Funny how there are trends not just in fashion, but in baking, too.
Not so long ago it was Cake Pops.
Then Pie — including handheld ones.
I then remember the world was cuckoo for anything Salted Caramel.
I know I certainly had my hot and heavy flirtation with this one.
And right now it feels like it’s all about the Copycat.
Pinterest is a flurry of Copycats; restaurant faves replicated at home, or riffs on some classic candy bar in a home-baked treat.
Ever since Oliver asked for his preferred candy bar post-braces, I’ve been thinking about this bar a lot.
(Most people are thinking taxes — and I’m crushing and obsessing over a candy bar.)
Luckily, Pinterest gave me lots of inspiration.
I found a recipe and gave it a go.
This particular one originally came from Cuisinart’s website and then this one blogger gave it further love in her kitchen.
Pretzels. Caramel. Peanut butter. I love the candy bar — wouldn’t the cookie be at least as good?
I gathered the ingredients, starting with pilfering my kid’s Easter Baskets.
I had Charlotte unwrap them all (rough way to earn one’s allowance, right?) and then I gave them a couple generous sprinkles of Maldon salt.
I whipped up the batter — a rich, peanut butter base, adding in some pretzels (but saving the Goldfish pretzels for topping).
You need to really chill the batter before baking.
The first batch was really good but I felt like the Rolos melted too much.
For my second batch I decided to add the halved Rolos onto the cookie in the last few minutes of baking; that way they melted just slightly but still held their shape.
I also had added some semi-sweet chocolate chips into the batter but I thought it still needed a punchier chocolate profile.
I remember reading in the NYT some time last year that the key to a really interesting chocolate chip cookie was to mix up the type of chocolate used; to vary the cocoa percentages of your chocolate was the best way to avoid chocolate fatigue (God forbid!) and keep your taste buds guessing.
I hunted around in my pantry, didn’t feel inspired by my choices there.
As luck would have it, just then my Iphone was ringing in my purse and low and behold — look what else I found there.
Boom shacka lacka boom.
Cookie dilemma solved.
Damn, this is one fine cookie.
I love the richness of peanut butter, the dance of three different chocolates, the ooze of caramel and the crunch of pretzel for textural contrast.
And to see those little Goldfish pretzels poking out?
Even my kids — spoiled rotten by an endless array of rotating treats both savory and sweet — were bowled over by this recipe.
After I pulled the last batch out of the oven I happened to look over at some neighbors who were sitting on their front porch enjoying unseasonable warm. I hadn’t talked to them for a while so I decided to say howdy with a couple of these cookies in hand.
They said they were about to make dinner but even they jumped right in on their treats.
Really, you’d either be a fool or a diabetic not to eat one right away.
It’s been said that good fences make good neighbors.
Doesn’t a couple of Take 5 Cookies hand-delivered while still warm make us Hall-of-Famer Good Neighbors?
I like to think so.
Something to think about while I have just one more for the road.
(Thank heavens for elastic on a day like this.)
- 1¼ C. all-purpose flour
- ¾ tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ½ C. unsalted butter (1 stick), room temperature
- 1 cup chunky or creamy peanut butter
- Scant ¾ C. sugar
- ½ C. lightly packed brown sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 C. pretzel squares or pretzel Goldfish
- 48 rolo candies, unwrapped and halved
- 2 C. chocolate chips or chunks (variety of kinds is great here)
- Maldon or good flake salt (optional)
- In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat the butter for a few minutes until light and creamy. Scrape down bowl with spatula, add peanut butter and ocntinue to beat with butter until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl, add sugars and continue beating until fully combined. Scrape down the bowl, add the egg and vanilla extract. Mix well.
- Add half the flour mixture, stir in slowly just until combined, then add the remaining flour mixture. stir just until there are no white pockets of dry ingredients, making sure to scrape down the bowl in between additions.
- Fold in most of the most of pretzels and chocolate pieces (reserving some for adding to tops of cookie balls before baking). Wrap dough in parchment or plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours. This allows a rich caramel flavor to develop as the ingredients sit. Refrigerate halved Rolo pieces, too.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a sheet pan parchment paper or Silpat.
- Roll dough into small balls (I use my smallest ice cream scoop), adding last bits of reserved pretzels and chocolate chips on tops.
- Cook for about 8 minutes and add Rolo halves and salt flakes to cookies for last two minutes or so of cooking.
- Let cool on cookie sheet. Enjoy!