Monday, April 28, 2014

Soft Pretzel Bites with Jalapeno Cheese Sauce

 Sometimes I just really want a soft pretzel.  Luckily, they are pretty easy to make at home!  I've made larger, more traditional soft pretzels in the past but this recipe was super easy and I liked making the pretzel "bites" because they make a good snack that is easy to share with a lot of friends!
 The cheese sauce is a little spicy with the jalapeno but I like spicy things so it was good to me - but feel free to adjust it if you like milder spice.  Also, I would probably adjust the amount of pepper next time because it was a little strong.  Overall the pretzels turned out great though.  These would be great for a party or snacks for your kids. Enjoy! :)

Soft Pretzel Bites and Jalapeño Cheese Sauce
Makes 24-30 pretzel bites

1 1/2 C warm water
2 tbsp. light brown sugar
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
6 tbsp. butter, melted
2 1/2 tsp salt
4 1/2 -5 C all-purpose flour
1/4 C baking soda
3 quarts water
1 egg white
1 tbsp. cold water
coarse salt

Cheese Sauce:
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
3/4 cups milk
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp pepper
1-2 tbsp. chopped jalapeno slices (canned)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Directions for pretzels:

Combine first 4 ingredients in a stand mixer and set aside for 5 minutes.  Add in salt and slowly add in flour, up to 4 1/2 cups until combined. Mix on low then increase speed until dough begins to form a ball and pull away from the sides. If dough still looks sticky, add a little flour.

Remove from the bowl and knead into a ball on a floured surface.  Drop olive oil into a bowl, and then place the dough ball in, covering in oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until double in size. 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Bring water to boil in a large pot and add baking soda.

Divide dough into 4 sections and roll each out into a long strip. Cut 1-1.5 inches apart and roll into balls. Drop into boiling soda water for 15-30 seconds, about 10 at a time.
Spread onto a parchment covered cookie sheet.  Beat egg white and cold water together and brush on top of each pretzel ball then sprinkle coarse salt. Bake until brown on top. About 15-20 minutes but check every 5-10 minutes do make sure they don’t burn. 

Directions for cheese sauce:

Melt butter and stir in flour. Quickly add milk and whisk. Add garlic, pepper and jalapeño and then remove from heat. Immediately stir in the cheese until melted.  Eat right away!

Recipe adapted from Big Red Clifford

No comments: