Friday, 26 April 2013

Chocolate chip and pretzel cookies

Salty and sweet is a thing. A real honest to goodness thing. I was out with my lovely sister and my genius nephew (true story) a couple of weeks back, we popped into M&S ostensibly for a cardigan and picked up an elderly lady (also true story) and some chocolate and caramel pretzel bites. We demolished them happily, as Noah napped and removed his socks in the back of the car. 

I went away that evening thinking about those sweets (what can I say? I need to get out more) and wondering if I could make those flavours work in a cookie. Pinterest threw up a few suggestions but as it tends towards American recipes I wasn't entirely sold on their ingredients. 

When Nigella Express came out I made her Totally chocolate, chocolate chip cookies a handful of times, whilst I love them, they are amazingly rich and sometimes the chocolate feels a bit headachey. Plus M can't eat dark chocolate as it makes him feel sick. So I needed to adapt the recipe and this is my adaptation of that

Chocolate chip and pretzel cookies

125g milk chocolate, melted (I used leftover Christmas and Easter chocolate)
150g flour
30g Cadbury's drinking chocolate (the one you make up with milk)
1 tsp bicarb
1/2 tsp salt
125g softened butter
50g white sugar
75g soft brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
200g chopped up chocolate - a mix of white and milk
150g pretzels (about 2 handfuls) lightly crushed - reserve about 24 whole ones

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees and line a cookie sheet with baking parchment
Beat the butter and sugar in your mixer (or with a hand beater)
Add the melted chocolate, egg and vanilla continuing to beat until well combined
Fold the flour, bicarb drinking chocolate and salt into the batter
Stir in the chopped chocolate and pretzels 

Using a tablespoon measure out big dollops (technical term) of cookie batter onto the sheet. Don't press them flat as the mixture spreads, so leave big gaps between the spoonfuls. I can fit about 8 cookies at once on a sheet. 
Top each ball of batter with a whole pretzel - just push it lightly into the cookie

Bake for 15 minutes - remove from the cookie sheet straightaway with a spatula and cool on a wire rack - this helps mine stay smooshy in the middle (which is how I prefer them). If you like your cookies crispy then cool them on the tray for 5-10 minutes first as they'll continue to cook using the residual heat from the tray. 

This mix makes at least 24 cookies and they keep in an airtight tin for up to 5 days. You can freeze the original Nigella recipe - but I don't think you could with the pretzels as they would go soggy. 

Just a note for the Guiders out there - I know that our girls would go mad for these - try doing them with teaspoonfuls of mix instead of tablespoons and you'll get - 2-3 times as many! As they're such a quick bake (and in smaller measures would be even quicker, 9-10 mins) they're ideal for a chocolate badge evening, or to be bagged up for a bake sale, father's day or mother's day treats... well the list is endless so I'll leave the reason up to you.

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