Cracker Jack Cookies Recipe

Cracker Jack Cookies

Cracker Jack Cookies are full of the flavors from a classic childhood treat – Cracker Jacks! You can even make the cracker jacks at home in minutes with popcorn, peanuts, pretzels and caramel!

I made these Cracker Jack Cookies as part of my Baseball Sundae to celebrate the beginning of the MLB Season in 2020.

My friend, Tina Zaccardi, and I both LOVE baseball! Although we support different teams, we agree that America’s Favorite Past time is the best sport out there!

During a phone call in to catch up on our busy lives in February 2020, we started talking baseball, of course! We decided to do a collaboration on Opening Day Treats.

We would both come up with our own recipes and we would share them on MLB’s Opening Day on March 26th to celebrate the return of our favorite sport!

I couldn’t wait to get started and I came up with several ideas right off the bat (haha – pun intended!).

I wanted to do something different and also a little over the top.

Ballpark food traditions

My family loves to go to the ballpark to support our favorite team, the St. Louis Cardinals.

Saint Louis Cardinals Opening Day Sundae - Buttered Popcorn Salted Caramel Ice Cream with Cracker Jacks, Chocolate covered Pretzels and Cracker Jack Cookies,

It doesn’t matter how hot it is during the summer or how cold it is when we play in the post-season. (Yes, the Cardinals are amazing and have 11 World Series wins and make the post season more often than not, especially since I started to follow them religiously about 15 years ago.)

One of the things that I look forward to the most when we go to games is getting ice cream during the 7th inning stretch.

Let’s face it, ice cream is pretty much my favorite treat 365 days a year! But it is a tradition for our family at every game.

The game always starts with me pestering my husband.

“Can we get ice cream yet?”

“Why do we have to wait until the 7th inning stretch??”

“Can’t we get it NOW??”

Yes, I’m a bit of a toddler when it comes to my ice cream. Waiting is torture.

The waiting is always rewarded, though, with cold, creamy Chocolate Chunk Brownie from Ben and Jerry’s!

So I knew that ice cream had to be a part of my Opening Day treat to share with Tina because I associate it so strongly with baseball games with my family!

Creating my Opening Day Sundae

Saint Louis Cardinals Opening Day Sundae - Buttered Popcorn Salted Caramel Ice Cream with Cracker Jacks, Chocolate covered Pretzels and Cracker Jack Cookies,

But wait, isn’t this post for a cookie recipe??

Yes, it is! But as I said earlier, I wanted to go a little over the top with my Opening Day Sundae.

Ice cream was definitely going to be the base of my Opening Day treat. But I wanted to make a flavor that I had never had before – that’s tough when I eat ice cream almost daily!

Tina and I had decided to work with a cracker jacks theme – popcorn, peanuts, and caramel. I added pretzels just because I had some and pretzels are a traditional ballpark treat!

I thought about what I would expect from a sundae at a ballpark. The food at ballparks tend to be BIG. Huge servings that often feed a family and are just a bit over the top.

So, an ice cream base with toppings. And texture. And different things that little hands can reach in and grab.

That’s when I thought about making cracker jacks to sprinkle on top of the ice cream and also to put into some cookies.

I wanted a HUGE cookie topper that could be used to scoop up the ice cream and provide an alternate texture.

Cracker Jack Cookies

Cookies filled with Cracker Jacks and Chocolate Chips

These Cracker Jack Cookies started with my chocolate chip cookie base.

I normally brown the butter when I make chocolate chip cookies but decided not to here. There are enough other flavors going on!

The batter was cut in half because I only wanted to make enough cookies to have a snack but not enough to completely fill the cookie jar.

At the time (I created this recipe in February) I was baking A LOT! I had several events that required recipe testing and we had baked goods coming out our ears around here!

My initial fear that the popcorn would become soft in the cookie proved to be unfounded.

These Cracker Jack cookies baked up perfectly!

The Cracker Jacks stayed crisp enough to provide a bit of welcome crunch. And the salt was the perfect contrast to the chocolate and the caramel.

I LOVE this cookie!

Are there any original ideas left?

I really felt that I had found something here. I had never seen or heard of a cookie with cracker jacks in them or even just popcorn.

Then my family gave me one of my favorite cookbooks on the planet for Mother’s Day in May – Pastry Love by Joanne Chang. This had been on my wishlist since it first came out.

As I read through this beautiful book, I came across a recipe for caramel popcorn cookies.


My cracker jack cookies are a bit different since I use peanuts and pretzels in the caramel corn. And my cookie base is my own, but let’s face it – most cookie base recipes are very similar.

After seeing Joanne’s recipe, I did a quick search on google and found several others that had made a similar cookie. A lot of them had made Joanne’s recipe and shared the results.

While I did think that I had made something that was a bit different and new, I will just take solace in the fact that I came up with an idea that a great chef like Joanne Chang also thought of.

I may not be the first but I am in great company!

I think that soon I will have to do a post about creating recipes and when they are actually your own unique creation!

Making Cracker Jack Cookies

These cookies come together in no time if you have made the Cracker Jacks ahead of time.

You can choose to use store bought cracker jacks to save time but making them at home is easy and pretty quick.

It is important to chill the dough for at least an hour to keep the cookies from spreading too much when they bake.

I have added chocolate chips but that addition is optional. If you don’t have any or if you prefer these cookies without chocolate, just leave it.

A sprinkle of sea salt on top prior to baking is a genius move that you will not regret! Give it a try!

Opening Day Sundae

My Opening Day Sundae is made with Buttered Popcorn flavored Ice Cream that has a swirl of Salted Caramel through it.

The Sundae is topped with homemade Cracker Jacks and a giant Cracker Jack Cookie.

A couple of chocolate covered pretzel sticks are added just for fun!

You can find the ice cream recipe HERE.

Make your own Homemade Cracker Jacks with the recipe found HERE.

Cracker Jack Cookies

Recipe by Tanya Ott


Prep time


Cooking time


Chilling Time

1 hour


  • 113 Grams (1/2 cup) unsalted butter

  • 200 grams (1 cup) light brown sugar

  • 1 egg, at room temperature

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 185 grams (1 1/2 cup) all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 2 cups homemade or store bought Cracker Jacks

  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips


  • Cream the butter, brown sugar and vanilla on medium speed until creamy and lightened, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the egg and mix until fully incorporated.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt and stir together. Add half of the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and mix just until combined.  Add the rest of the flour and mix until flour is blended in.
  • Add the cracker jacks and chocolate chips and mix them in by hand with a rubber spatula. Chill dough for 1 hour while oven preheats to 350F.
  • Scoop dough with a cookie scoop or by hand. I like to weigh them to get cookies that are equal sized and bake evenly. This recipe makes 10 HUGE cookies that are 75 grams of dough each or 19 cookies that are 40 grams of dough each.
  • Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until very lightly browned. (In my oven, these are perfect at 12 minutes and 20 seconds!)
  • Let cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes and then remove to a cooling rack.  Cool completely and store at room temperature for up to 5 days (if they last that long!).

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