Chewy cookies that are thick, delicious, and a one-bowl recipe. Also called oatmeal scotchies, they have a great caramel flavor and bake to a golden brown. They can be out of the oven in less than 30 minutes, or you can keep the dough refrigerated for a day or frozen for a month.
I'm pretty sure you'll love this sweeter and more festive twist on one of our favorite cookie recipes, the Oatmeal Walnut Cookies. Who doesn't love them?
Oatmeal cookies can have a plethora of add-ins, and they all work so well. It's an amazing canvas for different flavors. Butterscotch adds a caramel tone that is fantastic.
No matter the time of year, we're always baking cookies. And come the holidays or a celebration, it's the perfect homemade gift. This is a great recipe because it travels well and can be frozen if you want to make it ahead. Other cookies that I love to bake and gift or take as hostess' gifts are Lemon Crinkles, Chocolate Sandwich Cookies, and gingersnaps.
- Oats: I like traditional oats because of the rustic feeling and bite it adds to these cookies, but instant can also be used. My tests show that they will make it the cookies softer and chewier.
- Sugar: at the moment I'm using only brown sugar for these cookies, but we have used that magic combination that is white and brown sugar together and it also works really well and makes the cookies a tad crunchier.
- Butterscotch chips: use the store-bought ones that are easily available, but I also love chunks.
- Unsalted butter.
- Vanilla - I use pure vanilla extract or pure vanilla paste when available, but a good vanilla essence (artificially flavored) also works.
- Salt: I use kosher salt for my baking, but table salt also works.
- All purpose flour.
- Baking soda: make sure it's active and not expired.
- Milk: you can use whole milk or alternative ones like almond milk.
- Egg: fresh, large.
I post links to my favorite brands of ingredients in the Notes section of the recipe card, at the end of this post.
This is a one-bowl cookie recipe that can be made with a whisk and spatula or an electric hand-held beater. If doubling it I recommend a stand mixer for easier mixing.
- First mixing: softened butter is mixed with the brown sugar and eggs (image 1). Make sure it's thoroughly integrated. You can use an electric mixer or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment.
- Flavorings: we only use vanilla (image 2), but this is when you would add ground spices or other extracts if using.
- Adding the dry ingredients: or flour mixture as it's also called and also the oats. Mix until it starts to come together and add the milk. Images 3 and 4
- Final dough: it's very thick and there are no traces of dry ingredients. Image 5
- Butterscotch chips or chunks: they're added at the end (image 6).
- Baking the cookies: at this point you can bake the cookies immediately or cover the cookie dough and refrigerate for a day.
WATCH THE STEP-BY-STEP VIDEO👇🏻
Chips: you can mix all the butterscotch morsels into the dough or leave some of them to add manually to each scoop (image left, below).
The flavor will be the same, but having the chips on top makes the flavor more easily recognizable (good if you're serving or gifting several types of cookies) and maybe prettier, though they are rustic cookies (image below, right).
This is one of the best ideas not only for holiday baking but also to have at all times and bake fresh butterscotch oatmeal cookies every time you feel like it.
- Short freezing: my favorite way is scooping the cookies like in the image below and popping the cookie sheet directly into the freezer until you want to bake it. This is great when you're making them the next day or two. No need to defrost them, simply bake them directly from the freezer. They might take an extra minute of baking.
- Longer freezing: cookie dough can be frozen for a month, and if this is your intention, scoop the cookies in the same way as the image below, but don't leave space between them. You will be able to pack probably the whole recipe in one sheet. Put the sheet in the freezer and when the mounds are rock solid, transfer them to a bag and remove the cookie sheet from the freezer. This way you'll save a lot of space.
- Room temperature: ss with most cookies, they can be stored in airtight tins or cookie jars. They usually become softer as the days go by. If you leave them outside they will harden as the hours and days go by.
- Freezer: also, cookies can be frozen after they are baked, well wrapped. But I think the method mentioned before in the freezing section is better. The freezer dries them out in the long run and, since they are already baked, and they will be drier than fresh ones. If you do freeze them after baked, warm them slightly in a medium oven before eating.
Frequently asked questions
Traditional oats are the best option because of the texture. Instant oats will work if that's all you have. I don't recommend steel-cut oats for this recipe as it's a very different texture and they don't bake completely.
The most probable cause is the butter being too soft or almost melted. This might happen with the butter you use when making the batter and also if the batter is left out at a high room temperature before baking. When this happens the cookies spread too much before the edges bake.
It depends on the size of the cookie, but a medium one is around 160 calories (see Nutrition info at the end of the recipe card, below).
Refrigerating the cookie dough before baking will prevent them from spreading too much. Also, check that the oven temperature is the right one; a low oven might have the same negative result.
Related recipes you might like:
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Chewy, thick, and delicious, these are very easy cookies with a great caramel flavor from those butterscotch chips (or chunks, even better). They can be out of the oven in less than 30 minutes, or you can keep the dough in the refrigerator for a couple of days.
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- ½ cup white sugar
- 1 egg, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
- 1 cup butterscotch chips or chunks
- 1-2 tablespoons milk, your favorite liquor, or orange juice
- Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or butter the pans.
- Beat butter with sugars in a large bowl.
- Add egg, vanilla and beat well.
- Add oats, flour, baking soda (I sift it to avoid lumps), and salt. Mix just until well blended and no dry spots remain.
- Add a tablespoon of milk, orange juice or liquor and mix. If it still has slightly floury spots add another tablespoon.
- Add butterscotch chunks or chips and mix well.
- Bake them immediately or refrigerate the batter for 1 hour and up to a day. See note below.
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF / 180ºC.
- Scoop walnut-sized balls (or larger if you want bigger cookies) on the prepared sheets, leaving space between them, about an inch and a half. You can flatten them slightly with a fork if you want, I usually don't. But it is a good idea if you want to underbake them a little bit so they are softer.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes for regular medium cookies, until golden and beginning to firm around the edges but the center is still soft. If you want crunchier cookies, bake them a minute or two more.
- Let cool for a few minutes on a wire rack before lifting them carefully from the paper and cooling them completely.
- Keep in tightly closed tins or jars.
Refrigeration: leaving the mixture for at least 1 hour in the fridge hydrates the oats and improves the chewiness and moistness of the baked cookies. But they are amazing when baked directly also. I recommend you try and see which is your favorite.
Liquid: sometimes the batter is stiffer due to the weather, type of oats, size of the egg, etc. So I added milk, juice, or liquor as an additional ingredient if this happens, to make it moister.
Measuring the cookies: Use a small ice cream or cookie scoop if you want even-sized cookies. Leave about a 2-inch separation between each.
Baking: underbake them a tiny bit and they are chewier. Bake them a few minutes longer and they are crunchier and a little caramelized, my favorite. You truly can't go wrong here.
Batching and freezing: Make a large batch (double this recipe for example) and freeze them (I pop the baking sheet with the scooped out cookies in the freezer and then transfer to a bag when they are rock solid). It will save you time and you'll always have freshly baked oatmeal cookies. There is a post dedicated to Freezer Baking that you can consult.
Butterscotch chips or chunks: I love using both, and if you can't get chunks, you can use the Dulcey chocolate from Valrhona, chopped. I love Nestle Butterscotch morsels and Guittard Butterscotch baking chips. Also, I love to use Valrhona Caramelia chocolate and use as chunks.
Variation: these work great with white chocolate or vanilla chips also. You can make a large batch, divide it and make different cookies at the same time.
- Serving Size: 1/30
- Calories: 162
- Sugar: 12.9 g
- Sodium: 67.4 mg
- Fat: 6.5 g
- Carbohydrates: 23.3 g
- Protein: 2.2 g
- Cholesterol: 19.7 mg
Keywords: butterscotch oatmeal cookies, scotchies