Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Chocolate Pretzel Cookies

As I write this post, it is the Bay Area’s first rain of the fall season. There was a different sense and scent in the air today. Fall is upon us. Changing of the seasons is a sentimental time of year, the leaves begin to change, we put away our sandals for closed toed shoes or boots and the foods we enjoy begin to emerge. Foods such as pumpkin, chanterelle mushrooms, assorted apples and various nuts seem to be added to recipes.

It is a Sunday, the day before the work week begins. With the rain, I felt an innate urge to stay home and nest. With nesting comes baking. Cookies seemed like the perfect choice. The oven would intensify the smell of baking cookies and warm the house. Now the big question was what type of cookie would catch my fancy. My “go to” cookie cookbook is the Martha Stewart cookie book, which is filled with fantastic photos and proven recipes.

While sifting through this beautiful book, one cookie just jumped out at me – Chocolate Pretzel Cookies. My husband had to take an unexpected trip into San Francisco at the last minute for about an hour or two, so I wanted to make him some cookies to have something to look forward to. These seemed like a fun and tasty cookie to make. I am always amazed when you go to those pretzel places at your local shopping mall and they quickly twist the dough to form a perfect pretzel. Once you do it a few times, it is actually quite simple. I ever so slightly adapted this recipe from Martha to intensify the coffee flavor.

{ Photos taken in between rain showers in my backyard }

Chocolate Pretzel Cookies

1/4 C. Cocoa powder
2 t. Finely ground dark roast coffee
3 T. Boiling water
1/2 C. (1 stick) Butter, softened
1/4 C. Sugar
1 t. vanilla extract
1/2 t. salt
1 Large egg
2 C. flour
1 Large egg yolk
Course sugar, for sprinkling

Stir cocoa and coffee into the boiling water in a small bowl until dissolved; set aside. Meanwhile, put butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until creamy. Add in vanilla and salt. Mix in egg, then cocoa mixture. Add flour, and mix until a smooth dough forms. Turn out onto a board.

Divide dough into 24 equal pieces. Roll into balls. Shape balls into 12-inch-long ropes. Twist each rope into a pretzel shape. Space 1 inch apart on baking sheets that are non-stick.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Whisk egg yolk with 1 teaspoon water in a small bowl. Use a pastry brush to cover cookies with egg wash; sprinkle with course sugar. Bake cookies, until dry, about 30 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks. Cookies can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature up to 1 week.


  1. Yummy cookies, fun shape and love the hint of coffee. Thanks for sharing with us.

  2. Lisa, these chocolate pretzel cookies look like they turned out just perfect, I like the intensified coffee flavor too. Wasn't the rain nice over the weekend? Pretty pictures from your wet garden:)

  3. Mmmm... an excellent recipe!! We are having rain here in San Diego too... I have two very unhappy puppies! Love the coffee flavor of these cookies and the sprinkle of sugar on top.

  4. Mmmm, sounds great! I definitely want to give these a try :)! Yum!!!

  5. These looks delicious! I can't wait to try them.

  6. I think I need to invest in Martha's cookie book.. I always see such great things coming from it!

  7. What a sweet wife you are. I'm sure he loved them! Fall is here, I love the first rainfall of the season :)

  8. Gorgeous pictures and even better looking cookies I wouldn't mind coming home to either :o)

  9. Those are a neat idea. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Baking on rainy days is one of my all-time favorites. It's so calming. I love what came out of your rainy day baking...I've never seen a cookie like this before, but am definitely game for one!

  11. What an interesting recipe. The shape is deceiving to the taste but that makes it fun!


  12. What a wonderful recipe, and wow, I could take a bite right out of that picture! These are going on the must try list.


  13. i totally thought they were big ol' soft pretzels flavored like chocolate. this is SO much better.

  14. CONGRATS!! When you a get a chance, come by my blog. I have something that I want to give you!!

  15. First of all, congrats on making to the next challenge of PFB, yay!

    Now for these cookies. I was totally fooled at first glance--I thought they were traditional pretzels. I love the idea of pretzel cookies--I bet these were so fun to eat when Charles came home. I think I have this book--hmm, better take a look.

    Love the rainy day pictures you included, as well. Hope you're having a great weekend. :-)


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