You may have breezed past these Pretzel Linzers with Salted Caramel when you picked up Deb Perelman’s latest, Smitten Kitchen EveryDay. When I did my first look at the book, they caught my eye, but weren’t the first thing I made. The linzers are tucked in the back with desserts, right next to a bakery style butter cookie dipped in colorful sprinkles. So I’d understand if you were distracted. But I gotta say, flip back a page. These Smitten Kitchen Pretzel Linzers with Salted Caramel are the cookies that are going to win you your cookie swap.
What’s so special? The cookie is a simple shortbread that uses ground pretzels as part of the flour mixture, giving it this salty, toasty brown sort of flavor that’s delicious with salted caramel.
If you’ve never made caramel, have no fear. Sticky, boiling sugar always gives me pause, but it’s easy. Stay focused on it, as it begins to brown and you’ll get the amber color you want. Then pull it off the stove and immedately put it into a pourable glass container to cool. A couple of other tips: when the directions tell you to run the dough in the food processor until it clumps, let the dough truly come together and clump. You won’t be kneading it on the board.
I like my salted caramel truly salty. So, my last tip is to sprinkle extra kosher salt or finishing salt on the caramel before you put the cookie lids on. And, if you don’t want the caramel, you could also dip these in chocolate instead and they’d be just as good, just different.