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!!

I made today’s salty sweet cookies for all my friends visiting last weekend. The batch makes 2 and 1/2 dozen and there wasn’t a crumb left by Sunday morning.

I truly believe that all salty sweet desserts are addictive.

First, you take a bite of salty.

“What is this?! It’s so good! Is that sea salt?”

Second bite. It’s sweet.

“Ahhhhhhh! (actual scream) It’s sweet and vanilla-y too.”

And then, the last bite.

“Ommmg I love toffee. I can’t even.”

Repeat 30 times.

My friends do not talk like this. But for cookie writing purposes, YES they do.

I attribute the cookies’ mass appeal to supreme buttery flavor, all the fresh vanilla, the bits of toffee in every single bite, and the sprinkle of sea salt on top. There is so much going on; your tastebuds will go into overdrive.

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

My stomach is growling looking at this pile of cookies. ↑

Focus, Sally.

Today’s recipe idea came to me when I began cleaning out my baking closet. Our downstairs closet is technically a coat closet that is 90% baking products, 8% coats, and 2% umbrella. And it was begging to be cleaned out. With approximately 894375394 bulk baking ingredients sprawled out on the floor, I found two packages of the Heath English Toffee Bits ‘O Brickle. You know the kind?

Just so there is no confusion, 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 (I always giggle saying “bits ‘o brickle” out loud. Bits ‘OOOOO Brickle.). For today’s cookies, I used the kind without chocolate.

Gasps.

Sorry, chocoholics.

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

With a package of Bits O’ Brickle 😉 in hand, I got to work in the kitchen before my friends arrived. To develop this recipe, I used the same base recipe as my Butter Pecan Cookies. Remember those from the holidays? 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. You’ll 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.

See the little black vanilla bean specks? Flavor! Flavor!

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

I explain a lot about this cookie dough’s ingredients in this post. I won’t repeat it all here, but there is one thing worth noting again:

This cookie dough is supremely soft and a little sticky. You know what’s best for soft, sticky cookie dough? Chilling. Chill this dough for at least 3 hours and up to 3 days. Trust me about this one. Chilling allows the cookie dough to thicken and the brown sugar*, butter, toffee, sea salt, and vanilla flavors to really come through. The longer you chill, the better. Just remember that the longer you chill the cookie dough, the longer you should let it sit out at room temperature before rolling into balls and baking. The results of chilling this cookie dough are worth the wait.

*I use a higher ratio of brown sugar to white sugar in this cookie recipe. Brown sugar = rich flavor, ultimate chewiness, moist texture, and soft cookie centers.

Happy Friday indeed.

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

Print

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!

133 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.

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