Thursday, June 6, 2013

Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Cookies

I have to confess that as much as I love to cook and bake, I have always been terrible at baking cookies.  I usually undercook, burn, or otherwise just ruin cookies.  So I had put the cookie jar into hiding and decided that I was incurable and would just enjoy cupcakes, brownies and other desserts.  Until now!  Recently, I found an intriguing chocolate chip cookie over at Sally's Baking Addiction.  I was skeptical at first, but desperate enough to try if at least once.  With the first batch, I didn't have the dark brown sugar the recipe called for, but I tried them anyway and they turned out FABULOUS!  I've never made such thick chocolate chip cookies before.   I have made more batches of these this past month than I care to count (TRUE STORY!).   After a few batches, I decided I wanted to try my own spin on her cookie recipe.  I happened to have some Kraft Caramel bits on hand and decided to try a chocolate caramel pretzel combination.  I love the sweet/salty combination!  You've gotta try these!  Before you scroll past all my pictures and straight to the recipe, though, be sure and read because I want to share some of Sally's tips.  THEY ARE JUST AS IMPORTANT AS THE RECIPE!!  Better yet, check out her chocolate chip cookie blog post for yourself HERE.

Sally shares some important tips on her blog about baking the perfect chocolate chip cookie.  I found these to be crucial.

1. CHILL the dough.  I have found that I get a much better result if I chill the dough for at least 2-3 hours or even overnight!  Trust me!  Don't ignore this step!

2.  I cook mine a bit longer - exactly 9 minutes.  Cool for exactly 3 minutes.  Depending on your oven, the actual cooking time could vary from 8-10 minutes.  They should be only a light golden brown when you remove them from the oven.  Don't overbake! 

3.  Use only cool pans to bake cookies!  This was the biggest mistake I was making when baking cookies.  I usually would put a second or third set of cookies on a cookie sheet that had already been through the oven.  So THAT'S why the last set was always overdone!

These make me smile!!

Salty/sweet heaven!! 
Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Cookies
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 c. dark brown sugar
1/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
2 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. corn starch
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. pretzel pieces
1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips ( I used Ghiradelli!  My favorite chips!)
1/2 c. Kraft Caramel Bits
Cream butter, sugars, vanilla, and egg in medium mixing bowl.  In another bowl, combine flour, corn starch, baking soda and salt.  Gradually incorporate dry ingredients into wet mixture and mix well.  Fold in pretzel pieces, chips and caramel bits.  Chill dough for several hours.  Roll dough into balls (about 1 T. of dough) and place on cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes (only until slightly golden around the edges).  Remove from oven and let rest on cookie sheet for 3 minutes.  Transfer to cooling rack.

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