Mattison Avenue Toffee Bar Cookies Recipe

"You know you're crazy," says my husband as he observes the kitchen counter covered with crumbs and cookies in various stages; each pile labeled with sticky notes.  Yes, I realize I'm crazy...but I don't care.  Some people are passionate about music or sports.  Me - I love to play with food.  I love to develop and perfect a great recipe.  I love to research why certain ingredients and techniques create different results.  I love to hear, "OMG that is the best _____ ever!"  Crazy = Tasty food, so watch who you're calling crazy!

This toffee bar cookie originated when I was a second grade teacher at Mattison Avenue Elementary in the early 90's.  We were a tight knit group who loved teaching and working at this great little neighborhood school in Ambler, PA.  I would make big batches at holiday time and give them as gifts to my school friends.  They became a delicious tradition of many years.  I haven't made those cookies in quite a while, but a taste for them must still linger…as I recently received an email from a school friend I hadn't spoken to in ages - asking for the recipe!  The recipe was not super original - I would simply mix up a batch of Toll House Cookie dough, but instead of chocolate chips, stir in a dozen crunched up Skor Bar toffee candy bars.  Hmm...Maybe I should make some!

Well, the first batch did not look amazingly appealing, they spread in the oven and came out completely flat.  I think I made them exactly how I used to.  Was I happy with completely flat cookies back then, or was my gas powered apartment oven of the 90's a perfect cookie baking machine?  I wonder what causes cookies to come out flat?  Do I need to tweak the recipe?  Is my oven accurate?  Should I change the baking temperature?  And so the madness begins…  After consulting some cookbooks and noodling around online, I decided to play with the ingredients a little, I would increase the flour just a smidge, adjust the ratio of sugars and decrease the baking soda.  Also, I wanted to explore creaming the butter vs using melted butter and baking on ungreased shiny baking pans vs parchment lined ones.  

In the end, I came up with a craggily topped and slightly mounded, buttery tasting, toffee filled, chewy cookie that was absolutely delicious!  

I dedicate this cookie to all those students, families, teachers and staff who enjoyed their time at Mattison Avenue Elementary School as much as I did.  The school was closed last June for the last time.

Skor Bars: These toffee bars make all the difference, IMHO!

If you're unfamiliar, a Skor bar is a rich, crispy buttery toffee milk chocolate covered candy bar.  I was curious as to how exactly they differ from other toffee bars and found a great blog that compared 3 popular toffee bars.  I do not recommend using toffee chips.  You really want the various textures you get when these candy bars are crunched up by hand; dust, crumbs and chunks…mmm…

The Findings of my Experiments:

The Baked Results:

I will preface this by saying that none of these cookies tasted horrible!  They were all happily gobbled up by my trusted taste testers.  However, the one on the bottom left was the clear winner in my book.  You can see by its smaller diameter that it did not spread out like all the others.  (I controlled the dough balls by using a measured cookie scoop.)

Mattison Avenue Toffee Bar Cookies Recipe:

Christina Verrelli @epicuricloud.com

Makes about 3 dozen large cookies

Ingredients:

2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 sticks unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 cup light brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs

12 Skor Toffee Candy Bars, crunched up

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Line baking sheets (shiny silver ones) with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda and salt.  

In a large bowl, stir together the butter and sugars.  Mix in the vanilla and eggs.  Stir in the dry ingredients.  Mix in the toffee bar pieces.  Form balls of dough (approx. 2 tablespoons each).  

Chill the dough balls for at least 2 hours.  (You can chill overnight.  You can also freeze them after they are chilled and bake them up to a month later.)

Bake for 12-13 minutes or until the outsides look golden brown, but the insides are not quite done.  Remove by lifting parchment with hot cookies to cooling rack.  When cool, slide off parchment and store in an air-tight container.

Printable Recipe: Mattison Avenue Toffee Bar Cookies

Thank you for spending some time in the cloud with me.  I hope you enjoy the cookies!  Tina ( :