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Rafael's Toffee Sugar Cookies

This image courtesy of Anna Blessing and Stephen Hamilton

Send off your friend with your very best—a dozen toffee sugar cookies. This is Chef Rafael’s recipe, and it was featured in Chicago magazine as one of the top 123 dishes to eat in Chicago. The story behind how this cookie recipe came to be is one of my favorites: a new cook made a batch of toffee that didn’t turn out quite right. Chef Rafael didn’t want to waste it, so he decided to grind it up into smaller pieces and use it in a sugar cookie recipe. Who knew that this would become one of our most popular items? Great things often come from mistakes.

Makes24 cookies

Cooking MethodBaking

CostInexpensive

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe CourseDessert

Dietary ConsiderationHalal, Kosher, Peanut Free, Soy Free, Vegetarian

Taste and TextureCrunchy, Sweet

Type of DishCookie, Dessert

Ingredients

  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoons salt
  • 3 sticks (24 tablespoons) unsalted butter, warmed to room temperature
  • 1½ cups light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large whole eggs, warmed to room temperature
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups pieces of Decadent Chocolate-Almond Toffee, ground into small chunks
  • Stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a hand mixer
  • 2 baking sheets
  • Parchment paper
  • Wooden spoon
  • Cookie cutter(s)
  • Rolling pin
  • Marble slab (or just clean off the kitchen counter with water mixed with a few drops of bleach), for rolling out dough
  • Mortar and pestle, spice grinder, or food processor for grinding the toffee

Instructions

  1. Prep: Make the dough at least two hours before you’re ready to bake the cookies and refrigerate it in the meantime.

  2. Take your eggs and butter out of the refrigerator a couple of hours before you plan to prepare the cookie batter.

  3. After the dough has rested in the refrigerator for at least two hours, preheat the oven to 350°F.

  4. Line the baking sheets with parchment paper.

  5. Grind toffee pieces with a mortar and pestle, spice grinder, or food processor. You could also just use a chef’s knife and cutting board.

  6. To Make the Cookies: Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  7. In a small mixing bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

  8. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a mixing bowl (if using a hand mixer), cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy.

  9. As the mixer continues to run, mix in the eggs and vanilla extract until combined.

  10. In two batches, add the dry ingredient mixture to the wet ingredient mixture and mix until combined.

  11. Shut off the mixer and stir the toffee pieces into the mixture by hand using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.

  12. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.

  13. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough using a rolling pin to a ½-inch thickness. (Make sure you sprinkle the top of the dough with flour before using the rolling pin on it.) Cut out the cookies with a square or round cookie cutter and place them 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.

  14. Bake at 350°F for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

  15. To make these cookies taste even better, try dipping half of each cookie in chocolate.

Notes

  1. Shelf Life and Storage Instructions: 1 week stored in an airtight container at room temperature. Dough can be refrigerated for up to 10 days and frozen for up to 6 months.

  2. For best results, use our decadent chocolate-almond toffee recipe, sans chocolate, for the toffee pieces. If you don’t have any toffee pieces in the freezer, you can buy Heath bars and chop them up into small pieces.

  3. If you’re like me and sometimes just don’t have the time or patience to let the dough rest, just use an ice cream scoop or spoon to place gobs of dough 2½ inches apart on the baking sheet and bypass the rolling and cutting stage altogether!

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