I was in Atlanta last week for work (hence my silence) and when I’m there, I like to go to a cute little spot called The Cookie Studio. The first time I was there, I immediately proclaimed “This is the kind of place I want to own.” This time when I was there, I said the same thing to the owner who handed me some tea and told me how hard it is. I always say that when I’m done working, I just want to make cookies. And while my dreams aren’t dashed, I realize owning my own cookie place will probably never happen. BUT, that doesn’t mean I can’t make cookies anytime I want to. A day after flying home, I was eager to make some cookies. These Chocolate Pretzel Cookies were exactly what I had in mind.
Chocolatey cookie dough is mixed with pretzel pieces and semi-sweet chocolate chips before being dropped onto a cookie sheet and topped with a whole mini pretzel. Chocolate and pretzels? Mmkay! The only thing that would be better? A little peanut butter. My wheels are turning. Anyway, these cookies are a perfect treat when that after dinner sweet tooth starts talking. The worst part is trying to just eat one. Making cookies is so satisfying to me. Whether I ever make cookies for a living or just make cookies at home, making cookies will always be the sweetest thing I do.
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. In a bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, beat butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar for 2 minutes, until fluffy.
Beat in egg and vanilla extract until just combined. Pour in flour mixture and beat on low until just combined. Carefully fold in chocolate chips and chopped pretzels.
Drop tablespoonfuls of batter on baking sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Press down lightly to flatten. Gently press a whole pretzel on top of each cookie.
Bake at 350 degrees for 11 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Overall Rating: Love It
Source: Family Circle magazine
I’ve already given away dozens of the cookies and treats I’ve featured this week but I still have so many left in my house. It’s killing me. I’m trying sooooooo hard not to eat them and for the most part, I’m doing pretty good. Or at least I was. But these Gooey Pretzel Caramel Bars are evil little magic waves of sweetness and they are torturing me. They appear in my dreams, whisper my name when I’m standing strong, and wrap their sweet scent around me everywhere I go. My knees are getting weak.
Inspired by traditional Hello Dollys, I changed things up by using pretzel crumbs in place of graham crackers, caramel topping instead of butterscotch, peanut butter filled morsels in place of plain chocolate, and almonds instead of pecans. The result is basically…well…crack. I was doing so good on watching my sugar and this week it’s all down hill. I know that’s what happens during the holidays but I thought I could keep it under control. This is the problem with working from home. I no longer have an office to take all these leftover cookies to so instead they sit in my kitchen. They taunt me. Make fun of me. Call me names. This weekend may turn into a real battle. Me against them. I have a feeling these layer bars will be the victor.
Gooey Pretzel Caramel Bars (adapted from Hello Dollys)
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 1/2 ground pretzels
- 1 9-oz package Nestlé Toll House Milk Chocolate Morsels with Peanut Butter Filled DelightFulls™ (or 3/4 cup milk chocolate chips and 3/4 cup peanut butter chips)
- 1 12.25-oz jar caramel topping
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- 1 1/3 cup shredded sweetened coconut
- 1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place butter in 13 x 9 inch pan and melt in oven. Swirl to coat bottom and sides with butter. Spread pretzel crumbs evenly over bottom of pan. Layer morsels over pretzels crumbs followed by caramel topping and almonds.
Pour condensed milk over almonds. Sprinkle coconut over condensed milk.
Bake 25 minutes until edges are golden brown and bubbly.
Let cool completely before cutting into bars.
I used to go with my mom to a small chocolate store half an hour from where we lived in Illinois every December. We would pick up bags of red, green, brown and white melting chocolate which we would bring home, melt and pour into different Christmas molds like wreaths, bells and snowmen. I really miss that. I hadn’t played with melting chocolate since then which was way too long ago. I found melting chocolate at Target and next thing I know, I’m throwing pretzels, chocolate cookies and peanut M&Ms into my cart. I ended up making this Easy Salty and Sweet Christmas Bark.
Why haven’t I been doing this before? Making bark is SO easy! And now that I know that, I’ve been looking up different kinds of bark on Pinterest and my mind is reeling. I want to make more! Now that I know where to find melting chocolate, how easy it is to work with and how stinking good it is, I’ll start making bark all year, not just during the holidays!
Easy Salty and Sweet Chocolate Bark
- 1 pound white melting chocolate (I used CandiQuik vanilla candy coating)
- 1 cup pretzels (preferably holiday shapes – trees, bells & stars)
- 6-8 chocolate sandwich cookies with red or green filling (like Oreo)
- red and green m&ms (regular or peanut)
- red and green sprinkles
Line a baking sheet with a silicone liner or wax paper; set aside. Chop cookies into 1/4th; set aside. Melt chocolate according to package directions. Pour half the melted chocolate onto the baking sheet; spread to approximately 1/4 inch thick.
Working quickly, add the pretzels, cookies pieces, m&m’s, and sprinkles over the chocolate in a sporadic pattern.
Drizzle the remaining melted chocolate on top of the pretzels and cookies. Garnish with additional sprinkles; if desired.
Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to allow the chocolate to set. Once set, break the bark into pieces.
Of all the goodies I made for Christmas, these Peanut Butter Pretzel Bites were by far everyone’s favorite little nuggets that they couldn’t stop oooing and ahhing about. Everyone loves a cookie…but peanut butter tucked inside of pretzels and then dipped in chocolate? I dare you to find someone who isn’t interested in these little suckers. Salty. Sweet. Crunchy. Chewy. They are addictive.
Peanut butter, butter, brown sugar and powdered sugar are combined to make a pseudo-cookie dough center which is rolled into balls and placed between two mini pretzels. After a quick trip to the freezer to set, these treats are dipped in melted semi-sweet chocolate chips. This is so easy, anyone can do it. And because the chocolate can be melted on the stove or microwave, no oven is required. Whether it’s the holidays to not, these goodies are sure to be hit for any get-together or party. Oh, and if the world ends today, these are a pretty good last meal.
In a large bowl or stand mixer, combine peanut butter and softened butter. Add the sugars and mix to combine.
Lay pretzels on a baking sheet (you will probably need two baking sheets). Using a teaspoon, scoop the filling and roll into a small ball, placing one ball on each pretzel. Top each ball with another pretzel and press together slightly to spread the filling to the edges. Place sheet in the freezer for 30 minutes to set.
Pour the chocolate chips into a microwave safe bowl and heat at 30-second intervals, stirring occasionally until completely melted. Remove the pretzel sandwiches from the freezer and quickly dip each half-way into the melted chocolate. Return to the tray and repeat with remaining sandwiches.
When all are dipped, return the tray to the freezer to set up completely. Store the sandwiches in the refrigerator until serving time.
Overall Rating: Love It
Source: Two Tiny Kitchens blog
I’m obsessed with Pinterest. I look at it for an hour each day during my lunch break (when I really should be walking around the city for exercise). I use my phone to look at it every morning and every evening on the train to/from work. I look at it at night (because I didn’t ruin my eyesight enough staring at the computer for 9 daylight hours already). I look at it when I wake up at 4am because I can’t sleep (thanks to violent scenes from Sons of Anarchy and a preview of the horror movie Sinister). And as if I don’t already have a stack of recipes that I still have yet to make, I just keep adding more recipes that I find on Pinterest. These Chocolate & Peanut Butter Chip Pretzel Cookies are one of those glorious finds that had me at hello and call my name each and every time I see them. Salty and sweet? Umm…okay!
Milk chocolate chip and peanut butter chips are mixed into cookie dough with broken pieces of pretzels and baked to salty and sweet perfection. These cookies were easy to make and could be made with any variety of chips. I took the whole batch to the office (since I can’t trust myself to have cookies in the house) and they were a big hit. A couple people in my department kept coming over for one more, and one more, and two more. And the next day after the cookies were all gone, they still wanted more. So I guess I’ll have to make them again. Oh, darn.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a larger bowl, beat the butter and sugars together on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes).
On low speed, slowly add the beaten egg and vanilla extract. Beat to combine, scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Add the flour mixture and beat just until there are no more streaks of flour.
Stir in the chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, and preztels. Cover and refrigerate for an hour.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop out well rounded tablespoonfuls of the dough and sprinkle with sea salt (optional). Bake for 10 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before removing.
Overall Rating: Love It
Source: Sugar Cooking Blog