Old-Fashioned Butterscotch Recipe

16-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Wednesday, December 13, 1911: Must keep at my lessons in the evening or else get growling at school Got my report today. It isn’t so very great. Ruthie treated us to candy this evening. She is going to treat her kids and had to treat us also while she was getting it divided up.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Grandma’s sister Ruth as a teacher at a one-room school house near McEwensville, and she must have been going to give her students candy as a Christmas gift. (The holiday break was longer back then—and students didn’t have school for the last two weeks of December).

Two days ago the diary entry said that Ruth made candy. I wonder how many types of candy she made–and then divided amongst her students (and family members).

Maybe she made old-fashioned Butterscotch. It isn’t anything like the artificially colored orange butterscotch disks that they make today—rather it is similar to Werthers Original Candy.


1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup water

1 teaspoon vinegar

2 tablespoons butter

Stir to combine all ingredients in a pan and bring to a boil using a medium heat.  Once the sugar has melted, quit stirring.  Reduce heat to a level where the mixture steadily boils. Boil until it becomes brittle when a little is dropped in cold water. Pour into a buttered dish (I used a 7” X 7” dish). When the candy is partially cooled (semi-solid) score with a knife. After the candy is completely cooled remove from dish and break into pieces.

7 thoughts on “Old-Fashioned Butterscotch Recipe

  1. Now this I will make tomorrow! Have all the ingredients in cupboard and fell in love with “Werthers” when living in USA, 1994… YUMMEE!!! 😀 … thanks Sheryl.

  2. I had just made this an hour ago and I LOVED it!! Believe it or not, this is my first time learning how to make hard candy. I will be making this and pass down to generations to generations. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe with us. God Bless.

  3. Made it ! Delicious smake candyimple psych neverwhen moistin the air .probably why it nevet made hard stageure is.tip from my dad now past. Liked this recipie craving sweets but did

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