Butterscotch chips lend treats a buttery, caramely richness with hints of brown sugar, but you’re not sure how to melt the chips to incorporate them into desserts. What is the best method for doing so? For your convenience, we brought you the answer.
You can use the microwave to melt butterscotch chips, but do so in 30-second increments at half power. Keep repeating, taking time to stir the chips in between each trip into the microwave.
Ahead, we’ll present step-by-step instructions for melting butterscotch chips to a liquid consistency. Keep reading, as you won’t want to miss it!
Here’s How to Melt Butterscotch Chips in the Microwave
The most common and efficient method for melting butterscotch chips is to microwave them. Before you get started, here’s what you’ll need:
- A bag (or several) of butterscotch chips
- Microwave-safe bowl
- Wooden spoon
- Potholder or oven mitt
Now you’re ready to begin! Here are the steps to follow to melt butterscotch chips.
1. Transfer the Butterscotch Chips to a Microwave-Safe Bowl
Open up the bag of butterscotch chips, and pour the contents of the bag into your microwave-safe bowl. If you can fit the whole bag of chips in the bowl, that’s fine, but if you have to melt the butterscotch chips a half-bag at a time, it’ll take longer but is perfectly doable.
2. Insert the Bowl into the Microwave and Adjust the Settings
Your microwave-safe bowl is full of butterscotch chips. You’re not trying to nuke the chips, so don’t start microwaving them right away.
The low and slow approach is the best way to melt butterscotch chips. Your microwave power should be set to half of what it usually is. Then you’re ready to start microwaving.
3. Run the Microwave for 30 Seconds
Butterscotch chips, like chocolate chips, can burn if microwaved for too long, so set your micro to a 30-second heating cycle and then step away.
4. Stir and Microwave Again
When the microwave beeps, carefully retrieve the bowl from the microwave. You might want to consider using potholders or wearing an oven mitt so you don’t get burned.
The butterscotch chips will not be fully melted after one go-around in the microwave, but you want to stir them anyway, as this will break up clumps.
Then, put the bowl back into the microwave, set the microwave to heat for 30 seconds, and let it do its thing.
5. Repeat Until the Butterscotch Chips Are Melted
Although it will take several microwaving cycles, eventually your butterscotch chips will go from solid chips to liquid gold. Once the butterscotch has reached the desired consistency, stop microwaving it.
Should You Melt Butterscotch Chips in a Double Boiler?
When melting chocolate chips, a double boiler is a great way to introduce direct heat, and it’s often faster than a microwave as well. Can you melt butterscotch chips in a double boiler too? You can if that’s all you have, but it’s not recommended.
Butterscotch chips are small morsels, and a double boiler produces a lot more heat than a microwave does, especially when you have your microwave at half power and only use it for 30 seconds at a time. If you’re not careful, the butterscotch chips that look fine one minute can become burnt and charred the next.
The microwave method, although it takes longer, is much more consistent. That said, if you’re insistent on using a double boiler for melting butterscotch chips, make sure you do it correctly. Here’s how.
Take a medium-sized pot and fill it about halfway with water. Insert a slightly smaller glass or metal bowl and then put the whole setup on a stovetop.
Turn the stovetop to medium heat. Place a lid on the bowl and allow 10 minutes to elapse so the water can boil.
Pour in the butterscotch chips a quarter of the bag at a time. Stir the chips so they don’t melt from the direct heat, then add some more and repeat.
Keep your eyes peeled for any signs that the butterscotch chips are burning. The distinct charred odor will be hard to miss, and the chips will begin darkening in color as well.
What’s better still is to use a small saucepan, turn your stovetop to medium-low, pour the butterscotch chips in, and stir until they melt.
Why Is My Butterscotch Not Melting?
Compared to melting chocolate chips, many bakers struggle with melting butterscotch. Why are you having issues, and what can you do about it?
This Is Why Butterscotch Doesn’t Melt Easily
The reason that butterscotch chips don’t melt as easily as chocolate chips is that butterscotch morsels are primarily sugar. The ingredients are different compared to chocolate chips and the structure of butterscotch will be as well.
The stabilizers in the butterscotch allow the chips to retain their shape. Your microwave doesn’t help this either, as the micro heats food from the middle outward.
If you were to put a bowl of butterscotch chips into the microwave, not stir them, and then microwave them again, they might not look like they’ve melted much at all.
So what’s a baker to do in that situation? Well, that’s simple. You either turn up the heat on your double boiler or you keep microwaving and microwaving and microwaving.
This is problematic though, as the butterscotch chips can seize when they’re overheated. They can also burn.
How to Melt Butterscotch
So what should you do to prevent these terrible outcomes? You have two options, and you should take advantage of both!
1. Chop Up the Morsels
Butterscotch chips are admittedly not all that large on their own, but regardless, you already know how stubborn the chips can be when microwaved.
By chopping up the butterscotch morsels into even smaller pieces than chips, you’ll enable a faster and easier melting process.
2. Stir in Between Microwave Heat Bursts
You also have to stir each time you heat up the butterscotch chips. This is a great way to combat burning and will also break down the size of the partially melted chips after a trip through the microwave.
Can I Use Butterscotch Chips Instead of Chocolate Chips in Recipes?
Oh, darn. You could have sworn you had a bag of chocolate chips handy for your latest baking recipe, but you’ve searched high and low, and you can’t find any chocolate chips anywhere.
Can you replace chocolate chips in a recipe with butterscotch chips instead? Sure, you can!
Keep in mind that chocolate chips and butterscotch chips do not taste anything alike. Butterscotch has a distinct flavor profile with notes of toffee, caramel, and butter. The inclusion of brown sugar in butterscotch makes it taste even different from caramel.
Here are some great baking ideas that use butterscotch chips. You won’t even miss the chocolate!
Make a more sophisticated cookie than chocolate chip and try a butterscotch biscotti instead. A hint of bourbon adds a warm, smokey flavor while almonds and butterscotch chips play together surprisingly well.
If you’re making these cookies for the kiddos, then skip out on the bourbon.
Banana Butterscotch Bread
If you’re known for your homemade banana bread, elevate this treat by incorporating butterscotch chips. Walnuts are another great ingredient to take standard banana bread to a whole different level.
The additional ingredients do lend the banana bread more sweetness than you may be used to, so maybe save this recipe for dessert only—not breakfast.
If you’re short on time and really had your heart set on making chocolate chip cookies, butterscotch cookies are the next best thing.
A brown sugar cookie base will bring out the natural notes of brown sugar already present in the butterscotch morsels.
Add a dash of vanilla extract and some ground cinnamon for a nuanced cookie that could become your new standby!
Brownies are great, but blondies don’t get enough love.
For a simple, quick recipe, you can make traditional blondies and stir in butterscotch chips, which will add a nice crunch and caramely sweetness with every bite.
If you really want to make a delectably sinful treat, then add salted browned butter, brown sugar, a touch of sea salt, walnut, and butterscotch chips.
Melting butterscotch chips is best done in a microwave rather than a double boiler. The low, slow heat of a microwave running at half-strength will prevent the sugar-based morsels from burning.
Make sure you stir the butterscotch chips between each trip in the microwave, as this helps them break down and melt more easily.
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