There are a number of different ways I could have done this. The easiest would have been to just mix the peanut butter pretzels into cookie dough. I also could have make a peanut butter cookie base and mixed pretzels into it.
Instead, I took mini peanut butter cups and mini pretzels and mixed them into a basic chocolate chip cookie dough base. There are three main advantages to using mini peanut butter cups: They incorporate chocolate into the cookie, they provide little isolated morsels of peanut butter flavor, and they are already sweetened.
I opted for bar cookies because I was afraid it would be harder to shape free-form cookies with pretzels sticking out. I’m glad I did. These cookies are crunchy, creamy and delicious.
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups mini pretzels, divided
- 12 ounces mini peanut butter cups
Step 1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Cream the butter and sugars together. Then add the eggs and vanilla and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes. (Note: this is another advantage of making bar cookies. The well-beaten butter and eggs make the final dough easier to spread into the sheet pan, but because we are using a sheet pan we don’t need to chill the dough before baking.)
Step 2. Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl. Then incorporate the flour into the beaten butter and eggs until just combined.
Step 3. Add 1 cup of mini pretzels to the dough and mix on low speed until combined. This will smash the pretzels. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of pretzels and the mini peanut butter cups and fold them into the dough. Using a more gentle mixing method ensures you will have whole pretzels that will look nice in the baked cookie, plus the peanut butter cups won’t get smashed. Spread the final dough into a 10×15-inch sheet pan.