Toffee Macadamia Nut Cookies

October 14, 2009

I was wrong. When I baked the butterscotch toffee cookies this past summer I thought I had found the toffee cookie from my childhood. The taste and texture that started my love affair with everything sweet that came out of an oven. Those butterscotch toffee cookies were spectacular, But these hit the bulls eye. I am smitten...with cookie! Is that even possible?
Recently I wrote an article for The Daring Kitchen about how my love for baking began. It made me want to return to the smells and flavours of childhood and revisit a few of my favourite memories. Toffee cookies will always hold a special place in my taste buds.
Is it the creamy rich macadamia nuts? The sweet, buttery toffee? The sea salt? The sparkling sugar that makes these look like something out of a fairy tale? Am I crazy to be so enamoured with a cookie? The answers are 'all of the above', and 'yes'. I think everyone knows the power of taste and smell. The scent of something can transport us back to an exact date and location and for a few seconds we are whisked back to another time. When I ate one of these cookies I was a small girl in a school uniform with crooked knee socks looking at an array of treats at a much missed bakery. In front of my wide eyes was a world of brownies, baklava, cakes, tarts, cookies, croissants and so much more. Trying to decide which one I wanted was almost impossible. But their toffee cookies were one of my favourites. Since I was only allowed one, I savored each soft bite. I hope everyone will find a little bit of magic in these cookies. They meet most of the required ideals. Soft, chewy middles and a caramely crunch along the edges. The toffee offers a buttery flavour that spreads beyond the actual toffee bits. The madadamia nuts are smooth, creamy and give a perfect bumpiness to the texture. As usual I used a bit more sea salt than most recipes call for. But I think toffee, just as caramel, should be slightly salty. If you can only find salted macadamia nuts just omit the 2 1/2 teaspoons. Play round with it until you find your inner child. :> Toffee Macadamia Nut Cookies
* printer friendly recipe *
  • 2 1/4 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 egg (room temperature)
  • 3/4 cups of butter (1 and 1/2 sticks at room temp.)
  • 1 1/4 cups of loosely packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon of almond extract
  • 1 cup of English toffee bits
  • 1 cup of unsalted chopped macadamia nuts
  • About 1/2 cup of granulated sugar for rolling (optional)


In a medium bowl, Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a larger bowl, Beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add the brown sugar and beat for about 2 minutes. Add the almond extract and beat to combine. Continue beating as you add the egg. On low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients and beat/stir (it will be thick) until thoroughly combined.

Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Place the granulated sugar into a large, shallow bowl (if using)

Use a slightly rounded tablespoonful for each cookie. Gently mold each cookie into a tight ball and roll them into the granulated sugar if you are using it. Place the cookies about 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake for 9-10 minutes. The centers will look undercooked. If you want crispy cookies, increase the baking time to 10-11 minutes. Allow the cookies to sit for 5 minutes before trasnfering them to a cooling rack.


  1. Beautifully written post and I was right there with you with the remembered scents and smells.

    Oh, yes, I can see a love affair with a cookie; I am a cookie lover as well. I have not eaten macadamia nuts in ages as they are soooo expensive here, but I love them so. I think I will create a special occasion for myself and make these cookies.

    Thank you for sharing such a beautiful memory and cookie!

  2. Hi Katy! Macadamia nuts are expensive and when I do buy them I try and make sure that they pay for themselves by way of exqusite taste. :)

  3. Valerina, you rock! I have toffee bits waiting to become something delectable. I recently blogged about my love affair with almond. You definitely hit the bulls eye. I don't have to guess that these will be perfect. Thank you, my friend. These are in queue for a lunch box treat very, very soon. But, first, I must bake something with pumpkin.

  4. Great post!
    Sounds delicious!
    (Thank you for your thoughtful comment - it was really appreciated!)

  5. If you do decide to make these, please let me know if you are as enamored with them as I was. :)

    Hi Isabelle, It's good to see you are back. :)

  6. Macademia nuts are so great! Espacially I'm cookies. They had a je ne sais quoi that makes them so good !

  7. ohhh, I think I like these!! I think I need to start baking some cookies!

  8. I love toffee bits in cookies. And the touch of salt is the crowning touch.

  9. What a fabulous combination. I can't wait to try these! Thanks for the post!

  10. The ingredients say almond extract, and then the recipe calls for you to add vanilla, which did you use? or both?

  11. Sorry for about that. I only used almond extract in this recipe. It adds a depth of flavour to the toffee and macadamia combination.

    Thank you for drawing my attention to that mistake :)

  12. Hi

    I was wondering what other type of nut I could you use for this recipe, I do not like Macadamia Nuts.

  13. Hi, Jackie
    This is a flexible recipe, I think you could get away with using just about any kind of nut you like! But because the toffee is on the sweet side, walnuts would best balance things out. :)
    Thanks for visiting.

  14. Loved this recipe, and will add it to my "Best macadamia Nut Recipes" blog over at Squidoo! I Used Hawaii macadamia nuts for this recipe. I get mine from In my opinion, Hawaii produces the best Mac Nuts!

  15. Hi Aaron,
    You're right, Hawaii does produce the best macadamia nuts! I'm glad you liked the recipe. :D


Thanks for visiting, and for taking the time to read through my ramblings!
If you have a recipe comment or question, I'd love to hear from you.

Happy Baking!
♥ Valerie


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