I think there's something in testosterone that makes men go nuts for peanut butter - even moreso when it's pared with chocolate. The only male-persons I've know who would not get all glossy eyed over peanut butter baked goods were those who were allergic to peanuts. That's a waay different look, and generally involves epi-pens and ER visits. The boy is obsessed with PB, so I think I've baked just about every PB (+/- chocolate) recipe in every vegan cookbook I own. Some recipes are better than others, but overall, I find vegan cookie recipes to be really crumbley. Even adding more liquid doesn't resolve the issue, and underbaking doesn't make them less dry. A conundrum for sure.
Going on what may seem like a complete segue, upstate NY has entered the 21st century and we now have a Trader Joe's. Trader Joe's shopping makes up a very small percentage of my overall grocery purchases, but they do have some key items at good prices that I enjoy (like olive oil, and nuts, and dried fruit). One such item are the accidentally vegan Dark Chocolate Covered Pretzels. They make PMS so much more manageable (how did this post go from testosterone to PMS? I don't know. I promise it will end well).
Having bought one of these bags of wonderful, beeps and I were pondering how we could make them even better, and the obvious answer was bake them into a peanut butter cookie. This dream became a reality when being laid off has left me with way more time in the kitchen. I didn't want to pair the pretzels with a dry, crumbly peanut butter cookie, however so I decided instead to veganize a peanut butter cookie recipe and hit up Ms. Crocker for her best. It came out exactly how I wanted it! The cookie is moist and chewy and peanut buttery! I had to make a few batches to experiment with different cookie sizes and pretzel placements to get the pretzel to cookie ratio correct (and because they kept vanishing!), and I think a small cookie scoop does the trick! A small cookie scoop scoops 2 tsp of dough, which is about the size of... a large gumball? It doesn't look like enough dough to support a pretzel, but jam that sucker in there! It'll all work out in the end.
Before - the pretzel barely covers the cookie...
After! Pretzel is firmly in the center of a delicious peanut butter cookie!
Peanut Butter Chocolate Pretzel Cookies
1/4 cup earth balance shortening
1/4 cup earth balance buttery stick
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup vanilla soy yogurt
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 bag Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Covered Pretzels (or if there's another brand I don't know about, certainly use those! they're mini pretzels though, that's important...)
1. Preheat the oven to 375
2. Cream the shortening, butter, peanut butter, sugars, and yogurt until light and fluffy.
3. Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
4. Scoop 2 tsp dough balls onto cookie sheet. Press one pretzel into the top of each cookie.
5. Bake for 7-8 minutes or until the edges are just barely golden. (longer for crunchier cookie, less for chewier)
The hard part is now. Leave the cookies sitting out until the chocolate re-sets. It takes longer for the chocolate to set than it does for the cookie to cool, so if you can't wait to eat one, don't -- just make sure you wipe your face before you try to go do anything respectable in the community (voice of experience. i once grocery shopped with chocolate all over my face. so embarrassed in retrospect).
Look at them all! So happy tumbling around on the cookie sheet!!