Today’s cookie is a big, fat, crumbly & crispy-edged variation on an old Bake-Off prize winner called Texan-Sized Almond Crunch Cookies. You can find the original version by putting “Texan-Sized Almond Crunch Cookies” into Google. Oddly enough, I couldn’t find it on Pillsbury’s site, but it is in some of their cookbooks. This is a well-loved recipe, but I made some minor alterations to suit my tastes.
First, I cut the recipe in half. The original made about 45 very large cookies, and I didn’t need nearly that many. I also toasted the almonds. The recipe doesn’t say you have to, but using roasted/toasted almonds adds more flavor. I used cut up Heath bars instead of toffee bits and I added chunks of a toffee-studded milk chocolate Symphony bar at the end. I like poking the milk chocolate chunks in at the end rather than allowing the chunks to dry out during the baking process. Dark chocolate chunks don’t really dry out, but milk chocolate chunks seem to do so. And finally, I added a bit of vanilla extract.
Since I made so many changes, I gave the cookies a new name. However, I think the recipe is too similar to the original on which it’s based to be considered new. So thank you Barbara Hodgson of Elkhart, Indiana for the original recipe.
Almond Toffee Chunk Cookies
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon each – almond extract, vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup almonds, roasted and chopped
3 ounces of cut-up chocolate-covered English toffee bars (Heath Bars)
5 ounces of chopped milk chocolate with toffee (Symphony Bar)
In a mixing bowl, combine granulated sugar, powdered sugar, butter, oil and both extracts. Beat until very well blended. Beat in egg.
In a separate bowl, thoroughly stir together both flours, baking soda, salt and cream of tartar. Stir flour mixture into butter mixture. When flour mixture is incorporated, stir in almonds and chopped toffee bars.
Chill dough for about an hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place oven rack in center of oven and have ready 3 ungreased cookie sheets.
Scoop up generously rounded tablespoons of dough and place balls of dough 3 to 5 inches apart on one of the ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 15-18 minutes. Pull tray from oven and immediately poke chopped milk chocolate toffee (Symphony) chunks into cookies. Let cool on pan for 3-5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining dough and cookie sheets – I like doing one tray at a time.
These cookies are best served after they have cooled. If you serve them warm, the toffee has a chewy texture.
Makes about 24 cookies