Butterscotch Chocolate Chunk Cookies with Vanilla Milk
"The first time I ate a chocolate chip cookie was in the bakery section of a Super Walmart in Indiana. I was in high school, an exchange student from Europe, and I stood there not quite understanding why there were so many cereals to choose from. One bite in and the crisp, crunchy cookies of my youth felt like dry graham crackers in comparison. Needless to say, a lot of chocolate chip cookies were consumed that year. Eventually, I upgraded to an even tastier version, made by my good friend and mentor Andrea Lantz, in her bakery, Pastry Diva. She used good chocolate and high-fat butter. She finished it with a secretive spoonful of butterscotch-flavored pudding mix. The things that did to the cookie. It was extra soft, with the warm, toasted sugar notes of toffee offsetting all the chocolate.
These cookies are inspired by Andrea’s. I cook brown sugar and butter into a deep amber caramel. Cooled, broken, and folded into the cookie dough, it melts into chewy puddles of toffee in the heat of the oven. And tying it all together is a generous splash of my favorite Heilala Butterscotch Vanilla Extract. This pure extract is infused with brown sugar and butter, capturing the rich flavor of butterscotch that will elevate any chocolate or nut-based baked goods like brownies, blondies, pecan pie, and even pancakes and waffles. It is a staple in my kitchen pantry, and I hope it will be in yours, too."
Miro Uskokovic, Executive Pastry Chef,NYC
Butterscotch Chocolate Chunk Cookies
11 oz dark brown sugar
12 oz unsalted butter
2 tsp kosher salt
1 oz light corn syrup
3 oz sugar
1 ½ tbsp Heilala Butterscotch Vanilla Extract
2 large eggs
1 tsp baking soda
13 oz unbleached AP flour, sifted
12 oz dark chocolate, chopped in chunks (or chips)
Line sheet tray with silpat or parchment paper and set aside.
In a small pot, combine 4 oz dark brown sugar with 4 oz of butter, 1 tsp kosher salt, and corn syrup, and cook over medium heat. When the mixture comes to a boil, it will appear broken at first, but keep stirring with a spatula until it comes together in a creamy mass. Keep cooking and string until it reaches 302 degrees F (150 degrees C). Remove it from the stove and immediately pour over the prepared sheet tray. Spread thinly with a spatula, but don’t fret much. Let it cool completely until it hardens into a brittle (I usually pop it in the fridge while I get cookie batter going). When brittle is cool and hard, break it into small shards and set it aside.
In a mixer bowl, combine the remaining dark brown sugar, butter, salt, and sugar and mix on low speed with a paddle attachment until the mixture comes together in a homogenous mass. We are not creaming the mixture; we are just combining ingredients, about 2 minutes. Add extract and mix on low speed for about 1 minute. Add eggs, one at a time, and mix slowly until incorporated, about 2 minutes. Add baking soda and mix on a low speed, about 15 seconds. Add flour, chocolate chips, and brittle shards, and combine quickly to form a cookie dough, about 30 seconds.
Line the sheet tray with parchment paper, or re-use the paper-lined tray from the brittle. Portion cookie dough using #24 cookie scoop (1.5 oz, usually red handle) and place on sheet tray tightly together. You should yield 29-30 cookies. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight, or up to 4 days. At this point, you can also freeze your cookie dough for up to 4 months.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Line the sheet tray with parchment paper, and place 12 cookies on each tray in a 4 by 3 fashion. Let it sit at room temperature for 15 minutes to temper it slightly. You can sprinkle with flaky sea salt, like Maldon, place in the preheated oven, and bake for 14 minutes or until golden brown. If you like gooey cookies, bake for 12 minutes. If you prefer falter cookies, lightly press the cookie dough balls to flatten before applying salt and baking. When baked, cool down slightly and serve warm with a side of Vanilla Milk. Baked cookies will hold for up to a week at room temperature or two weeks in a refrigerator when stored in an airtight container.
1 quart whole milk or any non-dairy alternative
1 piece Heilala vanilla bean
In a 1-quart jar, place whole milk. Cut the vanilla bean horizontally in half and scrape the seeds with the back of your knife. Place the seeds and pod in a jar with milk and tightly cover with the lid. Shake vigorously for a couple of minutes. Place in refrigerator and allow to infuse for at least 12 hours, preferably 24 for the best flavor. Serve cold with warm cookies.