Toffee Almond Sandies

Tested & Perfected Recipes Cookbook Recipe

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

Ingredients

  • 3-1/2 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

Instructions

  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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Comments

  • Would love to try these and make a double batch, but am wondering, could these be frozen? Then popped in the oven within a few months to bake?

    • Hi Anna, Yes, that would work fine.

  • This is a great recipe to use as a base for Pecan Sandies. I changed to gluten free and sugar free by replacing flours with a gluten free blend and replacing the sugar with Swerve. It came out great. I used pecans of course and omitted the toffee as they are not sugar free. There are some great recipes on this site. I will try converting the chocolate chip pecan blondies next.

    • I’ve just gone gluten free and was wondering which flour you used, and whether you’ve tried and been successful with other recipes on this site using gluten free substitutes. Thanks!

  • These are wonderful!! I halved the recipe, very easy to do. Thanks!!

  • I made these cookies for a special family party. They were a huge hit. I have been baking cookies from scratch for many years, and these are absolutely the best I have ever made. I followed the recipe exactly and they were perfect. Thank you for posting the recipe!

  • Not enough stars for this recipe! I rolled then in turbinado sugar before baking. These are perfect!

  • These are my new favorite cookie!!! of all time. I used kosher salt instead of regular and it made them be even more addictive with a faint salt crumb to add to the sandy texture. The recipe makes a lot but I’ll I’ll be doubling it everytime because they fly off the plate. Yum!!!!

  • Wow, these are amazing! Light, buttery, just the right amount of everything. These will go to the top of my list along with coconut cranberry chews as our favorite cookie. I’m going to have to give these away to the neighbors or my jeans will be too tight in a matter of days.

    Thanks, Jen, for sharing so many delicious recipes with us this year. Happy Holidays to you and your family!

  • Thinking I would use coconut oil instead of vegetable oil – do you think that would work?

    • Hi Diane, It should work as long as the coconut oil is in melted form — might impart a slight coconut flavor but that’s not a bad thing 🙂

  • Can I use all purpose flout for the whole wheat too?

    • Hi Julie, Yes that’s fine.

  • I use White Whole Wheat flour, instead of all-purpose or wheat flours. Any ideas on what the total flour measurement would be??

    • Hi Edi, I would use 3 cups all purpose to 1-1/2 cups white whole wheat flour. Please come back and let me know how they turn out!

      • Thanks so much for the response, but I think my question wasn’t clear…I was wondering about making them without using all-purpose flour…using only white whole wheat…your thought??

        • Ahh, sorry, I misunderstood. You can just sub white whole wheat flour cup for cup for all purpose flour but the taste will definitely be different.

          • How bad can it be?! lol Thanks again!

            • — Edi
  • this is basically the Amish sugar cookie recipe with add ins.

  • Would really like to try this recipe, just one question…Is it okay to use almond flour instead of the regular flour Somehow I have this bag of flour and is it okay though.

    Thank you and hope to hear from you soon

    • Hi Lillian, I’m sorry almond flour will not work as a substitute for regular flour.

  • I live in Tasmania, Australia and am unsure what is meant by English toffee bits. Is it crunchy toffee broken into shards? Or small bits of firm caramel, also known as toffee in Britain?
    I would like to try the recipe, but can’t find the product you mention in my local stores. We do, however, have a local sweet shop that sells many traditional British sweets (candies) so I think I could make a reasonable adaptation if I had more of an idea of what I am looking for. Thanks.

    • Hi Marguerite, It is crunchy toffee broken into shards. Hope you are able to find a good substitute…the cookies are delicious!

    • Hi Marguerite, I’m also in Australia – what did you end up using for the toffee bits? Thank you!

  • I have made these cookies a few times and they always turn out great! I accidentally bought the chocolate covered toffee bits and used them anyway, and the cookies were still good!!

  • We added these last year to our annual Christmas cookies to make. They were a hit with everyone who tried them, I wouldn’t change anything!

  • Delicious…I used unbleached flour since I dint have any whole wheat flour & it worked great. I would love to win the cook wear

  • my mouth is watering and I love the Twix bars!

  • These cookies are great. Recipe easy and fast.

  • Great tasting cookies!!

  • These are my husband’s absolute favorite cookie! Seems like I can’t make them fast enough sometimes.

  • I have made these a couple of times and they are great.. I used chocolate covered heath peices on one occaision and they turned out just as good.

  • I have made these twice to give as gifts and the recipients thought they were great both times. We have enjoyed them also.

  • Pecan sandies are my favorite store bought cookie. These are even better.

  • These are the absolute BEST cookies I’ve ever had! They’re super easy to make and I love that they make so many. I’ve taken them to every function I’ve been to since you posted this winner and each time I get multiple requests for the recipe.

  • I just made this recipe today, and it is a hit with everyone in my family. I find it to be the perfect cookie — perfect texture, taste, and look. It is light and crisp. The almonds make a great taste and texture. (I had sliced almonds on hand and just put those in the chopper to use. Very nice.) The cookies are flavorful — not too sweet and definitely not bland. And they have a perfect, light color and look. I know we’ll be making these again and again. I baked on a Silpat rather than parchment paper. Delicious cookies.

  • My daughter and I made these for Christmas. My new favorite for sure! Loved them!

  • I have made these cookies several times and they are always a big hit.

  • My girlfriend & I had a bake date, we decided to bake these Toffee Almond Sandies, the recipe was easy to follow and they were absolutely delicious! We sprinkled ground cinnamon on half of the batch, it was a nice touch.

  • I made this at Christmas and dipped half of each cookie in Chocolate. Soooooo good!

  • These cookies were a hit with the whole family and did not last long!

  • Can’t wait to make these! Would love to try the others, will you please post those recipes as well? Thanks!

  • I made these today. Wonderful. I made half the recipe. Definitely use the parchment paper as they do brown on the bottom. How nice to have a new cookie to add to my Christmas cookie collection. Love your site and your recipes. How about a few more Christmas cookie recipes for this year??

  • I made these yesterday slightly deviating from the recipe. Instead of almonds and toffee, I went the pecan sandie route as they are the favorite of my boyfriend’s father. I swapped the almond extract for 2 teaspoons of vanilla, added about 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and used 2 cups of chopped/toasted pecans. I knew once I tried the batter these cookies were going to be amazing but that first bite was absolute bliss. They blew me, and everyone else, away. Eat your heart out Keebler elves!

  • These are quite possibly the best cookies I’ve ever eaten! I’m so glad the recipe makes 9 dozen. I may eat most of them myself!

  • Great ideas, Tom! So funny because as I was baking them, I wondered how they’d be with both pecans and chocolate, but because it was a cookie contest, I had to stick to the recipe. Thank you for letting me know! I’ll definitely experiment a little next time.

  • Wonderful cookie Jen, I was also curious if you plan on posting the other cookie recipes that were submitted? Always curious to see what other bakers created. As for these Toffee Almond Sandies, I broke mine up in batches and added some ground pecans to one group, toffee speckles (fine ground) to another & chocolate speckles to the third group sprinkling the tops lightly before making any indentations & baking. Another option is rolling them lightly in fine ground pecans or almonds before pressing into a cookie and baking.

    • Tom,
      After making these initially exactly as Jenn wrote the recipe, I’m going to try your variations on my next batches. Pecans are always my favorite kind of nut, so I’m going to try adding them (as well as chocolate to a different batch) and I love your idea of rolling the balls in chopped pecans before pressing with a fork and baking. Great ideas. Thanks.

  • I love that you made all of these cookies and then did a “taste test” with your friends. Genius. And what lucky friends you have to taste all these goodies! Happy holiday! (p.s. thanks for your recent comment…so great to meet you).

  • Anne, Toffee Bits of Brickle is the one to use.

  • Hi All, I don’t think I’ll get the other recipes posted before the holidays but if you’re interested in any of them, email me at [email protected] and I’ll send them to you directly. Thanks!

  • We loved these cookies! They make A LOT! We’ll be adding this to our Christmas cookie list from now on for sure. Thanks!

  • Congrats to Kelly! I agree, I would love to see the recipes for the others as well.

  • Ditto… please share the other recipes. They all look fabulous, especially Rose’s Raspberry Almond Thumbprints… they just LOOK like Christmas!

  • The Toffee Almond Sandies look delish!

    I am honored that you tried the lemon thins!

    That was a fun giveaway! I hope you will share the other recipes!

  • What type of Heath’s Toffee bits did you use? I found Milk Chocolate ones and Bits of Brickle Toffee (which is what I purchased) at a Food Lion. I haven’t made them yet.

    Anne

  • Yes!! Please print the recipes for the other cookies pictured. I am really interested in the lemon thins!!! Thanks,
    Courtney

  • I loved this post. Will you share the other “runners-ups?”

    Janise

  • All of those cookies look delicious! Could you share the recipes for all the pictured ones???

    • Hi, do you think that crushed Werther’s Original candies would work in place of toffee?…I’m having a hard time finding it. Thanks!

      • — Leah on November 15, 2021
      • Reply
      • Sure, I think that would work. Please LMK how they turn out!

        • — Jenn on November 16, 2021
        • Reply
  • These all look wonderful and I want to try them all…but first will be Toffee Almond Sandies…then Twix bar. Beautiful pictures as usual!

  • Yum. They all sound and look good. Will you please share recipes for the runners up that are featured? Pretty please!

  • Would you please post the recipes for the other cookies pictured in this post? They look amazing as well! Thanks!

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