AskDefine | Define butterscotch

Dictionary Definition

butterscotch n : a hard brittle candy made with butter and brown sugar

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. a hard candy made from butter, brown sugar, syrup and vanilla
  2. a light brown colour, like that of butterscotch candy.
    butterscotch colour:   


  1. of a light brown colour, like that of butterscotch candy.
  2. having the flavour of butterscotch

See also

Extensive Definition

Butterscotch is a type of confectionery made by boiling sugar syrup, butter, cream, and vanilla. In many ways the ingredients for butterscotch are similar to toffee; the major difference is that the sugar is boiled to the soft crack stage for butterscotch and the hard crack stage for toffee. Butterscotch sauce is often made into a syrup and put on ice cream.


Food historians have several theories regarding the name and origin of this confectionery, but none are conclusive. It is possible that the "scotch" part of its name was derived from the word "scorch". The name may also be based on a connection to the country of Scotland. Some have documented that "buttery toffee" is often called butterscotch—Scotch being an old adjective for Scotland—which suggests it was invented in the country.
However, the word was first recorded in Doncaster, in England, where Samuel Parkinson began making the candy in 1817. Parkinson's Butterscotch had royal approval and was one of Doncaster's attractions until it ceased production in 1977. The recipe was revived in 2003 when a Doncaster businessman and his wife discovered the recipe on an old folded piece of paper inside one of the famous St Leger tins that was in their cellar. The company Parkinson's Doncaster Butterscotch Ltd was formed and is now producing and trading butterscotch made to this original recipe. It sells the product all over the world.
In 1851 Parkinson Butterscotch was presented to Queen Victoria on her visit to Doncaster to open the St Leger.
A hundred and ninety years later, in 2007, the Doncaster Racecourse was completely rebuilt and reopened by the Princess Royal who in keeping with the tradition was presented with Butterscotch supplied by the New Parkinson's Doncaster Butterscotch Company (Hall Gate, Doncaster, DN1 3NR), based just 600 yards from the old Parkinson Company (High Street Doncaster, DN1 3AG)
The Royal Butterscotch box used in 2007 was designed under the direction of Glenn Bluff, a local entrepreneur.

Packaging and Products

It is often used as a flavour for items such as dessert sauce, pudding, and biscuits. To that end, it can be bought in "butterscotch chips", with creamy additives that make their baking use and a mouthfeel very similar to chocolate chips. They are individually wrapped, translucent sometimes yellow colored hard candies with an artificial butterscotch flavor, which is dissimilar to actual butterscotch. This flavour is a proprietary formula and cannot be reproduced using kitchen ingredients.

See also

  • Toffee somewhat similar to butterscotch, but harder
  • Caramel differs from butterscotch in that the flavour is from caramelized (slightly burnt) sugar and not brown sugar. Caramel refers to the caramelized sugar itself and not other ingredients added (such as butter or cream).


butterscotch in Dutch: Boterbabbelaar
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