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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
Servings: 24 cookies
Calories Per Serving: 121 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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- 2 sticks (1 cup) salted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups chopped chocolate covered caramels or chocolate chunks
- 1/3 cup cinnamon sugar
- 1 cup mini pretzel twists crushed
- flaky sea salt, for sprinkling
- 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.
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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.