Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Oatmeal Scotchie - 3 EASY Secrets to Building a Better Cookie

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The dog days of winter are upon us.  Mild though it has been in god's country (Kansas) so far this year, The weather still hinders so much of what we want to do.  My grill is covered, has been for weeks.  My yard is brown, The cushions on my outdoor furniture are in storage and my garden is dirt.


The days are coming soon when we can plan our gardens and fresh local and best are going to be the mantra for bloggers everywhere.  But the dog days of winter are a wonderful time to revisit old favorites, take comfort in their classic-ness and maybe tinker a bit and build a better cookie.

The Oatmeal Scotchie for me is that classic cookie from my youth.  Loved em', always have.  The recipe is a classic, been on the package of chips.  I make them about as often as I make anything.  Being a food blogger does have a drawback.  You may find a wonderful dish but because you only want to write up something new or different, your time to repeat favorites is limited.  But for me, Scotchies are the one thing that gets repeated the most.

But that doesn't mean I don't tinker...  So, here's my two secrets i have found over the years...

Eggs.  The classic recipe calls for 2... I add three.  Eggs in baking do several things.  They are a binding agent that holds the dry goods together.  But also they keep those dry goods from making a dry end product.  Think about a British shortbread biscuit recipe... No eggs.  The texture is flaky and dry (making them best for coffee dunkers... but I digress).  Me, I love the texture of super moist (the extra egg) combined with the chewy oats.  So, for me, three eggs makes a texturally better cookie.

Salt... But not just any salt, I use a finishing salt, a Himalayan Crystal Salt sprinkled on top AFTER the cookie has been baked.  Not a lot, just a half dozen or so pieces,  I sprinkle just as the cookies come out of the oven so they melt into the cookie just a tad.  The finishing salt adds that extra KICK of seasoning on your tongue as you eat.  Makes all the other flavors jump.  I make 12 cookies on a cookie sheet.  When they come out of the oven, I take one pinch of salt (a pinch is about 1/4 tsp).  I raise my hand about 2 ft above the sheet and rub my fingers together while making a little circle (that TV chef thing).  this works great to spread just the right amount of salt over those 12 cookies.

Chipotle Pepper Spice... really, this seems the most bizarre ingredient to add to a cookie.  But it works.  Lets think about your tongue.  There are taste buds that are specialized.  Some taste only sweet   Some taste only savory, some taste only HEAT.  If you add a tiny amount of heat, that gives those buds a reason to awaken.  Honest, I got this idea from a grilling class I took ages ago, where the chef suggested that a 1/4 teaspoon of Chipotle Pepper added to a "sweet" recipe is too small an amount to overpower the sweet, but it will add an indefinable taste to the recipe that will set your dish apart from the masses.  Remember that word, "indefinable".  Not so much that you taste the heat (you don't).  Just enough to add something... That something that excites all your buds.

Honest.. try it! All this makes a better cookie!

 Here's What I did...

Oatmeal Scotchie - 3 Secrets to Building a Better Cookie

  • 1-1/4 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp (small pinch) Chipotle Pepper Spice
  • 1 Cup (2 Sticks) Butter, Softened to Room Temperature
  • 3/4 Cups Sugar
  • 3/4 Cups packed Brown Sugar
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 3 Cups Old Fashioned Oats
  • 11 OZ Package Butterscotch Morsels
  • Several pinches Finishing Salt, Himalayan Crystal Salt
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Mix the dry goods, Flour, Baking Soda, Cinnamon and Salt AND the Chipotle Pepper Spice.
  3. In a separate LARGE bowl, using a hand mixer (or stand mixer) cream together the softened Butter and both sugars.
  4. Add the eggs and vanilla and continue to cream.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet 1/2 Cup at a time
  6. Now switch to old school wooden spoon and mix in the oats and butterscotch morsels.
  7. On parchment paper lined baking sheets, drop 12 - 1 tsp size rounded balls of the mix
  8. push down on each ball with the back of a spoon slightly to flatten the balls out a bit.
  9. Bake for 7 minutes
  10. Pull out of the oven, sprinkle the finishing salt on the pan. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 3 minutes, then move them to a wire rack for additional cooling...

Old school cookies have stood the test of time.  But occasionally you can still tweek the recipe and make something special - EXTRA special!


So,  I am pleased to list this as one of my Growing list of  "52 Ways to Cook COOKIE, BARS and TRUFFLES"!!!

Old school like classic criss cross peanut butter to new takes on interesting recipes like a beautiful Red Velvet with the cream cheese mixed inside the cookie, accented with white chocolate chips!  Even a Pineapple Cream Cheese EASY Bar with only 5 ingredients! 
Stop on by, there's always a new cookie in the cookie jar!


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