One of the first celebrity infatuations I had was for American actress Shelley Long, and her role as Diane Chambers in Cheers.
Being eight years old at the time, there was no way I could have understood the plot twists of her college graduate turned cocktail waitress character. Yet there was something about her high-necked country shirts and glossy blonde fringe, standing out against the musty brown interior of the infamous Cheers bar that caught my imagination.
Unbeknownst to me, her “opposites attract” love-hate relationship with character Sam Malone (Ted Dansen) was at the time a real talking point for TV viewers. Her character’s bratty charm, feminist leanings and romantic hope paired with Sam Malone’s working class lothario lead, ensured Cheers was one of the highest rating shows of the 70s and 80s.
To honour my first childhood hero, I created the Bar Fly Cookie - a chewy mash up of everyone’s favourite bar snacks (pretzels and peanuts) with a moreish salty punch.
If only the writers of Cheers had this cookie on hand, they could have written the perfect episode. Diane Chambers stealing the heart of Sam Malone with one crumbly, buttery bite.
Bar Fly Cookies
First make the pretzel shortbread crumble which creates the crunchy, chunky texture of the cookie.
- Preheat oven to 190 degrees.
- Cream 110 g butter, 40g caster sugar and 20g of brown sugar until pale and fluffy.
- Sift in 170g flour and a generous pinch of sea salt.
- Crush 100g pretzels into small pea size pieces. Add to the shortbread mix. Don’t eat the left over pretzels because you’ll need them to decorate later!
- On a lightly floured surface roll the shortbread mixture into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for half an hour.
- Break mixture up onto a baking tray and bake for 20 minutes until pale gold.
- Set aside and allow to cool completely.
Now for the main peanut butter cookie:
- Combine 170g butter, 300g raw caster sugar and 100g glucose until fluffy.
- Add 100g smooth peanut butter and 150g ABC spread (almond, brazil & cashew spread), 2 large free range eggs and a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Beat for 5 minutes for a voluminous, smooth mixture.
- Add 225g plain flour, 1tsp baking powder, 2tsp of sea salt and a generous handful of raw peanuts. Mix to combine lightly.
- Add 250g of the baked pretzel shortbread and mix to combine.
- Refrigerate cookie dough for at least 1 hour before scooping out tablespoon portions of the dough onto a tray lined with greased baking paper. Space cookies apart generously as they’ll spread out when baked.
- Push a whole pretzel into the top of each cookie and bake for 20 minutes or until golden.