Chewy brown butter cookies with homemade saltine cracker toffee will become your new favorite cookie. The saltine toffee (aka Christmas crack) gives the cookies a salty, caramel flavor and a crunchy texture. The extra step of making your own toffee takes 15 minutes and is 100% worth it for these toffee cookies!
Chewy cookies stuffed with toffee pieces are my love language. I never thought I'd see the day that I say I may have a favorite cookie over our famous chocolate chip pudding cookies. But here we are.
Here we are with a cookie baked with crisp edges, a chewy center, and pools of melted chocolate. Let's not forget the crunchy saltine toffee. Sweet and salt and pure heaven.
Every Reason to Love These Toffee Cookies
- Flavor: each bite is balanced with sweetness and salt. The toffee and brown butter give these cookies a nutty and buttery flavor while the sweetness is balanced out with salt from the saltines and flaky sea salt topping.
- Texture: it's a soft cookie in the center with perfectly crispy edges.
- Impressive: these toffee cookies just LOOK like they're going to be as good as they are. golden brown edges and milk chocolate toffee bits melted on top are crave-worthy. They'll be a huge hit at any holiday party or cookie exchange.
- No mixer: keep the electric mixer in the cabinet because you only need a bowl and a spatula to mix the cookie dough.
Grab These Ingredients
Here are the simple ingredients to make this toffee cookie recipe. Skip down to the recipe card for the exact measurements.
- Saltine crackers: these are the base of the quick homemade toffee. I don't recommend swapping this out for another cracker.
- Butter: we are using butter in the toffee and the cookies themselves, so stock up!
- Chocolate chips: semi-sweet or milk chocolate are both great. I like semi-sweet because they're a little less sweet in this already-sweet cookie. Chips are meant to keep their shape when they're warmed, which makes them perfect for cookies.
- Brown sugar: the cookie calls for almost all brown sugar because its rich, chewy texture pairs well with the toffee and brown butter.
- Granulated sugar: gives the cookie the cookies just the right amount of crispiness.
- Eggs: use large eggs at room temperature for best results.
- Pure vanilla extract and salt: for flavor.
- Flour: all-purpose flour is best. You could use gluten-free flour, however, because the saltine toffee is not gluten-free these cookies won't be totally gluten-free.
- Baking soda: this reacts with the acid in the brown sugar to help the cookies rise.
Make the Homemade Toffee First
The homemade toffee sets these cookies apart from other brown butter toffee cookies. It's worth the extra effort and time (15 ish minutes) to make it yourself. We originally tested this recipe with a large sheet pan of toffee and quickly found we didn't need that much to stir into the cookie dough. Instead, we're using half of a traditional toffee recipe.
But who am I to stop you from making a whole pan and having leftover toffee (for your cookie tins or yourself)? Which is why you see the sheet pan in the pictures below.
Either way, it's super simple to make! Line a 9x13 inch baking dish with parchment paper. Lay the saltine crackers in the bottom of the pan in an even layer and set aside.
Melt the butter and brown sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring it to a boil and stir occasionally until it's melted and boiling, then turn the heat down to medium and stop stirring. Allow it to boil, without stirring, for 3-4 minutes.
Remove it from the heat and carefully pour it evenly over the saltine crackers. Spread it to the edges of the pan with a rubber spatula.
Bake at 425°F for 4-5 minutes then carefully remove it from the oven and sprinkle the toffee with chocolate chips. Allow them to sit for a few minutes to warm and melt then spread the chocolate out evenly over the toffee. Place it in the freezer to set it up while you make the cookie dough.
How to Brown Butter
The next somewhat time-consuming, but essential step to these toffee cookies is to brown the butter. Browned butter is butter that's melted down and cooked slowly to toast the milk solids.
Place a cup of butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Swirl the butter around to melt it and continue to stir constantly for 5 minutes.
The butter will begin to bubble and foam and the butter will turn golden brown. Some of the bubbles will subside around the 5-minute mark and you'll start to see the milk solids start to toast and turn a golden brown color. It should smell buttery and nutty.
How to Make Toffee Cookies + Video Tutorial
Here are the step-by-step instructions to make toffee cookies, with photos. Jump down to the recipe card for the full recipe and video.
Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a large bowl including the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
When the brown butter is slightly cooled, add the brown sugar and granulated sugar to the saucepan and whisk to combine. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and whisk well until all of the yellow streaks are gone.
Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture and use a rubber spatula to mix the cookie dough together. It should seem dry at first and start to come together.
Remove the prepared toffee from the freezer and use a sharp knife to cut the toffee into small pieces. I don't recommend using your hands to break the toffee because the warmth from your hands can melt the chocolate. Add the chopped toffee to the cookie dough, reserving about 1/2 a cup to top the cookies after they bake. Cover with plastic wrap and chill the cookie dough for at least two hours, or up to 3 days. See storage instructions below for freezer options.
You can see how thick the cookie dough looks here after chilling for 2 days.
Use a medium cookie scoop to drop the cookies onto a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. You can also freeze them for up to 3 months.
Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes at 350°F until golden brown around the edges and just set on top. Allow them to cool slightly on the baking sheet then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Toffee Cookies: Frequently Asked Questions
the chocolate in the toffee will melt slightly in the oven, but will mostly keep its shape. We made the toffee with chocolate chips for this specific reason.
This recipe is so good with the homemade saltine toffee, but you can swap it for store-bought toffee, like toffee bits or chopped heath bars.
3 Tips for Toffee Cookie Success
- Chill the dough: I sound like a broken record here, but this is mandatory, especially for cookies with melted or browned butter as thee base, like our brown butter salted caramel cookies. They will melt and pool all over the pan. The longer these cookies chill, up to 3 days, the better.
- Add toffee on top: reserve some of the toffee pieces for the top of the cookies after they're baked. Make sure you have a lot of toffee in each one, and it makes them look pretty!
- Allow the brown butter to cool slightly: this helps prevent the eggs from cooking and helps ensure the dough doesn't melt the chocolate when you mix the toffee in.
To store: store baked cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days or up to 10 days in the fridge.
Freeze the baked cookies: place baked and cooled cookies in an airtight container or freezer bag and remove as much air as possible. Store in the freezer for up to 6 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge.
Freeze cookie dough: before chilling the dough, scoop it out and place cookie dough balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Flash-freeze the cookies for 30 minutes then transfer them to a freezer bag. Freeze for up to 6 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and bake or bake straight from frozen (add 1-2 minutes to the bake time).
If you make this recipe, I’d love for you to give it a star rating ★ below. You can also tag me on Instagram so I can see it!
More Brown Butter Cookie Recipes
- Brown butter oatmeal cookies
- Maple Pecan Cookie with brown butter
- Brown butter salted caramel chocolate chip cookies
Brown Butter Toffee Cookies
- 20 saltine crackers
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar packed
- 6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
- Sea salt for topping optional
- 1 cup (2 sticks( unsalted butter cubed
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour spooned and leveled
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup light brown sugar packed
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Medium Saucepan
- Large baking sheet
- Parchment paper or silicone mat
- 9x13 inch pan (baking sheet will work)
- Make the toffee: Preheat the oven to 425° F. Line a 9x13-inch baking dish with parchment paper. See notes for doubling the toffee on a sheet pan to make extra. Lay the crackers in an even layer in the bottom of the pan and set aside.
- Melt the butter and brown sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-high. Stir occasionally until the mixture comes to a boil then turn the heat down to medium and continue to boil for 4-5 minutes, without stirring.
- Remove it from the heat and pour the caramel mixture over the cracker layer. Spread with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to cover them evenly. Bake in the preheated oven for 4-5 minutes, until just bubbly.
- Remove from the oven and sprinkle on the chocolate chips. Allow it to sit for a few minutes to melt and soften then use a rubber spatula to spread the chocolate over the caramel in an even layer. Sprinkle with sea salt, if desired. Transfer the toffee to the freezer while you make the cookie dough.
- Brown the butter: Place butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Swirl the butter around to melt it and continue to stir constantly for 5 minutes. The butter will begin to bubble and foam and the butter will turn golden brown. Some of the bubbles will subside around the 5-minute mark and you'll start to see the milk solids start to toast and turn a golden brown color. It should smell buttery and nutty. Remove it from the heat immediately and allow it to cool slightly (10 minutes).
- Make the dough: While it's cooling, whisk together the flour and baking soda in a large bowl. When the browned butter is slightly cooled, add the brown sugar and granulated sugar to the saucepan and whisk to combine. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla until no yellow streaks remain. Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture and stir with a rubber spatula until combined. It will be dry at first then start to come together.
- Place the dough in the freezer for a few minutes while you break up the toffee. Remove the toffee from the freezer and use a sharp knife to chop it into small pieces. Using your hands to break it will melt some of the chocolate. Remove the dough from the freezer and add almost all of the toffee, saving some for the top of the cookies after baking. Stir well to evenly distribute the toffee into the dough then cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours, or up to 3 days. Allow the dough to sit out and soften slightly if it chills longer than 24 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Scoop the dough into 2 Tablespoon-sized balls and place them on a cookie sheet a few inches apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the edges are golden brown and the top is just set.
- Top them with reserved toffee bits and allow them to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.