Chocolate chips are far and away the king of the hill when it comes to baking morsels. They are versatile, delicious and infinitely snackable straight from the bag. I always have a package (or three) of semisweet or bittersweet waiting in my pantry. The yin to their yang, white chocolate chips, are a staple as well. But what about when you want something different? Something more colorful? Something that will make your tasters stop midbite in (hopefully) appreciation of a unique flavor?
Enter what I’m calling the alternative baking chip flavors. We held an informal taste test to vet some of the options out there, especially now that holiday baking season is hard on our heels. Below find our thoughts and a few suggestions for using them — the ones we liked, anyway.
We tried two brands, Guittard and Nestle Toll House. Had we tasted them separately, it would be hard to recall any difference. While we liked them both, we gave a slight edge to Guittard, which had a less cloying sweetness and more butter in the butterscotch. One person said the Nestle chips tasted sort of fake, more on the spectrum of Mrs. Butterworth’s syrup.
I happen to love butterscotch chips in pancakes, with or without chocolate thrown into the mix. Butterscotch chips play a starring role in Seven-Layer Bars (also known as Hello Dolly Bars). Swap them in for chocolate chips in an oatmeal cookie. They’re also a natural pairing with apple.
This was another Guittard-Nestle showdown, and again, both were acceptable with a slight preference for the Guittard. The Guittard chips reminded tasters of both mint ice cream and the buttermints you may have grown up scooping out of the bowl at your local Chinese restaurant. The Nestle mint chips, which come mixed in a bag with chocolate, were a little more astringent, with a flavor reminiscent of Andes mints.