Preparation / Directions:
Make the Toffee: Toast the whole almonds on a baking sheet in the preheated oven for 12 min. Remove the nuts from the oven and set aside to cool at room temperature until needed.
Heat 1 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 lb. butter, 1/4 cup water, and 1/4 tsp. salt in a 3 quart saucepan over med-high heat, stirring constantly with a whisk until the mixture comes to a boil, about 3 1/2 to 4 min. Continue to boil the mixture, stirring constantly until it reaches a temp of 300 degrees F. and apears light blond in color, about 9 min. ( work carefully--at 300 degrees this is really hot stuff). Immediately add the whole toasted almonds and use a wooden spoon to fold them in until thoroughly combined, you need to w ork quickly here because the toffee will shortley begin to harden and becomedifficult to pour. Pour the toffee onto the baking sheet with sides, and use a wooden spoon to smoth it out over the surface of the sheet (no need to cover the whole surface, but avoid having the almonds on top of each other). Cool the toffee at room temp for 20 min. until it has hardened.
Once hardened transfer the toffee to a cutting board and use a cook's knife to chop it int 1/4 inch pieces. This will yield 5 cups of chopped toffee ( which is more than enough so feel free to sample a piece of two).
MAKE THE COOKIES: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine the espresso powder, vanilla extract, and almond extract in a 1 qt bowl, stir to dissolve the espresso powder. Set aside until needed.
In a sifter combine the flour, cooca powder, baking soda, and salt. Sift onto a large piece of waxed paper and set aside until needed.
Place 3/4 lb. butter, the brown sugar and 1/2 cup granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixeter fitted with paddle. Beat on med. for 2 min or until soft. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat on medium for 2 more minutes until fairly smooth. Scrape down the bowl once more. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating on med. for 1 min and scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the espresso powder mixture and mix on high for 1 min. Operate the mixer on low while slowly adding the sifted dry ingredients until thoroughly combined, about 30 seconds. Add the chopped toffee and mix on low for another 30 seconds until incorporated. Use a rubber spatula to finish mixing the ingredients until thoroughly combined.
Using a heaping Tbs. for each cookie, portion 12 cookies evenly spaced onto each of 4 nonstick baking sheets. Bake in oven for 12 min. Remove the cookies from oven and allow to cool to room temp on the baking sheets. About 30 min.
Store the cooled cookies in a tightly sealed plastic cover container until ready to serv