Soft and extra extra chewy cookies loaded with crunchy chocolate covered pretzels and topped with sea salt.
How was your Valentine’s Day? Eat too much chocolate?
I’m in San Diego for my book signing tomorrow night (there are still tickets left… come taste wine and chocolate with me!). Yesterday was the zoo. We met up with some family who’s also in town and spent the afternoon with tigers, elephants, the hungriest panda bears– did you see my snapchat?– and a billion monkeys and flamingos. Is that romantic or is that romantic? Kevin and I did come back to the hotel area to have dinner, just the two of us. Followed by devil’s food cake topped with blood orange mousse and grand mariner syrup.
I could feel my clothes getting tighter with every bite. It was amazing.
As you can tell, my chocolate kick continues this week. We’re continuing the chocolate madness with chewy chocolate covered pretzel cookies, a variation of the most popular cookie recipe on my website. Please tell me you’ve had my chewy chocolate chunk cookies before. Nodding your head, right? How good are they?
I have the recipe memorized and something tells me you do too.
I use the same exact cookie dough for today’s chewy chocolate covered pretzel cookies. But before I get to the chocolate covered pretzel business, let me tell you what makes this cookie dough so popular. I’ve talked about it at length in this post, so I’ll just gloss over the basics.
Chewy Cookie Secrets!
First and foremost, we use melted butter instead of softened butter. Melted butter makes a cookie chewier, but it also makes a cookie more prone to excess spreading. So we make sure there’s enough flour to soak up that melted butter. Not too much to dry the cookie out, just enough to make a stable cookie dough. Melted butter means that we are not creaming it. Rather, we make this cookie dough completely by hand. No mixer required!
In addition to the melted butter, we add an extra egg yolk. Egg yolks (fat) give cookies their richness, chewiness, softness, and moisture, while the egg whites (protein) provide structure. Both crucial! But we add an extra yolk for extra good stuff. Always remember, room temperature is key.
Along with the melted butter and an extra egg yolk, we use more brown sugar than white sugar in the cookie dough. This is not only for a little extra flavor, but also because brown sugar is softer than white granulated sugar. Softer, moister sugar = softer, chewier cookies. White sugar helps the cookies spread, but brown sugar is where all that mouthwatering taste and texture hides.
This next one isn’t really a chewy cookie secret but hopefully I’ve drilled it into your head by now… chill that cookie dough! Chilling the cookie dough in the refrigerator helps prevent your cookies from spreading into thin blobs on the cookie sheet. Not only this, chilling the dough gives all the flavors a chance to mingle. “Aged” cookie dough = more flavorful.
Did you get all that? Fabulous.
Now let’s chat about today’s chocolate covered pretzel version: soft-baked sensations consisting of that buttery and tender brown sugar cookie dough with unbelievably chewy edges and ultra crunchy chocolate coated pretzels. All of this makes them some sort of texture and flavor phenomenon providing the perfect excuse to have another just so you can take it all in. And if you still aren’t convinced, it’s all topped off with a sprinkle of sea salt upping their sweet and salty game. And even after a few days*, the cookies are still melt-in-your-mouth soft and chewy while the chocolate covered pretzels are just as crunchy.
*As if these cookies will even last more than 3 seconds in your house.
You can use homemade or store-bought chocolate covered pretzels, whatever works for you. I suggest using the small pretzel twists because they break up into smaller pieces for this cookie dough. You’ll need about 1 cup of broken up pieces.
If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you might remember my original chocolate covered pretzel cookies. Fantastic cookies for sure– but today’s are much chewier. If you taste the two cookies side-by-side, you’ll be able to tell that the previous version has a lighter and cakier texture. That’s from the creamed butter and sugar. Compared to using melted butter in today’s version, which gives the cookies a denser, chewier texture.
Ahh! So much science today!
Let’s get to the good stuff.
Chewy Chocolate Covered Pretzel Cookies
- 2 and 1/4 cups (280g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks or 170g) unsalted butter, melted
- 3/4 cup (135g) loosely packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 heaping cup chocolate covered pretzel pieces (homemade or store-bought)
- sea salt for sprinkling
- Whisk the flour, baking soda, cornstarch, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the melted butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together until no brown sugar lumps remain. Whisk in the egg, then the egg yolk. Finally, whisk in the vanilla extract. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together with a large spoon or rubber spatula. The dough will be very soft, yet thick. Fold in the chocolate covered pretzel pieces. They may not stick to the dough because of the melted butter, but do your best to combine them. Cover the dough and chill in the refrigerator for 3 hours or up to 3 days. Chilling is mandatory. I highly recommend chilling the cookie dough overnight for less spreading.
- Take the dough out of the refrigerator and allow to slightly soften at room temperature for 10 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
- Roll the dough into balls, about 3 Tablespoons of dough each. The dough will be crumbly, but the warmth of your hands will help the balls stay together. Roll the cookie dough balls to be taller rather than wide, to ensure the cookies will bake up to be thick. See this post for more clarity and a photo. Place 8 balls of dough onto each cookie sheet, then sprinkle each with sea salt. Bake the cookies for 12-13 minutes. The cookies will look very soft and underbaked. They will continue to bake on the cookie sheet. As they cool, feel free to press a couple extra pieces of chocolate covered pretzels into the tops of each cookie. It's best to do this when the cookies are still warm. This is only for looks! Not mandatory at all. You can also sprinkle a little more sea salt on top of each cookie at this time, if desired.
- Allow the cookies to cool on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Make ahead tip: Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week. You can make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Allow to come to room temperature then continue with step 5. Baked cookies freeze well for up to 3 months. Unbaked cookie dough balls freeze well for up to 3 months. Bake frozen cookie dough balls for an extra minute, no need to thaw. Click here for my tips and tricks on freezing cookie dough.
Adapted from chewy chocolate chunk cookies
Check out my top 5 cookie tips before beginning. It includes how to prevent cookies from over-spreading and why room temperature makes a difference.
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You’ll also LOVE these toasted s’more chocolate chip cookies. Once again, the same cookie dough as the chewy chocolate chunks.
Eggland’s Best provided me with eggs to bring you this recipe.