My mother used to love to bake and cook. She especially liked baking. She would make all kinds of desserts that we all loved. One thing she made was an Italian cookie called Taralli. These little cookies resembled a pretzel and got very hard. It was a great thing to snack on and it would last a long time. She used to give my nieces these cookies when they were kids and they loved them. The process is interesting. First you make the dough, cut and roll the dough into pencil like logs and twist them on themselves. Now here is the interesting part, you put them in a pan of boiling water for about 15 seconds. They float to the top and are done. Take them out and lay them on a kitchen towel to dry. Then put them on a cookie sheet and bake them for 20 minutes at 375. I tried to make these cookies for the first time and mine really don't resemble my mothers, but, she had a lot of experience making them.... I will try them again to get them a bit thinner and more uniform. They really aren't like a hard pretzel , but more like a soft pretzel. I suppose if I had added course salt to them before baking, I could have a delicious soft pretzel.