Yet another reason I love living by the ocean – the beach is a perfect place for a fun-filled get together. A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of heading to another Sherlock meetup of the San Diego Sherlockians. As a last hurrah to summer we had a beach party in Coronado, behind the iconic Hotel Del.
Now, every good party needs food, and I was happily on dessert! I also knew I couldn’t go empty handed style-wise, so some Sherlock Holmes themed cookies were the order of the day. Butterscotch chocolate covered cookies.
I baked the butterscotch cookies the night before (a few people sneaked some in after I’d gone to bed…).
I hadn’t had time to do the chocolate ahead, and then didn’t think about the fact that oh yeah, melted chocolate needs to reform, so things were a little crazy the morning of the meetup.
First thing I did after getting up was the chocolate.
I melted some Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate chips and spread the melted chocolate over a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. I then placed the cookies (top side down) in the melted chocolate, and stuck the tray in the fridge for a couple hours so the chocolate could harden.
If all went according to plan, I was going to need something to use for decorating. The butterscotch chips beckoned. Yes. A butterscotch frosting, of course! It would be the perfect color, fitting for the theme, and contrast nicely with the dark chocolate coating.
So I went about whipping up a butterscotch frosting on the fly. I melted the remaining butterscotch chips (this did leave leftover frosting for the amount of cookies/decorating I did) with a bit of butter in a saucepan. *Note: Butterscotch chips are mostly sugar and so melt differently than chocolate chips; patience and constant stirring is key
When it was still lumpy after three minutes of heat, I decided that “on the fly” could use a bit of help. A quick google search later and I added in a quarter cup of milk which immediately smoothed the wonky consistency of the melted chips. Next I added powdered sugar, eyeballing it. (I know, I know. Never guess. It is a shocking habit destructive to the logical faculty.)
From past experience with attempting frosting, I threw in more than I would think I needed as my last two goes at frosting remained gloopy, not holding enough form. But this time, it worked! The consistency was exactly what I wanted and perfect for decorating. It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.
Ok, it looks like I put peanut butter in a bowl and pretended to whip it. But I wouldn’t lie to you about such a great personal baking achievement.
Righto, it was time to check on the cookies. I pulled them out of the fridge to find that my chocolate “covering” method had worked splendidly. The chocolate broke apart at odd angles and while you could certainly do a neater job, I actually really like how they looked with just a bit of somewhat careful breaking apart.
It was time to start decorating. *Note: I had to double up on the Ziploc bag (sandwich size) to decorate with the frosting
Now we are all aware of 221B Baker Street, famous dwelling of the world’s only consulting detective. But the recent BBC series Sherlock has added a new icon for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s creation. It’s simple and quite ordinary (fantastic news when it comes to decorating the cookies) to the untrained Sherlockian eye, but just keep in mind…the wall had it coming.
Whether or not the creators of BBC Sherlock foresaw this happening, the smiley (and wallpaper – nice job set designers!) spread like wildfire and is now a trademark symbol of the fandom. So of course, the smiley was to be incorporated in the cookies, too!
I have to admit, I was quite pleased with how they turned out and these cookies were so much fun to make. Makes me want to do some more decorative, geek baking! They went over very well at the beach meetup, too, putting a big (not bored) smile on my face! The frailty of genius, readers. It needs an audience.
The meetup itself was wonderful. The sun was shining, ocean sparkling; I got the chance to reconnect with some of the lovely folks from the SDCClocked meetup, as well as meet some great new people – always a treat! I look forward to the next one.
221B Butterscotch Cookies
Recipe adapted from Something Swanky’s Black Bottom Butterscotch Cookies
– 1/2 cup butter (plus another tablespoon or two for melting)
– 1/2 cup shortening
– 1 cup brown sugar
– 1/2 cup sugar
– 2 eggs
– 1 tsp vanilla
– 1/2 tsp baking soda
– 2 1/2 cup flour
– 1 bag butterscotch chips
– 2 cups semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips (for melting)
– 1/4 cup milk
– Powdered Sugar (about 1 1/2 cups, add more as needed)
1. Beat together the butter, shortening, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well in between additions.
2. Add vanilla, baking soda, and flour, and mix well. Mix in butterscotch chips.
3. Bake at 375º for 9-10 minutes, until the edges are golden brown and the middle is set. Let cool on the cookie sheet before removing to wire rack.
4. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Melt chocolate chips and pour melted chocolate onto a cookie sheet; spread around evenly. Place cookies, face down, on the cookie sheet and place in fridge for at least two hours.
5. Melt remaining butterscotch chips in saucepan on low heat. Stir constantly. Add milk and stir until you get a smooth consistency.
6. Pour melted butterscotch into a bowl and add powdered sugar. Beat together until the mixture becomes thick and holds its form.
7. Break apart chocolate covered cookies from cookie sheet. Place frosting in a piping bag (legit or homemade) and decorate cookies!
Well readers, don your aprons and deerstalkers, and try these 221B Butterscotch cookies! I’ll leave you with a Conan Doyle thought for you to ponder as you munch:
“My mind,” he said, “rebels at stagnation. Give me problems, give me work, give me the most abstruse cryptogram or the most intricate analysis, and I am in my own proper atmosphere. I can dispense then with artificial stimulants. But I abhor the dull routine of existence. I crave for mental exaltation. That is why I have chosen my own particular profession,—or rather created it, for I am the only one in the world.” [Sherlock Holmes, The Sign of Four]
Thanks for reading, cheers! Until then…