Butterscotch Pecan Cookies

I was looking through my grandmother’s St. George Baptist Church cookbook (the one that her church ladies put together in 1977) and came across a recipe simply titled “Cookies”.  There wasn’t a list of ingredients; the recipe consisted of a short paragraph–Mix 1/2 cup butter and 6 T. white sugar and 6 T. brown sugar.  Stir in 1 beaten egg…”  You get the picture.

Anyway, I listed out the ingredients so that I could get a more coherent look at them.  Then, realizing that the recipe would make a small batch of cookies I decided to double the ingredients.  A quick calculation on the first two ingredients and I realized that this was a recipe for Toll House Chocolate Chip cookies except that it was minus the chocolate chips and had double the pecans.  I felt disappointed.  I had really, really wanted an old Southern recipe and all I had was a regular chocolate chip recipe.  Dang.

The contributors to the cookbook were mainly old South Carolina country cooks and often, when I read their recipes, I have to do some thinking to try and figure out what amounts of ingredients to use.  To the contributors the recipes made perfect sense.  When I read the ingredients, vague memories resurface and I can recall seeing some of the named ingredients around my grandmother’s house.  Here are some fun translations:

  • can of Pet or Carnation milk or, simply, canned milk = a can of evaporated milk
  • oleo = margarine (but only Blue Bonnet margarine.  A good South Carolina cook at that time would only have used Blue Bonnet brand margarine.)
  • shortening = always, always, always Crisco brand
  • plain flour = all-purpose flour; “plain flour” was the verbiage used to distinguish it from cake flour and self-rising flour; self-rising flour was very popular and used often
  • cake flour = always Swan’s Down; the box has looked pretty much the same since I can remember
  • can of Angel Flake = a brand of coconut that came packaged in a can
  • confectioner’s sugar or 10x or 4x = powdered sugar
  • can of commercial sour cream = about 2 cups sour cream…I think
  • then there are the ever present sizes of boxes, cans, and packages which were frequently referred to as small or large; no medium size back then.  It is difficult to say what these quantities are today, but the cooks down in my grandmother’s community knew exactly what they were supposed to get if, for instance, a recipe called for a large container of Cool Whip…and it was not the same size as today’s large container of Cool Whip
  • beat real good = my favorite line of instructions in the cookbook

So, finding the cookie recipe wasn’t a total bust.  At least I got to have fun remembering the old Southern cooking ways.

 As for a cookie recipe, I improvised and came up with a rather tasty little cookie which I have called Butterscotch Pecan Cookies. I am not taking the time to surf the internet to find out if someone else has already come up with this same recipe. It makes no never-mind to me. John and Matt gave these a 5 Snatch & Gobble rating, so I am satisfied with the results.

The cookies get their butterscotch flavor from a box of instant butterscotch pudding. There is a hint of cinnamon which comes through ever so slightly. Since I am a pecan fan, the 2 cups of chopped pecans made me happy, happy, happy. The only that would have made these cookies better would have been if I had thought to toast the pecans before adding them to the cookie dough. Now THAT would have been outstanding.

Butterscotch Pecan Cookies
Recipe by Terri @ that’s some good cookin’
Printable Recipe

  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup shortening
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 box instant butterscotch pudding and pie filling
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups chopped pecans


  1. Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.
  2. Cream butter, white sugar and brown sugar together until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the instant butterscotch pudding and pie filling and mix well.
  4. Add eggs and vanilla, mix well.
  5. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  6. Add the flour mixture to the butter/sugar/egg mixture.  Mix just until blended; do not over-mix.
  7. Stir in chopped pecans.
  8. Drop by rounded tablespoonsful onto a greased cooked sheet. (I used parchment paper.)
  9. Bake for 8-9 minutes at 375-degrees F.

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