Saturday, June 25, 2011

Pretzel & Potato Chip Shortbread with Caramel Chocolate Ganache

Just in case you had any doubts that I truly love Top Chef, here's yet another quickfire winning recipe (this time from Top Chef All-Stars). But this wasn't just any ordinary quickfire challenge. This one was called me love cookies! and starred none other than Sesame Street's own loveable Elmo, Telly and infamous cookie connoisseur (the man, the myth), Cookie Monster himself.

photo from
When my daughter's teacher asked me to make something for their kindergarten graduation party, I couldn't get this recipe out of my head. How could I lose mashing up pretzels and potato chips and covering them with chocolate ganache? It's sweet, salty, crunchy and creamy all at the same time. Come to think of it, it's way too good for likes of kindergarteners. Smear some chocolate on a band-aid and they'd probably ask for another one (pleeeease).

Yield: 48 small squares

Shortbread Cookies:
5 oz. potato chips (plain, salted)
5 oz. pretzels (lightly salted)
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar

Caramel Chocolate Ganache:
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup heavy cream
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1.      Preheat oven to 350º F.
2.      In a food processor, crush potato chips and pretzels.
3.      In a mixing bowl, combine crushed chips, pretzels, flour, melted butter and 1/2 cup sugar.
4.      Spread the mixture evenly in a 9” x 13” baking pan and bake for 10 minutes.  Let cool to room temperature.

Chocolate Ganache:
1.      Add 3/4 cup sugar to a heavy pot and cook over medium heat, swirling the pan occasionally, until all the sugar is melted and it’s a deep golden, amber color. (You can add a little water to the sugar if you want, but it isn’t necessary.)
2.      Heat cream in a separate pot until hot, but not boiling. Add hot cream to the caramelized sugar and bring to a boil. Add chocolate; whisk until smooth.

Spread the ganache evenly over the cooled shortbread. Cool completely, chill in the refrigerator and cut into small squares. Store in the refrigerator.

adapted from Dale Talde (Top Chef, Season 8, Episode 10)

pretzels and potato chips in food processor
pretzel and potato chips crushed
all the shortbread ingredients mixed
shortbread pressed into pan
shortbread baked
evaporated cane sugar
(it looks almost white in this photo, but it's really more of a beige)
sugar melting (it's normal for it to get all clumpy)
even more melted

This is way darker than usual because I used evaporated cane
sugar (which is darker than refined sugar). If you're using regular
granulated sugar, it will be a much clearer & lighter golden color.

 Here is a YouTube video on how to
caramelize sugar that shows the usual color.
caramelized sugar with cream added
chocolate melted in
pouring the ganache on to the cooled shortbread
ganache spread
chilled and cut into squares


Randi said...

That sounds so good!

Elizabeth (Foodie, Formerly Fat) said...

Holy cow! Just as I was resigning myself to a break from baking you bust out with these. Now I HAVE to make these. Wow!

Anonymous said...

I made this today and it turned out delicious! I sorta messed up the was a little chunky I just spooned out the chunks. Delicious! Thank you!

Susan said...

Great! :)

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