Ok all you Panera’s The Kitchen Sink Cookie lovers, this copycat recipe is for you. And if you’ve never had a Panera’s The Kitchen Sink Cookie, then let me share a little bit about why it’s time for you to try one. This cookie is packed with chocolate chunks, chocolate chips, caramel and pretzel pieces and it’s then topped with salt flakes! It’s the most perfect balance of salty and sweet you’ve ever put into your mouth. I bet you’re wondering why I chose to come up with a Panera kitchen sink cookie copycat recipe.
After I posted the Starbucks Pink Drink copycat recipe in April and noticed what how popular it had become, I was on a mission to create more copycat recipes. Now that doesn’t mean that I think you shouldn’t go to Starbucks, or in this case Panera (those are actually two of our favorites). But there are those times when you want something from your favorite place and you just can’t get there, or maybe you don’t have the money to spend. That’s where these copycat recipes come in handy.
A couple of months ago, I asked some friends what copycat recipe they would want, if they could choose anything. I got so many great suggestions. In fact, I have a few written down for next time. But this time, my friend Falak mentioned that Panera’s The Kitchen Sink Cookie was her all time favorite and she’s been wanting to make them at home.
I have to admit, we had never had The Kitchen Sink Cookie before. I immediately sent Super Dad to our local Panera to buy one. Next, I checked the Panera website to see what they put in their kitchen sink cookies. Here is what they list:
- Semi-sweet chocolate
- Milk chocolate
- Caramel pieces
- Flake salt
Before I even put it in my mouth, I knew I was going to love it. When he got home, we were shocked at the size of this cookie, though at the $4 price point, I’m not sure why I expected anything smaller. It’s basically the size of your head. So big, in fact, that all five of us shared it. The flavors are amazing together. If you love salty/sweet, you will love Panera’s The Kitchen Sink Cookie.
My first shot at Panera’s The Kitchen Sink Cookie copycat recipe was good, but it wasn’t perfect. I do want to state the obvious… I decided not to make my copycat cookies as big as Panera’s for a couple of reasons. I wasn’t sure how they would bake and making them that big would mean we would be cutting them and sharing them anyway, so it just made sense to make them standard cookie size.
A few things that I did differently the first time:
Originally I had purchased the individually wrapped caramels and had to unwrap each one and cut them into little pieces (a lot of work).
I used both semi-sweet and milk chocolate chips (mini version of both). I think it was lacking enough chocolate. My kids also were pretty positive that the semi-sweet chocolate in the actual cookie was chocolate chunks and not chips.
I also put the flake salt in the batter and mixed it in which didn’t distribute evenly enough to get it in every cookie.
With my notes, I was ready to make a second batch. I passed out a cookie to each of my family members and all agreed… NAILED IT!
We LOVE this Panera’s The Kitchen Sink Cookie copycat recipe and plan on making them on a pretty regular basis. I’m excited for my friend, Falak, to try them and tell me her thoughts. She will be the true critic here.
A few tips, when it comes to making the batter.
You want the butter and eggs to be room temperature. I usually pull mine out of the refrigerator about an hour before I’m ready to bake.
It’s super important when you are measuring to make sure to level the cup so that your ingredients are exact. Too much or too little of something will effect the cookies appearance and taste.
When flattening the batter before you bake, I use my middle three fingers to press down gently, but you can also use a spatula or something flat. Don’t push too hard, just enough that the top is flat. This will stop your cookies from having a dome shape.
You’ll want to sprinkle a few flakes of salt on each cookie before baking it. This will control the amount of salt on each cookie and the salt flakes won’t get lost.
For this Panera’s The Kitchen Sink Cookie copycat recipe, I used HERSHEY’S semi-sweet chocolate chunks and Nestle milk chocolate morsels. When I was shopping online for my ingredients, I found Kraft caramel bits which was a HUGE timesaver. As I mentioned earlier, I had been using the individually wrapped caramels and while those worked, it took a while to unwrap them each and chop them into pieces. The caramel bits come ready to add to your batter. My daughter thought they were chickpeas at first (I have to admit, they do look like chickpeas). I will never use anything else for baking again. They melt easier and because I didn’t have to cut them myself, they are all the same size. Game changer!
Flake salt was a little hard for me to find. I wound up buying it on Amazon. If you can’t find it, regular sea salt should be fine, but if you can locate flake salt, I highly recommend it. I started using it in other dishes, like our homemade guacamole. It’s definitely something you will use regularly once you try it.
If you don’t have a cookie scoop yet, go and get one! It makes life so much easier and you are almost guaranteed to get cookies that are a similar size. It’s not as messy as using a spoon either.
Now, that you know a little about the background, I’m excited to share the recipe for our Panera’s The Kitchen Sink Cookies with you. If you do make them, I’d love for you to share a photo and tag @thesupermomlife on social media or comment below and let me know what you think. We love feedback from our readers!
Panera’s The Kitchen Sink Cookie Copycat RecipePrint
Now you can make Panera’s The Kitchen Sink Cookie at home. It’s quite possibly, the most perfect balance of salty and sweet you’ve ever put into your mouth. Packed with chocolate chunks, chocolate chips, caramel and pretzel pieces and then topped with salt flakes, this is easily your new favorite cookie!
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp hot water
- 3 cups flour
- 1 cup milk chocolate morsels
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks
- 1 cup pretzel pieces
- 1 cup Kraft caramel bits
- 2 tsp flake salt
- Take out butter and eggs from the refrigerator and sit them on your counter. They will both need to be room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 350º and grease your cookie sheet.
- Chop up pretzel pieces and set aside.
- Cream together butter and both sugars with paddle attachment for 1-2 minutes on low.
- Beat in eggs (one at a time), on low, just until batter is combined.
- Stir in vanilla.
- Dissolve baking soda in hot water and add to batter.
- Sift flour and add to batter, 1 cup at a time. Mix on low-medium until combined. Make sure not to over mix.
- With a wooden spoon, stir in chocolate chips, chunks, pretzel pieces and caramel bits, until evenly distributed.
- Using a scoop, scoop onto cookie sheet, leaving a 2 inch in between each. Press down on each gently so that they are flat on top.
- Sprinkle each with flake salt.
- Bake for 12 minutes.
- Remove and let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes and then move to cooling rack.
- Prep Time: 15 min
- Cook Time: 12 min
- Cuisine: dessert
Keywords: panera the kitchen sink cookies, copycat recipes, salty and sweet, chocolate chip cookies
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