Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Dallas Morning News Taste Section 12/04/13

It's all about Pretzels.
"Pretzel Mania has taken over"

Cathy Barber writes a great story about Pretzels!
I've always loved recipes that include pretzels.
I recently posted the recipe for No Bake Chocolate Pretzel Peanut Butter Squares. It has become the #1 viewed recipe on my Blog.

Here's my take away from the paper today.

Pretzel add-ins:

Sprinkle pretzels on peanut butter for a peanut butter and pretzel sandwich.

Add 1 1/2 C broken pretzel pieces to your favorite brownie recipe by folding them into the batter right before baking.

Add 1 C of broken pretzel pieces to your chocolate chip cookie recipe by folding them in to your chocolate chips.

Add 1 C crushed pretzels pieces to your peanut butter cookie recipe by rolling raw cookie dough in crushed pretzels before flattening with a fork.

Top iced cupcakes with crushed pretzel pieces.

Add to popcorn with M&M's.

Top scalloped potatoes with pretzel bread crumbs before baking.

Substitute the onions on your green bean casserole with pretzel bread crumbs.

Coat chicken breasts with pretzel bread crumbs instead of plain.

There were too many recipes to mention.
Here's two of my favorites:

White Chocolate Pretzel Bark with Pecans and Cranberries:

1 pound of finely chopped white chocolate
1 1/2 tsp nut oil
1 1/2 C dried cranberries
1 1/4 C toasted pecans
1 1/2 C broken pretzel pieces

Spray a 13"X18" sheet pan with non-stick spray
Pour 2 - 3 inches of water into the bottom half of a double boiler and heat over medium-low heat to just below simmer.
(this is a slow and low melt.)
Put chocolate in the top half of the doubler boiler and set over the hot water. Slowly melt the chocolate , stirring constantly.
Remove bowl just before all of the chocolate melts.
Stir until it melts completely.
Stir in oil until evenly blended.
Immediately fold in the fruit and nuts.
Spread the mixture onto the prepared pan, about 1/2" thick.
Immediately spread broken pretzel pieces over the chocolate and press into the mixture.
Set bark aside at room temperature until it hardens.
Break into pieces.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Chocolate Tart with Pretzel Crust:

8 TBS butter
1 1/4 C coarsely crushed pretzel sticks
3/4 C powdered sugar
1/2 C flour
1 large egg
2 ounces of bittersweet chocolate , melted
1 1/2 C heavy cream
3/4 pound chocolate, chopped fine
Additional crushed pretzels for garnish

Spray the bottom and sides of a 10" removable bottom tart pan with nonstick spray.
In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat butter pretzels and sugar until creamy smooth.
Beat in flour and egg.
Flatten dough and roll into a 12" circle.
Place dough in the tart pan and fit as needed.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place the tart pan in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, until firm.

Line the tart shell with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or rice and blind bake for 30 minutes.
Remove weights and paper and bake an additional 10 minutes.
Allow to cool completely.

Brush the tart shell with melted chocolate and refrigerate for 10 minutes, until set.

In a medium saucepan, bring cream to a simmer.
Remove the pan from heat and add the chopped chocolate.
Allow mixture to sit for 5 minutes.
Whisk until smooth and allow to cool for 30 - 45 minutes.
Pour the filling into the shell.
Sprinkle with additional crushed pretzels and refrigerate until set, at least 4 hours.

Peace in the Kitchen!

This is the cover photograph for a Holiday version
of the Chocolate Tart with Pretzel Crust

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