Pretzel Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies are like a really good loaf of bread. A slice of bread is great on its own, but if you’re feeling indulgent, you can warm it up, spread a little butter on it, maybe a little jam, revisit your childhood and sprinkle that piece of plain toast with cinnamon sugar. Now I’m not suggesting you spread butter and jam on your cookies (yuck), but we can certainly use them as a vehicle for our favorite flavor combinations. In this case, dark chocolate and crunchy, salty pretzels.

I made these for my friend’s sixteenth birthday (I know, she’s the baby of the grade), and packaged up all 26 of them and gave them to her in a pink gift bag. The best food gifts are the ones you aren’t required to share. She now has a stockpile of delicious cookies.

This recipe is based of the recipe for “Chocolate Chippers” from Better Homes and Garden’s New Cookbook from 1976. If you’re from the South and your family has a go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe, I’d be willing to bet that it’s from Better Homes and Gardens. They have got this classic down: white and brown sugar, Crisco, and lots of salt. Nothing is better than a great chocolate to salt ratio. The pretzels are the perfect way to amp it up.

Before making these I took a five minute trip to my local grocery store/farmer’s market. (I actually have a neighborhood store now! I didn’t until this year). I bought a package of pretzels for $0.99 and some slightly more expensive, giant, made-in-house, organic dark chocolate chips. Homemade dark chocolate chips? Joy! They were about the size of a dime, which made for big, melty, chocolatey bites.

Melty chocolate, crunchy, salty pretzel, warm, soft cookie… need I list more adjectives? Just make the cookies. Just do it.

Pretzel Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes: about 30 cookies, Time: 10 minutes prep, plus 20–30 minutes baking
Ingredients:
1 cup all purpose flour, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 cup packed brown sugar, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup shortening (Crisco), 1 egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 cups (or more) dark chocolate chips, about 1 cup broken pretzel pieces
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly grease a cookie sheet or line with a Silpat baking mat.
2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda.
3. In a large bowl with a hand-held mixer or in the bowl of a standing mixer, beat together shortening, sugars, egg, and vanilla until fluffy.
4. Gradually add dry ingredients and stir to incorporate.
5. Fold in pretzel bits and chocolate chips.
6. Drop cookie dough in tablespoon-sized balls on prepared cookie sheet. The dough will be chock-full of chunks of pretzels and chocolate!
7. Bake for 8–10 minutes. Chill remaining dough in the fridge while the first batch is baking.
8. Allow baked cookies to cool on pan for about 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. (Or just pick one up and eat it, but don’t burn yourself!)

Just a few more adjectives for these cookies: foolproof, perfect, salty, and sweet. Okay, I’m done now.

Remember that April showers bring May flowers!

And, without fail, cookies bring joy.

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