Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Bites

Have you ever had about 8 hours free? No? OK, then you might want to skip this one. Well, perhaps not 8 hours, after all I did somehow get a haircut and watch a fair amount of television in the middle of all this kitchen activity. So set aside a Sunday or snow day (just kidding, no more!) or a day when you play hooky to create these chocolate and peanut butter filled pretzels.
As you've guessed by now, there are many steps to making these creations. First mix up the yeast dough, and let it rise. Then mix the filling. Roll out the dough, cut in to square, dollop with the filling, and attempt to seal up the pretzels. Tired yet?
Oh, but wait. Now you have to boil up a big pot of water and baking soda, boil the pretzel bites a few at a time, then remove them to a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Brush with egg and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Now bake. Now you can eat.
I suppose after all that effort, you're wondering how they tasted. Here's the truth: I ate so many of these, but I think it was because I kept trying to figure them out. The pretzel is bready and soft, the filling is sweet and thick, and perhaps if I was a soft pretzel person to begin with I would have been more prepared for the taste.
And, as with all things that take forever to make are made with yeast, their shelf life is extremely short. So eat up quick! Or zap them for a few seconds in the microwave.

Starting next week, Baking and Mistaking will be your one stop resource for Passover baking and desserts! And with absolutely no matzoh meal! Check in for ideas, tips and recipes.  

Tip of the Day: Sure you can use a knife to divide up yeast dough, cut lattice strips for a pie and create quick shapes from rolled out cookies. But using a pastry wheel is way more easy, fun and quick. Plus if you get mine, you have two options - straight or fluted!

Recipe: (adapted from Serious Eats - FYI, the original recipe is wrong/incomplete)

1 3/4 cups warm water
1 package active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
4 1/4 cups flour, to start
1/2 stick butter (1/4 cup)
 1 cup chocolate chips (6 ounces)
3 tablespoons peanut butter

10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
1 egg
turbinado sugar

Mix together the water, sugar, salt and yeast. Let sit for 10 minutes until bubbles have formed.
Mix in the flour gradually until combined. Turn the dough out and knead until smooth and not sticky. If necessary, add more flour.
Set the dough aside in a warm place about an hour, until doubled in size.

Melt the butter, chocolate and peanut butter together, and stir until smooth.
Divide the dough in 4 pieces. Working with one at a time, on a well floured surface, roll out until about 1/4" thin. Cut in to squares about 1.5" across (a pizza cutter comes in handy here). Place a dollop on the center of each square. Wrap each square up until no filling is showing.
In a large pot, mix together the water and baking soda. Bring to a boil.
Poach the pretzel nuggets in the boiling water for about 30 seconds each, then transfer with a slotted spoon to a parchment paper lined baking sheet. (They will still look raw).
Brush the pretzel nuggets with a beaten egg, and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake on 450 F for 14 to 15 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool slightly before eating.

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