Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Butterscotch Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

This picture doesn't do these cookies justice. They look kind of boring, just brown lumps sitting there on a boring white plate. I probably should take my food styling up a notch. This picture is testament to that. What this picture doesn't tell you is that these cookies are. . .de-lish-us! Prob my favorite version of oatmeal cookies. Because, really, that's all they are, just regular old oatmeal cookies, recipe right off the canister. But. . .I like to ditch the raisins, my kids hate 'em, and add pecans (you know that's my fave nut.) and butterscotch chips (I love, love, LOVE, butterscotch chips.). My husband usually groans when I use butterscotch chips in chocolate chip cookies, says they're too rich. No complaints when I add them to oatmeal cookies. Thumbs up all around. I also ditched the cinnamon from the regular recipe, it just doesn't work with the creamy mellow flavor of the butterscotch so, it's outta there! Lastly, the key to a soft chewy oatmeal cookie is to let the dough ripen. And when I say "ripen" I mean "chill out", and when I say "chill out" I mean, let the the dough sit in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight. Trust me, it's essential. Let's get this party going. . .

The basic stuff: unsalted butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, 1 egg, vanilla, salt, baking soda, AP flour, oats (I like "quick" but "old fashioned" will also work.), butterscotch chips and chopped pecans.

Start by creaming the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Not just combined but LIGHT and FLUFFY.

Next add the egg, vanilla and 1/4 cup of water. Mix until well combined. You may have to turn the mixer up a bit and it will look kind of grainy. That's OK, just combine it as well as you can.

Next add the flour, salt, baking soda and oats. You can mix these first in a bowl and then add to the butter mixture but I just dump it all in and let the mixer do the work. Mix just until combined.

Lastly, stir in the butterscotch chips and pecans by hand.

Cover and refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours or overnight. By letting the dough sit and "ripen" the flour and oats will absorb moisture from the butter and water. The result is a thicker cookie that stays soft for days after it's baked. If you prefer and thinner chewier cookie then you could bake the cookies right away. Up to you.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F. Place 1 tablespoon scoops of dough about 2 inches apart on a lined or greased cookie sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes, just until the edges start to brown and the centers no longer look wet. With my oven, they took about 14 minutes.

Remove to a wire rack to cook. Store in an airtight container for 2-4 days, but I bet they won't last that long.

Again, seriously, this picture does not do justice to these cookies. They are soft, chewy, nutty and butterscotchy. A great cookie to kick off Fall Baking. Give 'em a try.

Butterscotch Pecan Oatmeal Cookies
Becky Elkins
Makes 2-1/2 dozen

3/4 C. unsalted butter
1 C. packed brown sugar
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1 egg
1 t. vanilla
1/4 cup water
3 C. instant or old fashioned oats
1 C. all purpose flour
1 t. salt
1/2 t. baking soda
1 C. butterscotch chips
1/2 C. chopped pecans

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add egg, vanilla and water and beat until well combined. In a separate bowl, stir together oats, flour, salt and baking soda. Add to butter mixture and stir until combined. Stir in butterscotch chips and pecans. Cover dough and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F. Line a cookie sheet with a silicone baking mat. Place tablespoon scoops of dough 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Bake for 12-15 just until edges are starting to brown and center of cookie looks set. Remove to a cooling rack to cool and set.

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