I have recently joined a cooking club. I was super pumped when I was first invited by my friend Anne. A group of friends that get together to eat and share delicious food and recipes together is exactly a thing in which I needed to be a part of. My food obsession now gets to be shared with other foodies! Yay! I have been to 2 of the meetings so far. We all meet together on the 3rd friday of the month. Someone hosts us all at their house. The host picks a theme. The rest of the clan brings sides/drinks/desserts etc. It's really fun! The first meeting I didn't get a chance to make and bring anything, because I came straight from work. This time though, the theme was comfort food, and I was in charge of rolls and dessert!
I decided to make sweet rolls. They turned out a little better than I expected. They were pretty light, with just a little sweetness. What made them really good was the cinnamon honey butter that I slathered them in!
The dessert that I made is a mouthful. Brown Butter Cookie Dough Pretzel Bars. yeah, I need to find a more concise name. They are little bars that have a buttery shortbread crust, chocolate chip cookie dough (eggless) that is made with brown butter (have you had brown butter? Oh.My.Gosh.), and topped off with crunchy salty pretzels, then drizzled with chocolate.
Yes, they are as rich as they sound.
They were a hit!
slightly adapted from Sweet Pea's Kitchen
1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees)
1 pkg dry active yeast
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 cup warm milk (110 degrees)
1 egg, room temperature
1/3 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup white sugar
1 tsp salt
3 3/4 cups flour
In a stand mixer (or with a hand mixer), combine the warm water, yeast packet, and sugar. Let the mixture set for about 10 minutes, until it rises some and get foamy. Add milk, egg, butter, sugar, salt and flour to the yeast mixture. Mix with the dough hook of the stand mixer ( or knead by hand) on medium low for about 10 minutes. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a towel and let the dough rise in a warm, dry place until doubled, about 1.5 hours. ish.
Divide the risen dough in half. let them rest for about 10 minutes. Roll out the first half of dough on a lightly floured surface, until it's about the size of a small pizza, 12 inches or so. make 4 slices into the circle to make 8 wedges/triangles. (I used a pizza roller for this, but you could also use a knife I imagine.) Roll each wedge into a crescent roll shape, starting the roll with the wide end. Place them point side down onto a greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise in a warm, dry place.
Prehead oven to 350 degrees. Bake the risen rolls for 12-14 minutes, until lightly golden. Brush with cinnamon honey butter (recipe below) immediately out of the oven.
Cinnamon Honey Butter
1/2 cup butter, slightly softened
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp cinnamon
Mix all ingredients together with a mixer!
Brown Butter Cookie Dough Pretzel Bars
Adapted from WillowBirdBaking
for the crust:
1/2 cup cold butter
1 cup flour
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
for the dough:
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
a few tbsp water, as needed
-1/2 cup chocolate chips
First, brown the butter. Melt the butter (1/2 cup, softened) in a small pot over medium heat. Melt until the butter turns an amber color, and foams up a bit. Swirl it constantly while browning. Once it turns golden/dark amber with little brown flakes at the bottom of the pan, immediately remove it from heat and pour into a bowl. Stick this in the freezer for a while to firm up. Once firm, set it out to soften just a bit to be used in the dough.
Make the crust: Preheat the oven to 350. Line a 9x9 baking dish with aluminum foil, leaving extra foil to hang off the sides of the dish. Grease/butter the foil. Using a pastry cutter or food processor, or 2 forks, cut the 1/2 cup cold butter into the flour and conf. sugar. Press the mixture into the dish. Bake 20 minutes, until lightly golden. Set aside to cool.
Make the dough: Cream together the softened brown butter and sugar. Add in the cream cheese and whip until fluffy. Stir in the flour, salt, vanilla and chocolate chips. Add in water, a tbsp at a time, until the dough is thinner than typical cookie dough, but spreadable. (I think I only added 2 tbsp to get the right texture)
Once the crust is completely cooled, spread the dough on top to cover the crust. Chill this while preparing chocolate drizzle. Melt the 1/2 cup chocolate chips in the microwave (put chips in a bowl, microwave in 15 second intervals, stirring in between intervals.) Put melted chocolate into a ziplock baggie, and cut a little bit from one of the bottom corners of the baggie. Drizzle the chocolate over the cooled dough. Press pretzels onto the dough, using the chocolate as "glue". Once all the pretzels are applied, drizzle chocolate over the tops of the pretzels. To remove them from the baking dish, pull out the aluminum foil. Slice into little squares and enjoy!