Saturday, October 1, 2016

Salty Caramel Pretzel Goodness

Hello there! Seems like a good day to bake! I was originally going to make these adorable cookies that are bears hugging almonds but alas, I did not have a bear cookie cutter with long enough arms. So first plan abandoned, I found a recipe for Salted Caramel Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies which sounds relatively easy and definitely yummy.

So I started off with my two sticks of butter as any good chocolate chip cookie recipe starts. Unfortunately for me, I didn't have any sticks of butter in the fridge so I had to go to my backup stash in the freezer. Thus began the dangerous task of softening butter in the microwave without melting it. Anybody know why butter melts from the inside out? Anyone? Anyone? It doesn't seem to make any sense. Anyway, this task is additionally complicated by the fact that my microwave doesn't have a time setting lower than 15 seconds. Not sure why that is either. But with enough attentive care, the butter successfully did not melt from the inside out but it could've been a bit softer. This was ingredient problem #1.

Here comes ingredient problem #2. I decided to refill my big container of sugar with a smaller container of sugar. The problem is that the sugar got a bit clumpy in the smaller container. And by a bit clumpy, I mean it was basically one giant block of sugar. In my infinite wisdom, I thought I could just plop it into a big container and then break it up with a wooden spoon. Long story short, this was a bad idea and there's sugar all over my counter. Time to move to phase two of problem solving. A food processor! I'm always forgetting I have this but this time I remembered! So I poured all of the sugar into the food processor (and I totally didn't spill it all over another counter...) and processed it until it was super fine again. Success!

After all of that drama, it was fairly smooth sailing. It's pretty much a standard chocolate chip cookie recipe with a bit more brown sugar and a bit more flour. I also used sea salt flakes instead of the usual kosher salt. I chopped up a bunch of pretzel sticks to toss in with the chocolate chips and mixed it all up and bam! Dough done. At this point I started thinking to myself, "When am I supposed to put the caramels in?" Then I checked the recipe and figured out that I had to unwrap the caramels (duh), cut them in half, and then press a caramel into the center of each cookie ball, making sure to completely cover the caramel with dough so the caramel didn't leak out in the oven.

Now, I don't know if you know this about me but I don't like getting my hands messy. So reading this direction in the recipe made me pretty sure that if I had read it in advance, I wouldn't have made these cookies. I just don't really like sticking my hands in cookie dough. Ugh. Whatever, I've come too far. I was supposed to use two tablespoons of dough per cookie but that seemed insane so I made them a bit smaller than that and then did my best impression of Emeril and bammed some sea salt flakes on top of the cookies.

Ok so this isn't so exciting. They're just cookies with extra stuff in them. But they came out really great (once I added an extra four minutes to the recommended baking time) and when you crack them open, the caramel just oozes out and that's kind of awesome. Plus they're tasty. Something more exciting next time, I promise!