Toffee Pecan Cookies

Toffee Pecan Cookies

These Toffee Pecan Cookies are a classic retro cookie with a rich, buttery, brown sugar base loaded with Bits O’ Brickle (otherwise known as toffee bits) and toasted pecans. These cookies are crisp on the outside with chewy center.

I did some research to find out how Bits O’ Brickle came about. In the 1920’s the Fenn Bros. Ice Cream & Candy Co. made the small pieces of toffee candy used in their Butter Brickle ice cream. Fenn’s was sold to Hershey’s, who now sell it as Heath Bits O’ Brickle and offer two varieties, with or without milk chocolate.

Vintage Inspiration: A 1976 recipe from “Better Homes & Garden New Cook Book“

I’ve taken this 1970’s recipe and baked it modern:

  • I toasted the pecans before adding to the batter
  • Used all butter instead of 1/2 shortening
  • Used a combination of bread and unbleached flours
  • Added salt to accommodate our modern palettes

Baker’s tips for Toffee Pecan Cookies:

For more flavor, toast the nuts first:

To incorporate more flavor, toast the pecans in the oven at 350 for 6-8 minutes. Then for a fast, easy way to chop the nuts use a Cuisinart Mini-Food Chopper.

How to control thickness:

To ensure thicker cookies, chill scooped cookie dough for about 30 minutes before baking. This will ensure less spread (i.e butter bleed). However, if you like your cookies thin and crispy, omit the baking powder and just scoop cookie dough after you made it and put directly into the oven.

Use homemade vanilla to enhance the flavor:

Always use good quality all-natural, pure vanilla extract. If you purchase vanilla, be sure it only contains vanilla beans and alcohol. I make my own vanilla, which is super simple: Take 8 oz. of bourbon and add 5-7 vanilla beans that are spilt down the middle and let it sit for 3-6 months. As you use it replace the bourbon and add more beans. Store in dark, cool place and it can last many years. I prefer to use bourbon, but you can also use vodka.

Use aluminum baking sheets:

Always use a light-colored, aluminum cookie sheet. I use Nordic Ware aluminum, 18×13 half-sheet pans lined with parchment paper. Aluminum is best for distributing and reflecting even heat during the baking process. Dark cookie sheets conduct more heat across the surface, which could cause your baked goods to burn or darken on the edges before they are fully cooked.


  • You can easily swap out the flour in this recipe using our gluten-free flour blend. Not all gluten-free flours are alike. Be sure to use one that is 1-1 substitute for all-purpose flour.
  • If time allows, be sure to let the batter rest as hydrating the gluten-free flour is an important step for a light and tender bake. You can make the batter ahead of time and place in the fridge and scoop batter when needed or scoop into pucks. 


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