Salvage Operations

So everyone has had a kitchen failure that they’ve managed to massage into something edible… or maybe you even stuck the landing and transformed your miserable mess of seized chocolate into some fantastic brownies, or some other miraculous switcheroo.

Not sure if this qualifies as a success, but here’s today’s story of improvisational shape-shifting. A few days ago I decided to try making my own butterscotch chips. Have you noticed how hideous the butterscotch chips from the supermarket have become? Not only do they have a strange chemical smell and taste (yay, “artificial flavors”) but I’ve heard they don’t melt, either. There are premium versions from companies like Guittard, but while the local international market does stock Scharffenberger cocoa (yes, yes, I know they sold out, but I just can’t quit you), they only stock the nasty fake butterscotch chips.

I found an eHow page describing how to make your own butterscotch chips, so I gave it a go. The result was a delicious, but very sludgy and un-chiplike mass of brown goo. Even when refrigerated, it never set up properly… failure!

Of course, I didn’t just throw away all that sugar and cream and white chocolate. I dithered between making ice cream or cookies with it, and finally settled on the cookies (the fact that it’s in the 50s today and I don’t want to turn on the heater yet might have had something to do with that decision). Essentially, I just swapped the mess for the comparable components in a standard batch of Oatmeal Scotchies. I added some dried orange rind for brightness, and they seem OK. Nothing to wax lyrical about, but a nice solid cookie that will dunk in coffee and Ovaltine quite well.

Salvage cookies

Perhaps foolishly, I haven’t given up on making my own chips yet. Maybe something along these lines…

I’d love to hear about some of your dregs-to-dramatic-success stories. I know I can’t be the only one who refuses to toss out my mistakes!



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5 responses to “Salvage Operations

  1. Jill

    It doesn’t surprise me a bit that you managed to turn that mess into something decent. The problem that I run into more than “cooking fail” is “shopping fail”, in which I decide on a whim to purchase some “interesting” ingredient and then have to come up with a way to justify the expenditure. At the moment I have a Costco size bag of ground flax meal to work through. Any ideas?

    • I hear you! Costco is dangerous for that kind of thing, isn’t it?

      So it’s already ground? I’ve heard it goes off after grinding unless you keep it in the fridge or freezer. You could add a bit to every bowl of granola or oatmeal, waffle or pancake batter, batch of cookie or bread dough, smoothies… I bet you could slip it in wherever you use bread crumbs, too, like sprinkled on top of casseroles or mac-n-cheese, or baked chicken coatings, that kind of thing. Maybe slip a spoonful to the dog now and then? But I bet your skin will be FABULOUS this winter! 😀

      • Debbie

        Yes, you do need to refrigerate the ground stuff – my husband gets through a ton of it by putting it on cereal each morning.

      • Jill

        I close the bag as well as I can after getting some out (like squeeze all the air out) and keep it in the chest freezer…but man it is going to take forever to get through it! If I use more than a tablespoon or so in pancakes, for example, it gives them a weird texture, like I used too many eggs or something. I am going to give the idea of mixing it with bread crumbs as topping on baked things, great tip!

        • Maybe you would use more if you kept a smaller bag or jar in the fridge in the house, so you don’t have to keep schlepping out to the freezer to get more? You were doing those yogurt and fruit things for mornings, maybe you could do a scoop in those too? Good luck, and I’m so glad you’re reading this blog! I really need to remember to get over here more often. xoxo!

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