These soft and chewy butterscotch cookies have a delicious butterscotch flavor and are filled with butterscotch chips. The perfect cookie recipe if you’re looking for something a little different than traditional chocolate chip.
**This recipe was originally posted June 2016 and updated January 10, 2021 with new photos, new recipe tips and a slightly updated recipe**
If you’re looking for soft cookies that are sweet, buttery and just a little different – then these butterscotch chip cookies are just the thing. The batter has a butterscotch flavor because we’re using brown sugar and lots of vanilla extract. Then the cookies are filled with tons butterscotch chips for a double dose of deliciousness.
I love butterscotch sauce – and this is the perfect cookie recipe to incorporate that delicious flavor.
All About Butterscotch Cookies
Butterscotch and caramel are very similar – both are made with sugar, butter and cream. Butterscotch is made with brown sugar, however, and caramel is made with white sugar. I like both with a good dose of vanilla and salt as well to round out the flavor.
Therefore – this cookie recipe uses primarily brown sugar, a generous amount of vanilla extract, and a little extra salt to balance out the sweetness. Together, these ingredients give the cookie dough a hint of butterscotch. Plus, there are butterscotch chips every bite. (We’re not actually using butterscotch sauce in the dough).
The cookies are thick and chewy because we’re using:
- an extra egg yolk for tenderness
- just the right amount of flour so they don’t get dry – measure it carefully
- and chilling the dough for thicker cookies.
Chilling the Dough
I just about always recommend chilling the dough before baking because it creates thicker, chewier cookies – which is exactly how I like them. After you make the dough, you’ll cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 2 hours or overnight. Then when you’re ready to bake, form the chilled dough into balls.
If you’re ok with thinner cookies, I’ve had success with this recipe without chilling the dough. The thicker cookies pictured were made after the dough was chilled, and I definitely find the recipe produces more consistent when the dough is chilled first though.
- I use dark brown sugar. Light brown sugar works too, however, I prefer dark brown sugar because it gives more flavor.
- Like I mentioned, these cookies are quite sweet. If you prefer less sweet cookies, you can reduce the white sugar by ¼ cup. So you’ll use ¾ cup brown sugar and ¼ cup white sugar in total instead.
- Because these cookies are quite sweet, I like to use a little extra salt. Feel free to use ¼ teaspoon salt, or up to ½ teaspoon salt (assuming you’re using unsalted butter).
- This recipe uses 1 ¼ cups butterscotch chips. You’ll mix 1 cup into the batter of the cookies, then after the cookies come out of the oven use the remaining ¼ cup to place a few extra chips on the top of each cookie for that “eat me” look. Don’t add all the butterscotch chips into the dough, otherwise the cookies can spread too thin.
- To freeze the cookie dough, form the dough into balls as directed in the recipe. Then place the dough balls in a freezer bag, remove the excess air, and freeze for up to 2 months. When ready to bake, bake the cookies from frozen as directed in the recipe. They’ll just need an extra 1-2 minutes baking.
Sweet, chewy, and extra soft. These butterscotch chip cookies just might be my new favourite. And for an oatmeal version – use my favorite oatmeal raisin cookies recipe, but replace the raisins with butterscotch chips!
- Cookie Sheets
- ¾ cup unsalted butter softened but not melted
- ¾ cup brown sugar packed
- ½ cup white sugar*
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk discard the egg white
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 cups all-purpose flour spooned & leveled
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ - ½ teaspoon salt* to taste
- 1 ¼ cups butterscotch chips divided
- In a large bowl beat together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar until fluffy.
- Add in the egg, egg yolk and vanilla extract.
- Turn the mixer down to low speed and mix in the flour, baking soda and salt.
- Turn off the mixer and stir in 1 cup butterscotch chips. You'll use the remaining ¼ cup later. **Don't mix all the butterscotch chips into the dough - otherwise the cookies can spread too thin.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the cookies for 2 hours or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350F (180C) degrees and line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- Form the dough into balls with about 1-1.5 tablespoons of dough each. They'll be about the size of a golf ball or a little smaller. I like to use a cookie scoop for this. Place the balls 2 inches apart on the lined cookie sheets.
- Bake 1 sheet at a time on the middle rack of the oven for 9-11 minutes, or until the tops look just set. Remove from the oven and place a few extra butterscotch chips on the top of each cookie (from the reserved ¼ cup).
- Cool cookies on the cookie sheet for at least 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to continue cooling.
- These cookies are quite sweet, if you prefer your cookies not quite as sweet, only use ¼ cup white sugar in addition to the ¾ cup brown sugar for 1 cup of sugar in total.
- Because these cookies are quite sweet, I like to use ½ teaspoon salt in this recipe. Feel free to use only ¼ teaspoon salt if you prefer.
- To freeze the cookie dough, follow the recipe up until the stage of forming the dough into balls. Place the dough balls in a freezer bag and remove any excess air. Freeze for up to 2 months. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Bake the cookies as directed from frozen. They'll need a few extra minutes to bake - about 10-12 minutes total.
- Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. Don't stack the cookies until they're fully cooled. Cooled cookies can be frozen for up to 2 months. Freeze cookies in a freezer container in single layers with a piece of parchment paper or wax paper in between each layer to avoid sticking together.
- Nutrition information is an estimate only and based on 1 cookie, assuming the recipe yields 28 equal-sized cookies.