Thursday, February 2, 2012

Cheese Pretzel Bites with Jalapeño Honey Mustard


Just in time for the Superbowl, here's the perfect snack. Did you know, there are a few key criteria for determining the perfect Superbowl snack?
  • Handheld
  • Dippable
  • Contains cheese and/or bacon
It took me a long time to develop that list and I think it's pretty conclusive.  I was pretty upset though when I typed this up and it put the little squiggly line under dippable, indicating that it was spelled wrong. How in the world is that not a word, especially since it was a key criteria? Anyway, I'm going with it.



The version of these snacks that I made didn't have any bacon in them but they certainly could have. It would be so easy to put pretty much anything in them. I used some sun-dried tomatoes and also made some with some extra guacamole I had. Cheese in all of them of course. After creating the pretzel dough, you roll it out flat and then put a line of filling along the dough. Wrap it up and cut it into bite size, or larger pieces and let them rest. To get that perfect pretzel texture, you quickly boil the pieces and then bake them until golden brown. Brush with butter and sprinkle with salt.


Don't try these without the Honey Mustard though! It's so easy to make and throw in the jalapeno's to add some kick.


Cheese Pretzel Bites with Jalapeño Honey Mustard

Ingredients

1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon packed light brown sugar, divided
1/4 cup warm water (110-115°F)
1 cup warm milk (110-115°F)
2 1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup finely chopped sharp Cheddar, divided
6 cups water
4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons finely chopped seeded fresh jalapeños
1 tablespoon mild honey
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 to 2 tablespoons pretzel salt or coarse salt

Directions
Stir together yeast, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, and warm water in a large bowl and let stand until foamy, 5 to 8 minutes. (If mixture doesn’t foam, start over with new yeast.) In a separate bowl, stir remaining 2 tablespoons brown sugar into warm milk until dissolved. 

Add 2 1/2 cups flour and milk mixture to yeast mixture and stir with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until a soft dough forms, adding up to 1/2 cup additional flour, a little at a time, if necessary. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead a few times to form a smooth ball. Transfer to a clean bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled and bubbles appear on surface, about 2 hours. 

Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in upper and lower thirds. Line two 4-sided sheet pans with parchment paper. 

Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and cut into 4 equal pieces. Lightly dust your hands with flour, then gently roll and stretch 1 piece of dough to form a 12-inch-long rope. Flatten dough and arrange so a long side is nearest you, then roll out to a roughly 12- by 4-inch rectangle with a lightly floured rolling pin. Gently press one fourth of ham and cheese into lower third of rectangle, leaving a 1/2-inch border along bottom edge. Stretch bottom edge of dough up over filling and press tightly to seal, then roll up as tightly as possible to form a rope. Cut rope into 12 pieces and transfer to a sheet pan. Make 3 more ropes with remaining dough, ham, and cheese and cut into pieces, transferring to sheet pans. Let rest at room temperature, uncovered, 30 minutes (dough will rise slightly). 

Bring water (6 cups) to a boil in a 4-to 5-quart saucepan. Reduce heat and stir in baking soda. Cook pretzel bites in batches in gently simmering water, turning once, until slightly puffed, about 20 seconds. Transfer with a slotted spoon to sheet pans. 

Bake until puffed and golden-brown, about 15 minutes (cheese may ooze slightly). 

Meanwhile, stir together mustard, jalapeños, and honey. 

Brush warm pretzel bites with butter and sprinkle with pretzel salt. Serve warm or at room temperature with jalapeño mustard for dipping.

6 comments:

  1. Looks like a winner to me, my boys would go crazy for these!

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  2. Sun-dried tomatoes? Guacamole? Yum!

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  3. Looks good. I just made pretzels for dinner, too funny. :)

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  4. I kept saying this year I was going to conquer the pretzel for the Super Bowl. I missed that one but it is still on the list of things to try out. You are right that they are the perfect snack. Looking delicious!

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  5. I wish I could snap my finger and have a huge plate of these in front of me...they look amazing! Definitely saving this recipe, thanks!

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