These cookies are fancy looking, but relatively easy to make. You can even make and bake the cookies ahead of time (can be frozen for up to 3 months) before frosting and serving them. This is the perfect solution for the busy home baker who is short on time but wants a fancy - yet simple - cookie recipe.
Butterscotch Cookies with Browned Butter Frosting
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 carton (8 ounces) sour cream
2/3 cup chopped walnuts
1 recipe Browned Butter Frosting (see below)
Walnut halves (for topping)
Instructions: Preheat oven to 375F degrees. Lightly grease cookie sheets, or line sheets with parchment paper, and set aside.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the brown sugar and shortening until well mixed.
Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined.
Add flour mixture, followed by sour cream, beating well after each addition.
Stir in chopped walnuts.
Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls, at least 2 inches apart, onto prepared sheets.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.
Transfer cookies to wire rack and cool completely.
Meanwhile, prepare the Browned Butter Frosting: In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, add 1/2 cup butter and stir until melted and golden brown. (Be careful not to burn.) Remove from heat and stir in 3 1/2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar, 5 teaspoons boiling water, and 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla. Beat well until desired spreading consistency is achieved.
Immediately spread frosting on cooled cookies. (Add small amounts of additional boiling water if frosting begins to set before spreading).
If you're planning to freeze cookies ahead of frosting them, be sure to place cookies in an airtight container, or well-sealed plastic bag, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw cookies at least 15 minutes before frosting.