Sometimes, all you want is something nostalgic in your #365daysofbaking. Like an Oatmeal Scotchie. Like the ones I should have had growing up.
I’d also like to note that this is actually my clan’s plaid. Thank you to my dearly departed English gran for doing the family history!
I’ve mentioned I didn’t have that Grandma or mom who baked in the kitchen when I was a wee impressionable youngster seeking out memories I’d carry into my mid-life. When I was in high school and college, I did enjoy walking into my Grandfather’s wife’s kitchen – is that a step-grandma?? – and watching her toss a bit o’ this and a bunch o’ that into a bowl and make baking magic. When I asked her what the recipe was, she’s chuckle a very full-bodied chuckle and say, “I ain’t got no recipe. Toss a bit o’ this and a bunch o’ that into a bowl and mix it up.”
Today, I want to have that magic. Granddaddy’s wife was a love from the hills of North Carolina who was covered in psoriasis – I tried not to think of that when I watched her bake because I only had images of the scales falling off into the food. But she was a true country cook: no recipes, no frills, just improvise with what you had.
I looked up the origin of the oatmeal scotchies name and actually couldn’t find anything. Maybe the oatmeal cookie is assumed of Scottish origin ’cause o’ their fine oatmeal over there and all, and maybe someone just tossed in some butterscotch chips into their oatmeal cookie dough along the way kinda thing? If you know the origin, I’d love this idle foodie trivia.
A recipe designer I am not. Not even of the country kind. I recipe maker – and some days, a botcher – I am.
I’m not even a huge butterscotch fan; I almost find it too rich in most recipes, but the oatmeal just brings the butterscotch chips back to earth in this cookie.
I followed the recipe for Oatmeal Scotchies on the back of Nestle’s Butterscotch Chips, but here it is online from a blog called daily dish. Why I chose this recipe link has everything to do with the fact that these peeps have done some foodie recon on how the original Toll House Cookie came into being. I love that an ole’ switcharoo of ingredients led to an iconic recipe. All because Ruth was an actual baker who didn’t always have everything she needed.
Shut the front door! She was my baking predecessor.
Ruth, you are my “I make mistakes, too” heroine. Maybe there is hope for me in all my fuckups, after all.
There is one thing I’d change about this recipe, though. The 2nd step says to “Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla in large mixer bowl.” This leaves big hunks of butter, which lead to lots of spread, and lacy pockets in the cookie.
I haven’t made these in a while, and I swear I probably didn’t read the recipe correctly last time, if this is the same recipe that’s been on the back of the bag. Shocker. Last time I made these, my cookies didn’t spread like this at all. Knowing me, I did what I do with all cookies: cream the butter and sugars first, THEN add the eggs and vanilla.
This was my 1st batch that baked for 10 minutes. In my oven, this was too long. See the spread and the over-cripsy edges. I had a feeling this was going to happen, so I chilled the dough, and baked the next batch 9 minutes. Since I had multiple smaller cookie sheets, I turned on the convection feature. Note, there are still lacy pockets, but less spread. I don’t like lacy pockets in my cookies unless I’m making Florentines. These ain’t no fancy cookie, here. These be comfort food from your childhood – or what I wished I’d had in my baking-bare childhood. There’s a therapy session for me. If I cared to have a therapist.There is one thing that is not in the daily dish’s recipe that is on the back of the bag recipe… the addition of the zest of one orange. The back of the bag states “1 tsp vanilla or the grated peel of one orange.” I did both, and YES! Just add the zest. The flavor note is just like the girl on the playground you want as your friend. You want it in your life. I might even skip the vanilla next time altogether.
Who needs Scotland when you can make a batch of Scothies instead?
Nah. I still want to go to Scotland.