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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Pretzel Bites and BFF love



Jena came to visit this weekend!! 
I had the best time ever! We had lots of time to catch up, make food, drink wine and just chill because it was rainy and 38 degrees all weekend. I was so sad when she left today :( Yet so thankful for such an amazing friend that took the time, money and energy to come all the way here. Words don't describe how grateful I am to have a friendship like ours.
On to the FOOD!
We made the BEST pretzel bites before she left today.
The recipe was a Pintrest find. Yes, Pintrest is my new obsession. I'm seeking counseling for it. AKA I'm talking to myself. hehehe
Combine the water, sugar, yeast, and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix until combined. Let sit for 5 minutes.  


 Add the salt and flour and mix until combined. Continue kneading until the dough is smooth and begins to pull away from the side of the bowl, about 3 to 4 minutes.
 After it sits for an hour and doubles in size, divide into 8 pieces and roll into a rope.
Then, cut into inch size pieces

 Drop about 15 into the water/baking soda mixture

 When they come out of the mix, top with egg wash and salt


The cheese sauce was just delicious.
I omitted the flour, fyi

 Bake for 15 minutes and ENJOY!

 Heaven. 
Heaven I tell ya.
 xoxo


Pretzel Bites: (Jena and I altered it a bit)
Soft Pretzels:
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 package active dry yeast
3 ounces unsalted butter, melted
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
Vegetable oil
3 quarts water
3/4 cup baking soda
1 whole egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water
Coarse sea salt
For the cheese sauce:
½ Tablespoon unsalted butter
½ cup milk
8 ounces Cheddar cheese, grated

Directions:

For the Pretzels: Combine the water, sugar, yeast, and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix until combined. Let sit for 5 minutes.
Add the salt and flour and mix until combined. 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.
Oil a bowl with vegetable 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.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Bring the water to a boil in a small roasting pan over high heat and add the baking soda.
Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a flat surface. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces, about 4 1/4 to 4 1/2 ounces each. Roll each piece into a long rope measuring 22 inches and shape. Cut the dough into one inch pieces to make the pretzel bites. Boil the pretzel bites in the water solution in batches. We did about 15 bites at a time. Boil for about 30 seconds. Remove with a large slotted spoon. 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.
Remove to a baking rack and let rest 5 minutes before eating. Serve with cheese sauce.
To make the cheese sauce:
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. 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.
*If you want to make cinnamon and sugar pretzel bites-instead of adding salt, sprinkle the bites with cinnamon and sugar. 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. I don't measure. I just guess until the consistency is right


Barkley now has a new best friend in Jena. They fell in love all over again this weekend.


 Presh!

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