Butterbeer is a mysterious flavor in the Harry Potter universe, and these cookies are an interpretation of what that ubiquitous beverage might taste like. But even if you’re not into Harry Potter, you’ll still love these cookies! They are delightful sandwich cookies – sweet, buttery, warmly spiced and topped with decadent, simple, homemade butterscotch.
Butterbeer Cookies [Vegan]
For the Butterbeer Cookies:
- 1 cup vegan butter
- 1/2 cup custard powder (substitute 1/2 cup more powdered sugar, plus 1 tablespoon corns tarch with less buttery results)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- A pinch of salt
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (use gluten-free if needed)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon dried ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/3 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
- 1/2 cup mashed pumpkin (or butternut squash)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon rum extract
For the Butterbeer Cookie Filling:
- 1/4 cup vegan butter, softened
- 1 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 2 to 3 drops concentrated butterscotch flavoring (used in candy-making)
- 1/4 teaspoon rum extract
- 1 teaspoon unsweetened non-dairy milk
For the Butterscotch Sauce:
- 4 tablespoons vegan butter
- 1 cup of tightly packed dark brown sugar
- 3/4 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (almond or rice milk are not recommended for butterscotch making, as they are too watery)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
To Make the Cookies:
- Cream together the vegan butter, custard powder, and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Add the flour, salt, baking powder, and spices and beat to combine.
- In a blender, or using a whisk and some muscle, mix together the pumpkin, non-dairy milk, and extracts. Add to the dough and beat until well combined. This cookie dough is a little wet, but should come together into a disc shape fairly easily.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour, or overnight.
- After chilling, preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Generously dust a flat surface with powdered sugar.
- Unwrap the cookie dough and lay out onto powdered sugar. Roll out, being careful not to let it stick, to about 1/4-inch thick. Use cookie cutters of your choice, cutting a smaller hole out of the middle of half of the cookies.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the cookies have just started to brown on the bottom. Allow to cool on racks while you prepare the filling and butterscotch.
To Make the Filling:
- Using a hand or stand mixer, beat the butter until lighter in color.
- Slowly add the powdered sugar along with the butterscotch flavor and rum extract and non-dairy milk, increasing the speed to high once most of the sugar has been incorporated. Beat on high until soft, light and fluffy.
To Make the Butterscotch:
- In a saucepan, melt butter over low to medium heat. Just before butter is melted, add all dark brown sugar at once and stir with a wooden spoon until all the sugar is moistened. Let cook for 3-5 minutes until it becomes liquidy.
- At this point, whisk all the cream in at once, then whisk infrequently for about 10 minutes. After the liquid has been boiling on the stove for that long, turn the heat off, pour into a heat-proof bowl, and let cool to room temperature.
- When butterscotch liquid is room temperature, whisk in half the salt and vanilla extract. Taste, and add more salt and vanilla extract to your preference. Allow the butterscotch sauce to cool completely before using in the cookies.
To Assemble the Cookies:
- Pipe the butterscotch filling in a circle around the outside of the bottom layer of the cookie. Place the top on.
- Pipe enough butterscotch sauce to fill the hole. Allow to set for a few minutes and serve.
Butterscotch method is adapted from SimplyRecipes.com.