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Classic shortbread thumbprint cookies with delicious homemade butterscotch filling. From BakingMischief.com

Butterscotch Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies

Classic shortbread thumbprint cookies with delicious homemade butterscotch filling.
Course Dessert
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 24
Calories 149kcal
Author Tracy



  • 1 cup (8oz) unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (60g) powdered sugar sifted
  • 2 cups (280g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup sanding sugar optional


  • 2 tablespoons (1oz) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup (50g) packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoons vanilla



  • In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Stir in flour and salt, mixing until just combined, making sure to scrape the sides and bottom of your bowl.
  • Cover and chill the dough in the refrigerator until it is firm enough to handle, about 15-30 minutes. You should be able to shape scoops of it into a ball without it being too sticky or cracking. If it is over-chilled and difficult to work with, leave it out on the counter for a few minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Using a tablespoon, scoop dough and roll into balls (slightly under 1 ounce each). If desired, roll balls in sanding sugar until completely covered. Place dough cookie sheet, 2 inches apart.
  • Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. The cookies are done when their bottoms are lightly browned.
  • As soon as they come out of the oven, use a round teaspoon or the back of a wooden spoon to create shallow wells in the center of each cookie. Be careful not to press too hard or you can cause the cookies to crack. Set aside.


  • Melt butter in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add brown sugar, salt, and cream. Stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and, stirring occasionally, cook on medium for 5 minutes.
  • Remove pot from heat and stir in the vanilla. Use a teaspoon to spoon butterscotch into the thumbprints. Allow the butterscotch to cool slightly before serving.


If you are making a double batch of cookies, you will need to let the butterscotch simmer for a little longer, about a minute or two to get a sauce that will set. The mixture should be thick, but still pourable. If you are going by temperature, about 225-230º F is the sweet spot.
These cookies will stay fresh stored in an airtight container on the counter for three days. If you have extra butterscotch filling, you can keep it in the refrigerator for up to two weeks in an airtight container. It's great warmed up and served over ice cream or you can use it to make a Caramel Macchiato!


Calories: 149kcal