Jim Gibans’ Mother’s Butterscotch Cookies

Butterscotch Cookies

I love these cookies. It’s not often I come across new cookie recipes. Even more special, that I love these cookies as much as I do. My friend Jared, sent me the recipe last week. I made them, and knew right away they were something special. I asked his permission to share the recipe with you.

The cookies aren’t much to look at. Little beige blobs, with a dollop of frosting on each one. Oh, but the flavor and texture are so special. They are like little cakes- soft, really tender, with a little crunch on the bottom. The brown butter icing compliments them perfectly.

The little flecks of brown in my frosting, are because some of the butter solids browned in the pan while I was cooking the butter. I like the flavor they add, so I was sure to get them out of the bottom of the pan. I added the powdered sugar to the saucepan of browned butter and beat it vigorously, to get them incorporated.

I am reprinting the recipe as it was sent to me. The only change I made, was that I baked them at 375, instead of 400. Be sure to grease the baking sheets. Even using a silicone baking sheet, they stuck a  little before I greased the pan.

There are two different ingredient amounts for the frosting. Use the one you prefer. I used the larger amount and had frosting left over. Also, I don’t sift flour normally, and I didn’t sift the flour for this cookie.

Even after chilling, the dough was really soft. I used a cookie scoop to get them on the baking sheet. I got about 6 dozen cookies from the recipe. I used a one ounce scoop.

They are wonderful the first day, but even better the next.

I have no idea how old this recipe is. Jim was born in 1930 and passed recently. This post is dedicated to Jim and his mother, Sylva. I am honored to share her recipe with all of you.


Jim Giban’ Mother’s Butterscotch Cookies


½ cup butter

1 ½ cups brown sugar, packed

2 eggs

2 ½ cups sifted flour

½ tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

1 cup sour cream

1 tsp vanilla

2/3 cups walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 400.

Cream butter, add sugar gradually and cream thoroughly. Blend in well beaten eggs. Sift flour, baking powder and soda, and salt together. Add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream. Blend in vanilla and nuts. Chill. Drop by spoonfuls on lightly greased baking sheets. Leave space for spreading. Bake 10-15 minutes until golden. Cool.


6 Tbs. butter (or 8 Tbs.)

1 ½ cups confectioner’s ‘sugar (or 2 cups)

1 tsp vanilla

Hot water

Melt butter until golden brown. Blend in confectioner’s sugar. Add vanilla. Stir in slowly up to about 4 Tbs of hot water. Don’t add all at once. Just add enough until icing is right consistency to spread smoothly.

(Gram used the larger quantities of butter and sugar, but I find that I don’t need

that much icing).

Frost cooled cookies. Enjoy!

Gram= Sylva Hirsh Gibans mother of James Gibans

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