Butterscotch Cookies

Love butterscotch? Then put this butterscotch cookie recipe on your list! These crispy, crunchy cookies made with brown sugar and browned butter—which makes them taste awesome—are perfect for dunking in milk or coffee.

Butterscotch Cookies with browned butter
Elise Bauer

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.

Addictive 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.

How to make perfect Butterscotch Cookies sprinkled with salt
Elise Bauer

A Sprinkle of Salt Makes 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.

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Video: How to Make Butterscotch Cookies


How to Make Butterscotch Cookies

Butterscotch Cookies

Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 17 mins
Total Time 47 mins
Servings 48 servings


  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

  • 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 granulated sugar

Sprinkling salt:

  • Fleur de sel, Maldon, sea salt, or kosher salt, for sprinkling


  1. Preheat the oven:

    Preheat the 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 and white sugar dredging mixture in another bowl and set aside.

  3. Brown the butter:

    Slice 10 tablespoons of the butter into tablespoon-sized chunks. Place in 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 2 tablespoons of butter and mix it in until it melts.

  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 1 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 for 10 to 12 minutes or until the edges have browned a bit. Be careful not to over-bake.

  7. 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 1 week.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
85 Calories
3g Fat
13g Carbs
1g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 48
Amount per serving
Calories 85
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 4%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 19mg 6%
Sodium 56mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 13g 5%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 11mg 1%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 22mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.