Hi! Welcome to Sweet, Spicy & Neat! I’ve been meaning to get a cooking blog together for a while now, and since the entire upper right quarter of the United States is currently covered in snow that rendered most productivity today absolutely impossible, I decided there was no better day than today to start!
In keeping with the snowed in theme, there’s not much better to do on a snow day than bake cookies! So, what a perfect place to begin – a fun, sweet twist on an old classic that everyone loves: Butterscotch Chocolate Chip Cookies.
Now, my cookies have long been lauded as the best among my friends and family (I’ve even turned folks against their own mom’s cookies!) but they aren’t the best because of a magical cooking fairy that sprinkles twinkle dust on my pans. No, no, it’s tried and true tips and tricks that are easy to overlook, but believe me, they make ALL the difference. I have several favorite “weapons” in the kitchen, and there are quite a few of them in this post alone!
So, let’s get to the baking, shall we? These cookies are a nice twist on the classic chocolate chip “drop” cookie, and are especially good for those with a strong sweet tooth!
Go ahead and start off by getting your oven preheated to 375 degrees and lining a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper. The parchment paper isn’t ABSOLUTELY necessary, but it really makes clean up SO much easier, and the cookies come off the pan with no effort! But, if you don’t have parchment paper on hand, go ahead and use non-stick baking sheets and do NOT grease them with anything!
Next, mix up your dry ingredients in a medium size bowl.
It’s mostly just flour (2 1/4 cups) but you’ll also need to add a teaspoon of baking soda and a teaspoon of salt.
Set this aside and then get out your stand mixer and use the bowl of that for your wet ingredients. (If you don’t have a stand mixer, you’ll have to use a hand mixer and a large mixing bowl. Also, if you don’t have a stand mixer, buy one as soon as possible or ask for one for the next available gift giving holiday, because they are worth absolutely every penny, and you’ll see me use it a lot!) The wet ingredients begins with two sticks of softened unsalted butter and a cup of brown sugar with a 1/2 cup of white granulated sugar.
MAKE OR BREAK TIP: It is imperative that the butter be “soft” or room temperature – NOT melted! More on why in a bit. I find that two sticks of butter in the microwave for 25-30 seconds usually does the trick to make it soft enough, if you didn’t have the time to leave the butter on the counter for a couple of hours.
To measure out my sugar, I use one of my favorite kitchen tools ever, my Pyrex glass measuring cup. I think I use this probably at least once a day, every day, for all kinds of cooking and baking. The brown sugar has to be “packed” down (in order to make sure you’re getting a full cup of it, since brown sugar tends to be sticky and airy!) so I pack the cup of brown sugar in the bottom and then add the white sugar on top until it reaches the 1 1/2 cup mark.
Put your softened butter and both sugars in the mixing bowl. If you’re using a stand mixer, make sure you use the paddle attachment for mixing! It looks like this:
Mix this for about 15 seconds or so on the lowest setting (usually called “Stir” on a stand mixer), then for another fifteen seconds on the next highest speed, and then finally kick it up to medium for 2-3 minutes.
MAKE OR BREAK TIP: Why mix the butter and sugar so long? It’s called “creaming.” Allowing the butter and sugar to “cream” together takes a bit of time, but it makes sure they are one cohesive unit, and makes ALL the difference to the softness and chewiness of your cookies in the end! This is why your butter has to be soft, and not melted, because it’s impossible to cream butter that’s in a liquid state!
In the final stages of creaming together the butter and sugar, you can add 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract.
Vanilla is another one of my secret kitchen weapons!
MAKE OR BREAK TIP: I cannot possibly stress enough how important it is to use PURE vanilla extract. If it says “imitation” anywhere on the bottle, throw it away and buy the good stuff! Vanilla is one of those places where substituting in the fake stuff simply cannot be done if you want really good food. This gigantic bottle was only $7.00 at BJ’s, so don’t try and tell me it’s too expensive!
Once you’ve got the butter, sugar, and vanilla all blended together, STOP and scrape off the paddle and the sides of the bowl!
Use a rubber spatula for this – it’s the only way to cleanly scrape everything off and get all the way to the bottom of the bowl!
MAKE OR BREAK TIP: Stopping to scrape off the bowl may seem unnecessary, but it’s so important for ensuring everything blends together properly! Trust me, it’s worth the extra 30 seconds to do!
Once you’ve scraped off the bowl it’s time to add your binding agent. This recipe uses two eggs, but you can check out the bottom of this post for an amazing egg substitution in a variation I’ll give at the end!
Add the eggs one at a time, blending them in after each addition.
Once the eggs are blended in, STOP again and scrape the paddle and bowl!!
Now that all your wet ingredients are blended and your dry ingredients are combined, it’s time to put them together! Grab your set-aside bowl of flour mixture and turn the stand mixer to “stir.” (For those of you using a regular hand mixer, unfortunately this is where you and the mixer must separate and you’ll have to do this part by hand with a wooden spoon.) Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, allowing the flour to be totally mixed in before adding more.
This will take a little bit of time, but you have to add it little by little or else you’ll have flour everywhere and the dough will seize up!
Once all the flour is mixed in, it’s time for the best part… the chocolate chips! What makes these cookies so unique and sweet is the blend of chips that I chose to use. You can stick to my version, or use your own combination. (The classic recipe calls for all dark chocolate chips, but be creative!)
I used my handy dandy Pyrex cup again and filled it to the brim with dark, milk, and butterscotch chips.
I tried to divide it evenly into thirds, but a little more one way or the other won’t hurt! As long as it ends up being a bit more than 2 cups worth.
Take the paddle attachment off the mixer (we can’t use it to mix the chips in, as the dough becomes too stiff) and set it aside. And try not to lick it clean. I dare you. Then dump that whole glass of chips into the batter and fold them in with a strong wooden spoon.
This will take a bit of elbow grease, but when you’re done, the chips should be evenly distributed through the dough and it’ll look like this:
It’s handy to leave the bowl attached to the stand mixer for this, as it helpfully holds the bowl in place while you stir!
By now your oven should have fully preheated, so go ahead and drop the cookies onto your baking sheets with a mini ice cream scoop (1-inch diameter). If you don’t have one, use a teaspoon, but I’m telling you, that little scoop is awesome for making sure all your cookies are the same size. You can get them from around $12-20 depending on where you look.
Drop the balls of dough about 2 inches apart from each other on the baking sheets. I can usually fit 13 comfortably on a 17×11 baking sheet, or 8 on a 15×10 baking sheet.
Bake them for 8-10 minutes or until the bottoms are golden brown. Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes.
Then, transfer them to a wire cooling rack to cool completely. And try not to eat them all in one sitting.
Warning: Making these in a house with children may cause unwanted flooding of young ones into your kitchen. Proceed with caution.
For those who patiently waited for the egg substitute version I promised, try this out: Instead of two eggs, use 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree. (NOT pumpkin pie mix! Make sure the can says 100% pure pumpkin.) It doesn’t alter the flavor too much to just use the pumpkin puree, so if you really want to give them a pumpkin kick, add 2 tablespoons of pumpkin spice syrup (I use Torani) and a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice at the same time that you add the vanilla extract.
Butterscotch Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yield: About 60 cookies.
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 sticks butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
3/4 cup milk chocolate chips
3/4 cup butterscotch chips
1) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2) Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl. Set aside.
3) Cream together softened butter and sugar using a stand mixer with paddle attachment. (“Stir” for 15 seconds, speed 1-2 for another 15 seconds, and then a medium speed for 2-3 minutes.)
4) Scrape off paddle and sides of the bowl, then blend in vanilla and eggs, one at a time, on medium speed.
5) Scrape off paddle and sides of the bowl again, then add in flour mixture little by little with the mixer on “stir” setting, allowing flour to completely blend in before each new addition.
6) Remove paddle attachment and add chocolate chips to dough, folding in with a wooden spoon.
7) Drop dough balls with a 1-inch ice cream scoop onto baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches of space between each one, and bake for 8-10 minutes or until bottoms of cookies are golden brown.
8) Allow to cool for a couple of minutes outside the oven on the baking sheet, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to a week. (If they last that long!)