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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Kitchen Sink Cookies - A Panera Copycat Recipe

Sweet, salty, crunchy and soft, these cookies have it all.  Full of caramel, chocolate and even bits of pretzel. They mimic the Panera kitchen sink cookies.

     It is that time of year. The festive Christmas decorations are put away.  The cozy glow of the tree is gone. It is still dark and freezing outside and the holiday cheer isn't there to make it tolerable. The Christmas cookies have been gone for at least a week. Sad stories all the way around!

     Some good friends of ours were blessed with a baby girl a few days after Christmas and they were feeling up for visitors. I had plans to make them a pan of baked ziti they could heat when they were ready.

      Of course they would need a sweet treat as well.  I love to bring cookies to new parents because they don't take a plate or silverware. They are perfect to grab and go and easy to eat with one hand.

     A couple of weeks ago I thought I'd be perfectly happy not seeing another cookie for a few months. After baking and decorating all of the sugar cookies, gingerbread men, peanut butter blossoms, peppermint mocha shortbread cookies and the like it seemed like a break was in order. But it turns out I was happy to be digging out the cookie sheets at the first hint of an excuse!

     As cold as it's been, turning to baking for that warm and cozy feeling was definitely welcome. I wanted to make something easy and far away from the holiday flavors. Plus they had to be made from ingredients I had in the house. These sweet and salty drop cookies were just the thing.

      Little Dude and I had these whipped up in no time. He loved crunching up the pretzel bits. I loved starting with melted butter, so I didn't have to plan ahead and soften anything.

      The results were delicious. They had a nice buttery flavor and texture with crisp edges and soft centers. The chewy of the caramel, crunch of the pretzel and creamy chocolate were delicious together. Of course that sweet and salty combination is always a winner too!

     We took half of the batch to our friends and I got to soak up some baby cuddles and watch the boys play. They seemed to go over well there. We took the other half to my parents' house where everyone enjoyed them, but one brother liked them particularly well and nearly finished them off!

     If you are looking to change up your cookie routine, these are a fun way to do it! The pretzel bits are definitely unexpected and fun. What are your favorite off the beaten path cookie stir-ins?

Yield: 2 1/2 dozen large cookies

Kitchen Sink Cookies

Sweet, salty, crunchy and soft, these cookies have it all. Full of caramel, chocolate and even bits of pretzel. They mimic the Panera kitchen sink cookies.
prep time: 10 MINScook time: 10 MINStotal time: 20 mins


  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 3/4 cup bits of broken pretzels
  • 1 cup caramel bits
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet) 


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 and prepare cookie sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper
  2. Beat together the melted butter, sugars and vanilla until the butter is cooled and the mixture is lightened a bit. 
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until incorporated. 
  4. Stir in the flour, baking powder and salt until just incorporated. 
  5. Fold in the broken pretzels, caramel bits and chocolate chips. 
  6. Using a large cookie scoop (about 3 Tablespoons), scoop onto prepared cookie sheets.  Leave at least 2 inches between cookies.  Flatten slightly and top with a few additional chocolate chips, pretzel or caramel bits if desired. 
  7. Bake for about 10 minutes. The edges should be just starting to take on color and the centers should still be soft and puffy looking.  Cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool.
  8. Best served warmed with a glass of milk or cup of coffee. 
Created using The Recipes Generator

Shared at The Weekend Potluck and Meal Plan Monday


  1. Carlee, I am in heaven here. I've been hunting for a new cookie recipe and these are getting made this weekend, I can taste the goodness now! xo

  2. That brother you mentioned that about finished off the cookies-here's how that story ends: I asked him to save 2 cookies so that Pops and Chloe could enjoy one more the next day. He came back and ate them for breakfast. If anyone ever wants to do something special for Clint (or most anyone else) you could bake them these cookies.

    1. Ha! I guess I'll have to make more!

  3. Yummy! I have pinning these for later!

  4. Oh!! My!! these are a perfect little sweet treat. These are a must try for me. I just love those littler caramel bits for cookies. Thanks Carlee :)

    1. The caramels bits definitely make it so easy! I hope you enjoy them!

  5. These cookies look amazing! I was eating some chocolate the other day and alternating with pretzels, just to get that sweet salty taste goin' on (yes, I just admitted that, ha ha :). I can get it all in one with this recipe-and with caramel! Mmm...

    1. That sounds like my kind of snack! I hope you love these <3

  6. We will love this yummy cookie, I NEED one right now!Thanks so much for sharing your post with us at Full Plate Thursday this week. Hope you have a great day and come back soon!
    Miz Helen

  7. These look nothing short of AMAZING! Thanks for linking up at Friday Frenzy Link Party. PINNED!

  8. Hi Carlee, the name of these did make me laugh and I am so glad they aren't made with the orts in the kitchen sink!... Where were you when I had my two, I'd have quite happily let you move in if you came bearing goodies like these cookies. Two weeks ago I thought I'd never be able to face another sweet thing, but how wrong I was!


    1. It doesn't take long to be ready again, does it? I tell you what.. have another and I'll bring cookies! ;-)

  9. My daughter would love these! This will be fun to make for her. I dont like making cookies though, cause it never seems to end!!!! lol! Thanks for sharing at celebrate 365


Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. I love reading your ideas!