Desserts, Recipes

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pretzels are in these too, but I thought including them in the full title would have been a little too extra.

Salted caramel chocolate chip cookies

I love cookies, but not just any kind of cookie.  They HAVE to be soft and preferably no nuts in it (unless it’s a macadamia nut).  One of my favorite kinds of cookies are the super thin (like a pancake) cookie you can get from McAlister’s deli.  I go for that thin, chewy texture in this salted caramel chocolate chip cookies. The only difference is that these are more delicious because these have caramel and pretzels stuffed inside!  

Let’s Make Chocolate Chip Cookies Great Again.  Wait.  Sorry.  Mind-numbing election commercials are still airing so I must have gotten my wires crossed.  OBVIOUSLY chocolate chip cookies are great to begin with, but can we make them better?  The answer is yes we can, and we are doing that by adding caramel, pretzels, and a little salt.  

These cookies actually use melted butter, which is great because I never seem to remember to let my butter get room temperature before making traditional chocolate chip cookies.  The other thing to note in this recipe is that you do not have to chill the dough.  Can you? Yes.  Do you have to?  No.  Chilling the dough beforehand increases the baking time for about a minute or two.  The other difference is that the dough is more solidified so it gives you the option to roll into perfect balls and the cookies come out with more “perfect circle vibes” and more evenly cooked along the edges and in the middle of the cookie.  I personally like gooey centers and chewy edges, so not chilling the dough works well for me.  

I will warn you about three things in these salted caramel chocolate chip cookies.  The first is that you cannot over crush the pretzels.  I use classic tiny twist pretzels, so they only need to be broken in half or fourths.  You want to know you are eating a pretzel when you bite into the cookie.  The second is that these cookies are thin, so the bottoms are easily burned. That means you need to line your baking sheet with parchment paper and put your oven rack in the middle or one rack higher than the middle.  And the final thing I must warn you is that these cookies and the dough are highly addictive so make sure you are prepared! Note: The dough is not technically edible as it has raw egg, but you know I live on the edge.

salted caramel chocolate chip cookie dough
Cookie dough before going into the oven.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of lightly crushed pretzels 
  • 2 cups of chocolate chips or chunks
  • 1 and ¾ cups of caramel candies (I use these or you can use these and cut into fourths.)
  • 2 and ¼ cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 TBSP of vanilla extract
  • 2 sticks of butter, melted
  • ¾ of a cup of brown sugar
  • ¾ of a cup of sugar
  • Coarse sea salt for topping

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375° Fahrenheit.  Make sure the rack in the oven is in the middle or one level above the middle to prevent the bottom of the cookies from burning.
  2. Mix flour, salt, and baking soda into a bowl and set aside.
  3. Mix the melted butter, sugars, and vanilla.  Once fully combined, add the two eggs and mix until well combined.
  4. Combine the flour mixture and butter mixtures into one.  I typically add in a spoonful or two of the flour mixture at a time, mix, and then add more, repeating until everything is well combined.  
  5. Add the pretzels, caramels, and chocolate chips into the dough by folding in until everything is mixed together.  
  6. Using a 1.5 TBSP cookie scoop, scoop the cookie dough and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Cookies should be about 2 inches apart. Depending on the size of your baking sheet, you will be able to fit 9-12 cookies per sheet.
  7. Bake for 8-10 minutes.  The edges should be brown with the center a lighter color and slightly gooey. 
  8. Take out of the oven and top with a sprinkle of coarse sea salt. 
  9. Let cool for 10-15 minutes before removing from the pan.
  10. Repeat with remaining batches of cookies. 
Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

Notes:

  • This recipe makes about 50 salted caramel chocolate chip cookies.
  • You do not have to chill your dough, but I do recommend that between batches, you stick the bowl of dough in the fridge.  
  • If you do opt to chill your dough, after folding in the toppings, store the bowl of dough in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.  You will need to bake the cookies 9-11 minutes instead of 8-10 minutes. Between batches, stick the dough back in the refrigerator when you are not prepping the next batch.  
  • Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.  I recommend layering a piece of wax paper between each layer of cookies to prevent them from sticking together.
  • You can freeze these cookies (and the dough).  If freezing the dough, I recommend taking out and storing in the fridge 1-2 days before you are planning on baking.  If freezing the cookies, I recommend taking out and letting thaw on the counter/room temperature 12 hours before consumption.
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