Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Heath Bar Toffee Coffee Cookies

I've been eying these for awhile, longing to bake with them.

Wanting to bake with toffee bits is a very recent craving. Toffee was one of those tastes that for me was 'acquired' rather than love at first bite.  Like most kids, I preferred caramel to toffee, and chocolate to all three.  I did enjoy gnawing at some toffee my father brought home on one of  his trips, but I felt that it was a fairly 'low return on the investment of chewing' compared to a hot fudge parfait. I mainly enjoyed it when I was feeling very self-pitying, so I could pretend to be British like Sara Crewe, locked in a miserable attic, and waiting for salvation from a rich man while I reveled in my Little Princess status.

Toffee-based Heath Bars were the favorite candy of grown-ups.  I don't remember any child I trick-or-treated with who said "oh boy, a Heath Bar" when the bars ker-plunked in our orange plastic pumpkin heads. They were the kind of candy that mothers and fathers tended (unnecessarily) to horde for themselves.

Whenever I got my hands on any significant amount of sweets I could consume without adult supervision I would always seek to 'pair' it with the perfect book--did Reece's Peanut Butter cups go better with Judy Blume or Beverley Cleary?  Did strawberry rhubarb pie compliment a scary, bloody book of urban legends or Encyclopedia Brown?  I never had a favorite book to read with Heath Bars.

However, much like coffee, I've grown to appreciate Heath Bars.  I've also learned to appreciate vegetables and turkey (two other aversions as a child, at least if the turkey is roasted by me and doesn't come laden with gravy).

It's funny how you seem to wake up and suddenly notice certain things.  Like so much of the summer has passed. Like you have three grey hairs at the crown of your head.  Like you're really interested in the stories on the news about how much you should save for retirement. Like you don't think it would be the coolest thing ever to live on fruit slice candy and frosting from the can.  Like the brown paper-wrapped Heath Bars are rather nice.

Although I do not consume them with brown paper-wrapped books, I hasten to add. Besides, it seems like everyone who reads porn nowadays reads it on a Kindle.

I digress.  (And what do I know, I'd be more likely to re-read A Little Princess than crack open Fifty Shades of  Grey. According to Ellen Fifty Shades will ruin pancakes for me for life, so I'm not biting.)

These cookies are easy, but grown-up.  They would be perfect with a cup of coffee, but you could also serve them with chocolate milk if you want to get in touch with your inner child but tell your children they can't have any because the cookies contain coffee.

In tribute to my fondness for books on urban legends as a kid, I modified and tweaked one of the Neiman Marcus chocolate chip cookie recipes bouncing around the web. You know, the famous urban legend about the cookie recipe that supposedly cost $250.  I'm not giving the toffee bits away for free, but otherwise this recipe is all yours.  What you want to do about giving away your milk, your Kindle, and your spatula when it's not in use making cookies is entirely your business.

Heath Bar Toffee Coffee Cookies

1/2 cup of softened butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons instant coffee

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspooon salt

1 1/2 cups Heath Bar toffee baking chips


1. Cream butter and both sugars. Add egg, vanilla, and coffee.

2. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Incorporate wet and dry.  Fold in chips.  Spoon cookie dough onto two parchment-lined sheets, leaving 2-3 inches of space between each cookie.  Chill for one hour to overnight.

3. Bake cookies at 350F for approximately 10 minutes.  Let cool for five minutes on the sheet before removing them from the parchment. Do not over-bake, as cookies will harden upon cooling.


  1. My roommate in college used to make these and they were absolutely delicious. I'll have to make them one day when I'm feeling nostalgic.

    Defining Tabitha

  2. @Tabitha--give these a try! My recipe isn't the standard one from the back of the toffee bag (it doesn't contain coffee) but I think you'll like them. Especially with a new baby, you need all the caffeine you can get!

  3. I would like to dunk these cookies in melted chocolate because I am an animal.

    I remember getting that exact email about the Neiman-Marcus cookie. "Because both of us are such cookie lovers ..." Ha. I sort of miss the pre-Snopes days when people would forward urban legends around via email. It was one of the first glimmerings of how ridiculous the internet could be.

  4. @flurrious--I did consider drizzling these with dark chocolate! That would be another great way to enjoy them--or in chocolate or coffee ice cream!

    I feel the same way about urban legends, but it's probably for the best we have Snopes because I kept getting into arguments with people about whether a story was an urban legend or not.