Browned Butter Macadamia Butterscotch Cookies

I pulled this recipe out of my “Top Cookies” file, which has become completely disorganized and not to be trusted because all the cookies filed there aren’t really “Top”. But these sounded good and since I needed to use up the rest of a big can of roasted, salted macadamias from Costco, I made a batch this morning. Looks like I filed the recipe in the right place.

butterscotch cookies

These are non-oatmeal-containing butterscotch cookies with a rich brown butter flavor and a texture similar to chocolate chip cookies. They’re tender on the outside and the edges are crispy. I think the cornstarch might play a part in that.

The only drawback to this recipe is that you have to brown the butter and re-solidify it in the refrigerator first. It’s easy to do, but requires some planning. I browned my butter yesterday, strained it (which I just started doing with browned butter because Bon Appetite recommended doing so) and let it firm up overnight. I set it out for a few hours before using it, then proceeded with the recipe as usual.

Browned Butter Macadamia Butterscotch Cookies

8 tablespoons unsalted butter (115 g)
1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar (3 1/8 oz)
1/2 cup granulated sugar (3 1/2 oz)
2 tablespoons milk
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/3 cup all purpose flour (6 oz)
2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup roasted, salted coarse/roughty/BARELY chopped macadamia nuts
1 cup butterscotch morsels

First, brown the butter. Place butter in a saucepan and heat over medium until the butter melts, smells good and turns brown around the edges. This should take about 3-5 minutes. Butter might foam up a bit. Remove from heat and strain butter directly into mixing bowl (I used a 3 quart). Place mixing bowl in refrigerator for two hours or until butter is just set but still kind of soft. If you leave it in longer, you’ll need to soften it again.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Add both sugars to mixing bowl with butter. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and both sugars very well. Add milk and continue beating until creamy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Stir together flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Stir flour mixture into butter mixture until incorporated. Stir in macadamia nuts and butterscotch chips.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoons onto a parchment lined pan. Bake for 11-13 minutes.

Makes about 2 dozen

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  1. says

    We can’t find butterscotch chips here in Brazil, Anna, but I have just bought some from King Arthur’s flour. I can’t wait for them to arrive – I’m bookmarking your recipe right now!

  2. Sarah says

    Anna – I make browned butter for a few different cookies and have never strained it before. In fact, I always think the browned bits really give a lot of flavor. I wonder, does Bon Appetit give a reason for straining the butter? And, do the cookies still have that lovely nutty flavor that browned butter gives?

  3. says

    Patricia, I hope you enjoy your butterscotch chips. Maybe I could start a business exporting butterscotch chips to Brazil. I need to get a job.

    Sarah, I know!

    I mean, I never strained browned butter either. Then the other day I was reading Bon Appetit’s article about how it was a “flavor of the year” and in all the recipes in the article, they strained it. So I strained i through a sieve today. Most all of the bits went right through and I wondered why I even bothered. I guess some of the bits, maybe the big ones, impart bitterness?? I don’t know. It’s an easy enough subject to research. But I even after sieving I had lots of brown flecks and they tasted really good.

    I’m really happy with these cookies, btw.

  4. Therese says

    I think Santa would love these on his plate!!

    Yum!! Great combo with the browned butter and the macadamia nuts!! Can’t wait to try them out!

  5. says

    Mmmmmm.. these sound (and look) delicious! I love the idea of butterscotch with macadamia nuts. Will definitely have to give these a try soon.

  6. says

    Those sound really good. I’m curious about straining the browned butter, too. I know I got that issue. I’ll have to hunt for it.

  7. says

    These sound wonderful. I’ve been hungry for a macadamia cookie. I’ve never strained my butter either, but I guess I’ll have to try that. It was a pretty interesting article in Bon Appetite.

  8. Paullett De Moura says

    Browned Butter Solids can burn faster and can be bitterish to some.

    Basically you are making gee. The people of India cook with butter and strain out the milk and milk solids and cook with this clarifed butter for the same reason. You can also cook at a higher heat without burning it as soon.

    It can also be for appearances sake in the cookies.

    Haven’t read the article but would be interested to see if I was right according to the experts.

    PS. I am a professional chef but not a baker or patissier.

  9. Ai says

    I know I’m commenting this really late (like, almost a year after the post) but I must say something.

    I agree with post no. 8, that it’s actually making ghee. And where I live, ghee is readily available in stores. It’s simply a heated and strained version of butter. So i’m gonna try this awesome recipe with ghee instead of browned butter, as you call it ^^

  10. Paula says

    I can’t wait to try these cookies. I am tired of the oatmeal cookies with the butter scotch chips. I have only done brown butter one time years ago to make a cookie my grandma use to make with a burnt butter frosting as she called it. The cookie was a cake like cookie with chocolate chips with the burnt butter frosting on it. Very good they were called Jubilee Jumbo cookie. Oh such good memories of the 70’s with my grandma.

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