Salted Dark Chocolate Pretzel Cookies
These cookies are loaded with sweet and salty goodness - and totally addictive. Best of all they only require one bowl, making clean-up a breeze. Vegan & gluten free. <jump to recipe>
Mixing pretzels into my cookies, isn’t something I would have done a couple months ago. I tend to reserve bagged convenience store treats for rare moments of indulgence (or weakness...call it what you will). Safe to say: it’s not exactly the ingredient that begs to be nestled into homemade vegan and gluten-free cookies. But as I’ve been recently reminded, life doesn’t always have to make sense. And apparently, neither do my cookie cravings - especially if they turn out as delicious as these.
The idea for salted dark chocolate pretzel cookies came to me while on the road, which is where I’ve been spending a lot of time. A couple months ago, I got a call that I never wanted to receive. It was life, smacking me in the face. Pretty hard. It kicked off a stint of road trips: 500 miles every weekend, to visit one of my favorite humans as many times as I could while we still had the chance. When you log 3500+ miles in a condensed period of time, you get to know the highway gas stations quite well. Convenience store pit-stops quickly became the most reliable part of a totally unpredictable couple of months. And I (begrudgingly) embraced it.
On one of these trips, I got the urge to save my half-eaten bag of gas station pretzels for some baking at home. Being away from the kitchen definitely made me miss it. And all I wanted to do was toss some salty pretzels into cookie batter. Alongside plenty of dark chocolate. So I did. Because if these past couple months have taught me anything, it’s that there’s no better time than the present. Carpe diem, people. And don’t forget it.
After a number of attempts, I can now report that a) dark chocolate + pretzel is an epic combination (duh), and more importantly, b) this cookie combo can be made vegan and gluten free. I couldn’t tell you exactly how many times I’ve tested these (Anguel swears it’s over ten, I think closer to eight). But it was all in the name of developing a reliable cookie that works time and time again. Because this is my new favorite cookie, and you can bet I’ll be making it for years to come. The final recipe, is pretty damn close to perfection: the cookies are soft, tender and totally addictive. They’re loaded with dark chocolate, topped with flaky sea salt, and packed with pretzel bits for some extra crunch. Insanely good. I hope you like them as much as we do!
SALTED DARK CHOCOLATE PRETZEL COOKIES
MAKES 18 COOKIES (VEGAN, GLUTEN FREE)
3/4 cup almond butter (smooth)*
5 tablespoons coconut oil, softened
2/3 cup coconut sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup almond flour (1.2 oz / 35 g)
1/3 cup arrowroot flour (1.4 oz / 40 g)
2/3 cup oats (2.6 oz / 75 g)
2-3 tablespoons nut milk, room temperature (not cold)**
1 cup dark chocolate, chopped (+ extra for topping, optional)
3/4 cup pretzels, chopped (vegan + gluten free, if desired)
Flaky sea salt
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a food processor, pulse oats into a rough flour, then set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together almond butter, coconut oil and coconut sugar, until completely smooth. Stir in vanilla extract, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix until well combined.
Begin adding flours, mixing each one until well combined before adding the next. Start with almond flour, then move onto arrowroot flour, and finally oat flour. Add 2 tablespoons of room temperature nut milk to help moisten the batter. Then add chocolate and pretzels. Fold until combined, adding 1 extra tablespoon of nut milk to moisten if needed.
Scoop dough into balls slightly larger than a golf ball (approximately 2 1/2 tablespoons of dough). Use your hands to roll the dough into a tight ball. Place on parchment and flatten slightly with the palm of your hand. If desired, re-shape/smooth edges with your fingers. If you like things extra chocolat-y, press in a few extra chocolate pieces on top. Bake for cookies for 8-10 minutes. Immediately sprinkle tops of cookies with flaky sea salt, while cookies are still warm. Leave the cookies untouched on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, before gently transferring to cooling rack to fully cool.
-*Make sure your almond butter is smooth and liquidy. If your almond butter has hardened, whip it in the food processor until it softens. You can add a bit of coconut butter to help it loosen up, if needed. Alternatively, just avoid the dry bits of almond butter at the bottom of the jar.
-**Nut milk must be at room temperature or lukewarm prior to adding. Cold nut milk can cause the coconut oil to harden slightly.
-For best results, use the scoop-and-level measuring approach when measuring dry ingredients (unless measuring by weight). Fluff up flours before adding them to your measuring cup.