Every election year, Good Housekeeping magazine runs a little article featuring favorite cookie recipes of the two potential first ladies. Readers are usually encouraged to try them and put a vote up for their favorite, like a little cookie election. I think it’s a cute idea and, while some of the commenters on the recipes on the GH website get a little fanatical about their support of one cookie over another, most people seem to like it, as well. I usually bake up batches of the “candidate” cookies, too, out of tradition.
This year is no exception and I tried out both Cindy McCain’s cookies and Michelle Obama’s. I’m writing them up in two parts (today and tomorrow) to keep things clear for recipe indexing purposes. These are Cindy McCain’s nominated cookies, Oatmeal-Butterscotch Cookies. The recipe is very similar to the recipe Nestle prints on their butterscotch chips, but with a couple of tweaks. She uses less butter (which I really appreciate), for instance. I’ve seen an article here and there panning her for using such a similar recipe – saying she “cheated” by “stealing” the recipe. I think that’s a bit silly for a number of reasons, the most obvious being that the contest isn’t for the “best original recipe” (it seems to be just a favorite cookie recipe). I know plenty of people who love Nestle’s Tollhouse chocolate chip cookies and would say in a heartbeat that it is their favorite cookie recipe. I also know plenty of people who don’t enjoy tinkering with recipes as much as I and other bloggers do and tend to stick with their favorites as-written. They’re just cookies and the contest is just for fun – definitely not something to get worked up over! If you must get upset, all that really comes out to is that there will be more cookies for me in the end.
Back on topic, these cookies are really, really tasty and were a huge hit at the party I brought them to – far moreso than I anticipated, since butterscotch chips are not always everyone’s cup of tea. They have a great oatmeal flavor to them and the butterscotch is not overwhelmingly sweet (although I will confess that I probably put in a touch more salt than the recipe called for). They stayed nice and chewy for a couple of days when stored in an airtight container, too.
The only caution I have is that the cookies will overbake easily because they are baked at a relatively high temperature. Take them out when the edges of the cookies are a light golden brown. The centers of the cookies will set up more as the cookies cool on the baking sheet once they have been taken out of the oven.
3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp salt
3 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups butterscotch chips
Preheat oven to 375F. Line a baking pan with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars. Blend in eggs and vanilla until mixture is smooth.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Stir into butter mixture, then mix in the oats and butterscotch chips.
Drop rounded tablespoonfuls (large balls) of cookie down onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between each cookie to allow for spread.
Bake for 10-11 minutes, until the edges begin to brown.
Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
Makes 4-dozen cookies.