Saturday, February 6, 2016

Twisted Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies are the hands-down favorite in my house.  If I ask my husband what kind of cookies he'd like me to make, he'll always request Chocolate Chip.  Its my favorite to bake and experiment with too.  I love to change up the extracts and stir-ins I use and Twisted Chocolate Chip is not only one of my favorite variations, but it's also my go-to choice any time I make cookies for people who don't eat nuts.

What makes these Twisted Chocolate Chips twisted is the addition of pretzel twists.  I love how the crunchy texture of the pretzels holds up in the cookie dough and ads a similar texture to nuts with the addition of that touch of saltiness.  I love my sweet with a little salty crunch!

I start these cookies by melting the butter and creaming the melted butter with the granulated and brown sugars.

I've found that the to achieving a lofty, chewy cookie when using melted butter is to beat the melted butter and sugar together until you have a truly emulsified mixture.  If you can still see the liquid butter at the edges of your bowl - it's still separating from the sugar and you need to keep mixing.  I use a whisk for this whole process...  

...see the separation here...

...and fully emulsified here:

Once the sugar and butter is completely blended together, set it aside to cool a bit while you break up the pretzel twists.  I prefer the twist to pretzel sticks, they just seem to blend into the dough a bit better.  I also like to break them up by hand, you want coarse chunks of pretzel, not tiny crushed up bits that disappear into the dough.  They should look like this:

The sugar and butter emulsion should be cooled enough at this point to add the eggs, mix them in well, then add the baking soda, salt and vanilla.  Blend well.

Add the flour and top the flour with the pretzel pieces and chocolate chips.  Stir it all in until the flour disappears into the dough.  I do it this way because I've found it helps to suspend the chocolate chips and other stirred in additions in the dough - so you get a nice, even distribution of ingredients in every bite. 

The cookie dough will be sticky and a bit too loose to scoop at this point.  

Cover it tightly with plastic wrap and chill it for 1 hour.  Then preheat the oven to 375, prep your cookie sheets with either non-stick spray, silicon baking mats or parchment paper.  Scoop the cookies and place on the prepared sheets about 1-2 inches apart.  I use a scoop that allows me to fit 12 to a sheet and makes standard sized cookies, but feel free to use whatever size you prefer.

Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes.  Allow cookies to set on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to finish cooling.  We like to have a few while they are still warm, fresh from the oven - preferably with a cold glass of milk.

Twisted Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup unsalted butter, melted 
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cup flour
1 cup pretzel twists, coarsely broken
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Melt butter in the microwave on high for about 1 minute.  Add granulated and brown sugars and mix well, until completely emulsified.  Set aside to cool.  Add eggs and blend well.  Add baking soda, salt and vanilla and stir to mix.  Add flour, pretzels and chocolate chips.  Stir in and mix until all the flour is fully incorporated into the dough.  Chill for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray cookie sheets with non-stick spray or line with silicon baking mats or parchment.  Use a cookie scoop or a spoon to drop cookies onto sheet 1-2 inches apart.  Bake 8-10 minutes until golden brown.  Remove from oven and allow cookies to set for 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

This recipes makes about 3 1/2 dozen cookies using a 2 tablespoon scoop. 

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