Toffee Almond Sandies

Tested & Perfected Recipes Cookbook Recipe

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Buttery, sweet toffee almond sandies — humble in appearance but wonderfully good.

toffee almond sandies on board.

Photo by Alexandra Grablewski (Chronicle Books, 2018)

These toffee almond sandies were sent to me by Kelly Pittman, along with hundreds of others, for a holiday cookie contest I ran on my blog many years ago. The cookies not only won my contest, they also became a much-loved Segal family favorite. While the cookies may look plain, when you bite into them, you discover a buttery, sweet shortbread studded with melted toffee bits and crunchy almonds. They’re wonderfully good, easy to make, and long lasting. In other words, the perfect holiday cookie.

Heads up: This recipe makes a ton! It is ideal for a bake sale or gift giving, but if you’d like to make less, the recipe can easily be halved.

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Toffee Almond Sandies

Buttery, sweet toffee almond sandies — humble in appearance but wonderfully good.

Servings: Makes about 9 dozen (you can easily halve the recipe)
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Total Time: 45 Minutes


  • 3½ cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, plus more for rolling the cookies
  • 1 cup Confectioners' sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 cups sliced almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 6 ounces (or 1 heaping cup) English toffee bits


  1. Set racks in middle of oven and preheat to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Combine all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt in a medium bowl; mix well.
  3. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter, granulated sugar and Confectioners’ sugar until well combined, about 1-2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl with spatula, then add oil, eggs and almond extract; mix well. Add dry ingredients and mix slowly to combine. Stir in almonds and toffee bits.
  4. Shape dough into 1-inch balls, roll in sugar, then place about 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets and flatten with a fork. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through cooking, for 14-17 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cookies cool on baking sheets for a few minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely. These keep nicely for 4 to 5 ays stored in airtight container at room temperature.
  5. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The Cookie Dough can be Frozen for up to 3 Months: Roll the dough into balls, let set on a baking sheet in the freezer, then place in a sealable bag and press out as much air as possible. Bake as needed directly from the freezer. (Allow 1 to 2 minutes longer in the oven.) To Freeze After Baking: Let the cookies cool completely and store in an airtight container separating layers with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Before serving, remove the cookies from the container and let them come to room temperature.

Nutrition Information

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  • Per serving (45 servings)
  • Serving size: 2 cookies
  • Calories: 201
  • Fat: 13 g
  • Saturated fat: 4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 20 g
  • Sugar: 10 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 3 g
  • Sodium: 89 mg
  • Cholesterol: 23 g

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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  • Could I switch out the veg oil for real butter? For health reasons, I’d like to try… THX! 🙂

    • — Kathryn Keyes on July 23, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Kathryn, Unfortunately, vegetable oil won’t work here as you need something solid to cream with the butter. If you’d like to use oil, you could try (solidified) coconut oil. Please LMK how it turns out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on July 23, 2024
      • Reply
  • Great cookies! Quick and easy to whip up. I added both the almond and vanilla extracts and used a mix of chopped Toblerone bars, almonds and Skor bits for the add-ins. While the cookies aren’t as buttery rich as a shortbread, they have a lovely flavour that lingers. They’re crisp on the outside and a bit soft and tender (not chewy) on the inside. The dough was soft and easy to shape into balls. I used a #40 scoop for larger cookies and made a half recipe which yielded 19 cookies. Halfway through the bake time I sprinkled the cookies with a few Skor bits that melted slightly and added a bit of interest. A delicious treat!

    • — Sadie on March 10, 2024
    • Reply
  • Hi. How long are this good on the counter in an airtight container? I’m baking on Wednesday to take on Saturday. Do I need to freeze them or will they be okay without? Thanks!

    • — Jane on January 17, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Jane, they last nicely for 4 to 5 days, so you should be okay storing them at room temperature.

      • — Jenn on January 17, 2024
      • Reply
  • These are a delightful sweet treat! For Christmas, I lightly sprinkled red and green sugar on the cookies before baking. Great as a gift for teachers at school. They looked festive wrapped in cellophane bags, tied with a bow!

    • — Nan on December 10, 2023
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, is it possible to convert the measurements to weight? Would you consider listing it along side the other measurements in your baking recipies? It’s better for me if I weigh my ingredients and I really want to make these cookies!! Thank you.

    • — Marianne Slattery on December 10, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Marianne, The great majority of my recipes (including this one) include conversions to metric/weight measurements. To view them, scroll down to the recipe, and immediately under the recipe title on the right side, you’ll see a little toggle. If you move it from “cup measures” to metric, you’ll see measurements that will work for you. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on December 11, 2023
      • Reply
  • Could I substitute almond flour for the wheat flour? Or would it be too much? I hate to buy a whole bag of wheat flour for one recipe. lol

    • — Shannon Edwards on December 9, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Shannon, I would just use all-purpose flour instead of the whole wheat flour — the cookies will still be delicious. 🙂

      • — Jenn on December 9, 2023
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn! Just to clarify…it’s OK to use Heath or Skor bits (the ones with chocolate) or do you need strictly “toffee bits” aka no chocolate? Thank you!

    • — AIMEE on November 28, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Aimee, You can — they’ll still be good, but the chocolate will change the flavor of the cookie a little.

      • — Jenn on November 29, 2023
      • Reply
  • These are amazing! I have celiac so had to make gluten free substitutions; not knowing how they would turn out I opted for a half batch but I was very happy with them. I used an all-purpose gluten free flour blend ( no zanath gum) and brown rice flour instead of whole wheat. They spread more than I expected but I also made the balls larger than you suggested. Next time I might refrigerate the dough and will make the balls smaller; I”ll definitely make a full batch!

    • — Meredith Bartek on November 5, 2023
    • Reply
  • Additional info to my last two questions:
    Hi – I forgot to mention that the cookie scoop I would be using would be an OXO scoop, a #40. I think that’s maybe 1.5 tablespoons, but not sure. If you think this is too large for these cookies, I can get a #70 easily.

    • — Jane on July 7, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Jane, a #40 scoop should be fine. 🙂

      • — Jenn on July 11, 2023
      • Reply
  • I’ve made these before and they’re great! I will be baking and freezing to take to a wedding two months later. Some comments here say they are even better on day 2 or day 3. Wondering if I should bring them to room temperature, put them in an airtight container, and bring them the second or third day after? Thanks!

    • — Jane on July 6, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Jane, I think these are equally good on day 1. In my opinion, they don’t get better with time. In fact, I think that they’re best if eaten within a day or two after baking. Hope everyone at the wedding enjoys!

      • — Jenn on July 11, 2023
      • Reply
      • Oh, dear. I’m confused. Are they OK to freeze for two months, bring to room temperature, and then serve within a day or so?

        • — Jane on July 13, 2023
        • Reply
        • Sorry if I confused you! Yes, what you’ve said is exactly right. 🙂

          • — Jenn on July 13, 2023
          • Reply
  • I froze the cookie dough in an airtight container without forming into balls first. When I went to bake after 2.5 months in freezer, the dough was very crumbly and difficult to form into balls. Is there any remedy for this other than forming into balls before freezing?


    • — Elizabeth on April 18, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Elizabeth, Did you let the dough come to room temperature? It may have been a case of it being a bit too chilled. The warmth of your hands should also help the dough to become more “pliable” when you’re forming balls. Or, if you’d prefer not to deal with that variable, I’d just form them into balls before freezing.

      • — Jenn on April 18, 2023
      • Reply
  • These cookies were absolutely delicious! Easy to make and little fussing. Has now been added to my already lengthy list of “must have” Christmas cookies. Thanks Jenn, you never disappoint.

    • — Cindy on January 10, 2023
    • Reply
  • I was really looking forward to making these cookies, but didn’t have cream of tartar or whole wheat flour. I substituted baking powder for the cream of tartar & used all purpose flour. My cookie dough was really soft, so the 1st batch turned out quite flat (which told me there’s not enough flour or it needed to be chilled). For the 2nd batch, I added a bit more flour, chilled the dough & it turned out perfectly. Great flavor & crunch but Jenn, can you tell me if cream of tartar & WW flour makes all the difference in the dough consistency? There’s definitely a science to baking & I’m wondering why my dough was so soft? Yes, I reviewed all ingredient amounts & measured everything carefully.

    • — Donna on December 31, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Donna, I strongly suspect that the softer texture of your dough was due to the all-purpose flour. It would’ve been firmer with whole wheat. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on January 4, 2023
      • Reply
  • I made these cookies to add to our Christmas cookie selection. They are my new favorite cookie and not just for Christmas! This is a delicate cookie similar to shortbread, but lighter. Just scrumptious!

    • — Colleen P on December 31, 2022
    • Reply
  • Another winner Jenn! Followed the recipe exactly but used chopped macadamia nuts instead. Took the cookies out of the oven at the 15 minute mark and they were perfect. Almost a crunchy short bread consistency. Just lovely!

    • — Ann-Marie D. on December 23, 2022
    • Reply
  • These are a favorite cookie for any time of the year but they do make it to my Christmas cookie tray. They don’t look fancy but are oh, so good! It’s the toffee bits that add that something extra. They’re crispy, buttery, and the toffee bits and almonds add a crunchy texture. They remind me of a shortbread cookie. They’re very easy to make too.

    • — Judy Hazel on December 22, 2022
    • Reply
  • Can one omit the toffee?

    Thank you.

    • — MAbe on December 21, 2022
    • Reply
    • They won’t be as interesting or as sweet, but technically, you can do it.

      • — Jenn on December 23, 2022
      • Reply
  • Great recipe and the dough was very easy to work with. The cookies were fantastic and I will make again. Plenty for sharing and freezing.

    • — KDW on December 20, 2022
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, I made this before as written and loved the results. I don’t have any whole wheat flour, may I substitute additional all purpose? Thanks for all you do.

    • — C on December 11, 2022
    • Reply
    • Yep that’s fine 🙂

      • — Jenn on December 11, 2022
      • Reply
  • These are amazing. Don’t look fantastic but wait until you taste them. I took them to a family gathering and now the whole family is baking them. 5 stars for sure!!!!!!!

    • — Catherine Stamp-Vincent on December 10, 2022
    • Reply
  • I made these yesterday and my husband is in love. This recipe is truly a keeper. As you say, “humble in appearance” but the taste is like nothing you have experienced in a cookie. Tender, flaky, crispy, and overall a big winner on the cookie tray. Thanks for sharing Jen.

    • — Diane Martin on December 7, 2022
    • Reply
  • Can you help out – what are English Toffee bits – can you buy ‘bits’ or do you have to chop ??
    Is there a brand you could recommend for us

    • — John Fisher on December 1, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi John, You can usually find Heath brand “Bits o’ Brickle English Toffee Bits” in the baking aisle around the holidays.

      • — Jenn on December 1, 2022
      • Reply
  • What can I do if I do not have wheat flour?

    • — Donna on November 25, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Donna, It’s fine to use more all-purpose flour in place of the whole wheat flour.

      • — Jenn on November 26, 2022
      • Reply
  • Absolutely delicious! It’s hard to find heathbars here for some reason but Trader Joe’s didn’t disappoint. Light tasting and addicting.

    • — Lulu on August 24, 2022
    • Reply
  • Would it be possible to replace the flour in this recipe with almond flour? Trying to make this more keto friendly

    • Hi Yael, for the best results, I wouldn’t recommend it — sorry!

  • I enjoyed making these cookies. Toffee bits are easy to find here (I make an awesome butter brickle biscotti with them!), and come in 8 ounce bags. I think you could use the entire bag without it being a problem. I wish I had toasted the almonds. Since this makes such a large batch of cookies, I plan on drizzling some melted 60% cocao chocolate on half of them.

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