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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.

Super easy to make, these cookies appeal to all who try them! Perfect for those who don’t like chocolate (gasp!), nuts, mint, and on and on. Roll dough balls in sugar and bake! So simple and addictive!

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 were phenomenal cookies.

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

Easy Cookie Recipe for ANY Occasion

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

A bit of cream of tartar allows for the lovely crackled appearance and rolling the dough balls in sugar before baking provides a sweet, crisp bite as you take your first nibble. The recipe is simple, but you will need to form dough balls and roll them in sugar. These cookies are 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 cookie exchange, afternoon tea or an after school snack!

Chewy Butterscotch Cookies Pinterest collage

Tips for Perfect Chewy Butterscotch Cookies

  • I 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—and I should have counted the cookies as I’m not certain how many dozen a batch will make—maybe three? It all depends on the size of your cookies.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Slightly under bake for chewy cookies!
Chewy Butterscotch Cookies on a white plate with a glass of milk

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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.

  • Author: Liz Berg
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 36 cookies 1x
  • Category: Dessert, Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


  • 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


  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. Bake 9-10 minutes (if you make slightly larger cookies, it may take up to 15 minutes). I like these slightly undercooked.

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53 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.

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