Totally twisted sugar cookies

As I was planning out a couple of things to bake to send with my parents on vacation, I decided I wanted to switch things up a little bit from just plain old cookies or bars.  I also thought I would take a step away from the gazillion recipes I have book marked online, and head over to our shelf that is brimming with various cookbooks and loose recipes.  I found this old magazine-type recipe book called 110 More Cookie Recipes by Betty Crocker.  It’s the kind of thing you might get free with a purchase, or for a few bucks in the checkout aisle.  But when I was a kid we would sometimes bake different things from these little books (we have one for cakes too), so I flipped through and found these cute little pretzel cookies.

These cookies were very very cute, and fun to make.  They were adequate, taste-wise. Nothing special, but tasty enough.  The original recipe called for the plain cookie base rolled in sugar, but I decided to make half with a chocolate dough rolled in sugar and half with the plain sugar cookie base rolled in cinnamon sugar. They did puff up a little more than I expected, so if I made them again I would use thinner pieces of dough to make each pretzel.

Pretzel Cookies
Adapted from Betty Crocker’s 101 More Cookie Recipes

1 cup sugar
1 cup margarine or butter, softened
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond extract (I didn’t have any on hand, so I just added a little extra vanilla)
3 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/8-1/4 cup cocoa powder (optional)
Sugar or cinnamon sugar for rolling

Mix 1 cup sugar, the margarine/butter, milk, egg, vanilla, and almond extract. Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt. If you want to make chocolate cookies, add 1/4 cup cocoa to dough (or 1/8 cup for half the batch). Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours (This step is important as the dough was wayyy to sticky to work with after mixing).

Heat oven to 375. Divide dough into 4 equal parts. Divide 1 part into 12 equal pieces (keep remainind dough refrigerated). Sprinkle surface with sugar or cinnamon sugar.

Roll each piece of dough on sugared surface into pencil like strip, about 10 inches long. Twist into pretzel shape on ungreased cookie sheet (I recommend placing it directly on the sheet – they are hard to move once they are in pretzel shape.) Repeat with remaining dough. Bake until delicate golden brown, 10-12 minutes.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

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