Cookies!

I seriously doubt I’ll make the selections for this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie and Sweet Melissa Sundays. Although a Caramel Pumpkin Pie and a Fluffy Coconut Cake sound delicious, they just don’t fit in my schedule.

I baked two types of cookies to give away this week. Tart Lime Wafers from Nick Malgieri’s The Modern Baker and Cowboy Cookies from the brand new Baked Explorations. Both are wonderful, both make great gifts. I prefer the Cowboy Cookies which have chocolate and pretzels. Doesn’t that sound awesome?

Mini Whole-Wheat Parmesan Pretzels

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A Daring Baker’s rewind! Way back in November 2006, the two founders of The Daring Bakers decided to make pretzels and post their results: Cream Puffs in Venice and La Mia Cucina. Now there are over 1000 members from all over the world.

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The pretzel recipe they used came from The King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion. I’ve changed the recipe a bit, substituting some whole-wheat flour for some of the all-purpose flour and adding some grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. I also made the pretzels smaller and decreased the butter used in the topping.

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If you have never made pretzels before, I encourage you to make these. They are so soft and tasty and easy to make.

Mini Whole-Wheat Parmesan Pretzels

Adapted from The King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion

Note: The original recipe is called Hot-Buttered Pretzels

Dough

  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons regular instant yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano


Topping

  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • coarse, kosher or pretzel salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Place all of the dough ingredients into a bowl, and beat till well-combined. Knead the dough, by hand or machine, for about 5 minutes, till it’s soft, smooth, and quite slack. Dust the dough with flour to prevent sticking and place the dough in a plastic bag. Close the bag, leaving room for the dough to expand, and let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 500°F. Prepare two baking sheets by  lining them with parchment paper.

Transfer the dough to a lightly greased work surface, and divide it into sixteen equal pieces (about 1 1/4 ounces, each). Allow the pieces to rest, uncovered, for 5 minutes. While the dough is resting, combine the 1/2 cup warm water and the sugar, and place it in a shallow bowl.

Roll each piece of dough into a long, thin rope (about 14 inches long), and twist each rope into a pretzel. Dip each pretzel in the sugar wash and place them on the baking sheets. Sprinkle them lightly with salt. Allow them to rest, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

Bake the pretzels for 8 to 9 minutes, or until they’re golden brown, reversing the baking sheets halfway through.

Remove the pretzels from the oven, and brush them thoroughly with the melted butter. Keep brushing the butter on until you’ve used it all up; it may seem like a lot, but that’s what gives these pretzels their ethereal taste. Eat the pretzels warm, or reheat them in an oven or microwave. Yield: 16 mini-pretzels.

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