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Brown Butter Pretzel Shortbread Cookies with Chocolate and Butterscotch Chunks

Brown Butter Pretzel Shortbread Cookies with Chocolate and Butterscotch Chunks are made with a pretzel shortbread made with brown butter and chunks of chocolate and butterscotch. They are sweet, salty, and buttery.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Resting Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 12

Ingredients

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons Butter
  • 1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups fine Pretzel Crumbs
  • 1 cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/3 cup Butterscotch Chips
  • 1/3 cup Dark Chocolate Chunks

Optional:

  • 1 Egg beaten
  • Turbinado Sugar for rolling

Instructions

  1. First you need to brown the butter. Place the butter in a light bottomed saucepan. You want the pan to have a light colored bottom because otherwise you won't be able to see the butter brown. Melt the butter over medium heat, and once the butter gets foamy reduce the heat to medium low. Stir frequently and watch carefully for the butter to start to turn brown. The butter will begin to smell nutty, and this is when you need to pay close attention and take the butter off the heat once it is golden. Immediately pour the butter into a glass bowl, and then place it in the fridge or freezer. Once the butter is solid, take it out of the fridge. You want the better to be just a little cooler than room temperature when you start working with it.
  2. Using your electric mixer and a paddle attachment, beat the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla together on a medium-high speed until it is light in color and fluffy. This will take about 4 minutes.
  3. Turn the mixer down to low, and add the flour and the pretzel crumbs 1/2 cup at a time. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Then add the butterscotch chips and chocolate chunks. Mix until evenly distributed.
  4. Now you need to decide if want to slice and bake the cookies, or roll out and cut the cookies.
  5. For slice and bake: Divide the dough half, and roll each half into a log about 2 inches thick. Wrap with plastic wrap, and let chill in the fridge for 90 minutes, or until firm. Brush the logs of dough with a beaten egg and then roll in the turbinado sugar. Use a sharp knife to slice the dough into cookies 1/2 inch thick. Arrange the cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet and space them out 1 inch apart. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes, until lightly browned.
  6. For rolling out and cutting: Roll the dough out on a floured surface, you want the dough to be about 1/2 inch thick. Cut them with a cookie or biscuit cutter. Chill the cut out cookies in the fridge for 15 minutes, and then arrange the cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet and space them out 1 inch apart. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes, until lightly browned.
  7. Let the cookies cool before trying to remove them from the baking sheet, they are very fragile for the first couple of minutes.

Recipe Notes

There are two ways you can go about turning the dough into cookies. The popular way is to roll the dough into two logs, and then chill it, and slice the dough with a knife to make cookies. The faster and easier way would be to roll out the dough, cut it with a cookie cutter, and then chill the cut out cookies for 15 minutes before baking them. You do want to make sure the dough is cold because this helps the cookies to hold their shape. If you chose to use a cookie cutter instead of slicing and baking the cookies you will end up with prettier more uniform cookies. The one downside is that you can't roll the cookie dough in sugar, but I don't think that is necessary anyway. Plus, if you skip rolling the dough in egg and then sugar, you will have cookies made without egg, which is a common food allergen.