And oh my gosh, are they good! I have been thinking about mixing pretzels in a peanut butter cookie for about a month now, and I just got around to making them yesterday. I'm also behind a week in my holiday baking series! Stupid cold/flu/knock-you-on-your-butt thing I had. But I'm slowly emerging from my cocoon of tissues and my (nearly) drunken stupor of cold meds, and feeling more like my old self. (Is that a good thing, I wonder? hehe!)
The idea for these came from...well, I don't remember where it came from, but I think it was from one of those candy bars with the chocolate/pb/pretzel combo--my daughter had one a while back. I have a little list I keep near my laptop with ideas for stuff, and this has been on there for a while. I wrote "pb cookies with pretzel pieces and chocolate." I also have a few lime and coconut ideas kicking around on the list. Why lime and coconut in October/November? I have no clue. Cravings, I guess.
These are so easy--just a regular peanut butter cookie, but you add in broken pretzel pieces. I also put a few chocolate chips on top of each one before baking, along with a nice sprinkling of kosher salt. Does it sound funny? Because they taste so good! the kids love them, too. This makes a nice chewy cookie, with some crunch from the pretzels, and a little salt and chocolate action happening on top. And a little bit of peanuts, from the crunchy peanut butter.
The cookie recipe is based on a pb cookie recipe by Sheila Lukins, from her USA cookbook. It makes a nice chewy cookie, with crispier edges. It has 1/2 cup shortening in it, and if you'd rather use all butter, feel free to change that. I find that in these, the shortening gives me the crispy edges and chewy centers.
Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookies
Adapted from Sheila Lukins USA Cookbook Makes 5 dozen good sized cookies.
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup solid shortening, at room temperature
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 cup chunky peanut butter (I used an organic pb from Trader Joe's)
1 cup salted pretzel pieces
chocolate chips (I always use Ghirardelli Bittersweet ) and kosher salt for toppings
Heat oven to 350°.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, set aside.
Cream the butter, shortening, sugars, and vanilla in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy.
Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, then mix in the peanut butter.
Add the flour mixture a cup at a time and beat at low speed to mix well.
Add pretzel pieces, and turn mixer on low to mix them in and break up any pieces that are too large.
Shape the dough into 1 inch balls and place on parchment lined baking sheets about 2 inches apart.
Press each cookie twice in each direction with a fork to make the classic pb cookie criss-cross design.
Press about 3 chocolate chips gently into each cookie--no need to squish, be gentle.
Sprinkle each cookie with a pinch or two of kosher salt.
Bake 10 minutes. Let cool on sheets for about 2 minutes and transfer to cooling racks.
***Do not over bake! They'll be pale when you take them out of the oven, and will continue to cook
on the sheets for a couple minutes. If you over bake them, they won't be chewy anymore.