These peanut butter pretzel chocolate chunk cookies are crisp, chewy and loaded with gooey chunks of chocolate and chopped up pretzel bits. They’re the perfect combination of sweet and salty!
Lately I’ve been obsessed with pretzels. I don’t know what it is! I’ve been dipping them in nut butters, adding them to snack mixes and eating them in this delicious frozen peanut butter pie. Then the other day I had this crazy idea… to fold crushed bits into peanut butter cookie dough (along with a generous amount of chopped chocolate) and then bake them. The best part though, was the extra crunchy pretzel on top. These cookies are definitely NOT your classic peanut butter cookie, but boy are they good!! If you love the whole sweet and salty combo, these cookies are for you!
The dough for this particular recipe is one that we really love. Stephen and I are both pretty particular when it comes to baked goods, and we definitely know what we like and what we don’t like. So after making & eating loads of peanut butter cookies over the years, this one passed the test with flying colors. It yields cookies that are crispy on the edges and soft and chewy in the center. Perfection.
Equal parts peanut butter, butter, sugar and brown sugar give these cookies their unique texture. I’ve tried all sorts of combinations/ratios and I definitely think that a half cup of each produces the best cookie. Just trust me, ok 🙂 Oh, you’ll want to add a teaspoon and a half of vanilla to that before creaming (I always add my vanilla with the butter and sugar so that it gets nicely incorporated).
Once your “wet” ingredients are nice and creamy, and the egg/yolk and mix just until it’s combined. Then, in a medium size mixing bowl, whisk together the combine the all-purpose flour, baking soda, and salt. I only use baking soda because I’ve found that baking powder does little to nothing in these cookies. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the peanut butter mixture. Mix until you can no longer see any flour, and then stop.
Using a large rubber spatula, fold in the chopped pretzel bits as well as the chopped semi-sweet chocolate. I used thin pretzel twist for this recipe and I was really happy with the result. Just chop them into 1/8-inch size pieces and set aside 24 whole pretzels for the top. As far as the chopped chocolate goes, I used two 4 ounce bars and chopped it into various size pieces. I scraped all of the little shards left on my cutting board into the bowl so that the cookies would have flecks of gooey chocolate throughout. Then comes the REALLY IMPORTANT PART: I covered my bowl with plastic wrap and tossed it into the freezer for 30 minutes. Why? Because I wanted both the flavor and the texture of my dough to develop during the chill. I also wanted the cookies to hold their shape. You can bake them right away too. Here’s what they look like without any chill time. There is a noticeable difference in both their shape and texture. When the dough was firm, using a standard size cookie scoop, I created 2 dozen balls, placed them on Silpat lined sheets (I’d highly suggest using parchment or mats if you have them) and then gently pressed a pretzel on top of each ball. Once my oven was ready I baked them for 11 minutes. They looked puffy and pretty under-baked, don’t let that scare you! Remove them from the oven immediately and they’ll flatten. If you bake them for more than 12 minutes they’ll become brittle!
Allow the cookies to cool on the sheets for 3 minutes. Sprinkle the tops with a touch of fleur de sel or coarse sea salt, if desired. Enjoy immediately with a cold glass of milk! I can’t wait to make these again, next time I’m get extra wild and toss in some chopped dark chocolate peanut butter cups. Yum!
Peanut Butter Pretzel Chocolate Chunk Cookies Recipe
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter*
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter - room temperature
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp kosher sea salt
- 8 oz semi-sweet chocolate - chopped
- 1 cup pretzels - chopped
- 24 pretzel twists - for the tops
- 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt - for garnish, optional
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the sugars, peanut butter, butter and vanilla extract. Beat on high for 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the egg and yolk, mix until combined.
- In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.
- With mixing speed on low, gradually add the dry ingredients, mixing just until combined. Fold in the chopped chocolate and pretzel chunks with a large rubber spatula.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or baking mats, set aside.
- Using a standard size cookie scoop, create equal size balls of dough and drop onto the prepared cookie sheets. Press a pretzel into the top of each ball. Place in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, do not overbake! The cookies will be light in color and look underdone... that's ok! Remove from the oven (garnish with salt if desired) and allow to cool on the sheets for 3 minutes before carefully transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.