Gran’s Caramel Bombs

Grans Atom Bombs

For as long as I can remember, my Grandma Win’s “Atom bomb” cookies (We renamed them a little more appropriately!) have been the most sought after Christmas treat in my family. Partly because of how incredibly good they are, and partly because they only show up once a year: at Christmas. This recipe has been in my family for ages. Although it was my Gran who always made them throughout my childhood, the recipe was actually passed on through my Grandpa’s family, and it was my Grandpa who made them for my dad and his siblings. The original name for these cookies was of Dutch descent, and was later named “Atom Bombs”… a fitting name because they truly are the bomb.

The recipe,  like most family recipes that have been passed on from generation to generation,  is not an exact one. My grandma just “eyeballs it” and somehow they turn out amazing every time. We frantically try to record what she is doing to have an exact recipe. According to my grandma, part of the magic of this recipe is that they are a little different each time, and she likes that they are now “ours”, and is thrilled to have grandchildren who are excited about continuing this tradition. The recipe I’m sharing with you is a compilation of all of my frantically recorded recipes, and is the closest I’ve ever gotten to my Grandmas. Its not exactly the same… but pretty dang close.

Cornflakes, shredded coconut, Mackintosh Toffee, butter and heavy cream are all you will need to make these Christmas favorites. A word of warning… While the ingredient list is short, they are moderately labor intensive cookie to make. Not difficult, but they do require a little bit of “hands on” work. Totally worth it though! My favourite way to make Atom Bombs is to throw on a Christmas chick flick (The Holiday or Love Actually usually do just fine….) to keep me occupied while unwrapping 75 pieces of Mackintosh Toffee…


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • about 2.5 (246G) bags (or approx 75 pieces)  MacKintosh toffee… individually unwrapped by you (you’ll be really glad you threw on that Christmas movie…).
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream (aka whipping cream)
  • 10 cups of Cornflakes
  • 2 cups of Coconut

Tip: I highly suggest pre-measuring out all of your ingredients. Because you parts of this recipe are so hands on, you won’t be able to take the time to measure them out in the middle of baking.

yield: approx. 36 golf ball sized cookies
total time: approx. 45 mins


Start by  lining a cookie sheet with wax or parchment paper. Next, melt your butter on LOW heat in a very large sauce pan. If you have a the equipment to make a double boiler, that is the preferred method. If you don’t, you’ll just have to pay extra close attention to avoid burning the toffee. Once the butter is melted, add in your toffee pieces and stir to coat in butter. Add in heavy cream and mix.


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And so begins the labour intensive portion of this recipe…. continue to mix butter, toffee and cream together until completely smooth and combined. This step might seem never ending, and your arms might feel like they want to fall off… this means you’re getting close! And you get to skip arm workout today.

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Once fully combined and smooth, increase heat ever so slightly, still stirring constantly. Bring toffee almost to a boil, then remove from heat and add cornflakes and coconut. Resume stirring until cornflakes and coconut are evenly coated.

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Run your hands under cool water to mitigate sticking, and  roll toffee coated cornflakes into balls, roughly the size of a golf ball. Place on cookie sheet and into freezer to set. Once set,  (approx 15 minutes) place into containers and freeze until serving. Unless of course you plan to devour some right away…. in which case they can be refrigerated. Frozen Atom Bombs require about 30 minutes at room temperature to soften before serving.


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