Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Witches' Broomstick Cookies

I've never been much of a Halloween person, but I have to admit that having the little man around makes it a lot more fun. He doesn't quite get the whole concept just yet, but he's very excited about the pumpkins and other decorations, brings home loads of Halloween crafts from daycare each week, and has been practicing his trick-or-treating (or maybe just conning me into giving him extra candy).

We set out to make some Halloween-themed cookies over the weekend, and decided to make our take on a Betty Crocker recipe for these adorable little broomsticks. It's Betty's technique, but my cookies. The original recipe called for more of a basic shortbread-type of cookie. But my longtime love for Ben & Jerry's Chubby Hubby ice cream has lead me to associate chocolate and pretzels with peanut butter. So peanut butter cookies were a must.

The cookie batter is the same that I use for my not-quite-world-famous peanut blossoms, and with three ingredients, it comes together quite easily. (Although, for some reason, the little man needed two rolling pins, two spatulas, a bench scraper, a pastry brush, and an ice cream scoop. I didn't ask.) The rest of the process is admittedly more time-consuming, but worth the extra steps.

Witches' Broomstick Cookies
Makes 20

1 cup cream peanut butter (preferably Skippy)
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
10 pretzel rods, broken in half
2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 teaspoons shortening
1/3 cup butterscotch chips or orange candy melts
1/2 teaspoon shortening

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Combine peanut butter and brown sugar until creamy, and then mix in egg until well combined.

3. Divide dough into 20 pieces and roll them into balls. (I apologize for the lack of photos. The little man was attacking my cookies with the aforementioned pastry brush, so I was in a hurry.)

4. Place pretzel rods on two cookie sheets. Press a ball of dough onto the cut end of each pretzel round. Press dough with the tines of a fork to look like bristles.

As much as a cookie can look like bristles, that is.

5. Bake 10 minutes. Let cookies sit on pans for about 15-20 minutes before removing to a cooling rack. (You need them to firm up so they can support themselves when you hold the pretzels.)

6. Transfer cookies to waxed paper.

7. In a small saucepan, heat chocolate chips and 2 teaspoons shortening over low heat, stirring frequently, until thoroughly melted.

8. Spoon chocolate over the top half of the cookie and the lower half-inch or so of the pretzel rod.

9. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine butterscotch chips or candy melts and 1/2 teaspoon shortening. Heat until melted, about 1 minute, stirring every 30 seconds.

10. Place mixture in a resealable bag and snip off a tiny bit of one corner to use as a piping bag. Drizzle over chocolate mixture.

11. Let set before moving to serving tray or container.

No comments: