the eggs as the eggs will help it all emulsify back together. This TOTALLY happened to me. It kinda gave me flashbacks to my Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream nightmare. But the eggs and continued beating on medium resolved the problem nicely.

Butterscotch Chocolate Chip Cookies adapted from The Ultimate Chocolate Cookie Book: From Chocolate Melties to Whoopie Pies, Chocolate Biscotti to Black and Whites, with Dozens of Chocolate Chip Cookies and Hundreds More by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 C plus 2 T all-purpose flour
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t salt
  • 8 T (1 stick) cool, unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 11 oz. butterscotch chips
  • 3/4 C packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 3 C semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips

Procedure

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift flour, baking soda, and salt together, set aside.

2. Place the butter pieces with the butterscotch chips in a large bowl; microwave on high for 20 seconds, stir well, then continue heating on high in 15 second increments until about three-quarters melted. Remove the bowl from the microwave and continue stirring until completely melted. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes. If the oil separates out of the melted butterscotch chips, all is not lost. The eggs added later will re-emulsify it as they're beaten in.

3. Beat the brown sugar into the melted butterscotch mixture, using and electric mixer at medium speed for about 1 minute. Beat in the eggs one at a time, making sure the first is fully incorporated before adding the second. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat in the vanilla until smooth. Turn off the mixer, add the flour mixture, then beat at low speed until just soft, crumbly pieces of dough form, not until the mixture gathers into a ball. The dough will be quite thick and oily. Finally beat in the chocolate chips at low speed, just until incorporated.

4. Roll by tablespoonfuls into 1 inch balls; place them on the baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Flatten each ball slightly with your fingers just until the sides begin to crack.

5. Bake for 12 minutes. Use an oven mitt or a hot pad to hold on to the baking sheet, then give it two or three hard raps against the oven rack to make the cookies fall. Bake for about 1 more minute, or until the cookies are flat and crackly, but somewhat soft to the touch. Cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. Cool the baking sheet for 5 minutes before baking further batches.

Previous Cookies of the Month:
January's Cookie of the Month: Soft Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
February's Cookie of the Month: Chocolate Cream Sandwich Cookies
March's Cookie of the Month: Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies
April's Cookie of the Month: Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

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1 comments:

tina_bakes said...

Hi Sarah,

I love butterscotch but have never baked any cake nor cookies with them. Came over to check your blog for your latest bake and coincidentally I just finished baking some cookies - World Peace Cookies and they're HEAVENLY!!

Hey, would you be interested to join Baking with Dorie baking group?

http://myinnerdomesticbliss.blogspot.com