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Salted Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookies

  There are quite a few things that run through my head late at night, and a lot of times they have something to do with food.  I've gotten some of my best recipe ideas right before I fall asleep, sometimes even in my dreams, ya know.

  Anyway, I was visualizing pressing down peanut butter cookie dough with a fork, creating that lovely criss cross pattern.  Somehow this segued into pressing down cookie dough with a pretzel...and then sprinkling on a little extra sea salt.

  I might be the only one who thinks this is the best idea ever, and I did end up using a fork to flatten the dough initially anyway, but salflksdg;hasdlcken;aoishegea.sde.

  These were really freaking good.

  I went ahead an used a new cookie recipe, and with just the right amount of baking the cookies came out incredibly soft and delightful.  The pretzels stayed intact, and the salt really brought out the peanut butter.  The crunch of the pretzel against the velvet-y cookie is just....UGH.  I can't.
  I know a lot of people roll their cookies in sugar before baking, but I skipped that because I was really going for the sweet & salty route.  And now I don't think I can ever really go back...

  My peanut-butter-cookie-hating mother and sister would not stop eating these, I had to reserve this plate so I had something to actually take pictures of.  These barely lasted a day, my friends.

  What these have to do with Thanksgiving fare I could not tell you, but our holiday is very much up there on the chill scale this year and I just couldn't wait to share these delightful things.

  And I am a thankful girl.  Friends, family, crazy late night food ideas and all that jazz.  These cookies are proof that my creative juices are yet flowing, and that's always an encouragement for me.  The last few posts have definitely been a little more in depth, so I'm thinking it's a good move to just give you a new idea and some pretty pictures and be done with it.  Happy days, my friends, don't stress too much but do eat lots.

Salted Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookies
Yield: about 15-20 cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups + 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature*
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (such as JIF Creamy)
  • Pretzels and coarse sea salt, for topping

In a medium bowl, toss the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together.

Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the softened butter and both sugars together on medium speed until smooth.  Add the egg and mix on high until combined, about 1 minute.  Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.  Add the vanilla and peanut butter and mix on high until combined.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low until combined.  Dough will be thick, yet very sticky.  Cover dough tightly and chill for at least 3 hours (and up to 2 days) in the refrigerator.  This is super important, so the dough can hold its own in the hot oven later.

When you're ready to bake, preheat oven to 350F degrees.  Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.  

Roll balls of dough (about 1 tablespoon per cookie), place 2 inches apart on the baking sheets.  Press fork into the tops to slightly flatten and create the criss-cross pattern.  Top each cookie with a pretzel and sprinkle with sea salt.  

Bake for 9-11 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking, or until the cookies are very lightly browned on the sides.  The centers will look very soft and undone, that's what we want!  Remove from the oven and let cool on baking sheet for about 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.  Cover cookies and store at room temperature for up to 1 week.  Baked cookies and rolled cookie dough freeze well, up to 3 months.

Sources: cookie recipe slightly adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction, pretzel idea an Indigo Scones original