Although most peanut butter cookies are made with crunchy peanut butter, or chopped peanuts, this recipe uses strictly creamy peanut butter. Because this dough is rolled out, adding the chopped nuts to the dough itself would make it more brittle, and difficult to work with. I've also had to add a bit more flour to this dough as well- to make it less sticky. Now, I have not added any chopped nuts to the filling, but you can add a 1/2 cup of chopped peanuts in addition to the pretzels & chocolate- if you wish to do so. Although nothing is needed for decorating, if you want to just take it up one more notch, you can melt some chocolate and either dip a corner or half the cookie in chocolate, or even drizzle them with some melted chocolate. I guarantee you'll want to add this recipe to your favorite cookie collection! Super fabulous!!
Yield: About 2 dozen cookies
Total Prep Time: 30-45min.
1 stick of unsalted butter (softened)
3/4 cup (packed) brown sugar
2 T. maple syrup ***pure is best for flavor!
1/2 cup of CREAMY peanut butter
1 t. pure vanilla extract
3/4 t. baking soda
2 cups of flour + additional for rolling
1 cup of mini chocolate chips or dark chocolate chips
about 1 cup (or 1 good "handful) of pretzels
Caramel sauce ***I just used a purchased caramel topping
***optional: 1/2 cup of finely chopped peanuts
1) In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar. Add the peanut butter and maple syrup- scraping down the sides to make sure the mixture is well incorporated. Add the egg, vanilla, and baking soda, and mix well. Slowly add in the flour, until the dough forms.
2) Remove the dough from the bowl, flatten into a disc, and wrap with plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator for a good hour, or until dough is firm.
Preheat oven to 350F & prep 2 cookie trays with silpats or parchment paper.
3) Prep the filling: crush the pretzels in a ziploc using a rolling pin, or place in a food processor- along with peanuts, and/or dark chocolate chips. (If not the mini size- that is.) Process just until all pieces are finely chopped. Set aside.
4) Remove the dough from the refrigerator, and allow to rest for 5-10min. before rolling out. On a clean and well floured surface, begin rolling out the peanut butter dough into a large rectangle. Make sure to shift the dough, and check underneath to add more flour if it begins to stick! When the dough is rolled out, drizzle on some caramel sauce over the dough, and using a long handled flat spatula, (for icing cakes), carefully spread the caramel as evenly as possible over the dough- make sure caramel layer is thin, and try not to go all the way to the edges!
Sprinkle the pretzel and chocolate mixture over the dough as evenly as possible. (Refer to the pics at bottom!)
Beginning at the side closest to you, start rolling up the dough- making sure to tuck and roll as tightly as possible, and making sure the log is even on both ends- adjusting as you roll. Also, make sure that you brush off any excess flour while rolling!
****Note: the tighter you roll, the less "gaps" or air space you will have, and the cookie will hold together better once sliced and baked!
5) Once the log is formed, carefully cover in plastic wrap, and transfer to a covered sheet tray. Place in freezer for about 30min. to firm up. Remove from the freezer, and using a sharp knife, begin slicing the cookies- placing the slices on your prepped trays. Bake at 350F for 10-12min. Allow to cool, and enjoy!
Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place.