Friday, March 6, 2015

Low Sugar Chocolate Pretzel Cookies

Like most German desserts and cookies, these Schokoladen Brezeln or chocolate pretzels contain little sugar in the dough. 

To make them sweeter, you can cover these pretzel cookies with chocolate glaze.  In the pictures in this post have no glaze added. I like to make them both ways. Sometimes I glaze only half of them. Regardless, I like to add large crystal sparkle sugar to both versions to make them look like salted pretzels. I used gold colored decorations for this batch.

One of the features I like best about this recipe is the consistency of the dough which makes shaping them into pretzel forms extremely easy. There's no cracking or crumbling when you are rolling them out into long ropes. 

I shaped the dough into fairly large sized cookies yielding one dozen cookies. If you want, you can make the cookies smaller for a higher cookie count.

Low Sugar Chocolate Pretzel Cookies
Prep Time: 40 minutes 
Bake Time: 10 minutes 
Yield: 2 dozen large cookies 

For the Chocolate Pretzels:
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons hot water
  • 1 stick unsalted butter (1/4 pound)
  • 1/4 cup of white granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 cup large crystal glitter sugar (optional) 
For the Chocolate Glaze:
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2/3 cup white granulated sugar
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon butter

Make the pretzel cookies:
  • Dissolve the unsweetened cocoa powder in the hot water by placing it in a small bowl and whisking it together. Let cool to room temperature. 
  • In the meantime, beat together the butter and white granulated sugar until fluffy.
  • Add the watered down cocoa powder to the butter and sugar and beat until combined. 
  • Beat in the flour one cup at a time. When it has been thoroughly mixed in,  add the beaten egg and pure vanilla extract. 
  • Remove the dough from the bowl, pat into a large rectangle, cover with plastic cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes. 
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 
  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 
  • Depending on the size of cookies you would like to make, slice the dough into equal small portions. 
  • Working with one portion at a time, gently roll the piece out into a long rope. Pull the two ends below and cross them placing the left piece on top of the right piece. Twist the two ends one more time. Pull the top of the loop down from above, forming a pretzel shape. Press the ends into the round loop. 
  • Place on the baking sheets and, if desired, sprinkle with large crystal glitter sugar. If you plan to glaze them, skip the sugar. 
  • Place in the pre-heated oven and bake for 10 minutes. 
  • Remove the cookies from the oven. transfer them to a wire rack. Set the rack over the baking sheet and let cool completely. 
Make the Chocolate Glaze:
  • Place the milk, white granulated sugar, semisweet chocolate pieces and corn syrup into a small sauce pan. Or you can use a double boiler for this step. 
  • Simmer over low heat, stirring constantly. 
  • When the sugar and chocolate pieces have dissolved completely. whisk in the teaspoon of butter. 
  • Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
  • Working with one cookie at a time, dip the top side of the cookie into the chocolate glaze and place back on the rack. Repeat until all the cookies have been coated in chocolate glaze. 
  • If desired, sprinkle the large crystal glitter sugar over the tops of the wet glaze on the cookies. 
  • Let the glaze on the cookies dry completely before transferring to a platter and serving. 

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