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Kitchen Sink Cookies – A Panera Copycat Recipe

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Sweet, salty, crunchy and soft, these kitchen sink cookies have it all.  Full of caramel, chocolate and even bits of pretzel. They are based off the popular Panera cookies and they are delicious.

close up stack of copycat panera kitchen sink cookies with pretzels, chocolate chips and caramel

     These chewy cookies are loaded with all of the good stuff. They are sweet and salty, chewy and crunchy.  They are based of the Panera kitchen sink cookies. Enjoy them with a glass of milk or a cup of coffee.  Whip up a batch today and see for yourself just how good they are!

     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.

scoops of kitchen sink cookies on silicone mat lined baking sheet

      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!

kitchen sink cookies with caramel, chocolate chips and pretzel bits on cooling rack.

     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.

hand holding a kitchen sink cookies with bits of pretzel, chocolate and caramel

    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.

stack of kitchen sink cookies in front of bottle of milk

   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?

inside of a kitchen sink cookie with melted chocolate chips

Tips and tricks for making great cookies:

If you don’t have caramel bits you can chop caramel candies or use caramel or butterscotch baking chips.

Using melted butter means the dough comes together really easily. It also makes for yummy chewy cookies.

You can scoop and bake the dough right after you mix it up. For a more developed flavor, chill it overnight or up to a couple o days before baking.

sketch of ingredients needed to make kitchen sink cookies

Storing your cookies

To store, put in airtight container at room temperature for up to a couple of weeks. To keep them extra soft, put a slice of sandwich bread in the container.

You can put baked cookies in a freezer bag and freeze for up to three months.

You can also freeze balls of cookie dough for several hours on a cookie sheet. Once they are frozen, place the balls of dough in a freezer bag. When ready, pull a few balls of dough out of the freezer and bake them from frozen. Just add a minute or two to the bake time.

Why are they called “kitchen sink” cookies?

Because they have everything but the kitchen sink in them! It’s as if you walked around the kitchen and through in a handful of everything you could find.

If you are a fan of loaded cookies, you may also like buttery coconut oatmeal cookies. They are a crispy cookies loaded with all of the good stuff.

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Yield: 30 Large Cookies

Kitchen Sink Cookies

stack of kitchen sink cookies with caramel bits and chocolate chips

Sweet, salty, crunchy and soft, these kitchen sink cookies have it all. Full of caramel, chocolate and even bits of pretzel. They are based off the popular Panera cookies and they are delicious.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Ingredients

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

Instructions

  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. Sprinkle with a tiny bit of sea salt.
  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.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

30

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 203Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 29mgSodium: 210mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 1gSugar: 22gProtein: 2g

All nutritional information is estimated and will depend on the exact ingredients you use.

Did you make this recipe?

I'd love to see it! Share a picture on Instagram or Pinterest and tag me @carleecooks to let me know how it went!

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

Share with your friends!

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Unknown

Sunday 13th of September 2020

Would you change anything for high altitude? Would toffee bits work in substitution for caramel?

Carlee

Monday 14th of September 2020

Toffee bits or butterscotch chips would both be great substitutions for the caramel. Even peanut butter chips would be delicious, but give a slightly different vibe. I've never baked at a high altitude, but it's my understanding you should bake them at 375 F and check them 8-9 minutes in. Let me know how it goes!

Krystle

Wednesday 13th of May 2020

Can I use a different kind of caramel I have caramel chews that are soft that I was going to cut up and put in there

Carlee

Wednesday 13th of May 2020

That should work just fine! The bits just save a little work is all 😊

tammy ta

Monday 30th of March 2020

I think these look delicious. Can't wait to try this recipe for my family.

Carlee

Saturday 4th of April 2020

I hope you all enjoy them!

Andrea Nine

Wednesday 18th of December 2019

Hey, this is for your readers: I’ve made these and they are fabulous! Everyone make them! So good! And you have a GREAT DAY!!

Jade @ JOne

Saturday 10th of February 2018

It's like a chocolate dipped pretzel and a cookie had a baby! Amazing!

Carlee

Friday 16th of February 2018

A tasty baby ;-) Thanks!