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Toffee Almond Sandies

Tested & Perfected Recipes Cookbook Recipe

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

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 chopped almonds
  • 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. Store in airtight container.
  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.

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  • 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
  • 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
  • Hi Jen,
    I want to make this recipe but haven’t been able to find toffee bits, except for heath bar bits (with chocolate). Is that what this recipe calls for? If not, where would I find the plain toffee?
    Love your blog and cookbooks!

    • — Kelly on December 1, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Kelly, So glad you like the blog! Heath bar bits are exactly what you need so you’re in good shape. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on December 1, 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
  • 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

    • — Yael on January 8, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Yael, for the best results, I wouldn’t recommend it — sorry!

      • — Jenn on January 10, 2022
      • Reply
  • 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.

    • — Nancee on December 16, 2021
    • Reply

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