Brown Butter Toffee Caramel & Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies - now that's a mouthful! Some of you may have had a Kitchen Sink Cookie from Panera - a HUGE cookie with semi-sweet chocolate, milk chocolate, caramel pieces, pretzels and flake salt on top. They're pretty wonderful, pretty impressive and pretty expensive! At $3.00 each, and because I'm usually travelling with a large tribe of kids, these can add up fast! And if I suggest that they split these and share them, well, you know the look I get!
Whenever we try something this good, I always try to figure out a way to "deconstruct" it and make it at home, and after several attempts, I've created my own copycat recipe that looks, feels, and tastes just like the Panera treat! And starting with fresh browned butter and brown sugar, you just know that this cookie base is one of a kind!
I don't know if your kitchen pantry is like mine, but there always seems to be lots of bags of little bits of stuff leftover from other recipes - whether its chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, pretzels....and this is the perfect way to clean up all that nonsense. Feel free to add and subtract the "extra" ingredients just the way you want. Dark chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate or milk chocolate? Mix and match to your heart's content!
I've made these with Kraft Caramel Bits and also with soft and chewy Kraft Caramels cut into pieces, and the votes were split. Some of my kids loved the slightly "harder" caramel bits, while others preferred the soft caramels instead. They're good either way - just know that you have options!
Panera sprinkles a little bit of flaky sea salt on top too, but I've used flaky sea salt in the cookie dough, and it seems to give the cookies a better flavor overall than just an arbitrary sprinkle on top. The pretzel pieces add just the right amount of "salty" to the sweet cookies, but if you like a saltier cookie, feel free to sprinkle away!
Thick, soft and chewy....and everything but the kitchen sink thrown in for good measure! These have been taste tested by the best team of cookie taste testers on the planet - kid tested, kid approved! And they absolutely devour these warm from the oven!
Thick, sweet and salty...it's the perfect cookie! Nom.nom.nom........