Joanne Chang’s Chubby Rocco Cookies

updated Jan 21, 2021
Chubby Rocco Cookies

These chocolate chip cookies packed with pretzels and marshmallows are the perfect combination of sweet, salty, chewy, and crunchy.

Makes15-18 cookies

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Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

This recipe is part of our Quarantine Cookies package, featuring 16 of our favorite bakers and their best cookie for 2020. Check out all the amazing cookies here, and sign up here to receive one cookie recipe per day, for 20 days, straight to your inbox.

Let’s face it: 2020 has been a crap year. I always try to see the positive side of things, but this year has really tested me. However! It hasn’t won, because I have found a silver lining to the entire world shutting down and quarantining: #quarantinebaking!

This hashtag popped up left and right when people realized that watching TV and eating popcorn is an awesome way to spend a Sunday night — but not the entire month of March. I watched people across the country pull out dusty mixers and never-used cookbooks. Banana bread and sourdough filled my feed as people tapped into what led me into baking in the first place. Baking itself is super fun, but sharing a baked good that you made with your own hands with friends and family? One of the best feelings in the world.

Of course I was bummed that people were no longer able to come into Flour (my bakery and cafe) and let us bake for them. (We shut down for five weeks and very slowly reopened for takeout only over the summer). But if they couldn’t visit Flour, then gosh-darn-it I was going to have Flour visit them — in their own kitchens. Hence #flourlove was born, a weekly Instagram bake-along series in which I bake a popular Flour treat, share it on video, and offer a baking kit to bake with me. It started with just a few favorites: a deep rich chocolate cake, a decadent double chocolate cookie, a multigrain sourdough bread that I’ve eaten every single day that Flour has been open (it’s that good). But after a few weeks, I completely fell in love with this form of baking — teaching others to bake what I used to bake for them myself. We are now in our 18th week!

Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

As we neared the end of the summer and the pandemic dragged on way longer than any of us expected, I was itching to do something outside of our Flour repertoire. Kids were getting ready to head back to school — whatever that meant depending on wherever you were — and people were in need of something easy and surprising. I was in need of something different and fun! So I reached out to our friends at One Mighty Mill. 

OMM is a local flour mill whose mission is to bring fresh milled flour and local flour products to our kitchens and pantries. We’ve been using their milled-for-us wheat flour in our banana bread and blueberry muffins for the last several years. It’s phenomenal. We hadn’t made a cookie with OMM flour yet, so that was the natural direction to go. We played with different formulas — did we want chocolate? Would it be crispy or soft? Would it be glazed or maybe a sandwich cookie? 

We started to think about our most beloved cookie: the Chunky Lola made with pecans, coconut, oats, chocolate. I was snacking on a bag of OMM wheat pretzels and threw them into a batch of Lola batter. And that started it. We took out the nuts, added marshmallows, changed the dark chocolate to milk, omitted the coconut and oats, and of course changed the all-purpose flour to OMM wheat flour. BOOM! This was our new cookie. It was salty, sweet, chewy, soft, crunchy, and gave me a chance to share my love for OMM and whole-grain baking.

Bake the Chubby Rocco and you’ll be rewarded with not just an incredible cookie, but also the immense feeling of joy and pride when you share your fantastic baking with someone you love. During this unbelievably challenging year we all need some baking love!

Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

Tester’s Note

These Chubby Roccos have a chocolatey-caramel flavor and remind me of a refined kitchen sink cookie. I think adding a sprinkle of Maldon salt before baking would be a great way to emphasize the pretzel flavor.  Be sure to take the dough out of the refrigerator about 20 to 30 minutes before scooping to make it easier to scoop and roll. — Tracey Gertler, Assistant Production Editor

Chubby Rocco Cookies

These chocolate chip cookies packed with pretzels and marshmallows are the perfect combination of sweet, salty, chewy, and crunchy.

Makes 15-18 cookies

Nutritional Info


  • 12 tablespoons

    (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter

  • 1 1/4 cups

    packed light brown sugar

  • 2

    large eggs

  • 3 cups

    mini pretzels, divided

  • 2 cups

    white whole-wheat or whole wheat flour

  • 1 teaspoon

    baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1 cup

    milk chocolate chunks or chips

  • 1 cup

    mini marshmallows


  1. Melt 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter and place in a large bowl. Add 1 1/4 cups packed dark brown sugar and stir until combined. Add 2 large eggs and stir until completely incorporated.

  2. Coarsely chop 3 cups mini pretzels. Reserve 2 cups for rolling the dough balls. Place the remaining 1 cup in a medium bowl. Add 2 cups white whole-wheat or whole wheat flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1 cup milk chocolate chunks or chips, and 1 cup mini marshmallows, and stir to combine. Add to the butter mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until fully combined. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

  3. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350ºF. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the reserved 2 cups chopped mini pretzels in a shallow bowl.

  4. Scoop 2 to 3-tablespoon portions of the dough out (if the dough is too stiff, let sit for 10 minutes and try again). Roll each portion into a ball, then roll in the chopped pretzels to coat. Place 6 on each baking sheet, spacing them evenly apart.

  5. Bake one sheet at a time until the cookies are golden brown on the edges and set and pale golden brown in the center, 14 to 16 minutes. Let cool at least 20 minutes on the baking sheet. Repeat baking any remaining dough (you can reuse the parchment).

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The dough keeps for up to a week in the fridge or up to a month in the freezer in an airtight container. Thaw frozen dough before baking.

Storage: Cookies are best enjoyed the same day you bake them or stored in an airtight container for 1 day.