Thursday, April 19, 2012

Butterscotch Charms

These little cookies are essentially butterscotch shortbread.  But that description doesn't come close to illustrating the depth of their charm.  They are tender, buttery morsels with a melt-in-your-mouth glaze of creamy butterscotch.  In a word: irresistible.

Butterscotch Charms
Adapted from Martha Stewart

Coating -
1/2 cup butterscotch chips
2/3 cups powdered sugar

Cookies -
1/2 cup butterscotch chips
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract

*Makes about 5 dozen cookies.  Half-batch friendly!

1.  Preheat the oven to 325°.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

2.  For the Coating: place the butterscotch chips and the powdered sugar in the small bowl of a food processor.  Process until the mixture is very finely ground (the sugar will prevent the butterscotch from liquifying).  Transfer half of the mixture to a large tiptop bag, reserving the rest.  Set aside.

3.  For the Cookies: place the butterscotch chips in the small bowl of a food processor.  Process until the chips have been chopped to tiny bits (there will be some powder, too).  Do not process too long or the butterscotch will begin to melt.

4.  In a small bowl, stir together the flour and the ground butterscotch.  Set aside.

5.  Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Beat until creamy.  Add the sugar, the powdered sugar, and the salt.  Beat until smooth and fluffy.

6.  Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.  Add the vanilla.  Beat until smooth.

7.  Add the flour mixture.  Beat on low until the dry ingredients are just incorporated.

8.  Scoop 1" balls of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets.  Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until the bottoms are light golden brown.  Transfer to racks to cool until warm (about 5 minutes).  

9.  For the first half of the cookies: working with about five cookies at a time, shake the cookies in the ziptop bag of sugar mixture until they are completely coated.  Quickly shake off the excess (I like to use a slotted spoon for this) and transfer to a plate to set.  

* When you've gone through half of the cookies, use the reserved coating mixture. The reason it was divided is because the warm cookies can begin to melt the butterscotch, making coating more difficult.

10.  Once the cookies have cooled completely, the butterscotch in the coating will firm back up.  Serve!

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