Butterscotch Chip Cookies

I have this wonderful, light chocolate chip cookie recipe handed down from mom. The cookies are nice and fluffy, but still decidedly cookie like, not cake-like. Officially, it’s a chocolate chip cookie recipe, but I really think it shines with a butterscotch chips and pecans.

butterscotch-cookies

Here’s the recipe. This is a big batch, halve it if you don’t want enough to freeze some. I think mom already doubled this before she gave it to me many, many years ago. As with most American baking recipes, Iris likes to trim the sugar way back. The original had 1c each. She would probably go straight to 1/2c of each, but for some things that’s a bit too aggressive. 3/4c seems like a reasonable compromise on this one, esp. for the butterscotch chips, which are a bit sweeter than chocolate to begin with.

Dry works:

  • 4 cups sifted flour
  • 2 teas. baking soda
  • 2 teas. cream of tarter
  • 1/2 teas. salt

Wet works:

  • 1 cup margarine (or butter)
  • 1 cup vegetable shortening
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teas. vanilla

Finishings:

  • 12 oz chips
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prep the dry works in a spare bowl, mix the wet works using a mixer following the usual order: combine sugars with shortening and butter or margarine, then mix in eggs, then flavorings. Slowly mix in the dry works. By hand, mix in nuts & chips. If you like your cookies a bit thicker, chill for a few hours. If you cook it right away, it works fine, but the cookies will be a bit thinner. Bake for 11-12 minutes, rotating once halfway through.

The notes:

  • For chocolate chip cookies, I like to use walnuts. For butterscotch chips, I like pecans. Play around to find your favorite combination though.
  • I love the bourbon vanilla. It’s a bit more expensive, but its not something you go through quickly, live it up a little.
  • I don’t get picky about brand for butterscotch chips, but for chocolate chips, there’s no substitute: We consistently get the Ghirardelli dark semisweet chocolate chips.

 

– Ben

Rita’s Italian Ice

Rita’s is the little ice cream shop that kept our marriage sane for a week with my family. We were visiting family for my brother’s wedding. While it’s not a complete food desert, for someone who’s a foodie & Asian, it’s not great. Before the trip we made a round through the local Asian restaurants in Seattle, expecting a lot of fast food & casual chains for 10 days, and generally not much that really stood out.

Rita’s was the shining bright spot on our trip when it came to food. Iris loved it. Rita’s is a frozen custard & Italian ice shop. It’s a chain that’s scattered around various parts of the country, but generally doesn’t seem to be in touristy areas. There are a few shops in Las Vegas, for example, but none are near the strip. Next time we’re in town, we plan to go out of our way for it.

Over the course of a little over a week, I think we made at least 3 trips. We worked our way through chocolate custard, mango gelati, Misto, Italian Ice and frozen lemonade. None disappointed. Custard contains egg and is a bit thicker than ice cream, but if you didn’t tell your kids they wouldn’t notice the difference. The flavor was excellent though. It doesn’t actually taste “eggy”. The chocolate is rich without being overpowering. The mango gelati tasted like mango, even if it was probably made from mango syrup. The frozen lemonade was clearly made from real lemons. It tasted great, but I feel like I need to have some sort of critique about something so here goes: they might have done better at straining the lemon seeds.The Italian ice seemed a bit finer than a typical Hawaiian shaved ice giving it a nice texture (if you’re ever in Hawaii, though do try Matsumoto’s). It’ll still give you brain freeze if you go too fast though. Take it slow an enjoy it. 🙂

So a shout out to Rita’s. Iris loved it, and I appreciated the fact that we found food for Iris to look forward to, even if it was just dessert.

Rita’s Italian Ice
http://www.ritasice.com

– Ben