A cookie, basically a buttery shortbread, combined with crushed pretzels and dulche de leche.
I have been baking a lot less in the last few years and I am trying to get back to my kitchen roots slowly. A great motivator is a group called The Behind the Curtain Dessert Challenge which is all about baking sweets. Every month we are given two required ingredients to work with. This month it is pretzels and caramel. What a salty sweet combo!
I choose a cookie, basically a buttery shortbread, with crushed pretzels and dulce de leche.
I found this recipe on the Food Network and pretty much followed it to the letter. Speaking of letters, I found alphabet-shaped pretzels, how cool is that. Some cookies have a full letter sticking out of them. Instead of flaky sea salt, I went with the black volcanic Hawaiian salt. Love the color contrast. Yeah, I should not probably mention this but I estimate that there are 2 teaspoons of butter per cookie!
Instead of plain caramel, I went with dulce de leche. Caramel is a melted sugar with added butter and cream, whereas dulce de leche is cooked down sweetened condensed milk. Dulce de leche is commonly used in South America.
Salted Dulche de Leche Pretzel Thumbprints
- 11/2 cups broken thin pretzel sticks
- 2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup dulce de leche or caramel sauce
- Sea salt for sprinkling
- Put ¼ cup pretzels in a resealable plastic bag and crush into coarse crumbs with a rolling pin.
- Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Whisk the egg yolks, honey, vanilla and fine salt in a medium bowl, then add to the butter mixture and beat until incorporated, scraping down the bowl as needed.
- Reduce the mixer speed to low; add the flour and pretzel crumbs and beat until just combined.
- Put the remaining 1¼ cups pretzels in the resealable bag and roughly crush with the rolling pin; spread on a rimmed baking sheet. Drop tablespoonfuls of dough on top and roll into balls, pressing so the pretzels adhere. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.
- Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Arrange the cookies about 1½ inches apart on the prepared baking sheets; make a deep indentation in each with your thumb. Bake, switching the position of the pans halfway through, until lightly golden, 15 to 18 minutes.
- Re-indent with the back of a teaspoon, if necessary. Let cool 3 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to racks to cool completely. Fill each indentation with dulce de leche and sprinkle with sea salt.
Want more dulce de leche temptations? Check out these Argentinian Alfajores Cookies
OMG…these cookies are TO.DIE.FOR! I love to mix pretzels with almost everything sweet. If I have cookies or cake and a bag of pretzels, I take bites together. I’m holding onto this recipe!
I love salty and sweet combined! These little treats are worth every butter calorie 🙂 I didn’t know about the black salt, very intersting… a fun challenge indeed!
Thanks for stopping by, I have missed you at the DK, I’m sure the others too. That was certainly a great challenge, maybe one of the best we’ve had, everybody was amazed!
Anything with dulche de leche goes for me, how lovely do they look!
Looks like it would make a good study snack. I could really go for some junk food right now.
Oh my! I’m a sucker for anything salted caramel and these look fabbo!! 😀 Love the black salt 🙂
I like the idea of sweet and salty…and these crunchy cookies look awesome Evelyne…never seen these black salt.
Enjoy your weekend 🙂
I love Dulce de Leche and these thumbprints are a great idea. What makes it even more special is the addition of sea salt. Fantastic recipe!
Each one of your components on their own sound delish and all together? I’m in love =)
Salty/sweet gets me every time, especially if the salty/sweet components are pretzels and caramel! There is just something addictive about that combo, lol. Your cookies look fantastic, Ev!
That salty sweet combination is the way to go for most desserts. It’s just always works! Those pretzels are so cute.
So glad you mentioned and used dulce de leche and black volcanic Hawaiian salt!
Love the alphabet pretzels, too.
Thank you for the fun recipe and inspirations, Evelyne =)
These look really good, I love anything filled with yummy dulche de leche! The sweet and salty combo is so amazing.
Oh, boy, yours is one of my favorite dishes of the challenge! Simple and just plain delish!
I could eat dulce de leche every day!!! Those cookies look and sound AMAZING!
Oh yum – great idea with the Dulce de Leche!! Love the black salt – great touch! Thanks for bringing these to the challenge!
These cookies look dangerously addictive and delicious!
Cookies are one of my fav foods. I love your recipe!