Have you ever made a recipe, decided it wasn’t that great, then read the comments people posted about the recipe and wondered if you were living on the same planet? I made a new cookie recipe and they turned out nothing like the pictures. I was highly disappointed. My cousin Shirley was baking with me and she agreed. They just weren’t what we were expecting but apparently the rest of the world loved them.
My P.S. had bought several packages of Kraft Caramel Bits. I looked for recipes to use them in and found a cookie recipe that also included pretzels, another item I had to use. Shirley and I were on a Christmas baking spree and hadn’t made any cookies yet. They sounded like an answer to our wishes to use caramel bits, pretzels and chocolate chips!
I started by creaming the butter and sugars for several minutes with my mixer. You have to be patient; what looks like a bunch of small chunks at first will eventually come together in a smooth mixture, I promise!
Next the vanilla and egg went into the bowl and I continue to mix and scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally. The dry ingredients were combined in a separate bowl and mixed well. I added them slowly to the wet mixture.
Finally I stirred in the caramel bits, pretzels and chocolate chips by hand. I mean, I literally used my hand to work them into the dough, it was so stiff. I also finally remembered to start taking photos of my steps. It’s amazing how having a partner in baking makes me forget my usual routine of photographing all of the steps in making a dish!
We used a cookie scoop and placed the mounds on parchment paper covered baking sheets, as advised. This is where it got confusing. The recipe said it makes 24 little cookies, but making the cookies little didn’t result in 24 cookies. We had a whole lot more on the two baking sheets. We added more dough to each cookie mound but still ended up with more like 36 cookies.
Which doesn’t explain why our cookies didn’t spread flatter, like the pictures on the blog. We had smaller cookies because our dough was divided into 36 cookies instead of 24. They just didn’t spread out and get crispy around the edges and chewy in the centers as the comments all raved about. We had higher, denser cookies, the kind of cookies I dislike. I love a flat cookie with crispy and chewy textures. These were boring thick chunks of cookie that were a lot of work to eat, frankly.
The caramel bits that ended up on the edges of the cookies melted while baking and made the cookies even uglier. We were so not impressed. I checked the blog and finally found a woman who also had my problem and the blogger gave some answer about compressed flour when sitting and how it needed to be fluffed up before measuring. I’ve never heard that and I’m pretty sure my flour was fine. I’d just added it to the canister and I don’t pack flour down when I measure it.
The cookies weren’t a favorite on the Christmas dessert buffet. They did stay sort of soft, even after being frozen and thawed, but I had to eventually throw them away. They just weren’t interesting in texture or flavor. The only texture was from the caramel bits that stayed pretty hard in spite of being baked. Biting into the bits wasn’t pleasant.
Caramel Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies
Cookies with caramel, pretzels and chocolate chips that should be crispy around the edges and chewy in the center.
- 1/2 cup butter; room temperature
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla (I’d double the vanilla)
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup stick pretzels; broken into thirds
- 1/2 cup caramel bits
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Cream butter and sugars with a stand mixer or hand-held mixer. Add vanilla and egg and mix until smooth, scraping bowl occasionally.
Combine salt, baking soda, and flour. Stir well. Add to wet mixture slowly and mix until combined.
Fold in broken pretzels, caramel bits, and chocolate chips with a spatula or your hand.
Using a cookie scoop, place mounds onto a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Bake for 11-12 minutes.