My husband, Taylor, doesn’t really care for sweets. He likes a bite of dark chocolate. Or a taste of a cupcake with all the frosting scraped off. His cravings generally run more in the, as he likes to call it, “tasty meats and cheeses” category.
Every once in a while though, he’ll ask for something sweet that he’s craving, and it almost always has pecans in it.
So, when he told me what his favorite cookie was, I wasn’t surprised that it was chocolate chip, with butterscotch chips instead of chocolate, and pecans.
The craving was so specific that he told me he only wanted two butterscotch chips in each cookie!
I had never made a recipe like this before. I always just took the chocolate chips for granted, never questioning their presence. It was a little shocking to me that I could simply omit them and mix in other tasty things.
I know everyone does this, and it’s the base for many cookies, but I had never thought about it before.
I didn’t realize that the chocolate chips are just an add-in, one of many possibilities.
Butter + Sugar + Brown sugar + Flour + Bkg Powder + Bkg Soda + Salt.
Until recently, I would have just seen this as chocolate chip cookie dough with one missing ingredient.
Now, I see it can be an empty canvas for delightful cookie combinations.
There are so many possibilities!
Pistachio nuts and Caramel
Beyond delicious. I know everyone loves a salty/sweet combo, and these cookies delivered.
I used regular baking caramels, which get very soft in the hot oven, and the dough needed to be sturdy enough not to spread out to nothing when the caramel chunks melted.
I refrigerated the dough overnight, which ensured that the cookies baked and set before the butter had time to fully melt.
I used parchment paper because the caramel chunks sink a little during baking. They would stick to the pan and harden as they cooled if there was no barrier. It might be really hard to get the cookies off of a pan if it wasn’t really well greased. Parchment paper is just easier. Plus the clean up takes no time at all when you’re not scrubbing burnt chunks off of the cookie sheet!
They puff up when they’re baking, and within five minutes of coming out of the oven they sink back down and condense all that delicious butter and sugar into a chewy, carmelized cookie.
Pistachio Caramel Cookies! Go make them, and then tell me what other add-ins you like to mix with chocolateless chocolate chip cookie dough.
This recipe was adapted from The Food Network Magazine
- 2¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2½ sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 1¾ cups packed brown sugar
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup salted roasted pistachio nuts, shelled and roughly chopped
- ½ cup baking caramels, chopped
- In a large bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
- In a stand-up mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar on medium/high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add eggs one at a time, not adding the second until the first is fully combined.
- Add vanilla extract and beat to combine.
- Turn the speed down on the mixer to low and slowly add flour mixture. Beat until combined.
- Stir in pistachio nuts and caramels with a rubber spatula.
- Cover cookie dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate from 12-24 hours.
- Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and drop spoonfuls of dough at least 2 inches apart. On a standard sized baking sheet, I only did two cookies per row.
- Bake until the cookies give in the middle, but are golden brown around the edges, about 12 minutes.
- Let cool for at least 15 minutes on the baking sheet before attempting to move the cookies to a cooling rack. The caramel bits need to harden before handing, or the cookies will fall apart.