Toffee Crunch Cookies (Like The Kind Panera Used To Have!)

Does anyone remember those amazingly delectable, perfectly chewy toffee crunch cookies that Panera Bread used to sell in their bakery? They were downright incredible — and about six months ago they stopped selling them. Slightly tragic news for me. (Seriously — they were really good! And they’ve been replaced by a nowhere-near-as-good “Peanut Butter Dream” cookie, which also has toffee bits. I’m not a fan.)

Looks like I’m not the only one disappointed in this menu adjustment. This self-dubbed lazy mom wasn’t thrilled, either:

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Anyway, I recently had a craving for said toffee deliciousness and, since obviously Panera can no longer help with that (thanks a lot!), I decided to go to the all-knowing Google in search of an imitation recipe. I found this one, and decided tonight was the night to give it a shot. (Note: I opted not to use walnuts, though the recipe I found called for them.)

The result? Chewy, toffee-filled amazingness. I highly recommend this recipe, whether you recall the Panera version or are just a lover of good cookies.

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(P.S. Like my new dessert plates? They’re from the Target Neiman collection, and I adore them!)

Here’s how you can recreate the cookie magic in your very own kitchen:

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup (two sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped Heath Bar pieces (about eight regularly-sized 1.4 ounce bars) — I used my food processor to chop these bars

Directions

  • In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking soda and set aside.
  • In a mixer, beat together the butter and sugar. Beat in eggs, one at a time, and add vanilla.
  • Alternatively mix in the Heath Bar mixture and the flour mixture, a third at a time, until well blended.
  • Cover and chill cookie dough for an hour.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and line cookie sheet with your trusty Silpat (or parchment paper).
  • Roll chilled cookie dough into small, two-inch diameter balls. Be sure to leave a bit of space between each ball of dough, as they tend to spread while baking.
  • Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the edges are just beginning to brown (cookies may appear underbaked).
  • Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet for a couple of minutes, then cool completely on a wire rack.

31 Comments

  1. Carrie

    I’ve made this recipe too and it is outstanding! But you should include the 1/2 cup chopped walnuts for the folks who want the complete recipe. Also, an 8-ounce bag of Heath English Toffee Bits (found in the baking aisle) equals 1.5 cups of chopped Heath Bar pieces. Most importantly: the cookies turn out better when baked at 375, NOT 350. Be sure to take them out when they still look underdone.

    1. Anna

      Thanks, Carrie, for your tips! (I totally agree that taking the cookies out of the oven when they still look underdone is a must. Makes them so chewy for later!)

  2. Heather

    Toffee Nut cookies are back at Panera! But thanks for the recipe for when they decide to have the great idea of removing them again.

  3. Lezlie Thompson

    Thank you for the recipe! I too, was extremely upset that Panera discontinued the Toffee Nut cookies…. and was ecstatic when they brought the cookies back. I only recently thought about looking for a recipe, and finally decided to look this afternoon. I look forward to trying the recipe with the additional tips.

  4. Janet

    Just had my first ever toffee cookie from panera bread ( shocking I know ) and have fallen in love all….to bad the closest panera is over an hour away.😢 I am making these this weekend and hopefully they will hold me over until I pass by a panera again. Thanks for the recipe!!!!

  5. Melinda

    Hi! I made these a few months ago for hubby, and I kid you not he ate three dozen of them in like two days! Only question I have is, if you make them with the actual candy bar pieces (I did mine with the pre-packaged toffee bits) doesn’t the fact that they are coated with chocolate change the flavor and appearance of the cookies, a bit? I wanted mine a little more “chunky”, so plan to crunch my own Heath bars next time, but wondered about their chocolate content. Thanks in advance!

    1. Anna

      I’m so glad your husband enjoyed the cookies. I LOVE this recipe. I think if you’re going for chunkier, chopping up your own bars would be a great route to take next time. That will take them up a notch — hard to believe! 🙂 Thanks for reading and for your comment.

      1. Melinda

        Cool! So do you sheer the chocolate off the Heath bars before you chop them, or do you toss them in the food processor whole? Thanks in advance!

  6. Carolyn burke

    I am addicted to the cookies also
    And was thrilled with this recipe. First time I made them they were the size they are at panera. Made them today and they are smaller and puffier. They taste great but what happened to the size
    Thanks to all that contributed

  7. Ann Hayes

    I had been given a simular recipe put some how the sugar was left out. The recipe also called for cream of tartar. I was glad I found your recipe. What would the cream of tarter do?

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