Sweetly salty. Crunchily tender. Unexpectedly familiar. Simply complex. Notice the juxtaposition of opposing forces at play here? That’s exactly why we’re more than a little dumbstruck by these salted caramel and pretzel cookies. They’re irresistible in an opposites-attract sorta way.–Renee Schettler Rossi
LC Goes Well With Beer Note
Oops. Above and beyond the aforementioned traits, we have one more reason why we admire these salted caramel and pretzel cookies, and we inadvertently omitted it from our above homage. It’s the fact that the malty saltiness of these cookies makes them a superb accompaniment to darker beers. We need to do a little more research before we can say for certain, although we’re thinking anything from an amber on through a stout. (Natch, milk makes an acceptable accompaniment as well.) Care to add the results of your own studious sipping and curious crunching undertakings? Let us know in a comment below.
Salted Caramel and Pretzel Cookies Recipe
- Quick Glance
- 45 M
- 2 H
- Makes about 30 cookies
- 1 1/2 cups roughly broken skinny pretzel sticks
- 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup (5 ounces) granulated sugar
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 3/4 cups (8 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup store-bought or homemade dulce de leche or thick caramel sauce*
- Coarse sea salt, for sprinkling
- 1. Toss 1/4 cup broken pretzels in a resealable plastic bag and use a rolling pin to crush them into coarse crumbs.
- 2. In a large bowl with an electric or stand mixer on medium-high speed, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks, honey, vanilla, and salt, then add to the butter mixture and beat until incorporated, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Reduce the speed to low, add the flour and coarse pretzel crumbs, and beat just until combined.
- 3. Dump the remaining broken pretzels in the resealable plastic bag and coarsely crush with the rolling pin. Spread the pretzel crumbs on a plate or rimmed baking sheet. Drop tablespoonfuls of dough on the pretzel crumbs and roll the dough into balls, gently pressing so the pretzels adhere. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.
- 4. Position the oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat it to 325˚F (163°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- 5. Arrange the cookies about 1 1/2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Make a deep indentation in each with your thumb. Bake, swapping the positions of the sheets halfway through, until the cookies are lightly golden, 15 to 18 minutes. Re-indent with the back of a teaspoon, if necessary. Let cool 3 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to racks to cool completely.
- 6. Fill each indentation with dulce de leche or caramel sauce and sprinkle with sea salt. Then go ahead and gorge. (These are best devoured the day they’re baked, as it’s a little tricky to keep the leftovers without the pretzels going soggy and the gooey stuff sticking to whatever you choose to cover the cookies with, although somehow, we don’t think leftovers are going to be an issue.)
Dulce de Leche Versus Caramel
- What, you may be pondering, is the difference between dulce de leche and caramel sauce? As the author of this salted caramel and pretzel cookies recipe explains, dulce de leche is like caramel sauce but thicker and richer because it’s made with sweetened condensed milk, whereas caramel sauce is made with only sugar. However, some caramel sauces include other ingredients to make the technique of cooking it a little less tricky and the consuming of it all the more indulgent. Got it?
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