Sweet and Salty Chocolate Chip Cookies are a perfect Christmas cookie, or really a perfect any time cookie. These cookies have it all: sweet chocolate chips, M&M’s and caramel bits plus crispy and salty pretzels and Bugles — that stay crunchy thanks to a secret “stay crispy” glaze! Seasonal M&M’s turn these into a fabulous Christmas cookie, but they’re great for any time! This post contains affiliate links.
Just a quick note that if you’d like a one-stop shop for Christmas cookies that start with mixes, I’d love for you to check out my Christmas Cookies ebook on Amazon. Easy, peasy, done Christmas cookies style 🙂
So I LOVE, like crazytown LOVE, a sweet and salty combo. And I’ve loved the idea of adding some salty crunch to a chocolate chip cookie for a while now, but I’ve never had any that stayed crunchy past that first few hours out of the oven. The salty elements always absorbed the moisture from the cookie and became mushy. Still salty, but I wanted a cookie that stayed delightfully crunchy (yes, I really do talk like that in my real life and yes, I often get the side eye, hehe) and nothing really fit the bill. As it turns out the secret is a a “stay crunchy” glaze. It is a few extra steps, but to me it’s balanced out by using a chocolate chip cookie mix to pare down the work and that crunchiness is just so worth it. Like I’ve said, I will only go for recipe fussiness if it delivers on results, and this “stay crunchy” glaze delivers. I always taste test my recipes — hey, quality control is so important :)– but I couldn’t stop taste testing these! I took it from “taste-testing” to “devouring” really quick. Like throwing them in my mouth and making them a single bite cookie, when they are absolutely a full size cookie. I tell you that to illustrate that these are the cookies of your salty sweet dreams, and — if like me — you don’t have the metabolism of a teenage boy, you may want to give some away. Or I could start walking to work (it’s about 20 miles away :)) Either one! It’s all about balance!
Sweet & Salty Chocolate Chip Cookies Secret “Stay Crispy” Glaze
First up, grab your “salty” elements. Now there’s definitely room to improvise here. I went with pretzels and Bugles. I’ve been on a crazy Bugles kick since rediscovering them this fall and am throwing them into pretty much any and all recipes. But I don’t know why unflavored chips or or salty snacks wouldn’t work. If we didn’t have experimentation, we wouldn’t have the light bulb, ya know? 🙂 Will these cookies still be impacting people’s lives some 100 years later? There’s only one way to find out.
You’ll need about 2 cups of salties, so use whatever you’d like and give them a little crush. I just mashed the bag around. Quite the fancy baking technique. However you do it, do crush them a little so they’ll mix better in the dough. Too big pieces creates weird air pockets that gives the cookies a weird collapsed mountain appearance. Never good.
Grab a microwave safe bowl and melt 4 T of butter in it, then stir in 1/4 c. of brown sugar and 1/2 t. of salt and microwave it for 30 seconds, then give it a stir and microwave it for about 20 seconds.
Stir it up to coat your salty mix.
Pop the coated salty mix onto a silicone baking mat or parchment paper lined baking sheet and pop it in the oven on 350° for about 8 minutes. You can either prep this step ahead of time and let it cool on its own, or not plan ahead and want to have it cooled as quickly as possible (guess which one I chose!) So I popped the mix into another container and put it in the freezer to cool for about five minutes. This helps the “stay crispy” glaze to crisp up and then just break up any hunks that you need to. Or use the hunks as an opportunity to further taste test — either one.
Sweet & Salty Chocolate Chip Cookies How-to
Grab a bag of chocolate chip cookie mix. I always have great results with Betty Crocker. Prepare the cookie mix per package directions. Then stir in a cup of M&M’s, 1 c. of caramel bits (you can find them in most baking aisles this time of year, or grab them here) and your cooled salty mix.
Bump up the oven to 375° and scoop your dough onto a silicone baking mat or parchment paper lined baking sheet. Otherwise the caramel is a bit of a pain to clean up and it makes the cookies release better. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until done.
A perfect Christmas cookie or a perfect anytime cookie!
I love baking with seasonal M&M’s because I want to be really in your face with making sure people understand that these are holiday cookies. They might use their context clues that I’m serving them in December at a holiday get together to figure it out, but I’m not leaving anything to chance :). Plus, the seasonal M&M’s are super duper fresh. But these work well as an everyday cookie too! The “stay crispy” glaze keeps the salty mix crispy when stored in an airtight container. Since I was mainlining these like it was my job, they didn’t last too long, but I think you should be good for about a week.
Need a few more Christmas cookies that start with a mix? Check out Hot Chocolate Cookies or Mint Sugar Cookies and serve them up with a mug of Freezer Creamy Coffee Mix. Any one else venture out with other salties besides pretzels and Bugles? Let me know in the comments!
- 2 c. of salty elements (I used Bugles and pretzels)
- 4 T. of butter
- 1/4 c. brown sugar
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1 17.5 oz. Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix, prepared to package directions
- 1 c. of M & M's
- 1 c. of caramel bits
- Lightly crush your salty elements into smaller pieces
- Microwave the butter until melted and stir in the brown sugar and salt
- Microwave for 30 seconds, stir and microwave for an additional 20 seconds
- Coat your salty pieces in the glaze
- Spread onto a silicone mat or parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake at 350° for 8 minutes
- Wait for the mix to cool on its own, or transfer it to another container and pop it in the freezer for 5 minutes
- Prepare the chocolate chip cookie mix per package directions and add in 1 cup of M&M's and 1 cup of caramel bits
- Once it's cool, add your salty mix into the dough and stir until combined
- Scoop out the dough onto a silicone mat or parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake at 375° for 8-10 minutes
Tools I Used to Make Sweet & Salty Chocolate Chip Cookies: