Butterscotch Cookies

CookieButterscotch

Love butterscotch? Then put these cookies on your list! These crispy, crunchy butterscotch cookies made with brown sugar and browned butter, perfect for dunking in milk or coffee.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Butterscotch — a Classic dessert flavor

Butterscotch is a classic dessert flavor that doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. The key flavors that make up butterscotch are brown sugar and melted butter, preferably brown as well. When combined these two ingredients create a rich, old-school flavor that most people associate with butterscotch pudding or candy.

Butterscotch Cookies

I learned to make these butterscotch cookies during my internship at the Grange restaurant in Sacramento under the tutelage of pastry chef, Elaine Baker. Buttery, nutty, and rich with a slight caramel flavor, these butterscotch cookies are horribly addictive.

This crispy, crunchy cookie is easy to make (you probably have all the ingredients on hand) and guaranteed to make your usual cookie rotation. Best served to friends and family with tall glasses of cold milk or mugs of hot coffee for dipping.

Butterscotch Cookies piled high on plate

Tip for How to Make Make Butterscotch Cookies Pop

Before baking these cookies are rolled in brown sugar and then get a little bit of salt sprinkled on top to punctuate the sweetness. It gives them that extra special something.

Love Butterscotch and Caramel? Try These!

Updated June 18, 2019 : We spiffed up this post to make it sparkle! No changes to the original recipe.

Butterscotch Cookies Recipe

  • Prep time: 30 minutes
  • Cook time: 13 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 4 dozen small cookies

Do not use fine grain table salt (aka: iodized salt) as the flavor will be way off and unpleasant.

Ingredients

  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon sized slices
  • 1 3/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Sugar dredging mixture:

  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons white granulated sugar

Sprinkling salt:

  • Fleur de sel, Maldon, sea salt, or Kosher salt for sprinkling (See Recipe Note)

Method

1 Preheat oven to 375°F and line baking sheets with parchment paper.

2 Whisk the dry ingredients: Vigorously whisk together the flour, baking soda, and baking powder and set aside. Mix together the brown sugar white sugar dredging mixture in another bowl and set aside.

3 Brown the butter: Place 10 tablespoons of butter into a thick-bottomed skillet over medium heat. The butter will foam a bit before subsiding. Once the butter takes on a tan color and begins to smell nutty take it off of the heat. Add the other two tablespoons of butter and mix it in until it melts. (See tutorial on how to brown butter.)

4 Make the cookie dough: Pour the brown butter into a mixing bowl fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the brown sugar and salt and mix. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract and mix together, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl at least once.

Add the flour mixture in three increments being sure to scrape down the sides and bottom once or twice. Mix just until the flour is incorporated. The dough will be very thick.

5 Shape the cookies: Take 1/2 to full tablespoon-sized pieces of dough (you can make them a bit bigger or smaller to your liking, just make sure the pieces of dough are all the same size) and gently roll them into ball shapes.

Dredge them in the sugar dredging mixture until well-coated.

Place on the baking sheet and sprinkle with a little bit of the sprinkling salt (be reserved with the salt as very little goes a long way).

6 Bake the cookies: Bake at 375°F for 10-12 minutes or until the edges have browned a bit. Be careful not to over-bake.

8 Cool and serve: Allow to cool on the sheet for one minute before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Tastes best with a glass of milk for dipping. Cookies will keep in an airtight container for about a week.

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Garrett McCord

Garrett McCord is a professional writer and recipe developer whose work has appeared in many print and online publications such as Gourmet Live, Saveur, Huffington Post, Smithsonian, and NPR. Past clients also include numerous food companies, wineries, and distilleries. Garrett writes about cocktails on his website, Coupe de Grace.

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75 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Suzanne

    These are now my new favorite cookie!!! They are the perfect texture and the sea salt really added to the overall flavor. Thank you!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  2. Amy

    Can i refrigerate the dough and make in batches? i don’t want 4 dozen of these in my house at one time!

    Show Replies (1)
  3. Elizabeth

    I am a professional baker always looking for new cookies to add to my repertoire, and these make the cut. Directions were perfect as well as quantities. Because I didn’t have any dark brown sugar, I did have to substitute light brown sugar and molasses. These are like butterscotch brownies in a cookie. Absolutely delicious.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  4. Linda

    These are incredible! I don’t make them often because I can’t stay away from them!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  5. Jane

    Do I need to wait until the butter has cooled but still melted before adding the rest of ingredients? Or does the recipe require the butter to still be quite warm before adding the sugar and salt? Thanks!

    Show Replies (1)
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