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Holiday Baking, Week 4: Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookies

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.




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Reader Comments (49)

I love this combination!

November 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

salt, pretzels, peanut butter, and chocolate.... umm no, not a strange combination at all. this is what us girls live off of. LOL!

November 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDawn

*Swoon* These look incredibly good!!

November 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterApril in CT

Oh I know I will love these. Take 5 bars are my favorite candy so this is very close.

November 3, 2008 | Unregistered Commenternoble pig


**faints at the sight of such delectable cookies**

November 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterVeggieGirl

These look so wonderful!

November 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLovebird

Ah, PB and pretzels. Can salty and sweet get any better? I'm thinking def not :)

Hey how about our 3 way tie in the AFC East? What a crazy football year.

November 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAdam

They look great! I love those peanut butter/pretzel/caramel bars, but you you think for the life of me I can remember the name of them??!

November 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterHoneyB

These sound amazing! I love pretzels with anything sweet!

November 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSharon

these cookies sound like they would be right up my alley!i love the combination of sweet + salty!

November 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMegan

Glad to hear you're feeling better. Just eat another cookie. That always makes me feel better.

November 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSusan from Food Blogga

I think I would love these cookies!! Hope you're feeling 100% soon!

November 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDeborah

I'm totally in love! I can't wait to try these - I don't know why food consumes me so - but it does.....I wish I had a dozen of these right now - I wouldn't even share, unless someone came in and caught me!

November 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterThistledew Farm

I love that combo, I want those cookies wicked bad.

November 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBob

i am definitely making these this weekend. sweet and salty is where it's at!

November 4, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterpete

gotta love the sweet and salty combo. well...i guess you don't GOTTA, but you should. and i do. :)

November 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGrace

I had just mentioned on Twitter that I had taken all the Take 5 candy bars out of the Halloween candy! I am almost afraid to try this recipe for fear I would eat them all myself...I too, am nursing a nasty cold right now. Glad to hear you are feeling better. Wish I had some energy for baking (maybe it is a good thing I don’t, lol)!

November 4, 2008 | Unregistered Commentertoontz

I'd have to agree- the sweet/salty thing is the best. These look incredible. Reminds me of Ben & Jerry's Chubby Hubby.

November 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

I'm always looking for new holiday cookies. These look great!

November 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnj

OOOh. They sound so good. I love the sweet and salty combo. I will have to make these! And by the way, yours came out picture perfect!
P.S. I'm glad you tried the sausage and liked it :)

November 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnnie

What a great idea! A step up from the usual PB cookies, perfect for the holidays. :)

November 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLyB

I'm liking this! Thank you for this series of holiday baking! Love it!

November 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMrs Ergül

I think I'm in love. I doubt these cookies could disappoint anyone.

November 4, 2008 | Unregistered Commentergiz

Oh wow, those look amazing! Such a good combination. I must must try these out.

November 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSydney

Interesting... remember when I made those pretzel brownies? I never thought they might work in cookies too. Great idea to just stud the chips on top- they look prettier that way :)

November 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRecipeGirl

Oh my... now I know what to bake for my sister for Christmas. These look wonderful, I think I'd best make it a double batch...

November 5, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterzale

Elle, these sound fantastic!! I have to make these! I just found some gluten free pretzels, so I can totally do this! Yippee!

November 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTiffany

WOW Elle...great combination. I love Ghirardeli bittersweet & these cookies make handsome bite.

November 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPassionate About Baking

This is brilliant Elle!! I'm the kinda girl who loves to eat chips with her ice cream cause I LOVE the salty sweet thing that goes on!

November 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBunny

Glad to hear you're feeling better! Colds are so annoying because they linger around for so long :P.

Oh my, now here's a tasty combo. I think chocolate tastes amazing with anything salty, yum yum for the pretzels in the cookies idea! I hope Santa leaves some of these in my stocking this year :).

November 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSophie

Wow. I bet these are so good. I might make them later. If not they are on my to make list for this weekend. :)

November 7, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterHallie Fae

Ok, Elle? I think I am going to cry I want one (ok, 10! Jeez!) of these so badly.

November 9, 2008 | Unregistered Commentercanarygirl

Those cookies look great!
Ps. you have been tagged if you get a chance : )

November 11, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJessy and her dog Winnie

This hits that chocolate-sweet-salty combo craving perfectly. And I love the idea of the crunchy pretzel bits in a cookie. You are super!

November 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTrisha

I love those chocolate covered pb pretzels they sell in the store, so I think I'd love these cookies!

November 13, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSara

These look amazing! I love how you placed chocolate chips on top. So cute.

November 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterHangryPants

Oh these look amazingly scrumptious to me! Thanks for the recipe :)

November 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJo

I made these last night late for our church Bible study group today. We have snacks every week and I am probably the only one who actually makes something from scratch--most bring donuts, bought cakes, snacks. Since I love the cook, I try to bring something different when it is my time to bring. I have had my eye one this recipe all week and decided this would be easy and tasty. Although the cookies turned out good, I did not think they were special. I did not overcook them, they were uniform and chewy and I thought good. They just did not get the response I usually get. They did not have the wow factor. jancd

November 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Those look sooooo good! I love candy bars that have pretzels paired with chocolate. I'll definitely try these!

November 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMarisa

Thank you so much, everyone! We really loved these cookies.

Anonymous--I'm sorry you were disappointed with these. Just goes to show how everyone's tastes are different, right? My family loved and devoured these!

November 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterElle

Oh my gosh you are evil woman *wink* ... two of my favorite things peanut butter AND pretzels. I will certainly have to try to make these for upcoming holiday stuff.

:: wiping drool off keyboard ::

Crunchy, salty, peanut buttery, chocolaty, perfect all together!

November 17, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterlisaiscooking

I love chocolate and pretzels together, and I've recently started dipping pretzels into the pb jar instead of my finger. What a wonderful combo this must be!

November 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterThe Peanut Butter Boy

I rarely have shortening and prefer to bake with butter -- do you think they'd work if I replaced the 1/2 cup shortening with 1/2 cup butter?

November 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

Jessica, that should be fine. :)

November 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterElle

Hi Elle, These look fantastic! I assume these freeze well? Do you wrap each individually?

November 21, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterkitchenbelle

These are so yummy! I just put the on the cooling racks, and they may not even make it into containers!

December 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

For the past two months I've been making a different recipe each week from Marye Audet's two "50 Best Cookie Recipes" lists. I take them to a Coffee Club adult ice skating session. This morning I brought the Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookies. They were a HUGE hit! I got more compliments for these cookies than any other recipe I've brought. Thanks! Next time I may try making them with chocolate-covered pretzels.

January 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnn R

Ann, oh my gosh, thank you so much! You have no idea how that makes my day! Not only that,, but now I've got a huge craving for these--and I just happen to have everything on hand. Yay! And also? I think chocolate covered pretzels would be so good in these!

Thanks again--Elle

January 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterElle

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