Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Panera Kitchen Sink Cookies

Greetings, Cook’s Tour Readers!

I hope you are all well. I apologize for the lack of posts in the last couple of months. I’ve been a bit overwhelmed since December; what with somehow contracting Covid right around Christmas, then packing up and moving to a new home at the end of December, and finally, hand/wrist surgery in early January (which, of course, rendered me unable to type or write) - whew! But I am seeing the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel, as I am almost finished with my physical therapy and able to type for a little bit at a time. And last week I threw caution to the wind and decided to bake some cookies! I was so missing baking and the act of “bake and release” to friends and co-workers. 

Speaking of co-workers, one of them gifted a bag of these incredible cookies to all of us at Christmas. Please don’t judge, but I am not a huge chocolate chip cookie person. I find most of them “meh.” But not this one. I took one bite and immediately asked John for the recipe. What made this different was the melded flavors of chocolate (of course), caramel, and pretzels! What?! That’s what hooked me - the buttery caramel, and the salty pretzel crunch - wow! Now this was a chocolate chip cookie I could get behind!

When he brought in a copy of the recipe a few days later, I was surprised to see it was the famous Panera Kitchen Sink cookie. I’ve only been to Panera a handful of times for lunch but never ordered the cookies. I guess I really missed out. 

So you may already be on the Panera Kitchen Sink cookie bandwagon, but if not, here is the recipe. I made these a bit smaller than the recipe calls for because I don’t like huge cookies, but you do you. 

As I write this, it’s almost 50 degrees at the Jersey shore in mid-February so I am optimistic (and so hopeful) that spring is right around the corner. I saw daffodils sprouting the other day, always a good sign. 

If you make these cookies (or any other baked good), try Dorie Greenspan’s practice of “bake and release” and spread some joy. Hope you have a great day!

Panera Kitchen Sink Cookies


1 C butter, melted

2 t vanilla extract

1-1/2 C light brown sugar

1/2 C granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2-1/2 C AP flour

2-1/2 t baking powder

1/2 t salt

3/4 C bits of broken pretzels

1 C caramel bits

1 C chocolate chips

Flaky sea salt for sprinkling


Preheat oven to 350°F.

With a stand or hand mixer, beat melted butter, sugar, and vanilla until butter is cooled and mixture has lightened a bit.

Add eggs, one at a time, and mix.

Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt into butter mixture until incorporated.

Fold in broken pretzels, caramel bits, and chocolate chips.

Using a large scoop (3 TB) scoop dough (NOTE: I used 1 TB of dough), and drop onto baking sheet. Leave about 2” between cookies (they spread).

Flatten slightly and top with a sprinkle of sea salt. You can also top with a few additional chocolate chips, pretzels, or caramel bits.

Bake for 10 minutes. Edges should be just starting to take on color and center should still be soft and puffy looking.

Cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes before moving to rack.

Keep stored in airtight container, or freeze (they freeze very well).

Recipe (as originally written) yields about 30 cookies.