Butterscotch Cookies with Brown Butter Icing | Recipes | PBS Food

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.


Yield: 2 dozen cookies


  • 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.
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