A Twist In The Tale

Have fun with your friends and family by serving these trompe l'oeil chocolate pretzel cookies.

Jewish Week Online Columnist
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In this world, there are fancy, dainty, tea party cookies, and there are fun, childish, novelty cookies. These fall squarely into the latter category - not because of the flavor, which could rival any fancy treat, but the shape, mimicking pretzels, right down to the sprinkle of "salt."

Sure, it takes a bit more time to form the shape of these than just to drop tablespoons of dough on a cookie sheet, but the result is adorable and a real crowd pleaser. Brushing the cookies with a little water and sprinkling on raw sugar to look like "salt" is the final touch to take these cookies right over the edge of cute.

Amy Spiro is a journalist and writer based in Jerusalem. She is a graduate of the Jerusalem Culinary Institute's baking and pastry track, a regular writer for The Jerusalem Post and blogs at bakingandmistaking.com. She also holds a BA in Journalism and Politics from NYU.

Ingredients: 
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
demerara or turbinado sugar, for decoration
Recipe Steps: 
Beat the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add in the egg and vanilla and mix until well combined.
Add the flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder and mix until all the dry ingredients are just incorporated. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least two hours.
After chilling, pinch off pieces of dough about a tablespoon in size. Roll into a thin log, being careful to have it of even thickness throughout, and form into a pretzel shape. Place on to a parchment-paper lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough.
Dip a pastry brush in water and lightly brush the pretzels, then sprinkle the sugar on top. Bake on 350 F for 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool on sheet for 10 minutes then remove to drying rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.