Baking is absolutely my favorite thing about this time of year. Whether it’s baking a pie for Thanksgiving, a batch of cookies for holiday gifting, or loaves of bread simply because it is the coziest possible activity, my kitchen is my haven when the weather is bitterly cold and the skies are the worst flat shade of gray. Cookies are one of my absolute favorite things to bake. I’m not sure if it’s that I know I’ll be packing them into the kids’ lunches or that I’ll be savoring one myself after the kids are finally, blissfully asleep at night. Whatever the reason, as much as I love all sorts of baking, cookies are my jam. I’m really excited to share several new varieties of cookies this year and we are starting out with an absolute stunner.

If you have never baked with pretzels before, it’s time to remedy that immediately, and this recipe is the perfect way to get started. While I almost never eat pretzels on their own (soft pretzels withstanding), they add such depth of flavor to baked goods. The ground pretzels used as a portion of the flour in this recipe contribute a warmth and saltiness that take these buttery cookies to the next level. While traditional linzers are filled with jam, the salted caramel here is incredible and the pairing is a new favorite of mine.

This dough can be made, rolled into sheets, stored and frozen until you are ready to bake, meaning you can jump start your holiday baking any time you like by prepping a batch of the dough. I hope you try making these brilliant bites to share with others, or to keep all to yourself.

  • Prep 30 minutes
  • Cook 20 minutes
  • Yield about 2 dozen sandwich cookies


For the cookies:

  • 3½ cups (165 grams) pretzel twists
  • 1½ cups (195 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (198 grams) granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup (50 grams) light brown sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1 cup (226 grams) unsalted butter, cut into medium-sized chunks
  • 2 large eggs

For the caramel filling:

  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon coarse or flaky sea salt
  • ⅔ cup (130 grams) granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup light corn syrup
  • Powdered sugar (for serving)


  • 01

    Place the pretzels in the bowl of a food processor and grind to a fine powder. Set aside 155 grams (1½ cups) of the pretzel flour and discard the rest.

  • 02

    Return the reserved portion of pretzel flour to the bowl of the food processor and add in the flour, sugars, baking powder, and salt. Pulse a few times just to combine. Add in the butter and process in pulses until the mixture is the texture of cornmeal or nut flour. Add in the eggs and pulse again until the dough clumps together.

  • 03

    Turn the dough out onto a sheet of parchment paper, squeezing with your hands if necessary to incorporate any remaining dry ingredients. Place a second piece of parchment paper on top of the mound of dough, and use a rolling pin to roll the dough to about 1/8-inch thickness. (Depending on freezer space, you may want to roll half of the dough at a time so the dough sheets are smaller.) Transfer to the freezer and chill for at least 15 minutes.

  • 04

    When you are ready to bake, heat the oven to 350˚ F. Peel the top layer of parchment off of the dough and use it to line your baking sheet. Making sure to work while the dough is still chilled, use a linzer cookie cutter to cut bottom and top rounds of the dough and transfer them to the prepared baking sheet. You can reroll scraps of dough but will need to chill again before cutting out shapes.

  • 05

    Bake until the edges are golden and the cookies are just set, about 10-12 minutes. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and let cool. Once cool, pair up tops and bottoms by size (this is only necessary if some cookies spread more than others during baking.)

  • 06

    When you are ready to make the filling, combine the cream, butter, and salt and warm until the butter melts. (You can do this in the microwave or in a small saucepan on the stove.) Combine the granulated sugar and syrup in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat until deep amber in color (approximately 305–310° on a thermometer, but you can also eyeball it.) Carefully add in the cream mixture a bit at a time, being careful to avoid steam burns as the mixture will bubble and steam quite a low. Whisk or stir to combine. Continue to cook until the caramel is copper in color (245–250°). Remove immediately from the heat, then pour into a heatproof spouted cup for easy pouring. Let cool until it thickens a little, but not so much that it would be hard to pour, about 15-20 minutes.

  • 07

    Give caramel a stir and pour about 1 teaspoon carefully, onto each base, making sure to stop about ¼-inch from the edges. Top with the corresponding lids. You can always adjust if needed. Repeat with remaining cookies. If the caramel cools so much that it is not pouring well, rewarm in microwave. If needed, you can transfer the filled cookies to the fridge just long enough so caramel can firm up, 5–10 minutes. Store in an airtight container.