Kid-friendly Salted Pretzel Brownie Bites + Magic Chocolate Shell Flecked Ice Cream Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
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Family Meal Plan: Salted Pretzel Brownie Bites + Magic Chocolate Shell Flecked Ice Cream

Family Meal Plan: Salted Pretzel Brownie Bites + Magic Chocolate Shell Flecked Ice Cream

Salted Pretzel Brownie Bites + Magic Chocolate Shell Flecked Ice Cream

by Dylan Sabuco
Photo by Madele/Shutterstock.com
prep time
25 minutes
cook time
18 minutes
makes
4-6 servings

Fun Food Story

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Salted Pretzel Brownie Bites

When it’s time for a treat, do you lean toward savory or sweet? It can be a tough decision, so sometimes the best solution is to indulge in a bit of both. That’s where Salted Pretzel Brownie Bites come in! They combine the rich, chewy sweetness of classic brownies with the salty cRuNcH! of pretzels.  

These little bites are perfect for all occasions, from parties to potlucks to little lunchbox treats. And they’re so easy to make! Just mix up the batter, with chopped pretzels added, and bake, and in very short order, you’ll have a delicious treat everyone can agree on!

Happy & Healthy Cooking,

Chef Erin, Food-Geek-in-Chief
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Shopping List

  • DAIRY AND EGGS
  • 2 eggs **(see allergy subs below)**
  • 1 C heavy cream **(see allergy subs below)**
  • PANTRY
  • 3/4 C all-purpose flour **(see allergy subs below)**
  • 3/4 C unsweetened cocoa powder **(see allergy subs below)**
  • 1/2 C pretzels **(see allergy subs below)**
  • 2/3 C coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 C granulated sugar
  • 3 tsp pure vanilla extract **(see allergy subs below)**
  • 1/2 C chocolate chips **(see allergy subs below)**
  • 2 T salt
  • HAVE ON HAND
  • 1/4 C water
  • 1 C ice
  • 2 gallon sized ziplock bags for shaking the ice cream (unless making dairy-free version)

Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills

  • bake :

    to cook food with dry heat, as in an oven.

  • drizzle :

    to trickle a thin stream of a liquid ingredient, like icing or sauce, over food.

  • measure :

    to calculate the specific amount of an ingredient required using a measuring tool (like measuring cups or spoons).

  • preheat :

    to set an oven to the desired temperature a few minutes before cooking, so it reaches that temperature by the time you place the food in it.

  • shake :

    to rapidly and vigorously move a covered container filled with food up and down and side to side to combine ingredients and create a different consistency, such as shaking whipped cream to make butter.

  • stir :

    to mix together two or more ingredients with a spoon or spatula, usually in a circle pattern, or figure eight, or in whatever direction you like!

Equipment Checklist

  • Oven
  • Muffin pan
  • Paper cupcake liners
  • Cutting board + kid-safe knife (if chopping the pretzels)
  • Medium mixing bowl
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Dry measuring cups
  • Liquid measuring cup
  • Measuring spoons
  • Wooden spoon or spatula
  • Whisk
  • Toothpick, skewer, or paring knife to test for doneness
  • Microwave
  • Gallon-size ziplock bags (2) OR blender if making dairy-free Ice Cream
  • Small bowl
  • Spoon for stirring chocolate
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Ingredients

Salted Pretzel Brownie Bites

  • 3/4 C all-purpose flour **(for GLUTEN ALLERGY sub gluten-free/nut-free all-purpose flour)**
  • 3/4 C unsweetened cocoa powder **(for CHOCOLATE ALLERGY sub carob powder)**
  • 1/2 C pretzels **(for GLUTEN ALLERGY sub gluten-free/nut-free pretzels)**
  • 2 eggs **(for EGG ALLERGY sub 1 T chia seeds + 2 1/2 T warm water—more info below)**
  • 1/2 C coconut oil
  • 1 C granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract **(for GLUTEN ALLERGY use gluten-free pure vanilla extract, not imitation flavor—check label)**
  • 1/4 C water

Magic Chocolate Shell Flecked Ice Cream

  • Ice cream:
  • 1 C heavy cream **(for DAIRY ALLERGY sub 1 10-oz can coconut cream + 2 T sunflower seed butter, like SunButter—more info below)**
  • 1/2 C granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract **(for GLUTEN ALLERGY use gluten-free pure vanilla extract, not imitation flavor—check label)**
  • 1 C ice
  • 1 T salt
  • 2 large ziplock bags for shaking the ice cream
  • Magic shell:
  • 3 T coconut oil
  • 1/2 C chocolate chips **(for CHOCOLATE ALLERGY sub carob chips and for DAIRY/NUT/SOY ALLERGY sub Enjoy Life brand chocolate chips)**

Food Allergen Substitutions

Salted Pretzel Brownie Bites

  • Egg: For 2 eggs, substitute 1 T chia seeds + 2 1/2 T warm water. Stir and soak flaxseeds in warm water for 5 minutes or until fully absorbed and thickened.
  • Gluten/Wheat: Substitute gluten-free/nut-free all-purpose flour and pretzels. Use gluten-free pure vanilla extract, not imitation vanilla flavor.
  • Chocolate: Substitute carob powder for cocoa powder.

Magic Chocolate Shell Flecked Ice Cream

  • Dairy: For 1 C heavy cream in Ice Cream, substitute 1 10-oz can coconut cream + 2 T sunflower seed butter, like SunButter—see separate Ice Cream recipe step. Use Enjoy Life brand chocolate chips in Magic Shell.
  • Gluten/Wheat: Use gluten-free pure vanilla extract, not imitation vanilla flavor. 
  • Chocolate: Substitute carob chips in Magic Shell.
  • Nut: Use Enjoy Life brand chocolate chips in Magic Shell.
  • Soy: Use Enjoy Life brand chocolate chips in Magic Shell.

Instructions

Salted Pretzel Brownie Bites

1.
chop

Start off by chopping or crushing 1/2 cup pretzels and set aside for the next step of the recipe.

2.
preheat + line + stir

Preheat your oven to 350 F and line the wells of a muffin pan with paper liners. Start by preparing your dry ingredients. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, have your kids combine 3/4 cup flour, 3/4 cup cocoa powder, and the chopped pretzels. Stir with a whisk to remove any lumps.

3.
measure + whisk

Crack 2 eggs into a large mixing bowl. Then, measure and add the rest of your wet ingredients: 1/2 cup coconut oil, 1 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, and 1/4 cup water. Whisk the mixture until the eggs are completely combined.

4.
combine + scoop + bake

Bit by bit, pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir after each addition. Scrape the sides of the bowls down with a wooden spoon or spatula, as needed. Mix until all traces of flour disappear and your batter is glossy. Fill the lined wells of your muffin pan about halfway. Bake for 14 to 16 minutes, checking them at the 14 minute mark by inserting a toothpick into the middle of a brownie bite. If it comes out clean, they’re done. Carefully remove the pan from the oven and let cool.

Magic Chocolate Shell Flecked Ice Cream

1.
intro

The magic in this ice cream comes from the coconut oil! Coconut oil is a very unique fat because it melts at a very low temperature and solidifies quickly when cold. We can use that to our advantage to make a drizzle chocolate sauce that will harden, creating a shell over the top of the ice cream.

2.
dairy free ice cream

Use the ingredients listed for the dairy substitution instead. Combine 1 can coconut cream, 2 tablespoons sunbutter, 3 tablespoons sugar, and 1 cup ice to a blender and blend until ultra smooth and soft serve texture.

3.
measure + shake

In a gallon-size ziplock bag, measure 1 cup heavy cream, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Seal the bag tightly and shake until all the sugar is combined. In another bag, measure 1 cup ice and 1 tablespoon salt. Place the first bag inside the second bag, and shake the entire thing. The salt and ice in the second bag will freeze the cream in the first bag, creating a soft serve ice cream by the end.

4.
shake + serve

Continue to shake the bag for about 10 minutes. Serve the ice cream immediately with the magic shell poured over top.

5.
measure + microwave + melt

Measure and melt 3 tablespoons coconut oil and 1/2 cup chocolate chips in a small bowl for 20 seconds at a time in the microwave until the chocolate is fully melted. Remove the bowl from the microwave every 20 seconds to stir the chocolate shell mixture. The chocolatey drizzle should harden over the cold ice cream for a tasty and magical treat!

Surprise Ingredient: Pretzels!

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Photo by FamVeld/Shutterstock.com

Hi! I'm Pretzel!

"I'm a type of bread dough made with wheat flour and yeast! Bakers often twist me into a knot, but I'm flexible before I'm baked, so I don't mind! Some of us are big, soft, and chewy, and others are small, hard, and crunchy! Either way we make a wonderful snack!"

History

  • In the 1,400 years since the pretzel was invented, bakers around the world have come up with a wide variety of shapes and flavors. The history of this adaptable snack shows its versatility.
  • The pretzel has been considered a good-luck symbol for a long time. In the 16th century, pretzels decorated Christmas trees in Austria and were hidden along with hard-boiled eggs on Easter. In Germany, children would wear pretzel necklaces on New Year's Day. 
  • According to a legend, during a siege of Vienna in the 1500s, pretzel bakers working before dawn heard Ottoman Turks tunneling under Vienna's city walls, alerted the authorities, and helped fight the invaders. Their alarm saved the city, and the Austrian emperor awarded the bakers an honorary coat of arms. The crest has a crown at the top to denote the royal gift. Below are two lions to honor the bakers' courage, and between them is a large pretzel. Signs with this coat of arms may still be seen today hanging in front of European pretzel bakeries.
  • There is a legend that in early 17th century Switzerland, royal newlyweds would make a wish and break a pretzel to seal their marriage, in the same way people in other cultures break a wishbone or a glass. The phrase "tying the knot" may have originated from this tradition.
  • Germans immigrants brought pretzels to Pennsylvania in the 1700s, and Julius Sturgis opened the first commercial pretzel business there in 1861. He also claimed to have made the first hard pretzel. 
  • Over a billion dollars worth of pretzels are sold in the United States annually, and 80 percent of them are made in Pennsylvania. The average US citizen eats up to two pounds of pretzels per year.
  • In 2019, Geoffrey Esper broke the Malted Barley Pretzel speed-eating record by eating 26 pretzels in 8 minutes. 
  • The Guinness World Record for the largest pretzel ever produced weighed 1,728 pounds and was 29 feet 3 inches long and 13 feet 3 inches wide! A bakery in San Salvador, El Salvador, made the pretzel in 2015.

How to Pick, Buy, & Eat

  • Pretzels have evolved to include different shapes, like twists, sticks, and nuggets; flavors, like mustard and cinnamon; coatings, like chocolate and yogurt; and fillings, like peanut butter and cheese.
  • You can also find other foods made with whole, chopped, crushed, or ground pretzels, including party mix, crunchy toppings or fillings, pie crust, brownies, cookies, and hamburger buns.

Nutrition

  • Nutritional values vary between soft pretzels and hard pretzels. Generally, pretzels contain carbohydrates, protein, fiber, and other nutrients in wheat flour. Those made with whole-grain flour may have more fiber and nutrients. Pretzels are low in fat and can be high in sodium (salt).
  • You can find gluten-free soft and hard pretzel options in recipes and grocery stores. Many hard pretzel brands are also vegan, but some coatings and fillings may not be.

History of Brownies!

Photo by Saveurs Secretes
  • The brownie, one of our favorite desserts, was created in the United States. 
  • Numerous legends surround the origin of the brownie. One tale is of a housewife in Bangor, Maine, who forgot to add baking powder while making a chocolate cake. So when her cake didn't rise properly, instead of tossing it out, she cut and served the flat pieces. The most accepted story, though, is that the brownie was created in 1893 by a chef at the Palmer House Hotel in Chicago, Illinois, at the request of the owner's wife for a cake-like dessert that could be part of a boxed lunch for ladies attending an exposition, or world's fair, in the city. 
  • The first printed version of a brownie dessert was in an 1896 cookbook by Fannie Farmer, although it used molasses, not cocoa, in the recipe. A chocolate brownie recipe first appeared in a cookbook in 1904.
  • There are thousands of brownie recipes, both "cake" and "fudge" types. Either type is perfectly correct—and delicious. Of course, the brownie probably got its name from its chocolate brown color, but there is also a light-colored version without cocoa called a "blondie."

Let's Learn About the United States!

Photo by JeniFoto/Shutterstock.com (July 4th Picnic)
  • Most of the United States of America (USA) is in North America. It shares its northern border with Canada and its southern border with Mexico. It consists of 50 states, 1 federal district, 5 territories, 9 Minor Outlying Islands, and 326 Indian reservations. 
  • The country's total area is 3,796,742 square miles, globally the third largest after Russia and Canada. The US population is over 333 million, making it the third most populous country in the world, after China and India.
  • The United States of America declared itself an independent nation from Great Britain on July 4, 1776, by issuing the Declaration of Independence.
  • The Revolutionary War between the US and Great Britain was fought from 1775-1783. We only had 13 colonies at that time! On September 9, 1976, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia and declared that the new nation would be called the United States. 
  • The 13 colonies became states after each ratified the constitution of the new United States, with Delaware being the first on December 7, 1787.  
  • The 13 stripes on the US flag represent those first 13 colonies, and the 50 stars represent our 50 states. The red color of the flag symbolizes hardiness and valor, white symbolizes innocence and purity, and blue symbolizes vigilance and justice.
  • Before settling in Washington DC, a federal district, the nation's capital resided in New York City and then Philadelphia for a short time. New York City is the largest city in the US and is considered its financial center. 
  • The US does not have a recognized official language! However, English is effectively the national language. 
  • The American dollar is the national currency. The nickname for a dollar, "buck," comes from colonial times when people traded goods for buckskins!
  • Because the United States is so large, there is a wide variety of climates and types of geography. The Mississippi/Missouri River, running primarily north to south, is the fourth-longest river system in the world. On the east side of the Mississippi are the Appalachian Mountains, the Adirondack Mountains, and the East Coast, next to the Atlantic Ocean. 
  • On the west side of the Mississippi are the flat Great Plains, the Rocky Mountains (or Rockies), and the West Coast, next to the Pacific Ocean, with several more mountain ranges in coastal states, such as the Sierras and the Cascades. Between the coasts and the north and south borders are several forests, lakes (including the Great Lakes), rivers, swamps, deserts, and volcanos. 
  • Several animals are unique to the US, such as the American bison (or American buffalo), the bald eagle, the California condor, the American black bear, the groundhog, the American alligator, and the pronghorn (or American antelope). 
  • The US has 63 national parks. The Great Smoky Mountains, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Zion, and the Grand Canyon, with the Colorado River flowing through it, are among the most well-known and visited.
  • Cuisine in the US was influenced early on by the indigenous people of North America who lived there before Europeans arrived. They introduced beans, corn, potatoes, squash, berries, fish, turkey, venison, dried meats, and more to the new settlers. Other influences include the widely varied foods and dishes of enslaved people from Africa and immigrants from Asia, Europe, Central and South America, and the Pacific Islands. 

What's It Like to Be a Kid in the United States?

  • Education is compulsory in the US, and kids may go to a public or private school or be home-schooled. Most schools do not require students to wear uniforms, but some private schools do. The school year runs from mid-August or the beginning of September to the end of May or the middle of June.
  • Kids generally start school at about five years old in kindergarten or earlier in preschool and continue through 12th grade in high school. After that, many go on to university, community college, or technical school. 
  • Spanish, French, and German are the most popular foreign languages kids learn in US schools. 
  • Kids may participate in many different school and after-school sports, including baseball, soccer, American football, basketball, volleyball, tennis, swimming, and track and field. In grade school, kids may join in playground games like hopscotch, four-square, kickball, tetherball, jump rope, or tag.
  • There are several fun activities that American kids enjoy doing with their friends and families, such as picnicking, hiking, going to the beach or swimming, or going to children's and natural history museums, zoos and wild animal parks, amusement parks, water parks, state parks, or national parks. Popular amusement parks include Disneyland, Disney World, Legoland, Six Flags, and Universal Studios.
  • On Independence Day or the 4th of July, kids enjoy a day off from school, picnicking, and watching fireworks with their families. 
  • Thanksgiving is celebrated on the last Thursday in November when students get 2 to 5 days off school. Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa are popular December holidays, and there are 2 or 3 weeks of winter vacation. Easter is celebrated in March, April, or May, and kids enjoy a week of spring recess around that time.  
  • Barbecued hot dogs or hamburgers, watermelon, apple pie, and ice cream are popular kid foods for 4th of July celebrations. Turkey, dressing, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie are traditional Thanksgiving foods. Birthday parties with cake and ice cream are very important celebrations for kids in the United States!

That's Berry Funny

What do you call people who like to drink hot chocolate all year long? 

Cocoa-Nuts!

The Yolk's On You

What do you call stolen cocoa? 

Hot chocolate!

The Yolk's On You

Why did the ice cream truck break down? 

Because of the Rocky Road.

THYME for a Laugh

What do you call a house with an ice-cream sundae on top? 

Desserted!

THYME for a Laugh

Two pretzels were walking down the street. 

One was a-salted!

THYME for a Laugh

What do you call a sheep covered in chocolate? 

A Candy Baa!

THYME for a Laugh

What did the tennis player say before playing with vanilla ice cream? 

I’d like a soft serve, please!

The Yolk's On You

What is a pretzel's favorite dance? 

The Twist!

The Yolk's On You

How do astronauts eat their ice creams? 

In floats!

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