These chewy Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies have a sweet and salty play of flavors thanks to the caramel, pretzels, chocolate chips, and sea salt.
If there is one effect the current cookie craze has had on me, it is inspiration. As someone who enjoys baking a lot, I’m not usually one to buy desserts I can make myself. But that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate them. In fact, seeing all those different cookies being sold online makes me want to make every single chocolate chip cookie variation I possibly can. And so here we are with yet another choco chip cookie recipe, of Sea Salt Caramel Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies this time.
Quite literally a mouthful of a name, isn’t it?
What is it about chocolate chip cookies that makes people drawn to them; enough that even if a piece costs as much as a simple meal, people still go crazy buying them? I suppose it’s the same magnetic pull that draws me to making version after version of chocolate chip cookies. There was a period of time recently where I found myself testing recipes every single week! These Sea Salt Caramel Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies were discovered during one of those sessions.
My ongoing obsession with testing out all manners of chocolate chip cookies has made me decide to add a catalogue of the variations I’ve tried so far. Currently, I am on a cookie-making break, but that’s only because I already have a bunch of awesome recipes waiting to be shared. I have a choco chip cookie backlog and it is glorious!
Now let’s focus on these Sea Salt Caramel Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies. I am a huge fan of desserts that are both sweet and salty in one. I love how they tend to have this balance; this pleasurable play on the palate. That said, salted pretzels and sea salt caramel feel like a natural addition to choco chip cookies. These salty elements take the cookies from the sweet and chocolatey realm and transform them into something with a more interesting experience to devour.
If you want to decide whether you like having salty elements in your choco chip cookie, you can make some regular choco chip cookies first and add a sprinkling of sea salt on top before popping them into the oven. Maybe after that, your household will become like mine. Around here, sea salt is a required element in choco chip cookies.
I had a bit of trouble with this recipe at first because my cookies came out inconsistent between batches. Nonetheless, I find that this recipe works best when the dough is baked straight from the fridge. I know cold cookie dough helps control spreading to keep it a little chunky at the center, but it was very true in the case of these Sea Salt Caramel Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies.
So to start, make sure to cream the butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy before adding in the eggs. The creaming process will probably take at most 5 minutes. Once you add the egg and have the dough ready, slowly add in the flour mixture and fold it in just until your dough comes together.
Now the real reason why I thought to make these Sea Salt Caramel Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies in the first place was because I wanted to try out the Sea Salt Caramel Baking Chips I keep seeing in S&R. You guys, these to me don’t taste very good eaten alone, but they taste fantastic in a cookie, which is so very strange.
Anyway, this is where I decided to take my caramel element, but you can use butterscotch baking chips or even chopped up caramel candy if you like.
These are all the add-on’s for the Sea Salt Caramel Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies. Salty pretzels and really salty caramel baking chips complement the chocolate chips very nicely, and they elevate the caramel notes on the cookie dough batter as well.
Now this part is super important: REFRIGERATION. Because I find that it is best to bake these cookies straight from the fridge, I recommend scooping out the cookie dough into mounds before refrigerating. If the dough is too soft for you, refrigerate it briefly before scooping into mounds. Line the dough balls up in your baking tray and cover with plastic wrap.
When you’re ready to bake, all you need to do is take another new and clean baking sheet lined with parchment, and just get the number of dough rounds you need per batch.
6 mounds is enough per batch because you want to give the cookies lots of space to spread. The dough that is less cold when it goes into the oven tends to spread a bit more. The ones straight from the fridge have a bit of body to them you can bite into.
I think that because the climate here is so hot, the cookie dough tends to soften a little too quickly at room temperature too. I don’t enjoy a flat cookie as much as most people probably don’t, and that’s why I had to make adjustments with my baking process to compensate for the mega-heat. If you live in a cold climate, I reckon you don’t need to refrigerate these already in ball form. However, please do return the cookie dough into the fridge between batches.
As always, these are great with cold milk. The caramel-y notes create a little tickle that somehow cold milk adds to. Let me know if you try this recipe, your experience with the dough, as well as your thoughts on the sea salt caramel chips should you try them! 🙂
Sea Salt Caramel Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- ⅔ cup butterscotch or caramel chips
- ⅔ cup roughly crushed pretzel pieces
- Flaked sea salt
- 1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
- 2. In another bowl, beat together the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add in 1 egg and the vanilla, beating to incorporate before adding in the second egg. Beat until everything is well combined. (You may also use a stand mixer or hand mixer for this step, beating on low and scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.)
- 3. Switch to a spatula and add in 1/3 of the flour mixture, mixing until just combined. Add the next 1/3 and last 1/3 in the same manner. Finally, fold in the chocolate chips, butterscotch/caramel chips, and pretzel pieces until evenly distributed.
- 4. Cover the bowl of dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes, or up to 3 days. (Alternatively, you can refrigerate the dough already in ball form.)
- 5. Once ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F (180°C) and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment. These cookies bake best when the dough is cold so work quickly. Scoop out 2-tablespoon measures of chilled dough onto the prepared pan, 6 at a time and spacing 2 inches apart to give room for spreading. Return the rest of the dough to the fridge. Sprinkle the cookies with some sea salt and add some crushed pretzels or choco chips on top to make it pretty, if you wish.
- 6. Bake cookies one sheet at a time on the middle rack of your oven, for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown.
- 7. Allow the cookies to cool on the pan for 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.