Toffee cookies on baking tray with crushed toffee pieces and chocolate
Cookies and Bars

Toffee Cookies with Foolproof Homemade Toffee

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These brown butter toffee cookies are thin with crispy edges, gooey middles, and packed with bits of homemade toffee and chocolate. The toffee melts into the cookie creating puddles of chewy caramel that are just so delicious! The cookie dough has brown butter which complements the deep nutty flavour of the toffee oh so well. This toffee cookie recipe is nut free if you make the toffee at home!

This recipe goes through how you can make toffee at home. You can use store bought toffee or crushed skor bars instead to save time! I’ve made these cookies with homemade toffee and crushed skor bars – they both turned out epic. The recipe makes quite a bit of extra toffee because it is easier to make a larger quantity. You can save the rest of the toffee for later in an airtight container and make another batch of brown butter toffee cookies! Or just eat them as is, it’s so delicious. It will keep for a few weeks stored in an airtight container.

Toffee cookies on baking tray

Key ingredients

Full ingredients and recipe are in the recipe card below. Read through this section for all the ingredients substitution and baking tips!

Butter: You want to use real butter here. I used unsalted butter because I find that salted butter becomes a little bitter when browning.

Lecithin: You can use soy or sunflower lecithin, found at your local health food store. This helps to prevent the toffee from separating and is highly recommended. It is optional if you prefer to go without.

Brown sugar: I use old fashioned brown sugar or regular brown sugar for a bit of molasses flavour and some added moisture. 

Granulated sugar: This is gonna help the cookies with the chew factor and go into the toffee. You can use cane or granulated sugar. I find that granulated sugar works better than cane for toffee for most people because there is a smaller chance of it crystallizing.

Egg: Having the egg at room temperature will help it incorporate into the dough so much better!

All purpose flour: Weigh the flour to get the most accurate results. If you don’t have a scale, measure properly by stirring the bag and spooning gently into a measuring cup. Scrape the excess off the top with the flat edge off a knife without packing it into the cup.

Baking soda: This is gonna give the cookies a more complex flavour and get that middle to be oh so chewy and gooey. Do not substitute with baking powder, that is a completely different ingredient. 

Toffee: This recipe goes through how to make your own toffee at home. If you don’t want to make your own just crush some store-bought toffee or skor bars in a bag using a rolling pin.

Chopped chocolate: I used a mix of milk and dark chocolate bars that I chopped up into pieces. Chocolate chips would work really well too! 

toffee cookies on baking tray

Making toffee

  1. Prepare a baking sheet by lining with parchment paper. 
  2. In a medium-small saucepan, melt butter and salt on low heat until melted completely. 
  3. Add sugar and lecithin to the butter and whisk until smooth. Keep on low heat, stirring gently until the sugar crystals dissolve. 
  4. Insert a candy thermometer and let the toffee come to 295-300°F (146-149°C). Keep the heat on low the whole time and gently stir occasionally (without scraping the upper sides of the pan) so that it doesn’t burn. See recipe notes for toffee troubleshooting.
  5. Pour toffee onto lined baking sheet and push it around with a spoon to form a thin toffee layer. Do not scrape the bottom of the pot out. 
  6. Let the toffee cool completely and break it up into pieces. Store in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge for up to three weeks. 
bowl of homemade toffee

Cookies

  1. Brown the butter in a medium saucepan. Melt the butter on medium-low heat until it starts to foam and simmer, stirring consistently so it doesn’t burn. The foam will subside and you will start noticing the bits of white milk solids start to turn toasty brown. 
  2. Once it starts to foam again and turns golden brown immediately remove from heat. You don’t want it to burn!
  3. Transfer to a heat safe bowl and add 1 tbsp cold butter. Stir until melted and set aside to cool to room temperature. 
  4. Add brown sugar, granulated sugar, and sea salt to the butter and whisk to break up any lumps. 
  5. Add egg and vanilla into the batter and whisk until it thickens and becomes lighter. 
  6. Sift flour and baking soda into the bowl. Fold just until there are no more dry streaks of flour. 
  7. Add the toffee and chocolate and fold. Reserve a little bit of each for topping the cookies.
  8. Place the bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes to chill so that the cookie dough is more scoopable. 
  9. Scoop the dough into balls onto a parchment lined cookie sheet or plate. I made 10 large cookies but you can use a smaller scoop for smaller cookies.
  10. Top the brown butter toffee cookies with more chopped chocolate and toffee. Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes to chill completely or overnight. 
  11. Preheat oven to 355°F (180°C). Place cookie dough balls onto a parchment lined baking sheet leaving 4” space in between each cookie. They will spread out quite a bit. 
  12. Bake for 10-12 minutes for larger cookies or 8-10 minutes for medium cookies. The cookies are ready when the edges are slightly browned and set, and the middles are still soft. 
  13. Let the brown butter toffee cookies cool for at least 10 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a cooling rack or plate. They are very delicate and soft. 

FAQ

Why did my toffee separate?

The toffee may have separated because the toffee was heated on too high of a heat. When the heat abruptly jumps, the toffee can then separate. I like to keep the heat on low the whole time. My toffee would separate halfway through every time I had it on a higher temperature. Another reason could be because you are mixing too quickly. It needs gentle stirring from time to time to prevent it from burning and to keep it combined. 

How do I prevent my toffee from separating?

To prevent toffee from separating make sure that the heat is on low and that it stays on low (no abrupt heat increases). It takes a while for it to reach the hard crack stage but it’s worth it. Stir the toffee gently to help keep it combined. 
My friend and professional candy making guru Hannah from One Sweet Mama also recommended adding a bit of sunflower or soy lecithin (found at most health food stores) to help prevent the toffee from separating. This is optional but highly recommended. Check out her handy toffee guide!

Can I fix separated toffee?

You can try to fix toffee that had separated by whisking as soon as you notice to try to bring it back together. If it doesn’t work, I’m afraid that it’s too far gone and you will need to start over.

Why did my toffee become grainy?

This happened because the sugars crystallized. I don’t recommend adding lemon juice to prevent this from happening because it will make your toffee sticky and soft after a few days. Instead, you can brush the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush at the beginning and don’t stir the upper sides of the pan. Keep stirring the bottom gently. You don’t want to disturb those sugar crystals at the top, bringing them into the pan and causing all of the toffee to crystallize. 

Can I fix grainy toffee?

You can certainly try to fix it! Sometimes it helps to add a tablespoon or two of water and stir on low heat until the sugar crystals dissolve and the toffee starts to increase in temperature again. I have saved a batch successfully through this method (but it doesn’t always work). Brush down the sides of the pan with a bit of water to prevent it from getting grainy again.

Can I make toffee without a candy thermometer?

You sure could! Would I recommend it? No I wouldn’t because it involves a lot of guesswork and dropping into ice water to make sure that it hits the hard crack stage. If you’re making toffee at home and see yourself making it frequently or making caramel, just get a candy thermometer. It will take all the guesswork out of it!

Why did my toffee burn and taste bitter?

I find that when I use salted butter it ends up having a bit of a bitter aftertaste. So I just stick to unsalted butter and add salt. Also make sure that your candy thermometer is calibrated. Stick it in a pot of rapidly boiling water (don’t let it touch the bottom) and see what temperature it reads. Boiling water is 100°C (212°F). However many degrees your thermometer reads above or below 100°C (212°F) is how many degrees your thermometer is off. Just keep it in mind and adjust your target temperature accordingly. My thermometer was off by a whole 9°C and trust me, it made a huge difference! 

Why did my cookies melt all over the place?

This could be because the cookie dough wasn’t chilled long enough or the oven temperature is too low! 

Do I really need to chill the cookies before baking?

Chilling the cookie dough is super important, I can’t stress this enough! As the dough chills, the butter will resolidify causing it to spread less in the oven. If you chill the dough long enough – say, overnight – then the sugar crystals will dissolve better and the flour will be more hydrated creating a much more flavourful cookie. 

Can I make these cookies with regular melted butter?

Brown butter cooks down in volume because the water content evaporates as the butter caramelized. If you use regular melted butter, I recommend not adding the extra cold butter at the end like the recipe recommends to do for cooling down the brown butter. 

Why are my cookies not turning out like yours?

There could be a whole lot of reasons. First of all, did you measure the flour properly? Weigh your flour to get the most accurate results. If you don’t have a scale, measure properly by stirring the bag and spooning gently into a measuring cup. Scrape the excess off the top with the flat edge off a knife without packing it into the cup. Have you checked your oven temperature? Did the dough chill completely before baking? These are all super important to get the perfect cookie!

Why do my cookies look crooked and uneven after baking?

Your cookies might look like this because of the pieces of toffee. They melt a little messy in the oven and pull the cookie dough with them creating a messy circle! Just push in the uneven edges with a spoon as soon as the cookies come out of the oven. 

broken in half brown butter toffee cookie on cookie tray

Check out my other cookie recipes:


Happy baking! xx

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Toffee cookies on baking tray with crushed toffee pieces and chocolate

Toffee Cookies with Foolproof Homemade Toffee

Mary
These brown butter toffee cookies are thin with crispy edges, gooey middles, and packed with bits of toffee and chocolate. The toffee melts into the cookie creating puddles of chewy caramel that are just so delicious! The cookie dough has brown butter which complements the deep nutty flavour of the toffee oh so well.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Chill Time 45 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Baking, Cookies, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 10 Large Cookies

Equipment

  • candy thermometer

Ingredients
  

Toffee

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 3 g sunflower lecithin or soy lecithin (optional)

Cookies

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 tbsp butter cold
  • ¾ cup brown sugar packed
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ⅓ cup all purpose flour 160g
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • cup toffee or skor bars crushed into pieces
  • 1 cup chopped chocolate or chocolate chips I used a mix of milk and dark
  • 1 tsp flaky salt

Instructions
 

Toffee

  • Prepare a baking sheet by lining with parchment paper.
  • In a medium-small saucepan, melt butter and salt on low heat until melted completely.
    1 cup butter, ¼ tsp sea salt
  • Add sugar and lecithin to the butter and whisk until smooth. Keep on low heat, stirring gently until the sugar crystals dissolve.
    1 cup granulated sugar, 3 g sunflower lecithin
  • Insert a candy thermometer and let the toffee come to 295-300°F (146-149°C). Keep the heat on low the whole time and gently stir occasionally (without scraping the upper sides of the pan) so that it doesn’t burn. See recipe notes for toffee troubleshooting.
  • Pour toffee onto lined baking sheet and push it around with a spoon to form a thin toffee layer. Do not scrape the bottom of the pot out.
  • Let the toffee cool completely and break it up into pieces. Store in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge for up to three weeks.

Cookies

  • Brown the butter in a medium saucepan. Melt the butter on medium-low heat until it starts to foam and simmer, stirring consistently so it doesn’t burn. The foam will subside and you will start noticing the bits of white milk solids start to turn toasty brown.
    1 cup butter
  • Once it starts to foam again and turns golden brown immediately remove from heat. You don’t want it to burn!
  • Transfer to a heat safe bowl and add 1 tbsp cold butter. Stir until melted and set aside to cool to room temperature.
    1 tbsp butter
  • Add brown sugar, granulated sugar, and sea salt to the butter and whisk to break up any lumps.
    ¾ cup brown sugar, ½ cup granulated sugar, ¼ tsp sea salt
  • Add egg and vanilla into the batter and whisk until it thickens and becomes lighter.
    1 large egg, 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Sift flour and baking soda into the bowl. Fold just until there are no more dry streaks of flour.
    1 ⅓ cup all purpose flour, ½ tsp baking soda
  • Add the toffee and chocolate and fold. Reserve a little bit of each for topping the cookies.
    ⅔ cup toffee or skor bars, 1 cup chopped chocolate or chocolate chips
  • Place the bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes to chill so that the cookie dough is more scoopable.
  • Scoop the dough into balls onto a parchment lined cookie sheet or plate. I made 10 large cookies but you can use a smaller scoop for smaller cookies.
  • Top the cookies with more chopped chocolate and toffee. Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes to chill completely or overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 355°F (180°C). Place cookie dough balls onto a parchment lined baking sheet leaving 4” space in between each cookie. They will spread out quite a bit.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes for larger cookies or 8-10 minutes for medium cookies. The cookies are ready when the edges are slightly browned and set, and the middles are still soft.
  • Push in the edges of the cookies to make them round again. Sprinkle with flaky salt. Let the cookies cool for at least 10 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a cooling rack or plate. They are very delicate and soft.
    1 tsp flaky salt

Notes

The cookies will keep well at room temperature for up to 2 days in an airtight container or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
 
You can also freeze unbaked cookie dough balls in an airtight container or freezer bag. Add an extra minute or two to the baking time and bake from frozen. They will be a bit thicker when they are baked from frozen.
 
The toffee recipe makes quite a bit extra. Store the rest in an airtight container and consume within 3 weeks.
Keyword Brown Butter Toffee Cookies, Foolproof Toffee, Gooey Toffee Cookies, Homemade Toffee, Toffee Cookies Nut Free

2 Comments

  • Meredith

    5 stars
    So, so amazing and truly foolproof! I was able to make the toffee without the candy thermometer, just using the ice water truck. After you make the toffee, the rest is a quick process. Such a rich flavor and gorgeous cookie!!

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