As per usual, I was trying to avoid watching the news, so instead riffled through a cookbook called “Sophisticated Entertaining,” by Jeanne Benedict. The sophisticated angle in this book is that every recipe contains booze! And that includes the chocolate chip cookies, which contain two tablespoons of Scotch whisky. I had to try.
So, I found myself last Monday morning in the murky depths of Sav Way liquors, buying a tiny (50 ml) bottle of J&B Scotch. The bottle is so tiny that I think the size is 50 ml, but even with my glasses, I couldn’t quite read much of the label.
As it turns out, the cookies themselves are excellent: buttery and soft with crisp edges and with just the right amount of chocolate chips. The Scotch itself emerges mildly as a faint smoky flavor–very tasty. As you will see, I kicked the recipe up a notch by concocting a Scotch whisky glaze and dipped the cookies in that. Woo hoo! Here is the recipe.
Scotch Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons Scotch
2-1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped coarsely chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Beat the butter and sugars together until smooth and fluffy. Add the eggs and Scotch, and beat until incorporated. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together, and beat into the butter mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts.
Drop by heaping tablespoons 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool, and dip one side of each cookie in the Scotch glaze. The cookies can still be a bit warm–the glaze will melt and become transparent.
Scotch glaze: Mix the remaining Scotch in the bottle (about 2-1/2 tablespoons) with enough water to make about 5 tablespoons liquid. Stir into two cups of powdered sugar. You want a creamy glaze, and may have to add a few teaspoons more water.
Baking notes: You can also use Bourbon, which is an American whiskey. Also, walnuts are expensive, so I used a small bag of chopped walnut halves and pieces, not a whole cup. The Scotch whisky glaze really makes these cookies look special, and I could see these as part of a holiday cookie spread.
Meanwhile, always back to birds. Sometimes our garden looks like an amusement park for goldfinches and the other day I noticed a young goldfinch using a hosta stem as a trampoline. Young goldfinches, by the way, have a very persistent chirp, and flap their wings to get the attention of mom and dad.
We have some new additions to our bird family. Hummingbirds!
Lastly, a goldfinch with a sunflower has a bit of competition from an incoming finch. Peace to you. Fran