Cocoa Pretzels

Cocoa Pretzels


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • Cocoa powder, for dusting
  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • White nonpariels or coarse sanding sugar


Using an electric mixer, cream the sugar, butter and salt at high speed until well blended, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl, add the egg and vanilla and beat for 1 minute.

Beat in the cocoa at medium speed until thoroughly blended. Add the flour and mix at low speed just until incorporated.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees . Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment.

Divide the dough into 10 pieces; roll into balls. Lightly dust a wooden cutting board with cocoa. Using your palms and working with 1 dough ball at a time, roll the dough along the surface to form a 12-inch rope.

Pick up both ends and cross them to make a loop. Cross ends again, making a twist. Carefully pick up the twist and press the 2 ends on top of the loop, making a pretzel shape. Carefully transfer the cookies to the prepared pans, spacing evenly.

Brush the pretzels with egg white; sprinkle generously with nonpareils. Bake 1 pan at a time (refrigerate the other pan) until the pretzels are firm, about 13 minutes. Let cool on the pan for 2 minutes; transfer to racks to cool completely.