I like to bake, you know...but when its cold and rainy like today, I like it even more... so I grabbed one of my books, "Super Cookery, Chocolate & Baking" to look for a yummy treat... page 174 had it! "Chocolate pretzels", I saw this page many times before and thought they would be ideal for a birthday party, but not necessarily! they can also be a treat for your kids when they come back from school, or to have accompanied by a coffee with your friends.
As soon as I came back from dropping my little man at nursery, I put my apron on, rolled up my sleeves, tuned in to BBC Radio 2 and action begun.
The recipe as follows:
-100g or a generous 1/3 cup of unsalted butter.
-100g or 7 tbsp caster (superfine) sugar.
-225g or 2 cups of plain (all-purpose) flour.
-25g or 1/4 cup of cocoa powder
-15g or 1tbsp of butter
-100g dark or milk chocolate to melt
-Icing sugar to dust or sugar sprinkles
1. Lightly grease a baking tray or line with baking paper.
Beat together the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg.
2. Sift together the flour and cocoa powder and gradually beat in to form a soft dough.
Use your fingers to incorporate the last of the flour and bring the dough together. Make a ball, wrap with cling film and put in the fridge for 15 minutes.
3. Break pieces from the dough and roll into thin sausage shapes about 10cm/4 inches long and 6mm thick. Twist into pretzel shapes by making a circle, then twist the ends through each other to form a letter "B".
4. Place on the prepared baking tray, slightly spaced apart to allow for spreading during cooking.
5. Bake in a preheated oven, 190C/375F/Gas mark 5, for 8-12 minutes.
Leave the pretzels to cool slightly on the baking tray, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
6. Melt the butter and chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water, stirring to combine.
7. Dip half of each pretzel into the chocolate and allow the excess of chocolate to drip back into the bowl. Place the pretzels on a sheet of grese proof paper or baking paper and leave to set. (If you want to use sprinkles, do it now before the chocolate sets).
8. When set, dust the non-chocolate coated side of each pretzel with icing (confectioners) sugar before serving.
These delicious pretzels are ideal for birthday parties, picnics... ideal with a coffee or glass of milk!. I made them for my son, when he comes back from nursery, but the friends coming over also get the benefit :-)