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Panera Copycat: Kitchen Sink Cookies

Satisfy your sweet & salty craving by making these Panera Copycat Kitchen Sink Cookies. A perfect cookie filled with caramel, chocolate chunks, pretzels, and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt on top– everything but the kitchen sink!

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A perfect cookie filled with caramel, chocolate chunks, pretzels, and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt on top-- everything but the kitchen sink!

A couple of days ago, I tried Panera’s Kitchen Sink Cookie for the very first time. And I fell absolutely, irrevocably, obsessively in love with it. It’s an ideal melding of every good flavor and texture in a single cookie. In a word, it’s nothing short of of perfection. I tweaked this recipe several times to find just the right ingredients, ratios, baking time and temperature, and cookie size. My humble conclusion is this: you won’t find a better copycat recipe out there! If you love Panera’s Kitchen Sink Cookies as much as I do, this recipe is a MUST TRY.

Ingredients for Panera Copycat: Kitchen Sink Cookies

  • butter
  • coconut oil
  • brown sugar
  • eggs
  • vanilla
  • baking soda
  • all purpose flour
  • salt
  • high quality chocolate
  • Werther’s soft caramels
  • pretzels
  • flaky sea salt

A perfect cookie filled with caramel, chocolate chunks, pretzels, and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt on top-- everything but the kitchen sink!

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Supplies Needed to Make Panera Copycat: Kitchen Sink Cookies

  • baking sheets
  • parchment paper
  • 1/4 cup cookie scoop
  • stand mixer and paddle attachment
  • rolling pin
  • sharp knife and cutting board

A perfect cookie filled with caramel, chocolate chunks, pretzels, and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt on top-- everything but the kitchen sink!

Tips for Making Panera Copycat: Kitchen Sink Cookies

  1. Getting the right amount of spread for these cookies is key. Using a chopped chocolate bar instead of chocolate chips helps significantly. Using the right caramel does too. I like the Werther’s soft caramels for this recipe, because they spread nicely but stay soft after baking.
  2. The flaky sea salt is a bit of a splurge. And you could technically live without it. But a little bit sprinkled on top really does take these to the next level!
  3. When I started researching various copycat recipes of Panera’s famous cookie, I was shocked to find so many recipes called for pretzels. I thought, I don’t remember ANY pretzels in that cookie! I described it to my friends as having a slightly crunchy texture that I couldn’t quite identify as anything but “maybe toffee.” Upon further inspection, I realized that my cookie did have pretzels in it! But they were crushed so fine, I didn’t realize that’s what they were. I don’t know if other Panera locations have bigger chunks of pretzels in their cookies, but I thought mine was just perfect. So I finely crushed the pretzels for my homemade version and loved the subtle crunch and salty flavor it added.
  4. As you roll the cookie dough into a ball, try to tuck the caramel pieces into the dough or arrange it so that the caramel is on top. Try to avoid having any large pieces of caramel on the bottom or sides, because they will melt and spread out over the pan instead of staying in the cookie! Simply being aware of that and strategically placing the dough on the pan basically took care of the problem.
  5. Toss the caramel pieces in a little bit of flour to keep them from clumping together.

A perfect cookie filled with caramel, chocolate chunks, pretzels, and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt on top-- everything but the kitchen sink!

CHECK OUT MY LATEST VIDEOS!

Panera Copycat: Kitchen Sink Cookies

Satisfy your sweet & salty craving by making these Panera Copycat Kitchen Sink Cookies. A perfect cookie filled with caramel, chocolate chunks, pretzels, and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt on top-- everything but the kitchen sink!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda dissolved in 1 tbsp water
  • 2 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 8 ounces semi-sweet or milk chocolate, chopped
  • 5 ounces (2 bags) Werther's soft caramels, each cut in half
  • 1 cup pretzels, finely crushed
  • flaky sea salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, melt the butter and coconut oil with the brown sugar in the microwave. Stir and let mixture sit for 5 minutes.
  3. Whisk in the egg, the egg yolk, and the vanilla.
  4. Add the flour, baking soda water, and salt. Mix just until dough forms.
  5. Fold in the chocolate and pretzel crumbs. Toss the caramel pieces in a little bit of flour to prevent clumping, and mix them into the dough as well.
  6. Scoop ¼ cup of dough and roll it into a ball. Try to tuck the caramel pieces inside the dough or keep them on top. Place 6 balls of dough on each baking pan, leaving plenty of room for spreading. Sprinkle generously with flaked sea salt.
  7. Bake for 9 minutes, and then let cool completely on the baking pan.

All images and text ©Something Swanky 2018

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Ashton Swank

Ashton is the owner and author of Something Swanky. Although first and foremost a wife and mother, she considers herself an online entrepreneur, freelance writer and photographer, and brand ambassador. Her focus is in food styling, food photography and recipe development.