12.3.13

Chunky Will Power

I've been SO good lately. Starting a new workout and nutrition regimen has been kicking my butt for the past two weeks, we're talking 7am gym time (and sometimes twice a day). I was in such a fitness funk before this, I was burnt out on yoga and couldn't find the stamina to religiously run several miles. In terms of nutrition, I'd just bolt to work and eat something there and then end up snacking all day. Now I prepare my breakfast and lunch before I go and do not permit any taste testing of any sort. I'm certain we'd all agree that making cookies, watching them bake, and smelling that inimitable aroma swirl throughout the kitchen to never allow a nibble, is absolute torture. On the brighter side, which is how I'll choose to look at it, my self control is pushing new limits and it feels great. I'm strong but I'm not insane, I had a bite later and they are to die for!
I stray away from advertising these all-out sugar bombs but when I'm cooking for families who love baked goods... I can't help but snap a couple shots. Meanwhile, I'm sipping my green smoothie and mixing that butter and sugar with a huge smile on my face. Hard work pays off.
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These are perfectly chunky and chewy, they don't flatten and they're oozing with chocolate. Next time I'll add peanut butter and make the most dynamite cookie ever. I also want to make a gluten-free version... duplicating the softness of these will be an interesting experiment.



Chocolate Chunk Pretzel Cookies
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup bread flour
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup pretzels, broken into small pieces.
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
6 oz bittersweet or dark baking chocolate, chopped into bite sized pieces.
coarse salt for tops
Directions

Preheat oven 350 degree.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on low speed until smooth.  Add the sugars and beat on medium-high speed until creamed and well combined, about 3-5 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.  Scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally.
Combine flours, cornstarch, baking soda and salt in separate bowl and whisk to combine.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Add the pretzels, chocolate chips and chunks and either fold in by hand or beat for a few seconds on low speed.
Line cookie sheet with  parchment or Silpat.
Form dough into balls, using a cookie scoop (approx 2 tbsps worth of dough for one cookie).  Flatten cookies slightly in the palms of your hands.  Place about 2 inches apart. Sprinkle with coarse salt.
Bake for 8-10 minutes, until barely golden brown around the edges (cookies will still be pale) even if its slightly under cooked in the center.  
Allow cookies to cool on the sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.  Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

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