Soft, buttery and chewy chocolate chip cookies mixed with salty, crunchy pretzels and stuffed with soft, gooey caramels. This cookie is the perfect balance of sweet and salty, and it's such a fun twist on the classic chocolate chip cookie!
I know this is a cookie recipe, but I am going to start off by saying that I've always been a savory over sweets kind of gal. Who's with me? That's why this cookie is the perfect cookie for me. The dough is lightly sweetened and the chocolate chips are semi-sweet, making room for the burst of soft gooey sweetness of the caramels. Then, best of all, the salty, crunchy pretzels balance it all out. It's heaven in your mouth.
To make this recipe, I used my classic chocolate chip cookie recipe, that all of my family and friends ABSOLUTELY love, and tweaked it slightly for the addition of caramel and pretzels. So dang good.
Caramel Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookie Ingredients.
Butter. I love butter so much. It adds so much flavor to everything, including these cookies. For this recipe, make sure that your butter is room temperature. Not straight out of the fridge and not melted - your cookies will NOT turn out the same. With cold butter your cookies wont spread enough, and with melted butter your cookies will spread too much. Room temperature is the perfect balance. The recipe calls for unsalted butter, but you can use salted butter if that's all you have on hand.
Sugar. In a chocolate chip cookie recipe, it's always good to have a blend of both granulated sugar and brown sugar. When it comes to brown sugar, I typically use light brown sugar in my cookies, but you can also use dark.
Eggs. If possible, it's best to use room temperature eggs. Cold eggs can change the temperature of the dough, but it doesn't have as big of an impact as using cold butter.
Vanilla extract. Adds great flavor to the dough. Remember to use the real stuff, not imitation 🙂
All-purpose flour. Pretty much what I use for all my baking. All-purpose works great for cookies.
Baking soda. This helps to create a soft cookie.
Salt. Sugar always needs a touch of salt to balance it out. I just use standard table salt.
Chocolate chips. I like to use semi-sweet because they're not overly sweet, especially with the caramel. But you can also use milk chocolate or dark chocolate.
Mini pretzels. Mini pretzel twists make these cookies look so fun and cute, but you could also use pretzel sticks.
Soft caramels. I used Werther's Originals Soft Caramels. I highly recommend using SOFT caramels. It will say it on the bag. The first time I tested this recipe I used Kraft caramels, and I wasn't a fan. The Kraft caramels didn't melt as nicely, and when the cookies cooled, the caramel become firm and very chewy. But with the soft caramels, the caramel stays soft and gooey.
Tips and Tricks.
Room temperature butter. Not butter straight from the fridge, and not butter that is melted. The cookies will NOT turn out the same. With cold butter your cookies wont spread enough, and with melted butter your cookies will spread too much. Room temperature is the perfect balance. If you forgot to take the butter out of the fridge long enough before baking for it to come to room temperature, cut each stick into 4 cubes and microwave it in a bowl in 5-7 second increments until it's just soft, not melted. When it comes to salted or unsalted butter, I like to use salted butter in my cookies, but you can use unsalted if you prefer.
Measure your flour correctly. When it comes to baking, you should always spoon your flour into your measuring cup and level it off. When you scoop the measuring cup directly into the flour, you will end up packing the flour into the cup, resulting in too much flour and dry cookies.
Cream the butter and sugar. Beat the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer for 2 minutes, until the mixture looks pale and fluffy. This creaming process creates soft cookies. If you don't have an electric mixer, you can use a whisk and some elbow grease, but the process will take longer.
Do NOT overbake the cookies. When you remove the cookies from the oven they will look very under-baked. This is how I always bake any cookie. The center will still look pale and doughy, the outside will be just starting to set, and the bottoms will be lightly golden brown. As the cookies sit they will continue to cook. If you leave them in the oven until they're golden brown, they will be overbaked, resulting in dry, crunchy cookies. Nobody wants that!
Caramel Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour, spoon and level
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 ½ cups lightly crushed mini pretzel twists, plus more whole mini pretzel twists for pressing into the top of the cookies (optional)
- About 24 soft caramels (I used Werther's Originals Soft Caramels)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Add the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar to a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on medium-high for 2 minutes.
- Add the eggs and vanilla to the butter and sugar mixture and beat on low until just combined.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Use a sturdy spoon to mix together until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips and crushed pretzels.
- Roll 3 tablespoons of dough into a ball, then press a caramel into the center of the ball and roll around in your hands to completely seal the caramel in the dough. Place on the parchment lined baking sheet, then lightly press a pretzel into the top of the dough ball. Repeat with remaining dough.
- Bake for 10-11 minutes, until the cookies start to set around the edges, but still look doughy and pale in the center. Remove from the oven. The cookies will cook more as they sit.
- Let the cookies cool for 2 minutes then transfer to a clean sheet of parchment paper.
- Serve warm (the best!) or store in an air-tight container for up to one week.
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