Friday, March 3, 2017

Reese's Pretzel Basketball Cookies for Game Day


I'm super excited about this post.  March is finally here and Freaky Friday is finally here!  It's been months in the planning and kept top secret of course, but today is the big day I get to share with you.  It's time for our quarterly recipe swap I enjoy with some of my blogger pals.  Each of us is assigned a blog to choose a recipe from, and no one knows who has their blog or what recipe has been chosen until today.  Here's my creation and inspiration:



I was tasked with choosing a recipe from Take Two Tapas.  Jennifer features "delicious food with big flavors, but with smaller portions" and these Reese's Pretzel Basketball Cookies are the perfect example.  A sweet, salty bite-sized morsel to enjoy on game day.  As Jennifer says, "We don’t believe that you need to go into a food coma when you eat," but you probably will because you cannot eat just one of these little gems.  When I first began browsing through the recipes on Take Two Tapas, I was completely confused what to choose because there were too many fun options, and everything sounded amazing.  I had narrowed my choices down to the insanely decadent sounding Banana Fritters with Peanut Butter Drizzle, or her Mexican Cheese Ball with Spicy Tortilla Chips, since our family can never resist the words Mexican, Cheese, Spicy or Chips when it comes to eating.  Mind you we start working on Freaky Friday several months in advance.  I told my husband to take a look at Jennifer's blog and see if anything stood out to him.  Since the time I had perused and narrowed down my favorites, Jennifer added these adorable Reese's Pretzel Football Cookies for Game Day for the ideal Super Bowl Treat.  I don't have to remind you that we are huge sports fans here in Sooner Country, and of course my husband said, "Make those footballs!"



Normally when re-creating recipes for Freaky Friday we try to replicate the recipe as close to the original as possible.  My husband of all people should know that March means basketball, and it seemed silly to make footballs in March (even though we live and die by the Oklahoma Sooners Football Schedule around here!) so I decided to tweak Jennifer's idea just a bit and make basketballs instead.  March Madness is just around the corner, making these little bites the perfect court-side snack.  If you check out Jennifer's original recipe post, she tells the hilarious story of her son Connor sneaking the pretzels she purchased for this recipe into his room, licking the salt off of said pretzels and returning said pretzels to the bag.  Fortunately Jennifer realized exactly why the pretzels were bland and soggy before she dipped them in the chocolate.  My whole family was cracking up at this little story.  (I should let you know that we recently picked up two puppies that were dumped and we chose to foster them.  They were here while I was working on this recipe.  My daughter jokingly asked, "You didn't lick the salt off the pretzels inside these basketballs did you? My reply was, "No, I let the puppies do it.")  All joking aside, no puppies or pretzels were harmed in the making of this recipe!

Now when Jennifer made her Reese's Pretzel Football Cookies, she used those cool grid-like square pretzels to capture the football shape.  I know they make little pretzel circles, because I've seen them on cute little Pinterest Projects, but of course they do not exist at any of my local grocery stores. I wasn't sure how well a traditional pretzel shape would translate to a round basketball form but I was determined to make it work.  I followed Jennifer's instructions by slicing the Reese's cups in half and placing them on top of 20 pretzels which I laid out on a parchment lined pan.  After melting in the oven, I topped each of them with another pretzel to create a little "sandwich."  It was incredibly tempting, and hard to refrain from eating them at this point. Since the whole gluten allergy thing I have to be careful, but thankfully gluten-free pretzels exist so I made a few of those for myself.  The irony is the gluten-free pretzels had slightly more rounded shape, making for better basketballs, but not so much better snacking for the rest of my gluten tolerant household.  (While I'm grateful to have a gluten-free pretzel option, compared to regular pretzels they taste a little like the ones after the salt was licked off lol.)

Jennifer dipped her pretzels in a combination of semi-sweet chocolate and coconut oil to get the perfect football brown color.  I opted for the orange candy melts, knowing they melt flawlessly and would be the ideal basketball orange.  I just used a fork to dip the pretzels in the orange coating.  I let them dry slightly and dipped a second time.  That really helped disguise the pretzel shape, and help them appear more rounded.  Once they were completely dry, I melted a bit of chocolate and used a piping bag with a very narrow tip to pipe on the lines for the finished basketball look.


There's the finished product, nothing but net!  I'm delighted with how these turned out.  And even though I varied Jennifer's design slightly I think they represent her small bites philosophy splendidly.  You don't need a bundle of brownies or a pile of popcorn to enjoy a game.  These adorable little bites are sweet, salty and satisfying: "Bigger Flavors, Smaller Plates" as Jennifer would say.


Thanks again to Jennifer at Take Two Tapas for the charming inspiration and the healthful reminder that we don't need a hoard of food to eat well.  Please visit her page for some tasty inspiration.  She's got everything from dainty snacks to delectable drinks.  All perfectly suited for entertaining as well.

Reese's Pretzel Basketball Cookies

Inspired By: Take Two Tapas

40 pretzels
10 mini Reese's peanut butter cups
2 packages Wilton orange candy coating
2 ounces chocolate

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.  On a parchment or silicone lined baking sheet, place 20 pretzels.  Cut the Reese's cups in half horizontally.  Place each half on a pretzel.  Place in the oven for 5 minutes.  When the are done, remove from oven and top with the remaining 20 pretzels.  Press down slightly to flatten and get the pretzels to stick.  Cool completely.  Melt the candy coating in the microwave.  Carefully dip each pretzel sandwich into the coating.  Allow to dry and dip a second time for a more rounded shape.  Allow orange coating to dry.  Melt the chocolate carefully in the microwave and use a zip-style bag with a very small hole cut in the corner or a piping bag and tip to create the basketball "lines."  Cool completely and enjoy.

Prep Time:  Approximately 30 minutes     Cook Time:  Approximately 5 minutes

Makes 20 cookies



Be sure to visit the other participating bloggers.  Add to your recipe favorites:

An Affair From the Heart
A Dish of Daily Life
A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures
LeMoine Family Kitchen
Take Two Tapas
Aunt Bee's Recipes
Full Belly SistersLisa's Dinnertime Dish
Who Need's A Cape
Bowl Me Over
Life Currents
Platter Talk
The Foodie Affair






27 comments:

  1. OMG Candi these are so great! Ever since I made these for Superbowl I started thinking about all the other sports balls I can make. We are huge Kentucky Basketball fans in our house so I love how the basketballs turned out! I can't wait to make them!! When I tell people that story of Connor licking the pretzels they get a kick out of it too. Of course, everyone is now skeptical of any pretzel I bring out as a snack :)

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    1. We're baseball fans too. I'm already thinking about making those next! Thanks for the great inspiration.

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  2. These are so cute and are a perfect treat for a March Madness party!

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    1. I know! Our Freaky Friday in March was perfect timing.

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  3. Oh my goodness how fun are these!! Ill have to make them with my boys!

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    1. They will enjoy them. Fun to make and good to eat!

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  4. These are so cute! I love that you made them basketball themed! Perfect for parties this time of year!

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    1. Yes! I predict I will be making these more than once this month!

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  5. Phenomenal job with these cookies; our boys would love these!!!

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    1. Yes they would! They were fun to make and tasty to eat. Perfect guy food!

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  6. I have to make these for March Madness! How cute are they! And peanut butter and pretzels are so addictive.

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    1. Addictive is the perfect word! I will totally make these again for March Madness!

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  7. These are so darn adorable! I love peanut butter and chocolate together. I would definitely go overboard with these. I'm ok with that ;)

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    1. Going overboard where peanut butter and chocolate are involved is always ok!

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  9. How cute are these little bites and fun that you've made such a perfect cookie - March Madness, bring it on!

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    1. Can't wait to munch on these and watch some basketball!

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  10. What a fun idea!! These are perfect for March Madness -- they're sure to be a big hit at parties!

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    1. I will definitely be making these more than once this month!

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  11. You are so clever!! My Hyvee has the circular pretzels, I will send you a bag before baseball season! ;) This is the perfect recipe for you, because I know that Reeses are your MOST favorite!

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    1. Or I could just come up there and get some! I was not at all disappointed when there were Reeses leftover :)

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  12. Reese's are my all-time favorite candy, I'm loving these! Super cute!

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    1. Mine too! How could anybody say no to a Reese's!

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  13. My husband is a REESE'S addict! I totally have to make these for him!

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    1. He will love these. It's like Reeses with a little bit of salt!

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