Butterscotch cookies

There has been a small amount of golden syrup crystallising in a jar at the back of my carb drawer for about a year now and this recipe seemed like a great way to use it up.   I’ve actually had the jar for so long that the ‘best before date’ has rubbed off the lid.  This recipe is from Florence Greenberg’s Jewish Cookery Book (6th edition, 1958).


Self-raising flour 6oz
Golden syrup 6oz
Vanilla essence ½ teaspoonful
Margarine 2oz
Bicarbonate of soda ½  teaspoonful

Melt the margarine and syrup, stir in the vanilla and the bicarbonate of soda, then pour on to the flour and mix thoroughly.  Leave til quite cold, and then roll out [italic] very thinly, cut into rounds , and bake on a greased tin in a moderate oven for 8 – 10 minutes.  (400 or gas mark 5).


  • I halved the recipe, very easy as it contains no egg.
  • I didn’t have any self-raising flour or bicarbonate of soda, so used plain flour and  ¾ teaspoonful of baking powder.
  • I ignored the amount of vanilla essence suggested as I only have vanilla extract and half a teaspoon would have made them inedible
  • I also used butter instead of margarine. Most of the recipes in this book suggest margarine where one might expect butter. I assume this is to aid compliance with kosher food rules, which according to my very limited understanding, include not eating milk and meat at the same meal.
  • Despite chilling the dough in the fridge, it was still fairly hard to roll and cut out as suggested. I recommend instead rolling the dough into a sausage before chilling it thoroughly and then cutting thin slices with a flat-bladed knife.
  • I used a 4cm diameter plain round cutter which produced 40 biscuits.


These have an excellent crunchy texture and fine crumb. They are very sweet of course, less so the ones baked for long enough to take on a darker colour.  The flavour was a little bland  at first, but improved greatly after a couple of days.  A great variation would be to add a little treacle or molasses in place of some of the golden syrup and some spice.

I have been informed by a friend that it is National Baking Week this week, which as she put it is ‘basically the same as every other week’.

Butterscotched by Elly

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