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Salty Sweet Caramel Pretzel Cookies

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Give an all-time favorite snack a flavorful twist by melding the salty sweet goodness of pretzels and caramel in these delectable Caramel Pretzel Cookies!

Caramel pretzel cookies with pretzels on a white table.

Looking for ways to level up the chocolate chip cookie recipe you already know by heart? You can’t go wrong with adding a few more surprises in the mix, like these cookies that are also loaded with savory pretzels and stuffed with gooey caramel.

These cookies are one of my favorites for all the same reasons I love these SKOR cookies. The fusion of flavors in these caramel pretzel chocolate chip cookies is the perfect dessert for anyone who enjoys a sweet and salty treat.

These cookies are amazing when paired with other luscious desserts like homemade ice cream or enjoy it with a tasty white chocolate iced mocha.

Jump to:

What’s the difference between salted caramel and regular caramel?

Regular caramel, whether in the form of caramel sauce or candy, primarily tastes sweet.

The basic method of making caramel involves cooking brown sugar or granulated sugar in boiling water. This method is said to have been done way back in the 1000 A.D. in the Arab nation, where the origin of caramel is attributed.

The sweet flavor profile of caramel did not drastically change through the centuries as it also reached Europe and America, until the 16th century.

Simply put, the main difference between salted caramel and regular caramel is that salted caramel provides a luscious sweet and salty flavor in one.

Chocolatier Henri Le Roux developed the recipe for salted caramel in 1977 in Brittany. Le Roux’s website indicates that the original salted caramel recipe uses salted butter, another product that’s popular in Brittany.

However, many salted caramel recipes don’t necessarily need salted butter. In some recipes, it’s enough to add a pinch of sea salt at the end of the cooking process of caramel to achieve everyone’s favorite sweet and salty treat.

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❤️ Why You’ll Love This Recipe

The delicious contrast of sweet and salty flavors isn’t the only reason you must try it. From preparation to baking, and until it’s time to enjoy this treat, you’ll find many things to love about this recipe.

  • One of the easiest cookie recipes to follow. Whether it’s your first time baking or you already know your way around the kitchen, these caramel pretzel chocolate chip cookies are extremely easy to make. You’ll have a delightfully sweet snack in no time!
  • Have fun with the kids in the kitchen. Since it doesn’t require sophisticated cooking equipment and techniques, you can certainly get the kids involved in making these cookies.
  • Great way to introduce children to new flavors. Sweet desserts are probably a universally beloved flavor among children. Introducing the complex, yet familiar, sweet salty flavor profile is a great starting point if you want to expand their flavor horizon.
  • Perfect dessert for any occasion. Whether you need sweet treats for a birthday party, a holiday feast, or just an ordinary day, the combination of sweet caramel and salty pretzels will do the trick.

If you love making easy and delightful desserts, this Instant Pot Salted Caramel Hot Cocoa Bombs recipe is right up your alley!

🥘 Ingredients

Caramel Pretzel Cookies ingredients.

Cookies are typically the gateway for anyone who wants to dive into the art of baking because they only require simple and easy-to-find ingredients. That’s the case for this caramel pretzel chocolate chip cookie recipe.

  • Caramel chips: It’s the highlight flavor of this cookie recipe, so make sure to choose high-quality caramel chips. Read the label when shopping for caramel chips to ensure you are buying sweet caramel or, if you prefer, a salted caramel variant.
  • Mini pretzel sticks: You can’t achieve the sweet salty flavor we’re going for without this one. I highly recommend using mini pretzel sticks because they’re easier to break into smaller pieces and fold into the cookie mix.
  • Chocolate chips: While not the main star here, choosing good-quality chocolate chips is still important. Milk chocolate chips or semisweet chocolate chips will work best for this recipe to balance the saltiness of pretzels with sweet, chocolatey goodness.
  • Chocolate cake mix: One of the best tricks in making delicious cookies from scratch is, ironically, using store-bought cake mix. This will eliminate the need to measure and mix several dry ingredients. To level up the chocolatey flavor of the cookies, go ahead and pick out a good chocolate cake mix.
  • Butter: You can’t leave out butter when making cookies because it enhances the richness of baked goods. Using unsalted butter is a must to keep the perfect balance of salty and sweet flavors in the cookies.

See recipe card for complete list of ingredients and quantities.

🔀 Substitutions

Pretzel sticks: You can opt for classic pretzel twists for added visual appeal. You can leave the mini pretzel twists whole, and instead of folding them into the cookie mix, you can place a whole pretzel on top of each cookie.

Chocolate cake mix: Use a classic chocolate chip cookie mix if you prefer to serve baked goods that look more like the classic cookies.

Melted butter: Brown butter is my favorite cookie substitute ingredient because it adds more depth and a bit of a nutty taste to the overall flavor. It also improves the texture and color of the cookies. Usually, the edges are golden brown in cookies made with brown butter.

🌈 Variations / Options / Add-Ins

This recipe isn’t just easy to make, but it’s also very customizable to fit your culinary preferences. Here are a few variations you can try to make the perfect sweet salty cookies for your family.

  • Gluten-free: It’s possible to whip up a gluten-free version of this cookie recipe. You just have to swap the ingredients with gluten-free alternatives, especially for the cookie mix and pretzel sticks.
  • Peanut butter cookies: The nutty flavor of peanut butter will match well with pretzels and caramel. You can try that flavor with this recipe by using a peanut butter cookie mix.
  • Salted caramel chips: If your family already loves anything salted caramel flavored, then go ahead and bake these cookies using premium chips like Trader Joe’s caramel sea salt baking chips. Then, you can enjoy salted caramel pretzel chocolate chip cookies!

Looking for cookies where you can add more than pretzels, chocolate, and caramel? Check out this recipe for loaded pretzel cookies!

🥄 Equipment Needed / Helpful Tools

Apart from the ingredients, make sure you have all the kitchen tools you need for a more efficient baking experience.

  • Cookie sheet: A regular baking sheet will work, but there are some advantages to using a cookie sheet. The cookie sheet is designed with only one lip for easy grip, leaving the other sides edgeless to easily transfer the cookies onto a cooling rack.
  • Parchment paper: Whichever baking pan you decide to use, parchment paper is a must when making cookies. You won’t have to oil the baking sheet when you use parchment paper, and it will also be easier to move baked cookies for cooling.
  • Rolling pin: This baking equipment comes in handy for breaking pretzel sticks into smaller pieces.
  • Cooling rack: It’s an essential baking tool whether it’s for cookies, pies, cakes, and other baked treats. The cooling rack provides proper air circulation, allowing baked goods to cool off faster.
  • Ice cream scoop: Anyone who bakes cookies often should invest in a good ice cream scoop. It makes it easier and faster to make uniform dough balls so the cookies will come out looking more tasty and appealing.

🔪 How to Make This Recipe for Chocolate Chip Caramel Pretzel Cookies

Got all your ingredients and baking tools ready? Then it’s time to start making delicious chocolate chip caramel pretzel cookies!

Step 1: Preheat the oven.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Step 2: Prepare the cookie sheet.

Line the cookie sheet with parchment paper. Set it aside until it’s time to bake.

Step 3: Break up the pretzel sticks.

Place the mini pretzel sticks in a tightly closed Ziploc bag. Break them into smaller pretzel pieces by pounding them lightly with a rolling pin.

Step 4: Prepare the cookie batter.

Place the cake mix, melted butter, and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Mix until just combined and until it forms a cookie batter consistency.

Cake mix, melted butter, and eggs in a large mixing bowl.

Step 5: Fold in the pretzels and chips.

Add the broken pretzel sticks, caramel chips, and chocolate chips to the cookie batter. Using a spoon or spatula, fold in the ingredients until they’re well incorporated into the cookie mix.

Pretzel sticks, caramel chips and chocolate chips are mixed in the batter using wooden spatula.

Step 6: Roll out the cookie dough balls.

Get your prepared baking sheet. Then using a spoon or ice cream scoop, roll out 1½-inch cookie dough balls. Place them on the cookie sheet, leaving about 1 to 2 inches of space in between the dough balls.

Caramel pretzel cookie dough balls on a baking sheet.

Step 7: Bake the cookies.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes at 350°F.

Step 8: Let the cookies cool.

Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely for at least 5 minutes. Then all that’s left to do is enjoy a soft and chewy loaded cookie!

A stack of caramel pretzel cookies with a cup of coffee and other ingredients on the side.

❓ Recipe FAQs

Can I use nuts instead of pretzels?

Absolutely! While pretzels are one of the highlights of these cookies, you can still achieve a sweet salty flavor by swapping them with your favorite nuts. It should not affect the baking time and measurement of other ingredients.

How long will homemade cookies last?

Homemade cookies stored at room temperature can last for two to three weeks. But you can store them in the freezer, and they should retain their quality for up to 8-12 months.

Can I chill the cookie batter?

If you prefer fluffy, sweet, and chewy cookies over flat ones, chill the cookie dough balls for at least 30 minutes before baking. If you decide not to refrigerate the dough, expect flat, instead of soft and chewy, cookies.

🙏 Pairing

These are my favorite dishes to serve with Caramel Pretzel Cookies:

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📋 Recipe

Caramel pretzel cookies with chocolate and peanut butter.

Caramel Pretzel Cookies

Corinne Schmitt
Combine the gooey caramel goodness with salty pretzels in one cookie!
5 from 58 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Cool Time 5 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Cookies
Cuisine American
Servings 15 cookies
Calories 230 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 box chocolate cake mix
  • ½ cup butter melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup mini pretzel sticks broken into pieces
  • ½ cup chocolate chips
  • ½ cup caramel chips

Instructions
 

  • Start by preheating the oven to 350°F.
  • Prepare the cookie sheet and line it with parchment paper. Set it aside until it's time to bake the cookies.
  • Place the pretzel sticks in a Ziploc bag and lightly pound them with a rolling pin. Break the pretzels just enough to turn them into smaller pieces.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the cake mix, melted butter, and eggs. Keep mixing until it reaches a cookie dough consistency.
  • Fold in the smaller pretzel bits, caramel chips, and chocolate chips.
  • Roll the cookie dough into about 1 ½ inch balls. Place them on the cookie sheet, leaving approximately 1-2 inches of space in between each cookie dough ball.
  • Bake the cookies in a 350°F oven for 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Let the cookies rest. Transfer them onto a wire rack and let them rest for at least 5 minutes.

Nutrition

Calories: 230kcalCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 3gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 39mgSodium: 345mgPotassium: 113mgFiber: 1gSugar: 15gVitamin A: 235IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 56mgIron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
5 from 58 votes (58 ratings without comment)

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