It’s no secret by now that I love sweet things of all shapes, flavors and sizes. But something I’m starting to love even more? Desserts that are both sweet and salty.
It started when I tried brown butter sea salt cookies from the Brown Butter Cookie Company in Cayucos, California. I was instantly hooked by the taste of the sea salt. Nom. Since then, I’ve picked up or baked salty/sweet treats whenever I could. Chocolate sea salt ice cream from Sparky’s. Ghirardelli’s various sea salt squares. Sally’s Baking Addiction’s Triple Chocolate Pretzel Brownies. YUM.
This week’s recipe was inspired by Brown Eyed Baker’s Peanut Butter-Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies, which I made — and loved! — last summer. I wanted that salty-sweet taste but wasn’t in the mood for peanut butter, so I kind of combined that recipe with the original Nestle Tollhouse chocolate chip cookie recipe. The end result? Delicious!
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The most time-consuming part of making these cookies is probably getting the pretzels down to a usable size, so do that first! You want them to be small enough to reasonably mix into cookie batter — chocolate chip size? — but big enough to know they’re there. If you’re an adult, you can probably just run your pretzels through a food processor, but if you’re an amateur like me you’ll need to get a bit more creative. My technique usually involves putting them in a Ziploc bag, dropping them on the floor a bunch of times, and hitting them with a jar of peanut butter until they’re the size I want. Really.
Mix together your dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl first — flour, salt, baking soda and pretzels. A whisk works fine.
Then, in a big bowl, use an electric mixer to mix your wet ingredients — butter (or whatever you’re using), white sugar, brown sugar, vanilla — until creamy, then beat in eggs one at a time.
Use your mixer to gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. I typically add the dry mixture a third at a time.
Use a spatula/wooden spoon/etc to mix in your chocolate chips.
Drop your dough onto ungreased cookie sheets. I used about a tablespoon of dough for each cookie. Leave room for them to spread! If you want a little extra salty taste, sprinkle with sea salt.
Bake for 9-11 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool on the sheets for a few minutes, then remove to cool the rest of the way on cooling racks or plates. Enjoy!
Bonus tip — For a little extra flavor, I mixed Reese’s Pieces into the last batch I made. They were wonderful, too! I’m looking forward to conducting more salty/sweet experiments 🙂
Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies
- About 1 1/4 cups crushed pretzels
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda (I like to add a pinch extra, too, for fluffier cookies)
- 1 tsp salt (I used regular, but you could try using sea salt, too!)
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter or butter substitute (I always use Imperial margarine in cookies)
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat your oven to 375*F.
- If you haven’t already crushed your pretzels, do so now! Aim for them to be about the size of chocolate chips.
- Use a whisk or fork to combine flour, baking soda, salt and pretzels in a medium-sized bowl.
- In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to mix together the butter, sugars and vanilla until creamy.
- Add eggs one at a time to the butter/sugar mixture, blending well after you add each one.
- Gradually add the dry ingredients to the mixture in the big bowl, about a third at a time.
- Use a spatula or wooden spoon to mix in the chocolate chips. Feel free to use more than a cup! And try other things, if desired — Reese’s Pieces are a nice addition!
- Drop dough onto ungreased cookie sheets. If desired, sprinkle with sea salt.
- Bake for 9-11 minutes or until golden.
- Cool on sheets for a few minutes (at least two), then remove to cool completely on cooling racks or plates.