Cookie dynamics

I recently read a post over on OZY by Anne Miller about how to modify your chocolate chip cookies to get various results. There was a good eats piece on this as well a while back. Anyone, just giving a shout out, since this has lots of good details:

The post’s a bit old, back from May, but it recently seems to have made the rounds on social media again just in time for some holiday season baking so I thought I’d share.

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.


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


  • 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