Making the cookie dough is straightforward. You beat together brown sugar, sugar, butter, shortening, salt, espresso powder, baking soda, vanilla, butterscotch flavoring, and vinegar until creamy, followed by an egg, flour, butterscotch chips and toasted pecans (I used pecan pieces instead of halves). The shape of the cookie will depend on whether and how long you refrigerate the dough before baking (read more about this on the King Arthur blog, here). I refrigerated the dough for five hours before scooping it out, rolling each ball of dough in a mixture of sugar and salt, and baking.
These turned out to be incredibly attractive cookies: the deep golden color, cracked surface, and nooks and crannies from the nuts and chips were all beautiful. They also had a wonderful moist, chewy texture. As for the taste, I was a little disappointed. First, even though I had rolled the cookies in a sugar-salt mixture with the amount of salt at the high end of the suggested range, they didn't have the assertive salty kick I was hoping for. Second, I have never been a fan of butterscotch chips because I find their artificial orange color and the artificial flavoring to be off-putting (I used Nestle chips, not the Guittard brand chips the King Arthur folks heartily recommend). Something about this cookie tasted slightly fake to me; I'm not sure if it was the chips or the butterscotch flavoring in the dough.
That said, these cookies were quite popular with tasters. Even I found myself going back for seconds. Maybe there is something to enjoying fake flavors every once in a while; I learned to embrace imitation vanilla for Christina Tosi's confetti cookies. I wouldn't call this the best cookie I ever I've baked, not by a longshot -- but I can't deny the small guilty pleasure I derived from eating it.
Previous Post: "Brown Sugary Sweetness: Clementine's Butterscotch Brownies," April 13, 2011.