If you are looking to impress your guests, use this Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Cookies recipe. The salt from the pretzels compliment the chocolate in a unique way. And when your guests bite into the cookie, they will be happily surprised with a caramel center.
Sydney and I have been in a cookie rut here lately. We feel like we have been making the same old family favorite recipes over and over again. So we went on a recipe creation journey. We also went on a new ingredient journey. We love trying new creations with new ingredients. It just seems to bring new life into our cooking and baking. We had gotten away from this with our cookies for some reason. Well, we decided to remedy this cookie situation starting with these delicious Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Cookies.
Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Cookies Creation
Initially, these were going to have more of a sugar cookie base with chocolate chunks and pretzels. Then after doing some research on Dutch- process cocoa (which we will talk about here in just a minute) we decided to make them more of a chocolate cookie because we were so excited to try this Dutch-process cocoa. After some tweaking, we decided to add some sea salt on top. Finally, after some time and trial & error, may we introduce to you the Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Cookies recipe. It is so funny how many times we start a recipe creation with something specific in mind and many times end up with a completely different or slightly different recipe. That is what makes recipe creation so much fun for us! One thing we can say about creating recipes is that it is never boring!
As I was researching unusual baking ingredients, I ran across Dutch-process cocoa. The more I found out about it the more intrigued I became. After talking with Sydney, we decided we definitely needed to get some and start creating. We kept seeing and hearing about Bensdorp Dutch-Process Cocoa made by King Arthur Flour. It kept getting rave reviews so we settled on this brand. Come to find out…no one in our area carried it. We had to order it online from Amazon. Let me tell you what, we will be ordering a lot more of it in the future. We are in love!
Dutch-Process Cocoa vs. Traditional Cocoa
Why Dutch-process cocoa? Dutch-process cocoa has been nuetralized of acidity. When cocoa has been alkalized (neutralized of acidity) it becomes darker in color and more mellow in flavor over traditional cocoa. It also dissolves more easily into liquids. This makes it great for sauces and icings. Traditional or natural cocoa has a higher acidic level and is more bitter.
Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Cookies
- 3/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa we used King Arthur Flour's Bensdorp Dutch-Process Cocoa
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 sticks salted butter
- 1 cup brown sugar packed
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 extra large eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup chopped pretzels not too fine, this will create pretzel dust
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 9 Kraft Caramels unwrapped and cut in half
- extra sea salt optional, for the top of the cookies (to taste)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Whisk the cocoa, flour, sea salt and baking soda together in a medium size mixing bowl. Set aside.
- Using a stand or hand mixer, beat the butter and sugars together in a large mixing bowl. Beat until creamy. Add in the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add in the vanilla and mix until just combined.
- Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture. Add it in gradually (we added it in five separate additions). Beating between additions. Beat until just combined each time.
- Gently fold in the chopped pretzels and chocolate chips.
- Roll the cookie dough into balls. The balls should be about 1 1/2 teaspoons of cookie dough. Place on baking sheet. Press half of a caramel into each ball. You will want the cookie dough completely covering the caramel.
- Optional: sprinkle the tops of the cookies with a little bit of sea salt.
- Bake cookies for 11-13 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes. Transfer to a wire cookie rack to finish cooling.
Tips For Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Cookies
Sydney and I traditionally make our cookies larger. We just love a big cookie for whatever reason. We found with these cookies that smaller is better for the baking process. They bake more evenly. So we ended up using about 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough for each cookie.
When you are chopping up the pretzels, chop them up into bite-sized pieces. Don’t chop them up so fine that you have a good bit of pretzel dust. You want the pieces of pretzels to be noticed and tasted.
The sea salt sprinkled on the tops of the cookies is optional. We like a little salt variation with our sweets sometimes. This is definitely true in our 24 Hour Chocolate Chip Cookies! You may feel that the salt from the pretzels and the salt in the cookie dough is enough for you. Either way works. It is just a matter of personal tastes.
We hope you enjoyed our journey with us through a whole new type of cookie and a completely new ingredient. We would love your feedback about your thoughts and tastes on Dutch-process cocoa.
If you are like us and feel as if you have been in a cookie rut, we hope you give these Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Cookies a try. Go be creative in the kitchen!