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Chocolate pretzel cookies

The mythological history of the chocolate chip cookie needles me. I do not like the idea that this harmonious marriage of sweet and salty, crisp and chewy could have been the serendipitous result of a mistake. Must we attribute this paragon of handheld delight to Mrs. Tollhouse’s lack of foresight in her grocery shopping? I am a perfectionist. I believe in brainstorming, blueprinting, hard work, and perfectionating (term of Mama’s, a fellow perfectionatrix) until the product achieves my standards. Is the kingdom of bakingshire a meritocracy or isn’t it?

Perhaps the chocolate chip cookie came to be through the workings of divine intervention. When I sink my teeth into a cookie, center still molten, I can believe in miracles. This wafer, with its semisweet striations, its crisp golden halo, is the sacramental host of my kitchen communion, consecrated by caramelization and Maillard reaction. A miracle in my mouth. Could Mrs. Tollhouse be next on Francis’s list of canonization candidates? After all, Francis waived the two-miracle requirement for John Paul II. Saint JPII may have remotely cured a nun or two, but just think of all the doldrums and tantrums that Mrs. Tollhouse’s gift to mankind has cured over the decades.

Chocolate Covered Pretzel Cookies are neither accidental nor beatified (though Mama did exclaim “Divine!” when she bit in). They are the product of intelligent design, a calculated attempt to accentuate the crunchy salty elements of the classic chocolate chip cookie.

Chocolate pretzel cookies

Chocolate Covered Pretzel Cookies

12-14 large cookies 

Pantry

  • ½ cup vegan butter
  • scant ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1 flax egg: 1 tablespoon ground flax seed mixed with 3 tbsp water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ cups whole wheat pastry flour (or all purpose flour if you don’t enjoy the slightly grainier chew of whole wheat)
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ – ¾ cup roughly chopped chocolate covered pretzels

Method

Preheat oven to 350° F. Prepare the flax egg in a small bowl and set aside.

With an electric or stand mixer, beat the Earth Balance until fluffy. Add the brown sugar and beat until pale and creamy (perhaps 1 or 2 minutes…channel the patience of the saints). Beat in the flax egg and vanilla until well integrated.

Beat in (or stir in depending on your machine’s horsepower) the flour, baking soda, and salt, being careful not to over mix. Fold in the chocolate pretzel bits.

Refrigerate the dough, covered, for as long as patience allows. A day is good. Mine waited almost four days, but the amount of dough in the bowl was significantly reduced due to my need to frequently test whether the dough was still edible (it was!).

Use an ice cream scoop to create uniform dough mounds and space evenly on a baking sheet. Let the dough sit for 15-20 minutes. Bake for 9-13 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through. Cookies are finished when they have spread out and are slightly golden around the edges. Let sit on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

 

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