Cookies

Butter Pretzel Cookies


Prep Time : 30+ Minutes | Cook Time : 20 Minutes | Total Time : 2 hours | Difficulty : A bit fiddly

Hello my lovelies! Christmas is over but that doesn’t mean cookies have to be. I’ve been loving my new book The Nordic Baking Book. It was a Christmas present to myself and it is a fabulous collection of recipes that are made in home kitchens all over the nordic region. I started with cookies and made some excellent and interesting things. Though I did fall well short of the Swedish rule of thumb to have seven kinds of cookies on hand at all times. More than seven would be showing off you see. The trick is that the cookies are very small – only a bite or two – so you can have lots of kinds. The tapas approach to cookies. The Swedes are my kind of people.

A mash-up of the flavours, textures and ideas I tried formed in my mind. And now I present it to you. As we know I never met a shortbread I didn’t like so we are starting with a shortbread cookie with a little egg yolk for golden richness. Then we’re going to zone out and shape mini pretzels from the dough. A perfect exercise in zen. Lastly we are going to coat the cookies with granulated sugar for crunch and glamour. Don’t confine cookie gifting to Christmas. Or cookie eating. This is a fiddly task and you need to be in the right mood for it. If you want buttery crunchy cookies with less effort just roll out the dough, pat some sugar into the top and cut into squares or shapes – just remember to keep them small!

Heat the oven to 180C (350F). Cream the butter and sugar until combined but not fluffy. Beat in the egg yolk and vanilla.

Add the flour, baking powder and salt and mix until well combined. Any little pockets of unmixed butter will make shaping these cookies a pain.

Turn the dough out and bring it together firmly with your hands. Divide it into pieces. To make slightly larger cookies you want about 40 half ounce (15 gram) pieces. For small nordic style cookies make 60 third ounce (10 gram) pieces. Now it will be tempting to production line this and do all the rolling of ropes first but this can cause you problems later on. It’s much easier to fold the pretzels without the dough cracking while the rope is still warm from your hands so do them a few at a time.

Roll each piece of dough into a rope – 6 inches for larger cookies and 5 inches for smaller ones. Dust your fingers with a little flour as you need to – don’t put flour down on the bench as it can make it hard to roll the ropes and incorporate too much extra flour in the dough.

Fold each rope into a pretzel shape by crossing over the ends to form a loop and pressing the ends down on the front of the opposite side of the loop. The picture helps. This is a simplified pretzel which is easier on the dough and on your mental state. If you want to roll the ropes a little thinner and do the twist with the two ends go for it.

Press gently on the join so it stays together then invert each pretzel into a small bowl of granulated sugar. You need a good depth of sugar in the bowl so when you jiggle the cookie a bit the sugar will get in all the nooks. You don’t need to sugar the back.

Turn the cookie back over and place on a cookie sheet lined with baking paper. Repeat.

When all the cookies are formed and coated bake them for 15 to 18 minutes until they starting to colour on top and are golden underneath. They will spread a little bit and get a few tiny cracks on the surface. Smaller cookies will take slightly less time to bake so keep an eye on them.

Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool. They will crisp up as they cool.

Must be time for a cuppa. Isn’t it always?

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Butter Pretzel Cookies


Prep Time : 30+ mins | Cook Time : 20 mins | Total Time : 2 hours | Difficulty : A bit fiddly

Makes : 40 medium cookies or 60 small cookies

Golden buttery cookies sweetly shaped and dusted with glittering sugar.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (200 grams) unsalted butter
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups (310 grams) all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • about 1/2 cup granulated sugar for coating (it won’t all get used)

– If using metric cups, reduce volume measures by 1 tablespoon for every cup of dry or liquid ingredients – 

Equipment:

  • Standing or hand held electric mixer
  • Cookie sheets lined with baking paper

Directions:

Heat the oven to 180C (350F). Cream the butter and sugar until combined but not fluffy. Beat in the egg yolk and vanilla.

Add the flour, baking powder and salt and mix until well combined. Any little pockets of unmixed butter will make shaping these cookies a pain.

Turn the dough out and bring it together firmly with your hands. Divide it into pieces. To make slightly larger cookies you want about 40 half ounce (15 gram) pieces. For small nordic style cookies make 60 third ounce (10 gram) pieces. Now it will be tempting to production line this and do all the rolling of ropes first but this can cause you problems later on. It’s much easier to fold the pretzels without the dough cracking while the rope is still warm from your hands so do them a few at a time.

Roll each piece of dough into a rope – 6 inches for larger cookies and 5 inches for smaller ones. Dust your fingers with a little flour as you need to – don’t put flour down on the bench as it can make it hard to roll the ropes and incorporate too much extra flour in the dough.

Fold each rope into a pretzel shape by crossing over the ends to form a loop and pressing the ends down on the front of the opposite side of the loop. The picture helps. This is a simplified pretzel which is easier on the dough and on your mental state. If you want to roll the ropes a little thinner and do the twist with the two ends go for it.

Press gently on the join so it stays together then invert each pretzel into a small bowl of granulated sugar. You need a good depth of sugar in the bowl so when you jiggle the cookie a bit the sugar will get in all the nooks. You don’t need to sugar the back.

Turn the cookie back over and place on a cookie sheet lined with baking paper. Repeat.

When all the cookies are formed and coated bake them for 15 to 18 minutes until they starting to colour on top and are golden underneath. They will spread a little bit and get a few tiny cracks on the surface. Smaller cookies will take slightly less time to bake so keep an eye on them.

Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool. They will crisp up as they cool.

Cook’s Notes:

  • You can flavour these cookies as you like with lemon or orange zest, almond extract or spices.
  • If you find the pretzeling too fiddly you can always make this delicious cookies in squares by rolling out the dough, patting some sugar into the top and cutting it into pieces.

 – These cookies will keep well in an airtight container at room temperature for a week – 

Adapted loosely from The Nordic Baking Book by Magnus Nilsson.

© 2018 Wellington Bakehouse. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

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