If there’s 2 cookies in front of me, one with chocolate chips and the other filled with butterscotch chips, I’ll reach for butterscotch 101% of the time. There’s absolutely no contest. Butterscotch chips or butterscotch morsels, whatever you want to call them, are an oatmeal cookie’s best friend. Dare I say these two are even better friends than oatmeal cookies and raisins? And YOU KNOW how I feel about oatmeal raisin cookies!!!!
Oatmeal butterscotch cookies, or oatmeal scotchies as they’re commonly called, are the best cookies on the planet. And here’s why:
- Butterscotch morsels are unexpected and special. They’re not nearly as common as chocolate chips, which appear in every single cookie ever. You won’t hear someone say “I haven’t had a cookie with chocolate chips in awhile!” But you’ll always hear “ahhh butterscotch yay!!!” with that exact amount of excitement.
- Butterscotch brings you right back to childhood eating butterscotch candies at grandma’s kitchen table. Pair that with cinnamon and these cookies scream nostalgia. ♥
- Butterscotch morsels are a little smaller than chocolate chips, so you can really pack them into each cookie. I actually counted 20 of them in 1 single cookie. And that’s not an exaggeration!
- Butter + brown sugar + butterscotch. Need I say more?
I plead my case. Oatmeal scotchies rule.
Besides butterscotch, there’s another ingredient I’m spotlighting today.
THE CORRECT ROOM TEMPERATURE BUTTER
One of the most common cookie problems is overspreading. But for every cookie that overspreads in the oven, there’s another that doesn’t spread at all. This is so frustrating especially because you took the time to make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator. But did you know that a cookie’s spreadability mostly depends on the fat in the cookie dough? Fat + spreadability are directly correlated.
Some cookie recipes are built to withstand melted butter (I love melted butter in these chocolate chunk cookies!), but most cookie recipes begin with creamed butter + sugar(s). And creamed butter starts with room temperature butter. And if your room temperature butter is too warm or too cold, the cookie dough is doomed from the very beginning.
- Butter that’s too warm causes your cookies to overspread
- Butter that’s too cool leaves you with cookie mounds
But you have complete control over this. You see the picture below? That’s properly softened butter. It’s actually cool to touch, not warm. When you press it, your finger will make an indent. Your finger won’t sink down into the butter, nor will your finger slide all around.
Room temperature butter is about 65°F (18°C), which is likely cooler than your kitchen. So if your cookies are spreading too much, you’re probably softening your butter too much. Good rule of thumb: set your butter out on the counter 1 hour before you begin. If it gets too soft (use your finger to test), place back in the refrigerator for 10 minutes. Don’t sabotage your efforts. Make sure your butter is the correct consistency before you begin.
By the way, here’s my trick for softening butter quickly. 🙂
Today’s soft & chewy oatmeal scotchies start from my base oatmeal cookie recipe, which you can find all over my blog and in my 3rd cookbook, Sally’s Cookie Addiction. It’s an oatmeal cookie recipe I’ve been playing around with for years and it just so happens that I have a variation in my 1st cookbook, Sally’s Baking Addiction. Today’s oatmeal scotchies recipe is similar to my cookbook’s version, but there’s a few differences. I reduced the flour by 1/4 cup so these oatmeal cookies spread a little more (flour = also related to a cookie’s spreadability!). I also leave out the extra 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda. I reduced the cinnamon down so there’s more focus on the butterscotch. I add molasses, an addition I began adding to oatmeal cookies a few years ago. Just 1 Tablespoon of molasses in oatmeal cookies enhances all the wonderful flavors of buttery sweet oatmeal cookies! I add a little more brown sugar for flavor and more butterscotch morsels too. Finally, I use whole oats instead of quick oats. There’s more texture with whole oats. I also scoop more cookie dough into each cookie, yielding some massive oatmeal scotchies.
They’re so soft, they’re so chewy, they have that slow bend we’ve discussed before, and they’re so special with the (20!!) butterscotch morsels inside each.
By the way, do you want the works? Try my magic 5 cookies that combines coconut, pecans, chocolate chips, and butterscotch. 🙂
Soft & Chewy Oatmeal Scotchies
- 1 and 1/2 cups (190g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks; 230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup (200g) packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 Tablespoon unsulphured or dark molasses
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3 cups (240g) old-fashioned whole rolled oats
- 2 cups (280g) butterscotch morsels
- Whisk the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- In a large bowl using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together on medium-high speed until combined and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, molasses, and vanilla and beat on high speed until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl and beat again as needed to combine.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low until combined. With the mixer running on low speed, beat in the oats and butterscotch morsels. Dough will be thick and sticky. Cover and chill the dough for at least 45 minutes in the refrigerator (and up to 4 days). If chilling for longer than a few hours, allow to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before rolling and baking because the dough will be quite hard.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
- Scoop cookie dough, about 3 Tablespoons of dough per cookie, and place 4 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake for 13-14 minutes or until lightly browned on the sides. The centers will look very soft.
- Remove from the oven and allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. While the cookies are still warm, I like to press a few more butterscotch morsels into the tops-- this is only for looks!
- Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Make ahead tip: You can make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Allow to come to room temperature then continue with step 4. Baked cookies freeze well for up to 3 months. Unbaked cookie dough balls freeze well for up to 3 months. Bake frozen cookie dough balls for an extra minute, no need to thaw. Click here for my tips and tricks on freezing cookie dough.
1 Tablespoon of molasses helps give these cookies incredible flavor. If you don't have any, simply leave it out. Do not replace with anything else.
I prefer using dark brown sugar in oatmeal scotchies.
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