12 Days of Cookies: Chocolate Chip Cookies with Pretzels and Caramel

We thought it was impossible to improve upon the classic chocolate chip cookie recipe, but this version with pretzels and caramel might just change our minds! Make sure an adult tackles the tasks of quartering the caramels, but task the kids with breaking up the pretzels!

Chocolate Chip Cookies with Pretzels and Caramel
Makes About 20 Cookies

3/4 cup large broken pieces salted pretzel twists (about 10 pretzels)
20 soft caramels, each caramel quartered (use a big, sharp, chef’s knife – not a job for the kids!)
1 cup dark chocolate chips
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, tightly packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2. Reserve a few pieces of the broken pretzels, quartered caramels and chocolate chips. You’ll use these to stud the tops of the unbaked cookies.
3. In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk to combine and set aside.
4. In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and both sugars until the mixture is fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.
5. Add the egg, vegetable oil and vanilla extract. Mix until well incorporated.
6. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until the ingredients just come together, making a soft, crumbly dough.
7. Add the remaining pretzels, caramel pieces and chocolate chips to the dough; mix on lowest setting until these additions are evenly dispersed.
8. Portion dough into 24 pieces about the size of a large walnut and roll into balls. Place the dough balls on the lined cookie sheets about 3 inches apart.
9. Press a few of the chocolate chips, caramel pieces and pretzel pieces into the tops of the cookie dough balls, or just use one of the toppings on each ball.
10. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Cookies are done when they are still pale in the middle and the edges are golden brown. Do not over bake these!
11. Remove cookies from the oven and allow them to cool on the baking sheets for 10 to 12 minutes.
12. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.