Salted Vanilla Toffee Cookies

Salty and sweet vanilla cookies loaded with chunks of toffee and topped with a little sea salt. Chewy edges, soft centers, lots of buttery goodness.

Chewy edges, soft centers, lots of buttery goodness!!

Chewy edges, soft centers, lots of buttery goodness!!

To develop this recipe, I used the same base recipe as my Butter Pecan Cookies. I decided to use that recipe, sans toasted pecans, because I love the flavor of the dough. Most cookie doughs need a little something, like chocolate chips, in order to actually taste good. But this dough? It truly stands its own. It has enough butter flavor to make your extra butter bucket of popcorn jealous. And its the perfect spot for toffee, vanilla, and a sprinkle of sea salt.

Speaking of vanilla. For superior vanilla flavor, use both pure vanilla extract and a vanilla bean. Scrape the seeds from 1/2 of a vanilla bean and add it to this cookie dough. You can find vanilla beans in the spice aisle and in specialty kitchen stores. They are a little pricey, but a little goes a long way. I strongly encourage it for today’s cookies. In a pinch, an extra teaspoon of pure vanilla extract works instead.

Chewy edges, soft centers, lots of buttery goodness!!

Chewy edges, soft centers, lots of buttery goodness!!

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Salted Vanilla Toffee Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 3 hours, 35 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours
  • Yield: 30 cookies
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Salty and sweet vanilla cookies loaded with chunks of toffee and topped with a little sea salt. Chewy edges, soft centers, lots of buttery goodness.


Ingredients

  • 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (200g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • seeds scraped from 1/2 of a vanilla bean*
  • 2 and 1/2 cups (312g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 1/2 cups Heath English Toffee Bits ‘O Brickle*
  • sea salt, for sprinkling

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter for 1 minute on medium speed until completely smooth and creamy. Add the granulated sugar and brown sugar and beat on medium high speed until fluffy and light in color. Beat in eggs, vanilla, and vanilla bean seeds on high speed. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt together until combined. On low speed, slowly mix into the wet ingredients until combined. The cookie dough will be quite thick. Add the toffee bits, mix on low for about 5-10 seconds until evenly disbursed. Cover dough tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and chill for at least 3 hours and up to 3 days. Chilling is mandatory for this cookie dough.
  3. Remove cookie dough from the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes– if the cookie dough chilled longer than 3 hours, let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. This makes the cookie dough easier to scoop and roll.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
  5. Once chilled, the dough might be slightly crumbly, but will come together if you work the dough with your hands as you roll into individual balls. Scoop and roll balls of dough, about 1 Tablespoon of dough each, into balls. Sprinkle with sea salt.
  6. Bake the cookies for 10 minutes (11 minutes for crispier cookies), until slightly golden brown around the edges. My oven has hot spots and yours may too- so be sure to rotate the pan once during bake time. The baked cookies will look extremely soft in the centers when you remove them from the oven. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet. If the cookies are too puffy, try gently pressing down on them with the back of a spoon. They will slightly deflate as you let them cool. Transfer to cooling rack to cool completely. Sprinkle with additional sea salt if desired.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week. Baked cookies freeze well – up to three months. Unbaked cookie dough balls freeze well – up to three months. Bake frozen cookie dough balls for an extra minute, no need to thaw.
  2. Vanilla Bean: For best flavor, don’t leave out the vanilla bean! You can find vanilla beans in the spice aisle and in specialty kitchen stores. They are a little pricey, but a little goes a long way. In a pinch, an extra teaspoon of pure vanilla extract works instead.
  3. Heath Baking Bits: There are actually two kinds of Heath baking bits found in the baking aisle next to the chocolate chips: Heath Milk Chocolate Toffee Bits and Heath Bits ‘O Brickle (without chocolate). For these cookies, I use the kind without chocolate. You can use either, or you can use chopped Heath candy bars or chopped homemade toffee.
  4. Adapted from Butter Pecan Cookies.

Keywords: vanilla toffee cookies, salted toffee cookies

Even though there's no chocolate, these vanilla toffee cookies are INCREDIBLE. My favorite cookie recipe this year!

143 Comments

  1. I tried this recipe on a whim. My two sisters (who don’t even like cookies) were burning their fingers trying to eat these off of the pan as they came out of the oven. When my mom got home from work, she said these were the best cookies she’d ever put in her mouth. I particularly love how these turn out soft and chewy without being doughy, instead of crumbly and dry like many homemade cookies tend to be. Five stars.

  2. So yummy. I’m embarrassed (or proud?) how quickly my hubby and I finished eating a batch of these cookies. Blame it on the ?

  3. Just tried these. I can tell they would be lovely, but mine turned out SO flat. I used the right amount of butter (at room temp) and refrigerated for 3 hours. Any suggestions for next time? Thanks!!!

    1. Hi Robin, Without knowing exactly what went wrong, you can use my 10 Guaranteed Tips to Prevent Cookies from Spreading to help troubleshoot. I hope it helps!

  4. Delish and makes more than 30 cookies! I got 45; probably would have had 50 if I hadn’t been sampling the raw dough!

  5. I was so excited to try this cookie but very disappointed with the final result—they were so flat and spread out, but tasty. I read all the comments before I made them. Because of the comments, I followed your instructions and even read your tips to prevent spreading before I started. The dough was chilled overnight and the formed balls kept in the fridge until their turn on the baking tray. I was confident mine would look like yours. I’m part of a cookie group, posted a picture and asked for comments. Based on suggestions from that group, if I make them again, I will definitely add a little more flour. The group suggested that I switch out half the butter for shortening? (Used parchment paper to bake on).

    1. Hi Sherry! Thank you so much for trying this recipe and I’m here to help. Toffee can be a funny add-in in cookies because the texture ranges between brands or if it’s homemade– did you use the Heath bits o brickle or another toffee? Regardless, make sure your butter isn’t too warm. It should be cool to the touch, at the proper room temperature consistency. You can certainly try swapping half of the butter for shortening, but you’ll lose some flavor. Another option is to remove 1 egg white (so you’re only using 1 whole egg + 1 egg yolk) or add another 2-3 Tablespoons of flour to help soak up the butter.

  6. I would like to make these cookies but I only have vanilla bean paste, will the measurements be the same as using vanilla extract?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Melva! Yes, 1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste is equivalent to about 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. So for this recipe, use about 2 teaspoons of vanilla bean paste.

  7. hi there! This looks delish and i would loke to try today but indont have cornstarch. What can i substitute? Can i just add an extra tsp of flour?

    1. Hilari @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Kay, The cornstarch keeps these cookies extra soft. You can skip it if you don’t have any- no other changes needed. Hope you enjoy these cookies!

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