Butterscotch Pistachio 'Cookies' Recipe

Butterscotch Pistachio 'Cookies' Recipe

Baked for the 2010 Serious Eats Cookie Swap by Wayne Surber and Tracie Lee.

Adapted from The Joy of Cooking's 'Butterscotch Brownies' recipe.

"I basically used Irma, The joy of Cooking (1970s edition). I loosely used her butterscotch brownie recipe. My grandma on my dad's side, Grandma Surber, as we called her because my mom's was Grammy. My Grandma Surber raised eight children, so whipping up anything usually took her all of like five minutes. And the nice thing about Butterscotch Brownies or 'Blondies' is that she always had those ingredients in house, so no trip to the store was required. Whenever we were good, she'd pull them out of thin air. A nice glass of truck delivered milk and Grandma's Butterscotch Brownies. So, when I was thinking of cookies I thought I should do a tribute to her. Because I miss her. Especially around the holidays. I think that'll always be the case. She was my inspiration for heading into the kitchen and I'm always trying to fill her boots. I added some raw pistachios because I wanted to add another layer of caramel goodness and a bit of texture. I had them lying around, so in they went." —Wayne Surber (and Tracie Lee), FoSE

  • Yield:makes 65 cookies


  • 3/4 cup butter, salted
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons "Double-Acting" baking powder
  • 1 cup raw pistachios
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. 1.

    Melt and cool butter.

  2. 2.

    Combine: eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla extract. Mix well with a wooden spoon.

  3. 3.

    Mix in cooled, melted, butter.

  4. 4.

    Sift and measure flour. Measure salt, baking soda and re-sift with flour.

  5. 5.

    Incorporate flour into mixture with the wooden spoon.

  6. 6.

    Chop or mince the pistachios. I used a food processor, pulse until
    small pieces, not flour like. Mix in nuts.

  7. 7.

    Line sheet pan with parchment paper, tuck into corners.

  8. 8.

    Use the spatula to 'pour' out batter onto lined pan. It is very
    viscous, so I recommend putting in 3 areas of the pan and then spread
    with the spatula. Spread it until it is as even as possible. It might
    not reach all the corners evenly, however it will spread while baking.
    10. Bake about 20 minutes. Rotate 180 degrees at the midway point.
    Check at 15. It should be evenly baked.

  9. 9.

    Cool until warm. Cut while warm. I used a fluted pasta cutter
    about 1 1/2" across. Enjoy with Milk ;)

  10. 10.

    That recipe makes 65 cookies that size with enough trim to make a nice
    batch of vanilla ice cream and fold them in. A whole 'nother level of
    cookie dough ice cream.