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Salted Caramel Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies
I’ve thrown several easy cookie recipes out there and even written two cookbooks, both containing cookie chapters. So you can trust me when I say I know a thing or two about cookies. I guarantee that this salted caramel pretzel chocolate chip cookie recipe is about to become one of your favorite chocolate chip cookie variations! They're the perfect balance of crispy, chewy, and soft, as well as salty and sweet; not to mention the melty pools of chocolate and caramel you get in every bite.
Why You'll Love These Cookies
- Flavor. These cookies are jam-packed with salted caramel, chocolate chunks, and chopped pretzels, but they're also made with brown butter, making everything taste better!
- Texture. These caramel pretzel chocolate chip cookies are both crispy and chewy like all good cookies should be.
- Easy to Make. It's a one-bowl recipe that doesn't require a mixer, so it comes together super quickly!
- Yield. Not only is this an easy recipe, but it yields exactly 18 cookies, which is the perfect amount to share with friends & family or save for snacking on later.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Butter: I prefer using unsalted butter in my baked goods, but salted is just fine too... you'll just want to reduce the salt the recipe calls for to 1/8 teaspoon.
- Dark brown sugar: The color, moisture, and flavor you get from the molasses in brown sugar can't be beaten. You can use an equal amount of light brown sugar if that's all you have!
- Granulated sugar: It's nice to have a bit of balance as far as sweeteners are concerned.
- Egg: Only 1 large egg is needed here, which helps deliver a chewy final result!
- Vanilla: It enhances all the other flavors. I like to use vanilla bean paste; however, vanilla extract will work fine too!
- Dark chocolate: I love using dark chocolate in cookies (and all baked goods for that matter), but you could also opt for a bar of semisweet chocolate for this recipe.
- Soft Caramels: I used Werther's Soft Caramels (not sponsored, just a fan!) but any brand of soft caramel will work; just make sure they're soft enough for you to roll into a ball. (Avoid the square Kraft caramels; they're much too hard and don't melt down properly.)
- All-purpose flour: Only 1 cup of all-purpose flour is needed!
- Baking soda: This provides a little leavening action and also helps the cookies to brown nicely while baking.
- Salt: Cookies made without salt taste a little plain, so don’t skip it.
How to Make Salted Caramel Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies
These cookies are literally so easy to make. Here's what you'll do!
How to Get Perfectly Round Cookies
Cookies with a ton of mix-ins, like this one, tend to spread a little more and can look a little wonky when they first come out of the oven, but there's an easy trick to get perfectly round cookies: use a cookie cutter! By swirling a round cookie cutter (or any circular object really; a small bowl also works) around the freshly baked cookie, you can tuck in the uneven bits and reshape it before it cools and sets, creating a picture-perfect round cookie. To take advantage of this trick with this recipe, I recommend baking only 5 to 6 cookies at a time, leaving ample space between the cookies and the edges of the cookie sheet (so you have room to swirl).
Recipe Troubleshooting & FAQ
Do I have to chill the cookie dough?
Yes, you MUST chill the cookie dough for at least 30 minutes. If you bake the un-chilled dough, the cookies will come out flat and won't hold their shape at all. This cookie dough is a bit on the oily side before chilling due to the brown butter, and it becomes less oily as it chills due to the butter resolidifying. Trust the process!
Why is this recipe in grams?
I post my recipes in grams as it’s the most accurate way to bake and it’s how I develop them; cups are not only inaccurate, but they vary in volume worldwide! In any event, if you look at the recipe card underneath the ingredients list, you can click “US Customary” and it’ll convert to volume measures!
Watch How to Make These Caramel Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies:
Remember to tag me @mikebakesnyc on Instagram and leave a rating + review below if you make these Salted Caramel Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies! Happy baking!
Salted Caramel Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 113 g unsalted butter *see Notes*
- 110 g dark brown sugar
- 50 g granulated sugar
- 1 large egg (≈ 50g)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 125 g all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 40 g crushed pretzels plus more for topping
- 100 g 70% cacao dark chocolate chopped & divided
- 63 g
soft caramels(approx. 9 caramels cut in half)
- flaky sea salt optional
- Cube the butter and place in a light-colored skillet. (Light colored helps you determine when the butter begins browning.) Melt the butter over medium heat, stirring constantly.
- Once melted, the butter will begin to foam. Keep stirring. After 5-8 minutes, the butter will begin browning; you’ll notice lightly browned specks begin to form at the bottom of the pan and you'll begin to smell a nutty aroma. Once browned, immediately remove from heat, pour into a heat-proof bowl, and set aside for 10 minutes to cool slightly. You should have 7 tablespoons (98 grams) of brown butter.
- To the brown butter (which should still be liquified), add the brown sugar and granulated sugar and whisk until combined. Add the egg and vanilla and whisk again until well combined.
- Add the flour, baking soda, and salt to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined; be sure not to overmix! Fold in the pretzels and most of the chocolate chunks (reserve some for the next step) until incorporated.
- Using a 1½-tablespoon spring-loaded scoop, scoop the dough into balls and place dough balls on a lined baking sheet. Top with caramel chunks and the remaining chocolate chunks then loosely cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator to chill for 30-60 minutes. (You'll use about 3-4 grams of caramel per cookie.)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line another baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned on the sides; the centers will look very soft. Remove from the oven and press a whole pretzel into the melted caramel. Sprinkle the tops with flaky salt and allow to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.