Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Back of the Bag

...or how I developed an addiction to butterscotch.

I don't think I had ever baked with butterscotch up until a few days ago. In fact, I can't even say for a fact that I had tasted anything with butterscotch in it for years. For some reason, a little voice in my mind thought it would be a good idea to bake a butterscotch something...anything, really.

So there they were, two nice yellow bags of butterscotch chips, sitting in my kitchen cupboard. I didn't forget about them, no way, but it was around my birthday and I had a lot of other things on my baking list. So they sat in the cupboard, patiently waiting to unleash their fury. It all started on a Tuesday night, when I ran out of chocolate. I was helplessly pondering the alternatives--apples?, apricot jam?, carrots??--when they came as a memory flash. "Ha!," I clamored, "I know there's something in the cupboard." And that was the start of my downward spiral into the world of butterscotch chips.

They look so small, so harmless: what could a few chips do besides make you happy? Well, it started out with 5 chips. Then I came back for another 5. And another--you get the idea. But thankfully, I was reminded that butterscotch chips have the word butter in them, and that maybe I should slow down a bit. So I put the bag down, only to start this little game for the next couple of days. That was when I remembered that I actually wanted to bake with these things--the only surefire way to get me to stop eating them on their own. My logic was kind of twisted, I'll admit it: I decided I would eat less butterscotch chips if they were spread out in a baked good. Because I would eat less of the baked goods, right? No. Wrong. At least I had faith in myself, if only for the few seconds it took to decide I was going to bake something.

Next came the decision of what exactly to bake. Butterscotch blondies? Sounds delicious, but I wanted a change from the usual, albeit amazing, blondie. My eyes wandered to the bag I was holding in my hand. "Oatmeal Scotchies"? Sounded good. Strangely, I never really look at the recipes on the "back of the box", and the only ones I've made were Nestlé Dessert chocolate mousse and Libby's pumpkin pie.

I can proudly say that after baking oatmeal scotchies--or simple oatmeal cookies with butterscotch chips, call them what you will--I will be making these again. And again. And...I don't think have to keep going with this.

Friends of mine, of the non-American variety, had their first taste of butterscotch with my cookies. The overall consensus was "Mmmm" followed by "What kind of nuts are in this?". For anyone who doesn't know butterscotch, it's basically butter and brown sugar cooked together, not unlike toffee but it doesn't have that burnt quality toffee has. I guess that the butterscotch, paired with oatmeal, gave the cookie a little toastiness which is reminiscent of nuts.

From now on, count on me to look at the back of all boxes. For now, I still have a few butterscotch chips left--and trust me, they won't be there for long.

Oatmeal Scotchies
adapted from the Nestle Recipe

Note: I halved the recipe and got approximately 30 cookies.

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened (When I halved the recipe, I used only 90g of butter, which is substantially less than 1/2 cup)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups quick or old-fashioned oats
  • 1 2/3 cups (11-oz. pkg.) butterscotch chips

Preheat oven to 375° F.

Combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in oats and morsels. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

Bake for 7 to 8 minutes for chewy cookies. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
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claudia said...

they DO look good!

GoldTeeth said...

you told me to get back to you if i made a lebkuchen recipe!
this one has all the flavors of the bagged ones, but it isn't as dark, so i probably could use brown sugar instead of white sugar. buying bagged ones still taste a bit better though haha