Butterscotch Cookies Recipe with Brown Butter Icing | PBS Food

Bake Butterscotch Cookies with Brown Butter Icing

Butterscotch Cookies

Follow PBS Food on Pinterest

Oh my goodness, are these butterscotch cookies ever so good. If you’re anything like me, you love extra thick and soft cookies—no gingersnaps will ever be found at my house! No sir. I like cookies that remind me of my other favorite dessert—cake. In terms of cookies go, the fluffier the better.


Butterscotch Cookies

I found this gem of a recipe in my great grandmother’s stash that I recently inherited, and I just had to share. They’re way too good to keep to myself! Without icing, you might wonder what’s so special about these biscuit-like cookies, but then after that first drizzle of sweet brown butter you’ll be hooked for life. I promise.

These butterscotch cookies are best eaten the same day they’re baked, so plan your holiday cookie spread accordingly. And whatever you do, please don’t try to substitute out the shortening for butter. Grams knew what she was doing and it won’t kill you to indulge every now and then.

Butterscotch Cookies

Fluffy Butterscotch Cookies with Brown Butter Icing

Jenna Weber whips up a batch of butterscotch cookies in a recipe inspired by her great-grandmother. Jenna shares the full story in a post on the Fresh Tastes blog.



  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla (for cookies)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla ( for brown butter icing)
  • 4 tbsp hot water


  1. Cream together shortening and brown sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Mix in vanilla extract and sour cream.
  2. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until a soft dough forms. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for one hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  4. Scoop out heaping tablespoons of dough onto lined baking sheets and bake for 12 minutes. Let cookies cool completely before icing.
  5. To make icing, melt the butter in a skillet over low heat and swirl the pan over the heat for about four-five minutes until butter begins to brown. Be careful, you don't want to burn the butter---you just want to brown it! It will happen fast and when it does, immediately take the browned butter off the stove and pour into a mixing bowl.
  6. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla and hot water to the butter and mix until smooth.
  7. Once cookies are completely cooled, drizzle with the icing.

Yield: 2 dozen cookies

Jenna Weber, food blogger for PBS Food's Fresh Tastes blogJenna Weber is half of the Fresh Tastes blog team. She graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in 2008 and, since then, has worked as a pastry chef, bread baker and freelance food editor. Currently, Jenna blogs full-time on EatLiveRun.com where her delicious daily recipes and quirky culinary musings appeal to thousands. She lives in Northern California and, when not in the kitchen, can usually be found on her yoga mat.

You Might Also Like

Getting Hungry?

Sign up for weekly recipes