Pumpkin Butterscotch Cookies

Mrs. Donahue was shaped like the calico cats we stitched together in sewing class, sort of flat and lumpy in the wrong places, and she wore the same fabric on the pocket of her long denim jumper. She taught cooking, and how to diaper a big bag of flour.  In metals, we made tin scoops that I spray painted pink and purple, which seems unsafe. And in woodshop, I made my sister a gumball machine that I kept for myself. I don’t know how well these seventh grade home economics lessons have served me as an adult. I never did become a seamstress and I only rarely use my lathe to craft misshapen baseball bats. But I remember carefully placing six or seven butterscotch chips on rolled out crescent roll dough and baking them into compact packages of melty goodness. I was so proud when I recreated this simple dessert for my mother, father, and sister at home. And I think that’s what stuck, all these years later. Making your family food is always an awesome achievement.

Pumpkin Butterscotch Cookies
Adapted from a recipe by Joy the Baker


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and butter the parchment.

In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

In the bowl of a stand mixer combine eggs and sugar. Add pumpkin, vanilla, and oil. Slowly add the dry ingredients until just combined, then fold int he butterscotch chips.

Dollop batter by the 1/4 cup onto the prepared cookie sheets, smooth, and bake for 16 minutes. Cool cookies on the baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to racks to cool completely.

Jillian Bedell

Jillian Bedell is a writer and mother living in a farmhouse in Cushing, Maine. She is very good at talking about herself in the third person. She is co-author of Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road.


  1. I think I’ll have to try making this. My family typically goes with the usual chocolate chip-pumpkin cookie, but I’ve been looking to mix things up. Butterscotch is completly underutalized in baking. Just at the people at Tastykake 🙂

  2. It pretty amazing how you two manage to keep up the level, variety and sheer quantity of posts that you do. I used to follow your Yucatan blog and that one was good but this one is another level. I’m not surprised that you’re starting to make a living at it.

    Also, I recommended it to a friend of mine today here in Virginia (but he and his wife have a summer home in Maine) and he said all your reviews of the places he knows in Portland are right on.

  3. Hi, My husband and I are going to go to Maine in mid-Oct. It will be my first time there; and my husband will be revisiting the state since his childhood. His Dad was stationed at Topsham AirForce base for a few years when my husband was in elementary school. I cannot climb stairs as I am ill and we keep on seeing 2nd floor accomodations. Any suggestions? We want to stay in Southern Maine as that is where we are going to stay, in Ogunquit area, preferably.

    Thanks, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Yours Sincerely,
    Stacey M. St. Clair

    1. Check out the Captain Jefferds Inn in Kennebunkport, Maine. It’s a beautiful (delicious) and welcoming B&B which has a couple of rooms on the first floor. We love it there! Hope this helps.

  4. These are phenomenal! I was looking for something to make with my butterscotch morsels and I was apprehensive about the pumpkin-butterscotch combo at first but wow…I’ll be making these again a few more times before the holidays are over.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.