Pretzel Bites

As you all know by now, I’m kinda chocolate obsessed. And by kinda, I mean I could be clinically diagnosed as a chocaholic.
I don’t even try to hide it. I have no shame.  I regularly have chocolate chip oatmeal for breakfast.  My afternoon snack? A granola bar with peanut butter and dark chocolate.  My go-to after dinner treat- a couple Dove promises or Hershey kisses.  When scanning for dessert recipe idea, the more chocolate involved the better.  A chocolate chip cookie dough brownie? Count me in.  You say it’s even better when served with chocolate ice cream? Even better.

However, today- Let’s go crazy.  Instead of making this, this, or this, let’s make little pillows of soft pretzels.  We’ll even make ‘em good and salty with a sprinkle of a bit of coarse salt.  And as a bonus, there’s a warm, velvety cheese sauce too.  Then let’s all curl up on my couch, pop in Bridesmaids (which I still have yet to see…..), and drown those little salted pillows in cheddary goodness.  Sound like a plan?  Awesome. See you at 7.  Max will be there too (insert gratuitous puppy shot here)

Recipe adapted from this recipe
What You’ll Need:
For the Pretzel Bites
·         1 ½ cups Warm Water
·         2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
·         1 pkg Dry Active Yeast
·         3 oz Unsalted Butter, melted
·         2 ½ tsp Kosher Salt
·         4 ½ - 5 cups AP Flour
·         Veggie Oil
·         3 qts Water
·         ¾ cup Baking Soda (not a typo!)
·         1 Egg, beaten with 1 Tbsp Cold Water
·         Coarse Sea Salt
For the Cheese Sauce
·         ½ Tbsp Unsalted Butter
·         ½ Tbsp AP Flour
·         ½ cup Milk
·         8 oz Shredded Cheddar
What To Do:
1.   Starting with the pretzel dough, combine the warm water, brown sugar, yeast, and butter and mix with a dough hook until combined.  Let sit for 5 minutes.
2.   Add in the salt and flour and mix on low until fully incorporated.  Increase the speed to medium and continue kneading until the dough is smooth and begins to pull away from the side of the bowl, about 3 to 4 minutes. If the dough appears too wet, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. Remove the dough from the bowl, place on a flat surface and knead into a ball with your hands.
3.   Oil a clean bowl with veggie oil, add the dough and turn to coat with the oil. Cover with a clean towel or plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until the dough doubles in size, about 1 hour.
4.   Preheat oven to 425F.  Bring 3 qts of water to a boil in a small roasting pan over high heat and add baking soda. 
5.   Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a flat surface. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces, about 4 1/2 ounces each. Roll each piece into a long rope about 20 or so inches long. Cut the dough into one inch pieces to make the pretzel bites. Boil the pretzel bites in the water solution for 30 seconds in batches. I could do about 15 bites at a time. Remove with a large slotted spoon and place pretzel bites on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Make sure they are not touching. Brush the tops with the egg wash and season liberally with the salt. Place into the oven and bake for 15 to 18 minutes until golden brown.
6.   For the cheese sauce, Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and cook until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the Cheddar cheese until smooth and all of the cheese is melted. Season with salt and pepper, to taste
The original recipe also says you could change things up and do cinnamon sugar pretzel bites with a vanilla cream cheese frosting by sprinkling the bites with cinnamon and sugar instead of salt. For the frosting mix-soft cream cheese-about 3 T, powdered sugar, a teaspoon of vanilla extract, and a little bit of milk. Whisk together. Add more milk if it is too thick, if it is too thin, add more powdered sugar.

1 comment:

  1. I stumbled upon your blog after we both commented on Joy the Baker's post, and wanted to say that you've got some great ideas. I would score some serious wife points if my husband came home to homemade pretzels... this one's going in my back pocket. I look forward to reading more. Thanks!

    P.S. Max is adorable. I fully support gratuitous puppy photos and end most of my posts on a similar note.