Tis the season for holiday cookies. Peppermint, chocolate, shortbread and, my new favorite, butterscotch spice cookies!
In my house, December is synonymous with cookies—because the holidays just aren’t the holidays without tons and tons of baking! Part of what’s so great, though, is that holiday baking doesn’t have to be fussy. Sure, things can get a little complicated if you go the icing route, but you don’t have to go there if you don’t want to. Really, all you have to do to get in the spirit is have fun with timeless holiday flavors like cinnamon, cloves, peppermint, chocolate, butter and, of course, gingerbread.
Though it may not be traditional, I’d like to add butterscotch to that list. (Thank you, very much!) Not only does it make a great holiday flavor on it’s own—all warm, sweet and buttery—but it also beautifully compliments holiday spices, giving them an irresistible richness and depth.
And these cookies are proof!
They taste like gingerbread with a twist. And the texture? Chewy on the inside, crispy around the edges. And despite being quite thin, they manage an almost fudgey center.
Cookie swap material if there ever was. Oh, yes.
Now get baking!
Chewy Butterscotch Spice Cookies
(makes 3 dozen cookies; inspired by Chocolate-Gingerbread Cookies by Martha Stewart)
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 6 oz butterscotch chips* (1 cup), melted
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1. Line two baking sheets with parchment and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom.
2. In a separate large bowl, beat butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Add molasses and beat until combined. Set aside.
3. In a small bowl, dissolve baking soda in 1 1/2 teaspoons boiling water. Beat half of flour mixture into butter mixture. Beat in baking-soda mixture, then remaining half of flour mixture. Mix in butterscotch. Pull dough together with your hands—it will be soft, but should form into a loose ball. Wrap dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 30-60 minutes. (You can refrigerate the dough longer, but you’ll need to give it time to soften on the counter so that you can work with it.)
4. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Roll dough into 1 1/2- inch balls and roll in granulated sugar. Set about 2” apart on the prepped baking sheets. Bake for 9-10 minutes. Let cool for 3 minutes on the cookie sheet before transfering to a wire rack to cool completely.
*Note: Any butterscotch chips will do, but a high-quality, all-natural brand will make a big difference in flavor. My favorite brand is Guittard. (This is not sponsored; they just make amazingly delicious butterscotch chips!)