Last week Simone and I had lunch at Panera Bread with my mom and my little sister. My sister works at Panera (albeit back home in Maryland), so I asked her all kinds of questions about what she likes best there, even though I’ve eaten there about a million times myself! She recommended their toffee nut cookies, and oh my. They’re huge, a little crispy, a little chewy, super buttery, and packed with delicious toffee. I was craving another before I even finished the first one. So a couple days later, I adapted my standby oatmeal raisin cookie recipe to include toffee. They weren’t quite like Panera’s (most notably because Heath bits include milk chocolate), but they were still unbelievably yummy.
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose white flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
3 cups oatmeal (not instant)
1 1/2 cups Heath bits or regular toffee bits
1/2 cup chopped almonds or pecans (optional, I left out)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cream together the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar in a large bowl until combined. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, before adding vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and kosher salt. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until no flour is visible. Add the oatmeal, Heath bits, and optional nuts. Stir just to combine. Drop cookie dough (about 2 tbsp per cookie) onto a cookie sheet and bake for 11-13 minutes, until golden but still moist beneath the cracks on top. Remove from the oven and let cookies rest on the baking sheet for 2 to 3 minutes before moving to a cooling rack. Make sure to keep these cookies in an airtight container after cooling, or they will dry up quickly.