Toffee Almond Sandies (Cookie Contest Winner)

Tested & Perfected Recipes Cookbook Recipe

Buttery, sweet almond sandies studded with toffee bits and crunchy almonds— humble in appearance but wonderfully good.

toffee almond sandies

A huge thank you to all who participated in my Le Creuset Cookie Contest! I received hundreds of wonderful and cherished family recipes, and the ones I tried were all delicious. To pick a winner, I packed up the cookies and brought them to a dinner party of twelve close friends. For dessert, we did a cookie tasting, which—in addition to being great fun—seemed like the fairest way to pick a winner. These toffee almond sandiessubmitted by Kelly from Virginia, were the favorite, which was surprising because the others looked far more interesting. But that’s what I love about these cookies: they look plain but when you bite into them, you discover a buttery and sweet shortbread studded with melted toffee bits and crunchy almonds—they’re just wonderfully good. They’re also incredibly easy to make and keep well, making them—in my mind, at least—the perfect holiday cookie. Congrats to Kelly and thanks, everyone, for sharing your wonderful recipes!

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Toffee Almond Sandies

Buttery, sweet almond sandies studded with toffee bits and crunchy almonds— humble in appearance but wonderfully good.

Servings: Makes about 9 dozen (you can easily halve the recipe)

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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Reviews & Comments

  • I made these to have something sweet (but not too sweet) for house guests we had over the Thanksgiving holiday. The first sheet pan-full, I rolled in regular, granulated sugar, then remembered that it was supposed to be turbinado, and rolled the rest in that. Big difference! Huge! The satisfying crunch you get from the raw sugar is – ahem – somewhat addictive. I will say, I was not terribly impressed with these the first day, but they improve – greatly – with age. They are so short that they shatter in your mouth when you bite into them. Delicious! Thanks for another great recipe.

  • can coconut oil be substituted for vegetable oil in recipes?

    • Hi Colleen, I don’t really use coconut oil, so I don’t know a ton about it. According to this article, it looks like it can often be substituted (but please keep in mind that I can’t guarantee the results as I’ve not used it in baking).

  • in the toffee almond sandies recipe is 1 cup oil correct? with a cup of butter and the amount of flour, it calls for it seems like too much. thanks

    • Hi Julie, I know it sounds like a lot, but it’s accurate. Hope you enjoy if you make them!

  • Hi Jenn! Is there a particular brand of toffee bits you use? Thanks
    Farah

    • Hi Farah, I use Heath toffee bits. Enjoy!

  • Sorry, very disappointed after the rave reviews I found these oily flavored, though crisp and sweet cookies. I made half batch. Used canola oil. If I knew the oil taste would override the butter, I would have used flax oil, at least it tastes walnut-like. I gave them to the birds.

  • Buttery, crisp, and delicious! With such a big batch we kept some in the freezer so we could just pop one out every now and then to go with a cup of tea. My first batch was a little too sweet for my taste becuase I was heavy handed rolling the dough balls in sugar. Now I use just enough to add a little extra crunch.

  • Fabulous delicious cookies keep for 2 weeks wrapped in a tin! I used King Arthur White Whole Wheat for the whole wheat flour and readily available Heath Toffee Bits. The marvelous sandy texture and delightful flavor makes these special.
    Thanks Jenn 😊

  • Highly recommend this cookie recipe. It’s a hit in this household.

  • This cookie is guaranteed to please – I’ve been asked for this recipe numerous times! The comments about them being hard leads me to believe that they were left in the oven too long, or the oven runs hot. I only let them stay in till they are slightly darker than when I put them in. I also process sliced almonds and keep them in the freezer for later use.

  • These are my new favorite shortbread-style cookie. Toasted nuts add to the flavor.

  • I made these and they are delicious. The one modification I made since we are strict vegetarians and do not eat eggs is I omitted the eggs and replaced them with grounded flax seed powder and they were a knockout.

    I highly recommend these

  • These are my favorite cookies. The texture is wonderful. I substitute pecans for the almonds and use vanilla instead of amond extract. Really great!

  • Almonds and toffee bits. Can’t get any better than that.

  • I made these at Christmas and they were a big hit! The only problem is I had to give most of them away or I would have eaten them all! It makes a very large batch.

    • — Cathy Chateauvert
    • Reply
  • These are outstanding. Flaky, delicious and keep very well (at least 3 weeks). I gained a couple pounds over Christmas munching on these goodies. Couldn’t keep my hand out of the cookie jar! My whole family, as well as friends at work, loved them!!

  • I followed this recipe exactly and these little cookies are perfectly delicious!!! I ran out of time baking them and had to pause the process so I rolled the dough into logs and wrapped it in waxed paper. I refrigerated two logs and froze the third. The next day I sliced the dough into 1/4″ thick circles, sprinkled with sugar, and baked at 350 degrees for 11 minutes. It worked beautifully- even easier than rolling dough in sugar and flattening. Just thought I’d pass on what I discovered out of necessity. Thank you for a beautiful recipe which will become a permanent favorite.

  • Disappointed considering how many positive things are said. I filled this recipe to the T. Are they supposed to be incredibly crunchy? I did not burn them…they look great. Taste is fine, but can’t get past how hard they are. And yes, they’ve been in an air tight container.

    • Hi Erin, They do have a little crunch due to the toffee and almond pieces, but the cookies themselves should not be hard. They should have more of a shortbread consistency. Sorry you had a problem with them!

    • Erin, that was my impression, too, on the first day. But these cookies are better on the 2nd & 3rd days – and more – great for gift giving. I used the entire bag of toffee bits, since there was only about 1/4 cup left over when I weighed out the amount called for in the recipe. Perhaps subbing brown sugar for some of the white sugar would up the flavor? I might give that a try next time, although it will increase the moisture in the cookie, and possibly ruin their beautiful Shortbread quality. Fingers crossed.

  • These cookies were okay. There was nothing particularly wrong with them or the recipe, but they weren’t special and I wouldn’t put them near my top 20 cookies. The texture was fine for sandies, but the taste was lacking. I’m not sure how to improve the taste – the almond extract was nice and the almonds added a little crunch, but the toffee flavor didn’t really shine through. I’ve made a variety of recipes from this website and have loved every other one, but I’m sorry to say that I won’t make this one again.

  • Hi Jenn, Do you roast the almonds? Are the skins left on? Thanks!

    • Hi Cathy, I use slivered almonds, which are blanched (and I don’t toast them for this recipe – but you could). 🙂

      • Thank you! I’m making them tomorrow for a wine and cheese party.

        • I did roast the almonds for 4 minutes in my toaster oven and then chopped them. These cookies are so yummy, my new favourite. Took them to a wine & cheese and they disappeared.

  • I’m making these as soon as I get some toffee bits, Jenn! I noticed in your notes that they keep quite a while, and am wondering how many days that means (in general). Am trying to put together a few ideas for cookies to ship for Christmas, so specific shelf life would be really helpful. Thanks!

  • Hi Jenn,
    Can these cookies be made without the almonds? We don’t like nuts in our cookies.

    Thank you,

    • Sure! Hope you enjoy. 🙂

      • I made these cookies for Christmas and they were surely something really good about 2020! They were buttery and sweet and made a lot of delicious cookies! Great for a cookie swap because the recipe also makes plenty dozen cookies for packaging up and sharing with friends!

        • — Evangeline on January 28, 2021
        • Reply
  • Hi Jenn. If you have time, could you do the metric conversion. I’m spoilt for choice with your Christmas recipes! We don’t have the toffee bits in Australia, I don’t think, but I’ve found a simple recipe to make them. Thanks again. Anita

    • Hi Anita, I just added the metric conversions. Hope you enjoy the cookies!

  • I tried out this recipe and was so happy with the results. I didn’t change a thing. The recipe makes a ton of cookies so I gave some away as gifts (which they loved) and kept a few for myself….delicious!

  • What do you use for the toffee bits?

    • Hi Corinne, Heath makes toffee bits – you can usually find them around holiday time in the supermarket near the chocolate chips.

  • Hello,
    I follow the recipe exactly, but mine was really spread out, it was not thick and small like the picture. It’s still tasty, but I like that small round look. What did I miss?

    • Hi Rosalina, Is there any possibility that you measured incorrectly? Or is your baking soda really old?

  • I forgot to mention that I used vanilla instead of almond extract (since I used pecans instead of almonds).

  • My family and I loved these cookies! I used pecans instead of almonds, but other than that, I followed the directions to the letter. So easy and tasty! I’m glad that this recipe makes a TON of cookies. These babies will definitely be on my Christmas cookie tray this year!

  • Do I really need to add the whole wheat flour? If it’s going to make a big difference I will definitely buy some. Thanks

    • No Cindy, you can use all-purpose for all the flour if you prefer. Hope you enjoy!

  • I’ve been eyeing these for a while now and I finally made them today. So very good is all I can say. Love the almond flavor and the nuts. They are not to sweet and the texture is nice and light. I’ll definitely be making these again. Thanks Jenn for the recipe.

  • These look wonderful! My Granny used to make a cookie like this and I’m going to make them with my kids on her birthday to remember her.

  • Trisha Yearwood makes a wonderful chocolate orange cake. Perhaps you could work your majic on it?

    • Hi Jodi, Thanks for the suggestion as I’m always looking for new inspiration! I’ll add it to my list of recipes to potentially develop.

  • Hi Jenn, I just made a comment about the Toffee Almond Sandies and forgot to mention the cook time is 12-14 minutes.

    • — Barbara Vorsteher
    • Reply
  • I hosted my first cookie swap in December and was looking for an easy, big batch kind of cookie. When I came across this recipe, I knew I had found what I was looking for. They even had a holiday sparkle! I altered the recipe slightly as follows. The granulated sugar was replaced with 200 grams of pure maple sugar(about 1-1/2 to 1-3/3 cups). The almonds were replaced with 2 cups of chopped pecans and in place of the almond extract, used vanilla extract as I couldn’t find pure maple extract. I did roll then in granulated sugar before baking as the original recipe indicated. I lowered the oven temperature to 325F. These are beautiful and absolutely delicious cookies with the subtle maple flavour and the bonus is they are so easy to whip up.

    • — Barbara Vorsteher
    • Reply
    • King Arthur Flour has pure Maple Extract.

  • I made 14 dozen of these cookies as Christmas gifts and another 6 dozen for my family and myself. I followed the recipe exactly, except that in the first batch I did not use almond extract because I’d run out of it. I substituted vanilla. For the second batch I used almond extract. The almond flavoring makes a world of difference, so delicious. The vanilla was good too but the cookies were more bland. Also, I found that using a half tablespoon measuring spoon worked perfectly to scoop just the right amount of dough. I’ll make this again!

    • Thanks for the scoop size reference!

  • These cookies are my husband’s all time favorite! Melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness in every bite.
    Thanks for such a great recipe (all of you recipes are wonderful)!

  • Every recipe I’ve made from your web is 5Star. just want to know if l can add sunflower seeds. I can’t find a recipe for sunflower seed cookies. Does whole wheat flour make a difference instead of all white flour? Thanks for sharing your recipes. All of us in BC Canada love you. Thanks

    • — Violet Thompson
    • Reply
    • Hi Violet, So glad you enjoy the recipes! I do think you could add sunflower seeds to these, and regarding the flour, you could try these with white whole wheat flour (I like King Arthur brand) but the taste will definitely be different. I’d love to hear how they turn out with these changes!

  • This was such an easy cookie to make with a wonderful crisp cookie. I made this cookie last weekend with my sisters. We all gave it 5 stars!

  • how do you chop/process the toffee bits? Should I use a food processer?

    • Hi Patty, I buy the toffee bits packaged but, yes, a few pulses in a food processor should work. Enjoy!

  • Can i crush heath bars to replace the toffee nibs?

    • Hi Sara, I think it would work but the chocolate will change the flavor the bit.

  • These are really delicious, I wish I had cut the recipe in half I would make them again but not so many Thanks

    • — Beverly Franco
    • Reply
  • These are AMAZING! Made half the batch, and froze the rest of the dough for another time. The cookies were light, crispy and so delicious! I substituted almond flour for the chopped almonds, and put some sliced almonds on top before baking. Outstanding! Thank you!

  • These are delicious!

    • — Jennifer Peters
    • Reply
  • Just found this website a few days ago so this is one of the first things I have made from it. I have one thing to say, YUM! I’m glad I cut the recipe in half because my pants would never fit after eating 9 dozen cookies

  • I’m not a baker but I made these toffee almond sandies for the holidays. Wow! They were incredibly good!!

  • Excellent cookie. Thanks for another fantastic recipe.

  • I need the almond toffee Sandies and they were delicious and so delicious fresh out of the oven but then the cookies got hard within an hour how do you prevent them from getting so hard?

    • Hi Bea, Did you store them in an airtight container as soon as they were fully cooled?

  • Just wondering whether the chopped almonds in the Toffee Almond Sandies cookies are skin on, or does it matter?Thank you!

    • Hi Del, I used slivered almonds for this recipe (with no skin). While I think you could get away with using almonds with the skin, for best results I would recommend the slivered ones instead.

  • These cookies are amazing! A delicate,crumbly,texture,having the crunchy toffee bits to balance them. Good for holiday gifting or any time of the year when, (heaven forbid!), just not feelin the standard chocolate chip cookie!

  • Jenn,
    Please tell me how many cookies (approximately) this Toffee Almond Cookie recipe makes. I want to make them for an office cookie swap and I am pretty sure we will need to make at least 12 dozen. If you have a better idea for this please advise. Thanks!!

    Deb Bay

    • Hi Deb, the recipe makes about 9 dozen cookies, so you may want to make 1 1/2 times the recipe. Hope everyone enjoys them!

  • Are the toffee almond sandies ok to freeze

    • Hi Karen, Yes definitely 🙂

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