I am a big advocate of buying chocolate chips that are made with real chocolate, ones that are made with cocoa butter and not other vegetable oils. There are some exceptions, such as for flavored chips. While they look like chocolate chips in shape, these candy chips come in flavors like mint, butterscotch and caramel. They’re an easy way to add a lot of additional flavor to a traditional batch of chocolate chip cookies and can be very delicious.
These Caramel-Flavored Baking Chips from Ghirardelli are a new offering and they’re a great ingredient to play around with if you’re a caramel-lover. There are some cookie and cake recipes that incorporate pieces of real caramel, of course, but caramel is so heat-sensitive that it tends to melt rather than remaining in the batter. These chips allow you to infuse some caramel flavor without affecting the texture of your finished product. The chips are very pale in color and have a clear flavor of caramelized sugar and milk, with hints of vanilla and salt – which is to say that they really do taste like caramel! They’re smooth to eat and hold up well in cookies without turning grainy. Though sugar is their main ingredient, they’re not as sweet as most of the butterscotch chips I’ve had, which means that recipes where you use them will feel more balanced.
These chips exceeded my expectations and I’ll definitely be working with them again in the future. If you pick up a bag – I’ve seen them at several grocery stores in my area – give them a try in my Caramel Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies. They would also be a tasty addition to most chocolate cookie recipes or brownies. The chips are relatively large, so they will work best in cake batters that are relatively thick, as in a thin batter you may find that they sink.