Rivka’s CocoPretzels from Wawajeanne
Makes 18 pretzels
1 1/2 sticks butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1 or 2 oz. good quality chocolate (I used ghiradelli chips, and 1 oz is about 30 chips; the second time around, I used 2 oz and they were even better!)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup cocoa
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
(1 egg yolk, for brushing)
1. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or with an electric mixer, whip butter until smooth, about 2 minutes.
2. Add sugars and whip until incorporated, 2 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, melt chocolate over double boiler.
4. Add egg, vanilla and salt; mix until combined, about 20 seconds.
5. Add chocolate; mix until combined, about 30 seconds, on low speed.
6. Add cocoa, flour, and baking powder. Mix on low speed until completely blended, about two minutes or less.
7. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours, or freeze for 45 minutes.
8. Remove dough from fridge/freezer. Break off 1 1/2 Tbsp.-size chunks. (Alternatively, do as I did and slice the dough into relatively equal portions from the start.
9. roll into 10-inch logs, about 1/3-1/2 an inch thick.
DO NOT roll them all out before shaping, because they’ll get stiff and crack when you try to shape them. Shape as you go!
10. Take the edges in your hand, bring them together, and twist them twice, leaving the tips dangling.
11. Bring the twist down onto the rounded pretzel, stick the tips to the pretzel, and transfer to a non-stick or lined baking sheet.
12. Brush with a very light coat of egg yolk mixed with water and sprinkle with rock sugar if you desire.
13. Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes, until they’ve just begun to harden.
14. Move delicately from baking sheet onto cooling rack, and allow to cool completely before serving. (Don’t let that stop you from trying one…or two.)