October 10, 2007

Cookie Tutorial: Oatmeal Scotchies and Basic Chocolate Chip

It has come to my attention that there are some in our midst who have never had Oatmeal Scotchies. I think the important thing here is NOT TO PANIC. Please form an orderly line and walk--don't run, don't take anything with you--to the Quaker Oats site, and then to the grocery store to procure ingredients. We will have you fixed up in no time. EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE OKAY.

And here is the recipe itself, in case you are from the future, rooting through mankind's archives in a radiation-proof vault, posts preserved but links destroyed in our hurry to escape impending alien overlords:

Oatmeal Scotchies
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1-1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
1 package (11 oz.) butterscotch flavored chips

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. In large bowl, beat butter and sugars until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda and salt; mix well. Add oats and butterscotch morsels; mix well. Drop dough by level tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 7 to 8 minutes for a chewy cookie or 9 to 10 minutes for a crisp cookie. Cool 2 minutes on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.


I made a couple of changes: I removed the "margarine" option from the butter line, and I removed the word "optional" from the salt line. Obviously you may use margarine and leave out the salt, but there will be an awkward silence when you tell me about it.

Also, some of you said that your chocolate chip cookies don't look like the ones in yesterday's photo, shown here again:

Well, the first step in diagnosing the problem is to make sure you're using my recipe, which is basically straight off the back of the bag, and which I have posted before as Postpartum Chocolate-Chip Cookies:

1 cup (1 stick) Crisco
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2-1/4 cups flour
1 bag (12 oz) chocolate chips

Cream Crisco and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla. Add baking soda, salt, and flour. Add chocolate chips. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet, 375 degrees F, 9-10 minutes.


Notice that one of the intensely awesome elements of this recipe is that if you use a Crisco stick (and what do you mean, you don't use Crisco sticks?), you can do all the measuring with a single measuring cup (three of the 3/4 cup used for the sugar is the 2-1/4 cups flour) and a single measuring spoon (dry it off after measuring the vanilla). You don't have a 3/4 cup? Oh, honey. They're made by Tupperware, and they also have a 2/3 cup. The set is crazy expensive, but I use those two measurements so often, it's totally worth it. I like the older-style ones (I don't like the swoopy handles on the newer ones) so I bought mine used on evilBay. If you're not picky about color and you find reasonable shipping, you can find a set for cheaper than new.

Where were we? Oh, yes: you were writing "Tupperware measuring cups" on your Christmas list.

And then you were making a batch of cookies. Maybe two batches.


bananafana said...

well my christmas list did just in fact get longer. and while I'm on here please tell me again because I'm too lazy to go back and look what scoop do you use for your muffins and cookies and such? That is also going on my list

Swistle said...

Bananafana- For muffins I use a #20 disher, pictured in this post. I think a slightly larger one might be slightly better. For cookies, I use the "make a ball the size of a walnut" approach. Alton Brown uses the #20 disher for cookies, but I like cookies smaller than that.

Erica said...

*sigh* Like all truly yummy things in life, you are a very bad influence, Swistle. I put on 5 lbs just by reading your posts.

Not that I'm going to stop anytime soon, though.

MrsGrumpy said...

I love your coffee cups. I really do. I would be putting them on my Christmas list if I knew who made them.

Swistle said...

MrsGrumpy- I got them at Target...let me go check if there's more info on the bottoms. It says "home" and there's a Target symbol. So I guess they're the basic Target line. The colors are from a couple of years ago, though.

Shannon said...

Once upon a time I used crisco sticks. That is until one day I got suckered into the ginormous tub of shortening on sale. Someday I will return to that glorious world, someday.

I got the bear suit from L.L. Bean yesterday. Is it just my lameness or are their sizes freakishly large? Maybe a good wash and a hot dry will remedy the situation.

Jenny H. said...

How is it that you just know when I need a good cookie recipe? Are you pyschic? Are there cameras hidden in my house? No, really?!

I am totally making these tomorrow after I return from JURY DUTY!

You are the best.

Jess said...

You are mean, just mean. I know I said my cookies suck compared to yours, but I didn't mean that you should TELL ME how to make good ones. That is the last thing I need.

Also, I use one of those glass Pyrex measuring cup things that gives all the measurements between one quarter of a cup and two cups. It's great. I want a second one, though, because it's so big that it's hard to dry it entirely if I need to measure flour after I've measured something wet.

Jess said...

Must make cookies. Must make cookies. Don't want to clean closet to deserve cookies.

The Mommy Years said...

Where have you & your Crisco sticks been my whole life? You are officially my bestest friend (does that entitle me to a visit for coffee & cookies?!)

I have 2 finals this weekend ~ I feel the need to bake massive amounts of cookies in anticipation!

Julia said...

I need to add chocolate chips to my grocery list!!

The cookie bug has bitten, I've made 3 batches in the last couple of weeks.

The twins have had their first taste of my cookies and promptly asked for a glass of milk, as if they knew they went together!! lol!

Misty said...

*Warning: Scandalous Remark to Follow*

I don't bake...like ever. In fact, I think the last time I made cookies from scratch was for a girl scout badge a *ahem* very long time ago.

You are making me think I am missing something. Oh! And I am loving your dishes. Fess up, you color coordinated the mugs/cute plates just for these pictures, right?

Bunny said...

Swiatle, honey, yesterdays picture of your breakfast inspired me, first, to delve into my freezer stock of oatmeal cookies, then to make a fresh batch of chocolate chip cookies. Now, my chocolate chips do not look nearly as pretty as yours, partly because I only had mini chips (I know, who stocks this pantry?) and so I think they spread out more. And also, I think they are flatter because yours are made with Crisco and that might be the key to a beautifully shaped cookie. Sigh. I love mornings with you, coffee and cookies.

el-e-e said...

Not cookies, but I did make Pumpkin Choc-Chip muffins last night! MMM! They go very nicely with coffee as well. Hubby made a face and promised not to eat any of them (pumpkin=weird acc'd to him), and I said, "GOOD, MORE FOR ME!"

nikki said...

The package of Toll Houses Butterscotch chips also has a pretty mean recipe for Scotchies. Uh, just don't forget to, you know, add the oatmeal. Funny thing, the cookie doesn't stay together when you forget. Not that I'd know or anything.........

Erin said...

Butterscotch chips in Oatmeal cookies? Who'd have thunk it? I feel like my eyes have been opened to possibilities I had never imagined. All along, I thought I had been living; now I realize that life is indeed so much bigger and TASTIER than I had ever known.

Jen said...

free shipping on your order if you mention Swistle

hit the contact me button and I'll hook you up.

rudecactus said...

I have never had them but they sound yummy. And now I'm hungry and craving cookies at 8:48 in the morning.

donna said...

I found a set of measuring cups at Target that had a 3/4 cup measure, but not a 1/3 cup measure. I bought them (actually two sets) because I use the 3/4 so often and I have two other sets that are the standard 1/4, 1/3,/1/2, and 1 cup measure that I'm covered.

But tell me.... the recipe on my bag of chocolate chips calls for butter and not Crisco. What's the advantage to Crisco over butter? Because I have to say that I am a bit put off by shortening and in fact own the tiniest tub they make simply for greasing pans. But if Swistle tells me that Crisco is superior, I will go buy myself some Crisco sticks post haste.

Sara said...


This gives me such a cookie craving!

I also add chocolate chips to my scotchies----it's a good addition.

Michelle said...

I have a set of measuring cups that has both the 3/4 and 2/3 sizes, and I don't think they are tupperware. I've had them for approximately 50,000 years, and they are black and came with a matching set of measuring spoons, which are now toddler toys. I wish I could provide more information because I know they were super cheap. 50,000 years ago, I couldn't afford anything else but cheap stuff and they didn't have ebay.

A said...

Swistle, what are your thoughts on butter flavor Crisco sticks?

Tessie said...

I found this to be so, so hilarious. I don't know if I'm just high on life right now or what.

"don't take anything with you"
"posts preserved but links destroyed"
"an awkward silence when you tell me about it"

HAHA! Also, I delete the maragarine option too. Not only when I pass on recipes, but just IN LIFE.

LoriD said...

Crisco is definitely the secret ingredient in nice-looking chocolate chip cookies. I think it's lighter maybe?

I have a measuring cup from Pampered Chef that does liquid in one end, dry on the other end and measures down to tablespoons. I only ever use one measuring cup!

Nowheymama said...

*Adding Tupperware measuring cups to Christmas list*

Alas, I cannot skip the margarine in this life. But I can use Crisco sticks! Even butter-flavored Crisco has no dairy! It's best not to dwell on it. Now, if I could just find a dairy-free substitute for butterscotch chips. I LOVE Oatmeal Scotchies.

Marie Green said...

I love that your coffe is "the color of a muddy river"- which is EXACTLY the color coffee should be.

And this post, which could be all *yawn* about recipies, is so funny! How do you do that???

(I'd never ACTUALLY yawn over cookies, but you know, sometimes there's just not alot of spark in those kind of posts. Or there wouldn't be, if I was writing them...)

Welcome to our World said...

Yummy cookies. Will definitely try to Quaker oats ones because they just sound good. Big proponent of butter versus margarine too!

Really what I like are those photos: it is that homey feel you get when you see a plate full of cookies and some hot coffee all ready for the taking/drinking (and if you have a friend the gossiping and maybe a shot of Bailey's in the coffee!!! evil smile on my face!)

tulipmom said...

I have to agree with Marie Green ... recipe posts are usually so boring that I end up skimming through them or deleting them altogether. This was a riot!

And I LOVE your plates.

Mommy Daisy said...

Oh, how I love to bake. I made a batch (double batch actually, but most of them were for my husband to take to work) of pumpkin cookies with chocolate chips and icing. So yummy. I will have to try Oatmeal Scotchies your way Swistle. Mine never turn out quite right. They tend to fall apart, but you're look lovely.

For measuring I use Pampered Chef stuff. My favorite is the Measure-All Cup that lorid already mentioned. And I use the Pampered Chef medium scoop for cookies. It's the perfect size.

Corey~living and loving said...

You are killing me here. I am so glad to have found you. Your writing style and sense of humor is right up my alley. :)

JMC said...

I am about to give away a carefully guarded secret that a boy I went to college with gave me. Oh, and one from my mom. Both are changes to the choc. chip cookie recipe right off the bag (Nestle Tollhouse, I presume). Instead of using all Crisco, try half Crisco, half BUTTER (the real thing, NOT margarine). That's from my mom (and I think it used to be how it was in the recipe on the bag, back in the old days). Then add a box of dry vanilla pudding mix (I use the cooked, rather than instant, mix). That's the college boy's secret. Best damn choc. chip cookies you'll ever have. Promise.

Melissa H said...

I am starving at my desk and this isn't helping ;) but I may be picking up buttersctch chips on the way home!

Jenny said...

ditto, corey-living and loving.

jmc, oooh! I'm intrigued. Swistle, can we count on you to conduct this experiment?

Swistle said...

Shannon- Here's what to do. Two choices, actually:

1) Toss out huge can. Feel no guilt. Purchase small can (for occasional need to grease pans) and Crisco sticks.

2) Measure a bunch of one-cup servings ALL AT ONCE, putting each into its own zip-top baggie. Suffer through using them up--but at least you don't have to wash a greasy cup and spatula each time.

YES, my LLBean bear suit is HUGE! I got 3-6 months, and Henry is over 4 months and weighs about 15 pounds and he SWIMS in it!

Melinda said...

It's lines like these that keep me coming back here every day:
"Obviously you may use margarine and leave out the salt, but there will be an awkward silence when you tell me about it."

You, my friend, are hilarious.

Jen said...

Crack. Me. Up. I love your writing!

Do you like using Crisco better than butter for chocolate chip cookies? I guess you do, or else you'd use butter. Duh. But then, why the butter for the oatmeal scotchies?

Also, do you find a difference in the appearance (and therefore the taste) of your cookies depending on the kind of cookie sheet you use? I think my cookies turn out better if I use a sheet that has an edge all the way around it, as opposed to the flat kind with no edge.

Swistle said...

OKAY, my GOD, people, stop leaving such INTERESTING COMMENTS! I have to pick and choose: I have half an hour before the twins wake up, and I wanted to post about SHOPPING, but now there are too many interesting things to write about COOKIES.

Putting on list: butter-flavored Crisco (never tried it) and vanilla pudding mix. I'll experiment!

I love my plates/mugs too! These are the ones I don't want my MIL to use. I didn't coordinate them for the photos (I just grab whatever plate is on top and whatever mug is in front) but I was pleased to show you an assortment--and that nothing CLASHED.

Someone (WHO?) asked if I used creamer in my coffee, and gave me the heads-up on White Chocolate Peppermint, which I will get the next time I go to the store. YES I use creamer, the flavored/sweetened kind. Right now I'm a fan of Toffee Nut, but I also have Chocolate on hand.

Marie- I added a big swig of milk to that cup, too, along with the creamer--I wanted to be able to drink it down fast!

Erica- But you LOSE 5 pounds when I write about exercise, right?

Jess- What if you just IMAGINE cleaning a closet? I'd say that qualifies.

El-e-e- Don't tell your husband the pumpkin is almost imperceptible, or you'll have to share.

Jen- That tupperware deal is AWESOME. Mm, maybe I'd better mention it in a post, to make sure people saw it.

Melinda- Hey, you're not a paramedic, are you? I know that seems like a weird question, but I have a reason for asking! ...I thought it was a long, weird reason, but actually it's easy: I encountered a super-nice paramedic named Melinda, and it seemed like it would be such a cool coincidence if it was you!

Donna- The main advantage to Crisco--and this will sound like a disadvantage--is that it is flavorless. For some cookies, such as Oatmeal Scotchies or the Mint Chocolate ones, I think the butter flavor adds deliciousness, and so I use butter even though it contributes to cookie spreadage. But for other cookies, such as Chocolate-Chip, I prefer the fat component to stay out of the flavor equation. I don't like the flavor of chocolate-chip cookies made with butter, and I don't like the texture as much either.

Crisco is also made with vegetable oil, so it's dairy-free, which is good if you have allergies in the family or are bringing something for a group event. (I learned this from Nowheymama.)

Crisco has the same amount of total fat as butter, but less of it is saturated, and some of it is that good kind of unsaturated--butter is all saturated fat.

theflyingmum said...

I have the lovely orange tupperware measuring cups. Use them ALL THE TIME. When I need to measure things, that is. Not like, all the time.

MadMad said...

Hm.... If I eat the whole batch, will I have to go running twice?

Sara said...

ooh, I have a whole shopping entry coming up too, with what I bought from Old Navy and The Childrens Place online for CHEAP!!!!

...still craving cookies

I know you can hear me... said...

I am now quite sure that those measuring cups are something that I MUST have...and I might not be able to wait until Christmas....but I'm going to try!

Melinda said...

I'm not the Melinda paramedic. I'm the CPA Melinda. Good to know people with my name are doing good work. :)

rebcram said...

I want to eat all of those cookies NOW!! Baking is really the only cooking that I like to do... but unfortunately, I like eating the stuff I bake much, much more.

Katie said...

I love your plates!!! I bet they weren't even made in Columbia!

Shelly Overlook said...

My heart chugged a bit when I read "two sticks of butter". What's not to love about cookies containing 2 sticks of butter?

Seeing the dishes in the picture made me think - whatever happened to your MIL dishes that you had to send back? Did you find new ones?

jen said...

I am sad because you have cookies and I do not :(

mom of the year said...

I want to totally eat this blog today. Dammit! Just when the running program gets, er, up and running, you post these damn recipes! I LOVE YOU!

Omaha Mama said...

Oatmeal Scotchies are my FAVORITE kind of cookie. Hands down. Yet, I've only made them a couple of times in adulthood. Why is that? I think I shall make some soon. Very, very soon.

Emblita said...

Sob sob sob... Butterscotch flavored chips do not exist in this country. And I love all things butterscotch :(
Its enough to make a grown woman cry.

CAQuincy said...

A PLEA FOR HELP. OH, SAH goddess, can you help? Um...IF you have time in between your digging out preparations of MIL visit from HELL???


And I ALSO had chocolate chip cookies for breakfast. :-)

Swistle said...

Emblita- NOOOOOOOOOO!!! How do you LIVE???

CAQ- On my way to see what's happening!

Jen said...

I used to heart oatmeal scotchies until the 5th grade when I ate so many I threw up.:( To this day I can't eat anything butterscotch and that makes me sad in my heart.

superblondgirl said...

Oh, man, I LOVE my 2/3 and 3/4 cup measuring cups. They are hand-me-downs and still just as good as ever. Plus they are the fetching mustardy-yellow color that Tupperware of yore so often came in.

And oatmeal scotchies? How could I have forgotten you? You are delicious and now I crave you.

Emblita said...

Swistle, By some miracle (and by going to an expensive grocery store)I was able to find some buttermilk bits! Yeah! Am going to bake now :p

Anonymous said...

Sorry to jump in so late but I wanted to let you know I made these (finally!) this weekend.

BIG HIT. Everyone loved them.

Also the link to Quaker's website is dead, so thank goodness you wrote out the actual recipe.

Anyway, I just wanted to thank you for the recommendation and the recipe. It made it into the "Keepers" folder.