Traditional Scottish Butterscotch Candy

"That sweet tooth for which Scots have a reputation means that there are many traditional confectionary recipes. But quite why a brittle candy made from butter and sugar should be named "Scotch" is lost in the mists of time."
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Ready In:
1 lb




  • Well oil an 11" x 7" shallow baking tin pan. Put the water and lemon juice in a heavy-based saucepan and heat until slightly warm.
  • Stir in the sugar and continue to heat gently, stirring with a wooden spoon, until all the sugar has been thoroughly dissolved. Don't allow it to boil.
  • Stir in the cream of tartar and bring to the boil to 242F on a sugar thermometer (or until a teaspoon ful of the mixture forms a soft ball when it is dropped into a cup of cold water).
  • Remove from the heat and beat in the butter. Return to the heat and boil to 280F or when a teaspoon of the mixture forms a thin thread when dropped into a cup of cold water. (The thread will bend and break when pressed between the fingers)
  • Remove from the heat and beat in the vanilla extract. Pour into the oiled tin and leave until it is almost set.
  • Then mark into small rectangles with a knife.
  • When it is competely set, break into pieces and store in an airtight container.

Questions & Replies

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  1. I wasn't completely happy, but it could be my fault...I only had 'salted' butter, and may have cooked it a tad bit too much, therefore it wouldn't be fair to post any stars at this time. The final product tasted slightly burnt to me. Dh doesn't agree. The colour however is beautiful. Don't wait too long before sets up quicker than I thought it would. Also, I was a little turned off by the oil in the pan. Made the candy greasy on the bottom. I'll try it in a parchment lined pan next time, or maybe I'll drop teaspoonfuls onto paper. Of course there'll be a next time. I love butterscotch too much to give up now :) Thanks English Rose...I'm looking forward to giving it another try and posting some stars.


I live in Manchester, UK with my fiance and young son. I work at the local hospital in pediatrics and love my job. I also love cooking!! I have a sweet tooth but try and make healthy family meals, I'm not against some lovely treats now and then though :)
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