Blue ribbon Almond Roca cookies

Since we are focusing on holiday cookie baking this month, this may seem like a weird admission but I am not a big sweets eater. I love to bake and I will usually do a taste test on my confections but I’m not one to sit down and eat three or four cookies.

Having said that, I do have an affinity for one candy in particular, Almond Roca. It’s crunchy, sweet, and buttery and, to me, doesn’t taste like anything else. It’s a little bit of magic in a gold wrapper and a pink tin you can’t miss on the shelf of your grocer.

Brown and Haley have been making these gems since 1912 and in the 1990s it became the largest exported gift candy in the U.S. They can feel free to export some to my house any time.

When I found this cookie recipe years ago, I stopped in my tracks. They had me at “Almond Roca”. The cookies are every bit as delicious as their candy namesake.


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 package toffee bits
  • 1 cup coarsely ground almonds
  • 4 ounces milk chocolate
  • 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil


Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, blend sugars at medium speed. Add butter and mix to form a grainy paste. Add eggs and vanilla and mix at medium speed until light and fluffy. At low speed, slowly add the flour mixture and then the toffee bits. Mix until just blended; do not over-mix.

Place ground nuts in a small bowl. Using hands, roll balls of dough into 1 to 1 1/2-inch balls, then roll in the ground nuts. Place on cookie sheets several inches apart.

Bake for approximately 22 minutes and then transfer cookies to a cooling rack. Melt the chocolate with the vegetable oil in a double boiler or in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Drizzle melted chocolate over cooled cookies.

Place cookies on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer or refrigerator until chocolate is firmly set.

Let me know if you give them a try or if you have a favorite cookie recipe you’d like to share.

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