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Chewy Butterscotch Cookies

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These Chewy Butterscotch Cookies grace the goodie boxes I divvy out to my friends and neighbors for Christmas. Soft and caramelly, they’re a family favorite. You’ll go crazy for these crackled cookies with minimal ingredients!

Super easy to make, these cookies appeal to all who try them! Butterscotch is the perfect flavor for those who don’t like chocolate (gasp!), nuts, mint, and on and on. Roll the sweet, buttery dough balls in sugar and bake. So simple and addictive! This is an Easy Sugar Cookie Recipe with an increased depth of flavor from brown sugar!

Butterscotch Cookies stacked on a small white plate

Buttery Butterscotch Cookies

On occasion, my father-in-law would purchase chewy butterscotch cookies at their farmers’ market. Chatting up the baker of these gems, he was finally able to obtain the recipe.

We shared the love of so many foods like apple desserts, smoked fish, nuts and any caramel desserts. Though I’m told he was extremely picky and would only eat about two vegetables when he married my mother-in-law, I’m not sure if he or his son, my hubby, had a more persnickety palate. They did both agree that these Brown Sugar Cookies were phenomenal.

Butterscotch Cookies overhead shot on a white plate with a glass of milk on a checked napkin

How to Make Butterscotch Cookies

The butter and brown sugar provide the “butterscotch” flavor. Not the artificial taste from those butterscotch chips, but more like caramel undertones.

  • Have your butter and egg at room temperature for easy incorporation.
  • PRO-Tip: Adding a bit of cream of tartar allows for the lovely crackled appearance. Cream of tartar is a white powder that provides a touch of acid to the batter. I also use it in my meringue cookies to stabilize the egg whites.
  • Use butter, not margarine for the best butterscotch flavor.
  • Brown sugar is just sugar with molasses added. Feel free to use dark brown sugar for an even richer flavored cookie, but note that the resulting cookies will be darker in color.
  • Using both brown and granulated sugar provide moisture to the cookie dough, thus making for chewy cookies.  These Brown Sugar Butterscotch Cookies are rich in flavor and chewy in texture!
  • Roll the dough balls in sugar before baking provides a sweet, crisp bite as you take your first nibble.
  • The recipe is simple and straightforward, with forming dough balls and rolling them in sugar taking the most time.
  • This twist on an Easy Sugar Cookie Recipe stores well at room temperature in an airtight container for about 3-4 days. They’ll also freeze well for about 3 months.
  • This butterscotch cookies recipe is perfect for any occasion. They’re part of the holiday treats I give to my neighbors, but they’re ideal for welcoming new neighbors, a family dealing with a new baby or death in the family, a holiday cookie exchange, afternoon tea or an after school snack!
Chewy Butterscotch Cookies Pinterest collage

Tips for Making Perfect Cookies

  • Use a Medium Cookie Scoop to get even sized cookies, and roll them between my hands to make them perfectly round. I make a double batch for the holidays.
  • My dough balls are approximately the size of a walnut and this results in rather large cookies. Not like anyone around here would complain! If you’d prefer to have smaller cookies, use a Small Cookie Scoop and reduce the baking time. There is no need to flatten the dough balls before baking.
  • When your cookies come out of the oven, you have a chance to fix any imperfections. If there’s a cookie or two that’s not perfectly round, just use your spatula to tap the edges into shape. Once the cookies cool a couple of minutes, they won’t be as pliable. Don’t forget to grab your hot pad and make any alterations quickly and efficiently.
  • PRO-Tip: Slightly under bake for chewy cookies!
Chewy Butterscotch Cookies on a white plate with a glass of milk

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Butterscotch?

Butterscotch is a flavor that comes from the combination of brown sugar and butter. It is similar to caramel, but using brown sugar instead of white, granulated sugar. Toffee, on the other hand, is cooked to a hard crack candy stage and is hard, not chewy like butterscotch and caramels.

Where Did Butterscotch Originate?

Butterscotch can be traced to Yorkshire, England, where it was first made by a candymaker, Samuel Parkinson, in about 1817.

Where Did Butterscotch Get Its Name?

There is no consensus, as some historians surmise that the Butterscotch moniker is linked to the country  of Scotland. Others think that scotch is short for scorch, after the original scorched butter that was used to make butterscotch candy.

More Cookie Recipes You’ll Love:

Butterscotch Cookies | a soft, chewy family favorite

Butterscotch Cookies

These Butterscotch Cookies grace the goodie boxes I divvy out to my friends and neighbors for Christmas. Soft and caramelly, they're a family favorite.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Yield 36 cookies


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter (two sticks)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • Sugar, to coat dough balls


  1. Preheat oven to 325º.
  2. Cream butter and sugars. Mix in egg and vanilla. Add dry ingredients and mix till incorporated.
  3. Roll out rounded teaspoons of dough, then roll in sugar.
  4. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, about 2 inches apart.
  5. Bake 9-10 minutes (if you make slightly larger cookies, it may take up to 15 minutes). I like these slightly undercooked.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 121Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 129mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 0gSugar: 11gProtein: 1g


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57 comments on “Chewy Butterscotch Cookies”

  1. I love those crackled tops and your perfectly round cookies!

  2. Pretty cookies Liz! I like the simple ingredient list too:@)
    PS-Bummer about the games yesterday.

  3. I love simple and delicious cookies!

  4. These would definitely be a favourite around here too. Such pretty cookies, I’m going to have to put them on my Christmas baking list for next year.

  5. Why, your stack looks so neat and simply tasty, Liz! They look like a perfect munch!

    Julie & Alesah
    Gourmet Getaways xx

  6. A perfect cookie recipe can be simple too. I love the crackled topping!

  7. Love these cookie stacks! Want!!

  8. I love that these are rolled in sugar before baking! They would’ve been perfect for this month’s Blogger CLUE “sparkly” theme 🙂

  9. Butterscotch cookies are the best and your recipe sounds great, it’s a must try! Your cookies look delicious. Thanks for the recipe!

  10. I do like butterschoth, wow on these cookies and the natural flavor factor!

  11. What wonderful sounding cookies, I could never get my cookies to look so uniformed, amazing skills Liz 😀

  12. These cookies look delicious Lizzy!!

  13. These cookies look perfect and sound simple and yummy!

  14. These butterscotch cookies just look so perfect, I definitely can see myself polishing off many!

  15. Butterscotch cookies are my favorite!!! I would love a glass a milk and 4 of these cookies right now!

  16. These cookies look so good! I have never tried butterscotch cookies before, but I really want to now!

  17. I love revisiting my old recipes and showcasing them in beautiful new lighting! It gives new life to the recipe, too–do these melt in your mouth? I bet they do!!

  18. Its funny when you look at old photos you thought were good at the time but now are completely cringe worthy. Glad you repost. I think these look super tasty.

  19. I definitely welcome butterscotch cookies at our home anytime… And yes, revisiting old recipes can be fun. Sometimes I even forget I made them in the past, lol. Now pass me those cookies while I grab my milk.

  20. This is the kind of cookie that I wouldn’t want to share with anyone! I would hide these and keep them all to myself.

  21. This is neat work my friend. I have no idea how you manage to stay skinny with all these beautiful desserts that you are making. Every time I visit your blog I feel I’m gaining some pounds just by looking!! 🙂 . Do not worry, no dark photos showed up for me in your related posts.

  22. I’m on a butterscotch kick, Liz! And these look picture perfect, sweet and chewy! Oh how I wish you owned a bakery down the street from me! : )

  23. Butterscotch, dulce de leche, caramel. I prefer all the ‘burnt sugar’ treats even more than chocolate. GREG

  24. Liz!!! these cookies are perfection!!! how do you get them so flat and perfectly round? It’s the butter and the oven temp right? but how do you get them so perfect? I seriously need to know! 🙂 Wow!!

  25. Any cookie recipe on your site, Liz, seems to be a winner. Case in point, your classic pb cookies (link included) inspired my almond butter cookie recipe. The rave reviews didn’t stop! (That was true also when I made another set of cookies from your site.)

    At any rate, very much appreciate the love with which these cookies were made. Your father-in-law must have been quite a charmer to garner the recipe =)

  26. What a good sugar cookie. I’m with you in that I never liked the butterscotch chips, though I do like the cinnamon ones which are much harder to find. Somehow Liz, I can’t ever picture you taking a bad photo!

  27. Oh, but I love cookies like this; the butterscotch flavor just gets me every time. I bet these would be perfect for a Christmas Cookie Exchange, also for an afternoon snack… also for a late night nibble… you see where I am going with this. I can not wait to make them. Happy New Year to you!

  28. i havent had a butterscotch cookie in ages! I mean like a teenager. I love them and now you are making me crave them. yours look so delicious and perfectly baked

  29. These cookies look so perfect and delicious! What a fun recipe to share with friends. Gorgeous, Terra

  30. gorgeous! i love how neat your cookies are… these must be really good.. i never mind “repeat telecast”… 😉

    i will be delighted if you can link this recipe to Best Recipes: My Homemade Cookies that I’m co-hosting for Jan-Feb 15 so many of our asian friends can benefit from this gorgeous recipe.

    i hope to see you soon 🙂

  31. I love butterscotch candies, but don’t know I haven’t gotten the chance to try cookies. Won’t you send me some?? Hahaha!

  32. I make a similar caramel cookie, but they aren’t this gorgeous! Can’t wait to try them 🙂

  33. Hi Liz, great tip about the cream of tarter, these look delicious, we are big butterscotch fans here.

  34. These cookies look perfect, Liz! You seriously make the prettiest cookies and bars! The butterscotch flavor sounds amazing!

  35. Lizzy,
    Who could resist these delicious cookies. I could eat a plateful now.

  36. Your cookies are gorgeous, they are so soft and inviting 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  37. Your bars are always perfectly cut and the cookies always hold their shape. You are a pro Liz!

  38. These look amazing! How many cookies does a batch make?

  39. Liz,
    Your butterscotch cookie recipe has not gone cold. My fiancé a grandma had the “worlds best butterscotch cookie recipe” but it was lost along the way. He’s mentions them around Christmas time every year. So, I decided for his birthday (in June) I would test a batch and if they’re a hit – will become our tradition. After searching through many recipes your recipe seems to have the most raves. I am going to give yours a whirl. Hope they turn out as pretty am doing tast as yours. Thanks for sharing!


  40. the perfect round cookie! I am mesmerized how perfect they stack up!

  41. Does it matter if you use light brown sugar or dark?
    Thank you! 🙂

  42. these look so good! I need one with my coffee

  43. What would happen if I didn’t use the cream of tartar? 

    • Hi, Hayley,

      I’ve never tried this recipe without cream of tartar, but I think it helps the crinkled appearance. I bet they’d still be tasty without, but they may look a little different. Let me know what happens!

  44. My kids LOVED these cookies and want to include them on their plate for Santa this year!

  45. These cookies are so pretty and they are literally perfectly shaped! I like how simple the ingredients are!

  46. Absolutely mouthwatering! I love how simple the recipe it and that it delivers such big flavor.

  47. looks like the PERFECT treat to have with coffee!

  48. The name says, these are definitely chewy!  They are so perfect1

  49. It was so good! My kids can’t stop eating these!

  50. There is nothing better than a soft, delicious homemade cookie! I am loving that these are butterscotch flavored!

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