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The BEST Salted Caramel Pretzel Snickerdoodles for your holiday cookie baking. Homemade snickerdoodle cookies, made with browned butter, plenty of chocolate-covered caramel chunks, pretzels pieces, and a small pinch of flaky sea salt. Each cookie dough ball is rolled through cinnamon sugar for that classic snickerdoodle finish before baking to perfection. There’s nothing not to love about these sweet Christmas cookies. Each bite is slightly crisp on the edges but soft and gooey in the center…with just a little pretzelly crunch.

overhead close up photo of Salted Caramel Pretzel Snickerdoodles with 1 cookie broken in half

The minute Thanksgiving was over, I received message after message about holiday dinner menus, entertaining ideas, and most of all…Christmas cookies! I couldn’t believe the number of messages from those of you inquiring about holiday cookies. Questions like, “when will you be sharing your 2019 Christmas Cookie Box?” “What’s your favorite Christmas cookie?” “What’s the best cookie to gift?” “What are the best boxes to use?” …and so many more.

I have to say, I’m pretty happy you all are so excited to bake this season because I am too! So much so that I’m stressing about the fact that I really do not have enough days leading up to Christmas to share everything. It’s a good problem to have, but I have SO much I want to share with you. Fingers crossed I can get you all everything you need by the 24th.

So, I’m officially kicking the holiday baking season off with these snickerdoodles. These are decadent in all the best ways. And yes, you do need to make them this December, preferably several times!

overhead photo of Salted Caramel Pretzel Snickerdoodles cookie dough being rolled in cinnamon sugar

My snickerdoodle story.

I didn’t grow up eating snickerdoodles, but instead grew up eating mom’s chocolate chip cookies. Even at Christmas time, she’d opt for chocolate chip cookies over anything holiday-themed. I didn’t know other cookies existed. But then I grew up, and I made snickerdoodles, and wow, they are so GOOD.

But here’s the thing. I love a crisp on the edges, doughy in the center, chocolate chip cookie more. So much more.

Which brings me to this cookie. It’s a snickerdoodle on the outside, but a chocolate chip cookie on the inside. And it’s all done up with extra special touches like pretzel crumbs and chocolate-covered caramels.

Delicious!

Salted Caramel Pretzel Snickerdoodles before baking on cookie sheet

To make the best snickerdoodles…

One, brown half of your butter, but leave the other half at room temp. This gives you the flavor of browned butter but leaves you with a cookie that has great texture too. Shocker, I know, I added brown butter. But the browned butter really does add so much to cookies. It’s worth the extra step.

Two, tap that baking sheet on your counter midway through baking, then finish cooking. When the cookies have completely finished baking, remove them from the oven, and tap the baking sheet once more. You guys, this step is KEY. It will ensure you have the least cakey snickerdoodle cookie. Instead you’ll get a cookie with crisp edges and a gooey center. Tapping the baking pan on the counter deflates the center of the cookie, pushing the edges out. I used this same method for my pumpkin cookies and I now do it whenever I bake any cookies…because it works.

It’s a method I learned from the New York Times and you need to do it too.

overhead photo of Salted Caramel Pretzel Snickerdoodles

The “special” Christmas touches.

…chocolate-covered caramel chunks, you can use regular chunk chunks of course, but these are better. I use Dove milk chocolate caramels.

…cinnamon sugar, roll the dough balls through the mix to your liking.

…smashed pretzels on the outside, only just a few for the slightest salty, crunch with every sweet bite.

…a little pinch of flaky sea salt, simply because it makes everything better.

overhead close up photo of Salted Caramel Pretzel Snickerdoodles

What I love about these cookies is that they’re easy to make, require no chilling, and take less than an hour…simple.

But my favorite part? These are just perfectly crisp on the edges, but soft and gooey in the center. The best kind of cookie. I’m not normally such a decadent cookie person, but as I always say, I like to really do it up for the holidays. They only come once a year, so let’s just have fun and enjoy every minute of the season. It’s cheesy, but they do only come once a year!

Let’s bake cookies on a Tuesday night and enjoy them while watching your favorite holiday movie. Then take the leftovers to work and make everyone’s day. You should do this.

‘Tis the season for giving after all!

PS. if you’re looking for a snowman version try these cute little eggnog frosted chai snickerdoodle snowmen!

close up photo of Salted Caramel Pretzel Snickerdoodle cookie broken in half

If you make these salted caramel pretzel snickerdoodles, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Salted Caramel Pretzel Snickerdoodles

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
chill time 15 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings: 24 cookies
Calories Per Serving: 217 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

Instructions

  • 1. Add 1 stick butter to a small saucepan set over medium heat. Cook until the butter begins to brown, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a heatproof bowl. Stick in the freezer to chill, 10-15 minutes, but no longer.
    2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
    3. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the remaining 1 stick butter, the cooled browned butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until combined. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, until combined. Add the vanilla, beating until creamy. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt. Fold in the chocolate caramels.
    4. Roll the dough into rounded 1 tablespoon size balls and then roll through the cinnamon sugar. Place 3 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Gently push a few crushed pretzel pieces into each dough ball (see above photo).
    5. Transfer to the oven and bake for 7 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and tap the baking sheet on the counter 2 times to flatten them down. Return to the oven and bake another 1-3 minutes or until the cookies are just beginning to set on the edges, but still doughy in the center. Remove from the oven and tap the baking sheet on the counter 1-2 times to flatten them down again. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet. They will continue to cook slightly as they sit on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with flaky salt. Eat warm (highly recommended) or let cool and store in an airtight container for up to 4 days. 

Notes

Cinnamon Sugar: mix 1/3 cup sugar with 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon. Store in an airtight container.
Caramels: I use Dove milk chocolate caramels. 
Freezing: the cookie dough balls can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw, then bake as directed. 
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horizontal photo of Salted Caramel Pretzel Snickerdoodles

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Comments

  1. Tieghan, I have Rolo’s on hand. Will the recipe work with these?
    I would like to make smaller cookies for the event I’m bringing them to. What baking times should I use if I make the cookies about half the size of the recipe? I’m really looking forward to trying this recipe!!

    1. Hi Robin,
      Sure, Rolo’s would work well for you! If you are making these into mini cookies I would follow the bake time as is and just keep an eye on them towards the end! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xx

  2. I tried these tonight and just jumped right in to making a double batch for my cookie boxes…HBH usually knocks it out of the park so I didn’t bother with a test run. Oops! I don’t know what went wrong but my cookies are cakey and dry and all around disappointing. I followed the instructions exactly. From the comments it looks like maybe the chilled browned butter is supposed to be solid and not just cooled? Mine was definitely still liquid. Should I try these again?? They do look delicious, and I love a cookie with a gooey center so if I have time, I’ll try again and let my browned butter solidify which I’m guessing will take closer to 25 minutes for my freezer. Any other suggestions? Best believe I was pounding the baking sheet on the counter…normally that works, and I love that tip!

    1. Hey Josie,
      So sorry to hear this. You definitely don’t want the browned butter to be solid, you could allow it to get a little soft and see if that helps. Also, just double check your measurements especially for the flour. Try gently pressing the dough balls down with your hand before baking and then bang on the counter. I hope this helps! xTieghan

    2. 5 stars
      I mixed these ahead and refrigerated with intention of baking off at my daughters the next day.. which was today. They came out perfect and are amazing! Big hit. Wouldn’t change a thing!!!

      1. Hi Susan,
        Wonderful! I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks for giving it a try! Happy Holidays!?? xTieghan

  3. 5 stars
    These are SO GOOD! We used twix bars for the caramel because that’s what we had in my kids’ backpacks from school Christmas parties 😉 – worked like a charm!

    1. Hi Lynne,
      Thank you so very much for giving this recipe a try, I love to hear that it was enjoyed! Happy Holidays!??

  4. 4 stars
    This recipe tasted fantastic – I included in as part of my 2021 Christmas Cookie Box (thanks Tieghan for the concept!)

    Like some of you perhaps, I didn’t read the comments before I made my dough, to discover there’s a recommendation of the way the browned butter should look before incorporation. Fret not, cookie creators. I rolled my dough balls and stuck in the fridge for 15-20 minutes. Turned about perfectly.

    My only recommendation beyond the recipe is be VERY PICKY about the chocolate caramel you use. I used Reisen – I don’t recommend these. My cookies that used the gharidelli chocolate caramels turned out much better. Happy baking!!!

    1. Hey Katie,
      Awesome! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a lot for making it. Happy Holidays!❄️ xT

  5. 5 stars
    The kids had a blast crunching pretzels, breaking up Ghirardelli dark chocolate caramel squares and rolling the cookies! And they are so tasty – we love the different textures and the sweet and salty mix!

    1. Hey there,
      Happy Sunday!! Thanks a lot for giving this recipe a try, I am so glad to hear it was enjoyed. Happy Holidays!? xx

  6. 5 stars
    So good! We made a gluten free version using King Arthur 1:1 flour and GF pretzels. I will say the GF batter was really soft so I chilled the batter for 20 minutes before scooping/rolling the dough. And we added the crushed pretzels directly to the dough. Otherwise, no changes. BIG hit with the family!

    1. Hi Kathy,
      Happy Sunday!! Thanks a lot for giving this recipe a try, I am so glad to hear it was enjoyed. Happy Holidays!? xx

      1. 5 stars
        I’ve made these cookies many times over the past few months and they have always been a hit! I double the recipe every time and brown a full brick of butter. I use pretzel sticks I smash in a bag and soft werthers caramels chopped up and dark chocolate chips. Awesome recipe!

        1. Hi Hanna,
          Happy Labor Day! Thanks so much for making this recipe and sharing your feedback! So glad it was enjoyed:)

    1. Hi Wendy,
      Happy Sunday!! Thanks a lot for giving this recipe a try, I am so glad to hear it was enjoyed. Happy Holidays!? xx

  7. I made these today and while they taste delicious, the caramel melted out from the edges of the baked cookies. How do you keep this from happening?

    1. Hi Peggy,
      Happy Sunday!! Thanks a lot for giving this recipe a try, I am so glad to hear it was enjoyed. Sorry, the caramel does tend to do that. Happy Holidays!? xx

    1. Hey Alyssa,
      Happy Sunday!! Thanks a lot for giving this recipe a try, I am so glad to hear it was enjoyed. Happy Holidays!? xx

  8. Hi! When you are chopping the Dove Chocolate Covered Caramels, how do you not have the caramel spill out? Is there a specific technique?!
    Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Eren,
      The caramel will spill out:) Please let me know if you have any other questions, I hope you love the recipe! xTieghan

  9. 5 stars
    These are great! One of my favorite recipes is a brown butter snickerdoodle. This is that but on steroids! Love it so much ! I’ll take that tip with me for sure.

    Question: will these freeze okay after they are baked?

    1. Hey Mary,
      Happy Friday! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was enjoyed. Yes, you can freeze these. Thanks so much for making it and happy holidays!❄️ xTieghan

    1. Hi Debbie,
      So glad you enjoyed the cookies! Flaky sea salt can be found at your local grocery store, it’s just larger flakes of salt. Please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan