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Brown Butter Toffee Shortbread Cookies

toffee shortbread

Some cookies just seem to scream “Christmas.”  You can’t take a bite of one without thinking of Yule logs, Christmas specials, and decorating the tree.  Ones that immediately pop to my mind are peanut butter blossoms, jam thumbprints, and any cookie that has peppermint within ten feet of it…you get the idea.

Another cookie that always feels like Christmas to me is shortbread.  Sure, I could eat shortbread in July…actually I’m 100% sure I have.  But something about it just makes me want to turn on “Carol of the Bells” and get down with my festive self. 🎉

toffee shortbread

Usually like like my shortbread over the top, ala millionaire bars or shortbread dunked in chocolate.  These are a little more simplistic, but just as delicious.  Perfect for dunking in a big ol’ glass of milk.  They also have chopped up toffee pieces because…well…do we really need a reason for something like that?  And brown butter.  Come on!

This is a really simple recipe to put together, and with the holidays that can be an awesome thing.  The most time-consuming part of the whole thing is waiting for the dough to chill in the fridge.  But I just call that time to practice my rendition of “Marshmallow World.”  And just in car you were wondering, I use a a wooden spoon as my fake microphone. 😉

We got quite a bit of snow here the other day, and the tree is officially up.  Pie and the boys love to sit under it, but so far they’ve only tentatively batted at a few decorations.  No bulb destruction yet.  Woohoo!

toffee shortbread

5.0 from 1 reviews
Brown Butter Toffee Shortbread Cookies
  • 1½ sticks of unsalted butter
  • 1¾ cups all purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ cup toffee bits or finely chopped Heath bars
  1. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a reusable mat.
  2. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter, stirring occasionally, until it browns. It should be a light brown color. Be careful not to let it brown too much or it will taste burnt.
  3. Remove from heat and place in the fridge to cool off for ten minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. In a medium bowl, stir together flour and salt. Set aside.
  5. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the sugar and brown butter together. Add vanilla.
  6. On low speed, add in the flour and mix until incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl if you need to.
  7. Add in the toffee bits and stir until incorporated.
  8. Wrap your dough in plastic wrap and form it into a disc. Place in the fridge for 30-60 minutes.
  9. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  10. Roll out the dough to ½ inch thickness on a well-floured work surface. The dough may be crumbly, put that's OK. Just press it back together with your hands.
  11. Use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes, then place them on the cookie sheet, 2 inches apart.
  12. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until edges are just starting to brown.


{ 12 comments… add one }
  • Aria December 5, 2015, 3:29 pm

    Oh, how yummy! And YAY to the cats! I hope the keep it up, not destroying anything! If they were my cats, they’d probably hope there was a mouse ornament.

    • Amanda December 5, 2015, 3:38 pm

      Thanks! They have their eyes on the icicle ornaments. For some reason they’ve really zoned in on them. But still no destruction. 🎉😀

  • Rachel @ Bakerita December 6, 2015, 12:24 pm

    I’m obsessed with shortbread too, and brown butter shortbread is the best kind! Love that you added toffee bits too – so delicious!

    • Amanda December 6, 2015, 2:14 pm

      Thank you, Rachel. Isn’t brown butter the best invention ever? 🙂

  • Christin@SpicySouthernKitchen December 6, 2015, 6:40 pm

    Shortbread cookies are the best! Love that you shaped them like snowmen!

    • Amanda December 8, 2015, 10:21 am

      Thanks so much!

  • Anu-My Ginger Garlic Kitchen December 7, 2015, 6:42 am

    Wow! These shortbread cookies look and sound wonderful, Amanda. Addition of toffee bites is droolicious. Hope you had a nice weekend.

    • Amanda December 8, 2015, 10:21 am

      Thanks, Anu! It was a weekend filled with snow and cookies, so it was great!

  • Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary December 7, 2015, 9:27 am

    Yay to cookies! I love shortbread cookies too, girlfriend, but I am really loving the brown butter toffee up in here! Plus I love that you went rather simple with it. These cookies don’t need a lot… just my grubby hands shoving them down my pie hole! 🙂 Cheers, girlie! <3

    • Amanda December 8, 2015, 10:23 am

      Thank you! I love recipes that are easy this time of year. That way I can get to the shoving them in my face part faster. Have a marvelous week filled with sunshine and unicorns!

  • Eva @ Eva Bakes December 7, 2015, 6:41 pm

    You had me at brown butter. Swoon…

    • Amanda December 8, 2015, 10:24 am

      Isn’t brown butter the queen of all things? I wish I had discovered it sooner. I would have made mashed potatoes with brown butter ages ago.

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