knock your socks off

Remember Earl? Our foster dog? Well, it’s official. We’ve gone and adopted him for keeps. Earl (like a lot of rescue dogs) arrived at our door with some baggage. Something tells me he still has a bit of unpacking to do, but I’m not too worried. So far we’ve been able to deal with everything he’s pulled out of his case.

Near as I can tell, his main ambition is to sit as close to people as is physically possible while making curious little squeaking noises. It’s become clear to us that Earl is not familiar with the concept of the personal space bubble. Still, it’s sort of endearing. He’s a funny little guy. Baggage and all.

But here’s the thing about Earl. Actually it’s two things.
1. You simply can not, in any way, be in a hurry around Earl. It doesn’t work. He’s nervous enough as it is, but he gets especially anxious when people start rushing around. So it’s best to just move slowly and yawn a lot. And you should sort of plan on things taking a while. It could take 45 seconds to load up in the car, or it may take 17 1/2 minutes (a new personal record). You never can tell.
2. There should always, always be a stash of treats in your pocket. Always. If nothing else, it increases the odds of things going a little quicker. Earl is partial to beef flavored Pup-Peroni sticks. I myself like a nice butterscotch button.
So far these have pretty much been Earl’s only special needs. And really they aren’t such bad rules to live by. Who here couldn’t stand to take it down a notch? Anyone? And keeping a stash of nice little treats on hand? That’s pretty much a no-brainer. So I’m gradually learning to pad my schedule a bit – it’s kind of refreshing to feel a little less rushed. And I really have been eating a lot of butterscotches lately. Which is nice, because I’d sort of forgotten how much I enjoy butterscotch. And it has also reminded me of a delicious cookie combination. Ginger and butterscotch.

I first had this cookie a few years ago at Rabbit’s Bakery – a cozy little shop near my Mom’s in Lake City, MN – and it knocked my socks off. It might not be for everyone, but if you dig these two flavors, I assure you they were meant for one another. It’s a perfect fall weather cookie too.
So yesterday, on our first real cool, rainy day of the season, Earl inspired me to slow down, turn on the oven, and bake. And on our next sunny fall day, I plan to head out to the nearest leaf pile, cookies in one pocket, Pup-Peroni sticks in the other and take in the last rays of fading summer sun with my new friend. Why not?
Ginger-Butterscotch Cookies
(adapted from Nestle Tollhouse)
3 cups flour (I like a combo of white and whole wheat)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1/3 cup full flavored molasses
8 – 11 ounces butterscotch chips
Sift flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt in small bowl.
Beat butter, sugar, egg and molasses in large mixer bowl until creamy. Gradually beat in flour mixture until well blended. Stir in butterscotch chips. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
Bake for 10-12 minutes at 350º F until lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes and remove to wire racks to cool completely.
Makes about 4 dozen

7 Responses to “knock your socks off”

  1. 1 Ann October 23, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    Hi Jill, I am a major ginger fan. I’m thinking of substituting pecans for the butterscotch chips since I don’t want to visit IGA. Donn lost some weight due to a stomach flu and I’m trying to fatten him up. This might just do the trick! Thanks! Ann

    • 2 GarlicPig October 24, 2011 at 10:05 am

      Oh goodness! You’d better fatten him up. Any more weight loss and he runs the risk of disappearing. On another note, Julie made me your Dance Camp Soup the other night – it was terrific! Perfect fall night soup.

  2. 3 Ella Jo Thayer January 27, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    I learned how to pad my schedule and slow down about a year into retirement. It’s true, dogs are very smart.

  3. 4 Ella Thayer March 8, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    I’m pretty sure Mary Broeker gave me the family recipe for pineapple upside down cake and I made it, and it didn’t turn out; can’t remember how or why it didn’t, but it wasn’t as I thought it should be. Maybe my expectations were too high, maybe I really don’t like pineapple upside down cake anymore. How could that be? I’ll have to make it again and find out. I can’t bear marischino cherries, that’s for sure, so I’m glad for your new version. Am I posting at the right location? Am still a techie newby.

    • 5 GarlicPig March 9, 2012 at 12:46 pm

      You can comment anywhere you like Ella :-)

      I definitely think cupcakes are the way to go with pineapple upside down cake – it makes such a nice size piece of cake. But I feel that way about a lot of cakes. I’m sort of a cupcake feind.

  4. 6 Ella Thayer March 27, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    Hey Jill and Mark! Do you have any advice on where to buy good butterscotch chips? Nestle and Hershey have hydrogenated oils, those bums!

  5. 7 GarlicPig March 28, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    Ooh – that’s a tough one. I can’t say that I have a good source. I had some from King Arthur Flour that had palm oil – but not hydrogenated, but I don’t think they carry them anymore. I’ll look around and let you know if I stumble on anything.

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