Since I’ve already committed blasphemy by adding pretzels to my maternal grandmother’s caramel chocolate bars, I figured I add break eight or nine more commandments by adding caramel and pretzels to my paternal grandmother’s 1958 recipe for short bread. Those poor women, they had no idea what I was going to do to their pure and pristine recipes after their deaths. It does beg the question of what I might pretzel next (you had no idea pretzel could be used as a verb, now did you)? Hmmm. I need to think about that. Not quiche (ack), or Hungarian Goulash (I mean, really) – but what about my mother’s chocolate mousse? Just a nice dusting of pretzels on top? Keep watching this space for a pretzel update…
Caramel Pretzel Shortbread (18 cookies, can be easily doubled)
- 14-oz all-purpose flour (sifted before weighing)
- 2-oz pretzel flour (instructions below – you’ll need 8 ounces salted pretzel twists for the whole recipe)
- ½ lb + 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 5-ounces granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup midget semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
- 1 ½ cups chopped pretzels (part of the 8-oz outlined above)
Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
Put about 1 1/2 cups of pretzels in a Cuisinart. Process until they are fine, like flour. Weigh out 2 ounces. Set aside. Take the remaining pretzels and pulse just a few times until coarsely chopped. Set aside
Let butter sit out briefly, but do not let it get too soft.
Mix the flour and sugar together in a large mixing bowl. Whisk in the 2 ounces of pretzel flour.
Cut the butter into the flour and sugar mixture with a (hand) pastry blender until it is well mixed and crumbly, and particles begin to clump together. Gently toss in the chocolate chips.
In a separate bowl toss together the caramel ice cream topping and two cups of the coarsely chopped pretzels. If you have any extra chopped pretzels left over EAT THEM.
Gently toss the caramel covered pretzels into the cookie dough mix. Press the cookie dough mix (it will be dry, not soft like a chocolate chip cookie) into the cookie tray. Use a firm hand but don’t smash it down.
Bake at 275 degrees for 55 minutes. The cookies will not brown. Despite the fact that they look exactly the same as when they started out, they are cooked and will be nice and crisp once they cool. Cut into squares or rectangles while still warm. Cool on waxed paper. Store in a container with tight fitting lid.