With a crisp, crinkly, crackly exterior and a chewy, intensely butterscotch interior, these one-bowl, easy-to-put-together cookies always bring rave reviews. And the free printable labels make these delicious Butterscotch Cookies perfect for gifting!
I've been intrigued by the idea of butterscotch cookies for quite a while, but most of the recipes I've come across call for butterscotch chips. And while I'm a huge fan of good old semi-sweet chocolate chips (and even white chocolate chips), those overly-sweet, fake-tasting chips labeled "butterscotch" never really appealed to me. But after thoroughly enjoying the flavor of real butterscotch in our Ridiculously Easy Butterscotch Sauce, I decided to explore recipes for butterscotch cookies without chips. I'm so happy I did and I think you will be too with the first delicious taste!
I tried a few recipes before finding one on the trustworthy Simply Recipes site. It looked promising and after making a few minor adaptations (to simplify), the recipe is ready for your baking pleasure. You don't need any special ingredients, just butter, dark brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, baking soda and powder and flour - all things you can probably find right in your pantry or refrigerator.
Brown butter, so much flavor!
This cookie recipe is made in a pot, rather than a bowl. Why? Because the first step in the recipe calls for browning the butter. If you're not familiar with the concept of brown butter, you're in for a treat! Although butter is delicious on its own, taking a few minutes to brown it, adds incredible flavor to just about any recipe that includes butter. The butter concentrates just a bit as any extra moisture is evaporated in the process and the it also takes on a deep, rich flavor that's often described as "nutty".
How to brown butter
Although browning butter is a step that many chefs use to create delicious flavor in both sweet and savory dishes, it's not difficult at all.
It's a culinary skill that will be useful over and over again. How does it work? This is my technique which prevents a potential mess on the stovetop:
- Melt the specified amount of butter in a medium-size saucepan. Swirl the butter a bit as it melts to evenly distribute.
- When you hear it start to sizzle, it will soon start spittering and spattering. This is the point that I cover the pan but leave the lid vented slightly. Don't cover it completely as you want the excess water to be able to evaporate and escape but the cover will keep the spitter-spatter contained.
- Tilt the pan occasionally as the butter is sizzling. It will sizzle for a minute or two and then you will hear the sound soften. Remove the cover at this point and you will notice that the butter is now foaming. Watch it carefully at this point, swirling the pan a few times to redistribute the butter.
- When you see a few golden spots bubbling up in the foamy butter and smell a nutty aroma, you're done! Remove the pan from the heat and swirl the butter a few more times. Voila! Brown butter, ready for your culinary enjoyment!
An easy recipe, great to make with kids!
The first time I made these cookies, two of my grandchildren, Emmy and Hayes helped. I had them join in after the butter was browned as they're too young to be working with hot butter. When working with young children, I like to measure the ingredients ahead and have them set out in small bowls. The kids can take turns adding ingredients and stirring.
After we had the dough mixed up, we set up a little assembly line with Emmy scooping up the dough, me rolling it into balls and Hayes coating the balls with sugar. It was fun and, of course, a little messy. But that's what vacuums are for and we all had a great time working together. And when the delicious aroma began to fill the kitchen, we could hardly wait for the timer to go off.
We served the cookies that evening for dessert for mom and dad with ice cream drizzled with butterscotch sauce. Everyone LOVED the dessert and the children were so proud to have helped!
A wonderful gift
A bag or box of these Crinkly Crackly Butterscotch Cookies will be sure to delight any recipient. They would be a wonderful way to welcome a new neighbor, express your appreciation to co-workers, hairdressers, mailmen, delivery persons, teachers... And, if you've had an argument or dispute with someone, these delicious cookies would be a great way to begin to mend the fence.
I created a fun little label which makes a gift of these cookies even a little more special. If you'd like a free printable PDF for the labels, just leave us a comment below in the comment section. (Just a note, if you have trouble leaving a comment, place your cursor in the lower left-hand corner of the comment box instead of at the top as you normally would. You should then be able to leave your comment.)
When you receive the PDF for the labels, just click on it and that should open up the PDF reader on your computer. Once the reader is open you can go to the menu at the top, click on "File" and a dropdown menu will appear which should give you the option to "Print".
I hope you enjoy them as much as we have! I've made a LOT of cookies over the years but I must say that these little gems rank up in the top-ten category.
They're pretty crazy-delicious with that crisp, crinkly crackly exterior and chewy, butterscotchy interior. The sprinkle of flaky sea salt takes them right over the top!
Café Tips for making these Crinkly Crackly Butterscotch Cookies
- Dark brown sugar gives these cookies a deep butterscotch flavor. The darker, the better! You might have to experiment a bit to see which brand is available to you that's a darker brown in color. In my area of the country, my local grocery has a generic brand (Laura Lynn) that's nice and dark and I've found that Dixie Crystals are also a deep, rich brown.
- One of the beauties of this recipe is that it can be stirred up in one pot without a mixer. That being said, it is a thick dough so if you have trouble stirring, feel free to use a mixer. Either way, mix it just until there is no longer any visible flour. Don't overmix!
- It's also important not to over bake these cookies. You want the center to remain moist and chewy so watch them carefully during the last few minutes. Every oven is different but with my oven, 12 minutes is the perfect bake time for these cookies.
- I find it best to scoop and then roll all the dough at once even though I only bake one sheet at a time. The dough is easier to shape and roll and the rolling sugar sticks better when it's slightly warm.
- I use a 2 tablespoon retractable scoop for these cookies. A cookie scoop is a great way to get consistent size cookies. I love having a variety of sizes for different types of cookies. We also use them for ice cream and they're great for scooping out the seeds of pumpkins and winter squash. A set of these scoops would make a wonderful gift for someone who enjoys baking.
- You can also use a kitchen scale to get uniform size cookies. I really like this uniformity when giving these cookies as gifts. The scoop that I mentioned above creates cookies that are right around 35g. Kitchen scales are invaluable for people who enjoy cooking and would make a great gift.
- These cookies call for a sprinkle of flaky sea salt before baking. Flaky sea salt is not the same as kosher salt although, in a pinch, you could use kosher salt. Flaky sea salt is a finishing salt that adds a fabulous gourmet touch to so many sweet and savory dishes. I like Maldon Flaky Sea Salt which is a favorite of chefs all over the world. A small box will last a long time and is worth every penny!
- I love these little treat boxes for putting these cookies in to give away. They're a great size, make a pretty little gift with the labels and they're reasonably priced. They come in a set of 24, enough for all your friends, neighbors, etc. I use this turquoise raffia ribbon to decorate the boxes. The ribbon matches perfectly with the labels.
Thought for the day:
As a deer pants for flowing streams,
so pants my soul for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God,
for the living God.
What we're listening to for inspiration:
If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It’s so helpful to other readers to hear other’s results and ideas for variations.
With a crisp, crinkly, crackly exterior, chewy interior (and free printable gift labels), these easy Butterscotch Cookies are always a huge hit!
- 12 tablespoons butter I use salted, 1 ½ sticks
- 1¾ cups dark brown sugar packed
- 1 large egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- 2⅓ cups all-purpose flour
- Demerara or Turbinado or raw sugar for rolling
- flaky sea salt for sprinkling (I use Maldon)
Preheat oven to 375°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Heat the butter in a medium-size heavy duty sauce pan over medium heat until it’s melted and starts to make a sizzling noise. Cover the pan with the lid vented and continue cooking until the sizzling sound reduces and the butter begins to foam. Swirl the pan occasionally to redistribute the butter.
Remove the lid at this point and watch carefully. As soon as the foam starts to begin turning golden in spots and the butter takes on a nutty aroma, remove the pot from the heat at swirl the pan to move the butter around.
Add the brown sugar and vanilla and stir well to combine. It will look wet and grainy and it’s okay if the butter looks a bit separated at this point. Allow this mixture to cool for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, before proceeding.
Whisk in the egg and egg yolk until the mixture is smooth then add the baking soda, salt and baking powder. Stir until well combined.
With a sturdy spatula or wooden spoon, add 2 cups of the flour and stir until combined. Add the remaining ⅓ cup flour and stir, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl, just until the flour is incorporated. The dough will be thick.
Scoop up the cookies in 1½-2 tablespoon scoops. Roll the scoops into balls then roll them in the sugar to coat. Scoop and roll the dough balls for both sheets right away as the dough will get stiffer as it cools down.
Place the the rolled balls on the two baking sheets, spacing 2-inches apart. Sprinkle each ball with a little flaky sea salt, if desired. Bake the first pan for 11-14 minutes until the cookies are puffed and cracked and the edges are just beginning to brown a bit. Be careful to not overbake. Repeat with the second pan. Sprinkle with a little more flaky sea salt, if desired.
Allow the cookies to cool on the pan for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
See Café Tips above in the post for more detailed instructions and tips.
Adapted from Simply Recipes