I have a current, and growing, obsession with Panera. They basically have everything I enjoy under one roof (except alcohol). I really love their salads, but yes, much prefer their pastries. It's a fun place to eat because it is quick and loud, which means I can bring Miss P and we can share a meal.
Darling Husband really liked their toffee cookies...which they have discontinued! I'm not sure why, they were super tasty. I thought I would attempt to make my own toffee cookie for him. It's been a while since I have tasted this cookie, so I didn't have much to go on. I wanted a buttery base with some toffee highlights mixed in.
To help maximize the buttery flavor, I knew I had to brown the butter. I also had some dark brown sugar in the pantry and thought that would be fun to use, I typically use light brown sugar. Toss in lots of vanilla and here we go! This is a quick and easy recipe that you can completely mix by hand....nice for when the baby is sleeping!
I thought these cookies turned out nicely. Were they a knock-off of Panera? Not quite. I think Panera's cookies had a cakier texture than mine. Perhaps they also used a more distinct toffee bit, or even some extra caramel? I will definitely make this cookie again and Darling Husband ate a few so I have some confidence that I created a good recipe. I even had some fun and stacked two dough balls on top of each other to create an extra large cookie!
Brown Butter Toffee Cookies
makes about 2 dozen
1 cup browned butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 whole egg
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 8 ounce bag Heath Toffee bits
Preheat oven to 350. Prepare baking sheets with parchment paper or a Silpat.
Brown butter and set aside, allowing to cool in a large bowl. (Directions on browning butter here)
In a large bowl whisk together flour and baking soda; set aside.
Add both sugars, salt, and vanilla to bowl with butter. Whisk until fully combined. Add egg and egg yolk, stir until smooth. Stir in flour mixture, and fold in toffee bits. Use a cookie scoop, or drop dough by rounded teaspoonful on prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 12 minutes, until cookies are golden brown. Allow to set on cookie sheet for another minute or two and then cool completely on a wire rack.
It was fun to make a cookie without chocolate chips! Definitely something different for those sweet-lovers in your life. But, I would love to make a chocolate chip cookie just like the one at Panera!