Old Fashioned Butterscotch Cookie Recipe - Golden and crunchy on the outside, sweet, tender, and chewy inside. These cookies are smeared with homemade brown butter frosting and then lightly dusted with sparkly sprinkles! Homemade cookies are always a family favorite!
Next time try this recipe for Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies!
Why you'll love this recipe
Remember the butterscotch lifesavers you'd get as a kid? This is the cookie version! I know you're going to love them!
This old fashioned Butterscotch Cookie Recipe is melt-in-your-mouth tender and super sweet!
What makes these cookies unique in comparison to other recipes for butterscotch cookies is the brown butter frosting. It really takes them over the top!
You'll only need a handful of basic ingredients. For the exact measurements, please refer to the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- butter - I use unsalted butter
- brown sugar - will add to the caramel flavor
- vanilla - for flavoring
- flour - all-purpose flour works great for this recipe
- walnuts - nuts are optional, but I love the flavor and crunch
- baking soda - leavener of choice
- egg - to add moisture and richness in the cookies
- powdered sugar - for the frosting!
- sprinkles - optional yes, but they sure are pretty!
- Measure out the dry ingredients in a large bowl, and set aside.
- Cream together the butter and sugar.
- Add the wet ingredients, egg, and vanilla, and mix again.
- Add the dry ingredients and mix to combine, scraping the sides of the bowl.
- Stir in the walnuts (if using).
- Drop cookie dough by teaspoons onto an ungreased cookie sheet or baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake cookies for about 10 minutes, remove and allow to cool completely.
- Make the brown butter and the frosting.
- Add the amazing brown butter frosting to the top of each cookie. Finish with sprinkles if desired!
How to make brown butter
It took me a bit to make the brown butter for the frosting (which is what makes the frosting really tasty!). I had to scrap my butter twice and start over, so I'm hoping with good directions I'll save you that work (and the extra butter!)
Let me walk you thru the process.
- Start with the melted butter.
- Just swirl the butter around the pan. The solids of the butter cook faster and settle on the bottom of the pan.
- Remove from the heat.
- Pour the liquid away, keeping the solids on the bottom of the pan. If necessary use cheesecloth to strain the butter.
Here's the deal, the solid won't taste bad, but it will give the frosting a grainy texture and I did not like that.
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- This is the stand mixer I have - it's seven years old and I'm pretty sure it will last for another 20 years.
- A set of measuring cups and measuring spoons as well.
To make soft chewy cookies always use real butter, do not use margarine. Using brown sugar instead of white sugar makes for chewy thicker cookies as well.
Using a small cookie scoop will help keep the cookies uniform in size. That way they are all done at the same time as well.
Use light brown sugar for soft tender cookies. Dark brown sugar makes soft chewy cookies as well but will add more complexity in flavor to the cookies.
Make sure your ingredients aren't expired.
Eggs should be at room temperature.
- Tips to make brown butter - Use a light-colored pan because as the butter goes from yellow to golden, to a toasty brown you'll be able to see the color change better.
- It can go from golden brown to burnt in an instant - keep an eye on it and don't leave it unattended.
Make Butterscotch Chip Cookies by adding 1 cup butterscotch chips to the cookie dough will give it a deep butterscotch flavor!
Adding a cup of chocolate chips to the dough turns these into. Butterscotch Chocolate Chip Cookies - AMAZING!
- Refrigerate - store cookies in an air-tight container or cover with plastic wrap. Store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
- Freeze - store in an airtight freezer bag, cookies can be frozen up to three months.
Easy enough, right? When they are frosted, promptly hide them from other family members.
Wait... did I just write that? Seriously they are quite tasty and won't last long!
Enjoy a cookie with a sip of Confetti Hot Chocolate - the perfect decadent combination!
Coffee, tea or cold glass of milk would be fantastic as well!
More delicious cookie recipes
- Another super tender soft cookie is this recipe for brown sugar cookies - filled with jam, they are decadent and delicious!
- Fill your cookie jar with Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies - these cookies are perfect for an after-school snack.
- This recipe for Chocolate Covered Cashews is simple and delicious. They are a great make-ahead treat and will last several months in the freezer.
- Gumdrop Cookies are another old fashioned classic cookie, I dare you to eat just one!
- Festive shortbread cookies drizzled with white chocolate and dunked in confetti sprinkles - amazing!
- Prefer chewy oatmeal cookies? Then give this recipe a try!
Or if you'd like to try something other than a cookie, be sure to try this Butterscotch Pudding Dessert, my goodness it's delicious!
Have I talked you into trying these? I sure hope so! If you post a picture on social media, be sure to tag me with #bowlmeover or on Instagram with @bowl_me_over! Love to see your tasty creations!!
And if you love these Grandma's tasty butterscotch cookie recipe as much as we do, be sure to comment below with a five star rating. I know that will make Grandma happy (and me too!)! <3
Best Butterscotch Cookies
- ½ cup butter
- 1 egg
- ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅔ cup brown sugar
- 1 ⅓ cup flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup walnuts chopped (optional)
- ⅔ stick butter
- 2 tablespoons vanilla
- 2 ⅓ cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons sprinkles (optional) I used iridescent sprinkles.
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- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Measure the dry ingredients together in a small bowl. Combine flour mixture, set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar.
- Add the egg and vanilla, mix again until creamy.
- In a medium bowl, add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix to combine, If using the nuts, stir them in at the end by hand.
- Drop the cookie dough balls by teaspoons onto the prepared baking sheet lined with parchment paper, bake for about 10 minutes.
- Remove from sheet pan and transfer to a wire rack. Cool to room temperature.
- For the frosting - When the cookies are done baking, make the brown butter. Brown slightly.
- Using a stand mixer, beat the vanilla and powdered sugar. Slowly add the brown butter. Beat until light and fluffy.
- Frost the cookies and dust with sprinkles if desired
- Although you may be tempted to use margarine, be sure to use real butter. That's where you get your butterscotch flavor! Plus that's what Grandma always said and she always knew what she was talking about! 🙂
- Use a light-colored pan because as the butter goes from yellow to golden, to a toasty brown you'll be able to see the color change better.
- The butter can go from golden brown to burnt in an instant - keep an eye on it and don't leave it unattended.
I was looking thru our family cookbook again and searching for cookie recipes. Dan was in the mood for a little something sweet so I thought I'd give Grandma's Old Fashioned Frosted Butterscotch Cookie Recipe a try.
Long story short.... glad I did! 😋
I've had a lot of fun going thru this cookbook! My Aunt Mary Lou put it together several years ago and it brings back the best childhood memories!
She gave me Grandma's notes for all of the recipes also, which makes it that much more fun to read. (Does anyone else read a cookbook or is it just me?)
Adding tried and true recipes to the blog to share with you has been such an honor! So far I have Persimmon Cookies, Homemade Pecan Sandies, Moonpie Cookies and Butter Cookies. Can you pick a favorite? I know I can't!
Updated Sep 8, 2021 to improve instructions.