I must admit, I was a bit disappointed in my mother. Carrots and peanut butter were not nearly as exciting.
Looking back, of course, I'm immeasurably thankful for all the time and energy my parents put into making sure that Noelle and I ate the most nutritious and natural food possible. But as a first grader, with a purple bow in her curly hair, I was distraught that my parents didn't think I deserved something like a creme-filled chocolate cake. How is a child to resist such a pleasure? How is a child to cope with a lack of processed childhood sweets?
There might only be one way: homemade chocolate chip cookies. My older sister (older by 15 years to be exact) had grown up before my parents dove into the health food deep-end. Whenever she returned home from college for a long weekend or summer break, Susanne and I would spend the afternoon in the kitchen, turning out a delicious batch of fresh chocolate chip cookies.
Even my health nut parents couldn't resist the buttery, melting chocolate discs, and so we would all sit together, dipping our cookies into a shared glass of milk, and I would feel glum thinking about my classmates and their plastic wrapped treats. Homemade cookies trump Little Debbie Cakes any day of the week.
But my parents have influenced me in more ways than one, and Ryan and I don't keep much processed food in our kitchen. When I began looking for these "snackie" items, I found a lone bag of pretzels, and I thought, "Well, chocolate and pretzels do go together pretty well...this will just have to do".
And I was absolutely delighted with the result. As you can imagine, the ground up pieces of crunchy, salty pretzel were a perfect compliment to the buttery and chocolate studded dough. We took one bite, and I felt like I might drift up to cookie heaven. What I love about this recipe is that it produces thick, chewy and soft cookies. No flat or hard discs to be found.
2 cups plus 2 TBSP flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
12 TBSP butter (1 1/2 sticks) melted and cooled
1 egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup chocolate chips (milk chocolate, semi-sweet or white)
1-2 cups pretzel sticks
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together your dry ingredients. Set aside. Place your pretzels in a large zip loc bag and break into small pieces (the pretzels don't need to be super-fine, just small enough to be easily incorporate into the cookie dough)
2. In a large bowl, cream together your melted and cooled butter with your brown sugar and granulated sugar for 2-3 minutes (longer if creaming by hand). Add in your egg and yolk, cream until fully incorporated into batter. Stir in your vanilla extract.
3. Add your dry ingredients and mix together until combined. Stir in your pretzels and chocolate chips to taste, adding more if you prefer your cookies with extra chocolate.
4. Scoop out batter using a 1/4 measuring cup. Divide dough into two smaller balls and place on a greased or parchment-lined cookie sheet. Freeze your cookie dough for at least 30 minutes (this helps the cookie to keep its shape)
5. Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 14-16 minutes. Allow to cool on cookie sheet. (I always take my cookies out of the oven before they look "done" because this helps them stay soft).
6. Store any leftover cookies in a zip loc bag with a piece of bread to retain softness.
Apples and Anecdotes