Raise your hand if you’ve made the Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip cookie recipe on the back of the yellow bag.
I’m sorry, but that is not a good recipe. Every time I’ve made it, the cookies are almost greasy. Maybe some people like an “extra buttery” chocolate chip cookie, but I don’t want to have to use a wet wipe after a cookie indulgence. Also, how any one manages to fit a full 12oz. bag of chocolate chips in a recipe that yields only a couple dozen cookies is beyond me.
This is not to say I’m against recipes printed on an ingredient’s package. I’ve tried some real winners. I’ve been especially lucky with ones printed on the inside of the bag/wrapper/box. Those are like little secret messages. But the yellow bag cookie recipe, and the orange can pumpkin pie recipe, have never worked for me.
I’m a little embarrassed to admit I’ve yet to develop a recipe for a really great pumpkin pie, which is one of my favorite desserts. Maybe if I start now, I’ll have it perfected by next fall… Chocolate chip cookies on the other hand, I’ve got that one.
Food bloggers have what the kids would call “no chill” when it comes to chocolate chip cookies. Everyone has a long winded post detailing their quest for the perfect chocolate chip cookies. 36 batches! 8 different oven temperatures! Silicone mat or parchment paper?! Must rest the dough 33.2 hours in the refrigerator!
My journey with a classic chocolate chip cookie really wasn’t the pilgrimage that most food bloggers seem to undergo. Probably because soooo many weathered the storm before me, I was able to make a few batches with just a couple tweaks here and there before producing what I consider the ideal cookie.
What’s more, I didn’t put much pressure on myself for once. Because… chocolate chip cookies aren’t my favorite thing ever. GASP. I know. Trust me, I would never turn down a cookie, but let it be further proof that I really do think desserts made with natural sweeteners taste better. Sometimes chocolate chip cookies are just too sugary and buttery and floury for my taste buds.
Oh wait, I’m pretty sure that’s what makes everyone go nuts for chocolate chip cookies. Don’t mind me. It’s probably the ghost of my vegan self talking; I’ll come around eventually.
But believe me when I say that while I’d rather have these guys on my regularly scheduled cookie programming, I promise I’ve got nothing against a good ol’ classic chocolate chipper. Obviously, or I never would have bothered to come up with a go-to recipe. Sometimes the craving just strikes, as I’m sure you know.
These Salted Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies start with my standard recipe, but feature the addition of milk chocolate chips and crunchy broken up pretzel pieces. Oh, and there’s also a sprinkle of flaky sea salt on top of each. Optional, but not really. Remember when salt & chocolate was a new fad a few years back? Now it’s almost like, if you’re not putting sea salt on your chocolate then why even bother? Everyone loves salted chocolate!
The added pretzel pieces turn these classic favorites into something a little extra special. A great cookie is well, great; a great cookie with a unique addition like salty pretzels? That’s a memorable cookie. I thought they’d be a perfect contribution to the list of treats I’m bringing to the reception this weekend.
Before you get baking I’ll give you a little introduction to these cookies. I start by creaming butter and sugar. I’ve seen some recipes that use melted butter to create a chewier cookie. I prefer mine to have structure without being cakey. So cream the butter and equal amounts of granulated and brown sugar. All granulated sugar makes the edges too crisp, all brown sugar alters the flavor a bit too much for my liking. Next add the egg and vanilla. Don’t beat too long once the egg has been mixed in, otherwise you’ll be incorporating air into the mix and the cookies will become cakey. For flour, we’ll use just regular all-purpose. Getting back to food bloggers having no chill. I’ve seen chocolate chip cookie recipes using like four types of flour. That’s one thing when baking gluten-free, but I think it’s totally unnecessary to use cake flour, bread flour, and all sorts of other wheat flours in such a basic cookie.
Next, we chill. I guess I shouldn’t say food bloggers have “no chill,” but rather “too much chill.” Who’s been cyber screamed at in capital letters by a food blogger to CHILL YOUR COOKIE DOUGH? I have. But I understand. You’ve gotta do it. Unless you want a giant two-dimensional cookie mosaic on your baking sheet, and in my case, tears. Two hours in the fridge minimum, even better overnight or for a day. The flavor of the dough really does intensify with time. I know it’s tough to wait. I may have made cookie dough at around 8 last night, and then baked cookies within five minutes of waking up at 6:15 this morning. I’m working on becoming a more patient person.
It’s worth it, for what comes out of the oven is an ideal cookie. Chewy, with lightly crisp edges and centers that are soft but still have texture. With the added pretzel pieces you’ll use in this recipe, there are crunchy little bites that are the perfect complement to the melty bits of semisweet and milk chocolate.
So go soften some butter, break up a few pretzel, and get to making cookie dough! Then find something that will distract your for half a day or so. May I suggest catching up on the last seven seasons of Gilmore Girls on Netflix in preparation for the NEW SEASON coming soon… or definitely don’t do that. That show always makes me hungry. Maybe watch this trailer instead; I just saw it this week and am beyond excited for the movie to come out next year.
There you go, two minutes closer to making Salted Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies. Once you finally bake them, pour yourself a glass of milk, and enjoy your reward for being such a patient person!
Salted Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yields 2 1/2 dozen cookies
Salty pretzel pieces, milk chocolate, and semisweet chocolate baked into my favorite chocolate chip cookie dough. Sprinkled with flaky sea salt, eating just one of these cookies is more difficult than eating just one potato chip!
- 2 1/4 cup (270g) all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. corn starch
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 3/4 cup (6oz/172g) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup (100g) brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 3 oz. (1/2 cup) milk chocolate chips, plus a few extra for decoration if desired
- 3 oz. (1/2 cup) semisweet chocolate chips, plus a few extra for decoration if desired
- 1 oz. (about 30 twists) thin pretzels, broken into pieces, plus a few extra for decoration if desired
- Flaky sea salt
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, corn starch, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
Using an electric stand or hand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed until combined. Add the egg and vanilla, and continue to beat a minute longer, scraping the sides of the bowl.
Turn the mixer to medium low, and slowly add the dry ingredients to the bowl. Continue mixing until a dough forms.
Turn off the mixer, then fold in the chocolate chips and pretzel pieces. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill for at least two hours, or up to 72 hours. You may also freeze cookie dough for later use.
Once the dough has thoroughly chilled, preheat the oven to 350° F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
Roll the dough into about 30 balls, and arrange on the baking sheets two inches apart.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until lightly golden at the edges. For chewier cookies, remove them from the oven when still ever so slightly under-baked. For crispier, just bake them a bit longer, keeping in mind that cookies continue to bake on the sheets after coming out of the oven.
Remove the cookies from the oven. If using additional chocolate chips and pretzel pieces for appearance, immediately press these gently into the tops of the cookies. Sprinkle a few flakes of sea salt onto each cookie. Allow them to cool on the baking sheets a few minutes, then transfer to cooling racks. Store cooled cookies in an air tight container.