Chocolate Pretzels

2 dozen

A sprinkle of coarse sanding sugar is the embellishment on these sweet versions of chocolate pretzels.


  • ¼ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

  • 1 teaspoon good-quality instant espresso powder

  • 3 tablespoons boiling water

  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

  • ¼ cup granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt

  • 1 large egg

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 large egg yolk

  • Sanding sugar, for sprinkling


  1. Stir cocoa and espresso powders into the boiling water in a small bowl until dissolved; set aside. Meanwhile, put butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until creamy. Mix in vanilla and salt. Reduce speed to medium-low. Mix in egg, then cocoa mixture. Gradually add flour, and mix until a smooth dough forms. Turn out onto a piece of plastic; pat into a square. Wrap dough, and refrigerate until cold, about 30 minutes.

  2. Divide dough into 24 equal pieces. Roll into balls. Shape balls into 12-inch-long ropes. Twist each rope into a pretzel shape. Space 1 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

  3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Whisk egg yolk with 1 teaspoon water in a small bowl. Brush cookies with egg wash; sprinkle with sanding sugar. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until dry, about 35 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.

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