Sweet and salty come together in this most delicious and appetizing cookie. Dark chocolate, chocolate covered toffee, and salted pretzel brought together with brown butter and vanilla bean. And then made a little extra with flaky sea salt on top.
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A few months ago I was waiting in the checkout line and a gourmet chocolate bar caught my eye. I’m not one for chocolate bars, but this one intrigued me so I grabbed it from the shelf. I forget the brand of chocolate but it was a combination of dark chocolate and salted pretzels. The combination of salty and sweet sounded delicious and would fit perfectly to curb the craving I was having at that moment, so I purchased it and could not wait to inhale it when I got home….and then I was disappointed.
The pretzels were laid across the back so not distributed within the chocolate as I had hoped. The salty flavor I was hoping for to counter the sweet wasn’t very present either. Overall I was left wanting a salty and sweet snack…and this is where this cookie idea was born.
There is a ton of flavor in this cookie, and while it may be some work to get to the end point, I truly believe it is worth every bite. This cookie is the snack cookie. It’s the ‘I’ve had a rough day, time to indulge’ cookie. It’s your best friend on your bad days. I think you get my point.
Brown Butter: This ingredient isn’t new if you’ve been following the blog for some time. It requires a bit of work up front but it is well worth the effort. It is important to note that when you brown butter you are essentially cooking the butter, so you will end up with less than you began with. You can choose to not brown the butter but naturally I am going to object to this and insist you brown the butter.
Heath Bars: I actually had never had a Heath bar before this recipe! My husband purchased some chocolate covered toffee bits from our local Sprouts Market and that was the first time I ever tried chocolate covered toffee. And it was DELICIOUS. For this recipe you only need 3 Heath bars that you can buy from your local grocery store.
Salted Pretzels: the salty pretzels are critical because they are part of what help counter the sweetness of the chocolate and toffee. I used mini salted pretzels – not chopped! I just broke them in half and added to the dough. I also topped each cookie with a whole pretzel before baking for the aesthetic – this is totally optional.
Dark Chocolate: I used a Lindt bar for this recipe, chopped. I do reserve a bit (about ¼ of the bar) for topping the cookie. The dark chocolate has a slightly bitter taste, not as sweet as a semi-sweet or milk chocolate. I find this type of chocolate pairs better with the other main ingredients involved, but you are welcome to substitute with your choice of chocolate. I would only recommend using a chocolate bar, not the morsels, so that your cookies have the chocolate liquid pools after baking.
Flaky Sea Salt: do yourself a favor and pour that flaky sea salt on the top of your cookie after baking!! It turns up the notch on the salty part of the cookie and really helps out the salted pretzel in this category.
Scooting: by scooting, I mean you will take a large circular 4″ cookie cutter, or any large metal or heavy plastic circular object, and you will place around the cookie and turn in circular motions. This will help pull the cookie together and retain a circular shape. You don’t need to do this but it will provide a visually correct cookie.
Chill Time: I know we all want dessert as soon as we can, but the chill time is important. Chill time should at least be 24 hours. If you are desperate for a cookie then I recommend preparing the cookie the night before, and then baking in the AM (12 hours later).
Tools For The Job
Dark Chocolate, Toffee and Salted Pretzels
- 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour (195 g)
- 1 cup unsalted butter (~180g after browning)
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed (100 g)
- 1/2 cup sugar (100 g)
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 1 large egg yolk room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla bean extract
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 4 oz Dark Chocolate Lindt bar
- 1 1/2 c salted pretzels
- 3 ea Heath Bars or ¾ cup toffee bits
- We begin with browning the butter. In a light colored medium sized pot, place butter inside and cook on low medium heat. No need to stir consistently, just allow the butter to melt and begin cooking.
- About half way through the butter will begin to foam up a bit, but you only need to take your rubber spatula and give it a stir to bring it back down a bit. Continue to cook on the same heat, and about 6 to 7 minutes in you will begin to see light foaming on the top.
- Prepare the kitchen scale and small heat proof bowl close by because once the butter is ready you will want to remove from heat immediately.
- You will notice the along the edges browning, and if you stir the butter there will be small browned pieces at the bottom. Begin stirring at this point until the color is a light to medium color and you smell the nutty flavor of the butter.
- Remove from heat and pour into heat safe bowl making sure the kitchen scale is on so you can measure the amount of butter.
- Allow butter to cool for about 1 hour before placing in refrigerator to continue cooling. Allow to sit in fridge between 15 to 30 minutes. You are looking to slightly solidify the butter where it is still palpable and easy to smooth.
- The brown butter bits will naturally fall to the bottom of the bowl. Take your rubber spatula and mix the butter together so that the browned bits are distributed evenly throughout. The butter should be soft but not melted. Set aside.
Dark Chocolate, Toffee and Salted Pretzels
- In a large bowl, add the browned butter, sugars and vanilla. Whisk ingredients together until well combined.1 cup unsalted butter (~180g after browning), 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed (100 g), 1/2 cup sugar (100 g), 1 tsp vanilla bean extract
- Add egg and egg yolk, and whisk until well combined. Set aside.1 large egg, 1 large egg yolk
- Add flour, baking soda, and salt to wet ingredients and whisk together until just combined. Use a rubber spatula after to pull together any remaining flour into the dough.1 1/2 cup all purpose flour (195 g), 1/4 tsp baking soda, ½ tsp salt
- Chop chocolate, pretzels and toffee and add to dough. Reserve a small amount of chocolate and toffee to top on the cookies later. Use rubber spatula to fold in carefully.4 oz Dark Chocolate Lindt bar, 1 1/2 c salted pretzels, 3 ea Heath Bars
- Prepare a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper, and using the 3 tbsp ice cream scoop, scoop out the dough and place on sheet. Repeat until all dough is done.
- Top with a whole pretzel, and then add pieces of the chocolate and toffee on top. Distribute evenly on top of all the cookies.
- Refrigerate for 24 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Remove cookies from refrigerator and place 6 cookies per baking sheet, and bake for 12 minutes. Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool.
- Take a large 4" cookie cutter or mason jar lid, and proceed to scoot the cookie. Add a pinch of flaky sea salt on top of each cookie. Allow to cool until just warm before enjoying.
- I HIGHLY recommend utilizing a kitchen scale to weigh your ingredients. This recipe provides measurements in volume but you will have less room for error if weighing your ingredients.