12/2/09

chocolate dipped pretzel shortbread

pretzel shortbread dipped in dark chocolate

I am asked, often, about how I come up with my crazy-kicked up ideas. Well, I admit I watch a lot of food tv shows, either on the Food Network or on PBS. (btw, Emeril Green on Planet Green is pretty good too). When I watch these shows I see what they are doing and always, always, always want to do it differently than what they did. The only time this does not happen is this seasons' Top Chef: Las Vegas; I'm blown away by the huge amount of talent. Almost every single dish they've made I am sitting there saying 'holy moly how very clever'! You know? Season one was sooo good too.
I keep a notepad with me almost at all times: there is one in the car, one on my nightstand, and one at my desk. The others times I carry one with me because I do get a lot of ideas when I'm at the gym or walking about. I'd say I get most of my ideas at night just before bed, and in the middle of the night to as I'm trying to fall asleep my mind just races with ideas. My list of 'to-make' is long, oh so very long; I finally resorted to typing them into my computer years ago or else I would be like those old college professors with papers, stack of papers, and stick-it's all over the place. I'm sort of a neat freak so that wouldn't fly. I am up to over 30 typed pages of ideas, not to mention the stack of recipes I printed from other food bloggers. I am very guilty of making more sweets than meals. My first love is french cooking, and I haven't been good about keeping that end up lately it seems.

Just like every chef and cook alike I have a fairly large cookbook collection. A lot of inspiration comes from cookbooks. One of my favorite things to do is look through a newer cookbook, ear-mark something, then go research almost the same thing in an old cookbooks and try to fuse the two together. Collecting old cookbooks is an addictive behaviour of mine that I don't get to practice as much as I'd like. Here on cape cod there are a lot of old, rotting bookstores with ginormous piles of neglected books; it takes hours to find the cookbooks because nothing is labeled and most of the people who go there prefer literary novels and the like, so the cookbooks are like those rug warehouses where the best carpets are at the very bottom! Don't get me started on the old, mile-long bookstores in NYC. That is heaven!! What I love about the older cookbooks: those food stains/mug stains on the pages, the withering ear-marked pages, and of course the old book smell--Love that old book smell!

There are so many food-creations I make that never make it to the food blog or are sitting in the photo archives. But I shall change that as most of you said you have no problem seeing my recipe-fails. This pretzel shortbread inspiration came from an old food & wine magazine--orignally it was a pretzel crust with chocolate filling type pie. I wanted to see if I could make shortbread with it. Came out ok, but for whatever reason they go stale fast--lasting only a couple days after being baked & dipped. Will I make this again? Not so sure, this is one of my recipe-fail ones, but I might if I add in more sugar and a hint of vanilla to it next time around.

pretzel shortbread dipped in dark chocolate

pretzel shortbread
inspired from food & wine
print recipe

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups coarsely crushed thin pretzels (I used 1 & ½ cups)
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
A small pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 large egg

Chocolate dip:
About ½ cup of melted milk or dark chocolate (milk is way better)

In a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the butter with 3/4 cup of the pretzels and the confectioners’ sugar at low speed until creamy.
Beat in the flour, egg, and salt.
Add the remaining 1/2 cup of pretzels, being sure to leave some pretzel pieces intact.
Flatten the dough between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 30 minutes. I only flattened them to ½ - ¾ inch thick—you don’t want them too thin.
Preheat the oven to 350°.
Roll out the dough between the sheets of plastic wrap. Cut them into circles of strips, whatever shape you desire. Place onto parchment lined cookie sheet.
Bake for about 10 minutes or until tops are almost light golden brown. These bake FAST! Once they turn a medium brown they are no good.
Let them cool a bit before dipping in melted chocolate. When you are ready to dip them make sure to let them set on parchment paper.
Note: these do not keep more than 2 days. They get stale fairly fast for whatever reason.

49 comments:

  1. Ohmigosh..sweet and salty. I'm in heaven.

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  2. I think this looks super delicious! I love sweet and salty things together! yum!

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  3. I am glad you posted these! I love pretzels with chocolate. I love your cookbook list. We share a lot of the same favorites!

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  4. Maybe the saltiness of the pretzels sucks any moisture out of the cookie, making them get stale faster? I don't know, but they sure look good! Also fun to see how your thought process works. :)

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  5. Ok yea I am making these... I wonter how toffee would taste mixed in. OH OR BACON! GAH!

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  6. I am just waiting to see you on Top Chef. When will you be trying out?? And these? Look amazing.

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  7. What a fabulous freaking idea! I love the combo of pretzels and chocolate. What about throwing some nuts in there too? Kind of like a clif mojo bar??

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  8. I don't think it classifies as a fail. You just have to make them and make sure they are gobbled up quickly. They sound really good though and I loove the photos.

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  9. Make it again. Who knows...second times the charm, right? But they do looks delish though. I wouldn't mind gobbling them up right now.

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  10. You always have THE best sweet & savory recipes!

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  11. our sources for inspiration are quite similar; sadly, my creativity is nowhere near the level of yours. these are fantastic little cookies--as you know, i'm all about the sweet and salty marriage.

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  12. Those look delish! If they go stale quickly.... eat them faster! :)

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  13. Sweet and salty and my hips are expanding! I'm thinking all we're going to eating for Christmas is chocolate.

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  14. Perhaps one could use crushed pretzels as the base (instead of saltines) for a treat I found recently. Pour over 1 c. br. sugar + 3/4 c butter (boiled for 3 minutes), bake at 375 for 5 minutes and then drop choc chips over till they melt and spread over the whole thing. Cool and then break into pieces.

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  15. pretzel shortbread, eh? interesting. i channeled you just made some maple toffee oatmeal cookies with bacon. but i couldn't taste the bacon... next time i'll have to up the ante :)

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  16. I have a lot of recipes in my archives ready to be blogged about- A LOT! And yet I can't seem to blog about them because I either didn't love them or because the pictures didn't turn out as I expected. I guess I should get over that!

    Maybe they wouldn't go stale as quickly is you completely coated them in chocolate. hmmm?

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  17. If only I had not used up all the butter! These sound too good to pass up. You are a genius. :)

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  18. Bookmarked. This is brilliant... buttery shortbread + salty, dry pretzels + CHOCOLATE. I love your "crazy" ideas! ;)

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  19. I find it hard to believe these were a fail! I guess, if they go stale fast it means you have to eat them fast? :)

    Seriously, this one sounds brilliant...I love sweet and salty. Pretzels and chocolate. MMmmmmm

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  20. doesnt look like a "fail" to me!
    I am pretty sure you dont have many disasters in your pile

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  21. Dawn I have a ton of recipe fails. Right down the pig they go too. The cookies are a great idea, too bad. I bet the moisture of the chocolate gets into those pretzels and makes them go out too quickly on you. Thanks for sharing the way you get inspired to come up with new ideas. I get mine in the shower or grocery store, baking isle- but I am dressed in the isle;-) 30 pages is impressive! I could see the headlines now- "food blogger found buried under her stash of recipe ideas" Have a great weekend Dawn!

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  22. Sure doesn't look like a recipe fail! I love old cookbooks too and love the old book smell. I've got hundreds of food photos I never posted about...still working too much for blogging fun :(

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  23. Yuuum ... that sounds amazing!! :D

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  24. Pretzel shortbread is a great concept! At our house, these wouldn't last long (my daughter will be sure to eat them all fast) so no worries about them lasting more than a day :)

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  25. I'm almost relieved to hear that someone else digs through old cookbooks for inspiration on new recipes. I spend much too much time comparing and contrasting. But I can see by your latest creation it's worth it! Looks tasty!

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  26. What a fantastic idea, I can taste it from here.

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  27. Um... Wow. That looks like all things amazing combined together. I'm such a fiend for sweet and salty together... Ah, I must make these!

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  28. It is an interesting idea...hopefully a few tweaks would make it a win instead of a fail

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  29. how unique! these sound amazing and i cannot wait to try them! http://incrediblecrunchyflavor.com

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  30. I appreciate reading about kitchen failures. Not only does it give us an opportunity to learn from each other but a chance to solve what a recipe's problem might have been. Plus lets be honest and keep it real not every recipe is a hit.

    Happy Friday!
    ~ingrid

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  31. OMG these look amazing, Dawn!! Oh yummy, yummy!

    Hey, I wanted to let you know that Emma is on prednisone but they wanted to start her on it every other day. Well now she is on twice a day everyday until we make sure she doesnt' have another attack then we will go down to once a day. Otherwise, I am getting the breathe easy tube tomorrow for an easier way to give her the inhaler when she does have an attack. The emergency room sent me home with a makeshift one saying that was good enough but it wasn't! Ugh.

    xoxo

    Lots of love and hugs!

    Michelle and the kitties

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  32. Oh my I have never seen a treat like this one. Looks totally delicious.

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  33. I can't believe it's a fail recipe..it looks so yummy and it will never go stale in my house, we're all cookie monsters :)

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  34. These look excellent..love chocolate with salt. I have a couple recipes you have to eat within a day or so...but with something like this it's a shame.

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  35. wow very creative, love the flavours!

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  36. add a bit of peanut butter and this may be a food i'd want to eat before dying. whoa... it's got everything i love -sweet, salty, crunchy. perfection!

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  37. I also always carry a notepad with me for my food ideas! I think even if I baked something everyday I would never fifnish my list ahahah! I would love these, even if they don't last long. That's not a problem to me, I'm a fast eater ;)

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  38. I miss the days of Yen Can Cook on PBS. Heck I grew up loving that show. I have not really gotten into Food Network lately because they seem to be more focused on showiness versus quality. Top Chef also freaking amazes me.

    Awesome job!!!

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  39. Waw,....Dawn!! These treats look fenomenal!

    MMMMMMMMMMM,...but I don't think that we can buy Pretzels here in Belgium!

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  40. I love hearing about your inspirations for how you come up with all this yummy stuff!

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  41. Sweet and salty...the perfect combination. How are you doing, my friend?

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  42. I'm with everyone! I love sweet and salty and adding chocolate to the picture makes it even better!

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  43. Oh, you're just like me, I'm a total fan of those old piles of unwanted cookbooks that you have to trawl through! :) And I am frequently astonished by your creativity and your bravery when you approach the kitchen - I would never have considered making these! :)

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  44. Oh baby. Does that look good or what?!

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  45. Wow. Looks very delicious! My mouth is watering!!!

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  46. Mmmm, these look amazing. Definitely on my "To Cook" list! Thanks for posting

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  47. You are a great innovator of food!
    I love the blend.

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