It’s been a good while since I’ve put a cookie recipe up, so I decided to make something, well, cookie related. Actually, they’re cute, chocolatey, coffee-y, spiced pretzels. But also a cookie. Let me explain.
I have a book called The Chocolate and Coffee Bible. Inside is a recipe for ‘Chocolate Pretzels’ that require no yeast, no rising time and no soda water bath. Neat, right? I’ve made pretzels the old-fashioned way and this recipe intrigued me because of its simplicity. I tried it out, with a few good tweaks to the flavours involved (spices, coffee, et cetera) and made the magic happen. When it came to rolling the dough and shaping them into sexy pretzels, I started to get excited. Slathering them in egg wash and sprinkling them generously with spice and sugar seemed like an art.
When they came out of the oven (smelling amazing, I might add) and cooled down, I took a bite. I took several. They had the texture of cookies. Wonderful, soft-but-firm, crumble-in-your-mouth, cinna-mocha cookies. Not the texture I was expecting, but a texture I loved nonetheless. And now, I’m sharing this little experiment with you.
The taste of cocoa and coffee is far from subtle, and the generous sprinkle of ground cinnamon and nutmeg add a little something special to the aromatic blend. Take them out on a picnic or have them from breakfast. They’re easy enough to make and the ingredients you need aren’t at all hard to get.
I used CSR Premium Coffee Sugar Crystals in this recipe. It lends a full-bodied golden honey flavour to the sugar, which complements the cinnamon and mocha notes of the pretzels. Each sugar crystal is coated with a thin layer of syrup, thus the amber shade.
Cinnamon Mocha Pretzel Cookies
adapted from The Chocolate and Coffee Bible.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
A pinch of salt
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup raw caster sugar
2 teaspoons strong instant coffee granules (dissolved in 3 teaspoons hot water)
1 egg, beaten
1 egg white, for egg wash
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon ground nutmeg
Large sugar crystals
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt and cocoa powder. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Stir dissolved coffee granules into the creamed mixture. When fully incorporated, add the egg and mix well.
- Add the flour in 3 or 4 increments, mixing well after each addition.
- Gather the dough into a ball, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for about an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 190°C and line baking trays with non-stick baking paper.
- Divide chilled dough into 16 equal pieces and roll each piece into small balls.
- Roll each ball into a rope about 25cm long and form each rope into pretzel shapes.
- Place pretzels on baking trays and brush each with egg white.
- Combine cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl and generously sprinkle each pretzel with the mixture. Then, sprinkle pretzels with sugar crystals.
- Bake for about 12 minutes, until firm, then transfer pretzels to a wire rack to cool.