Friday, February 23, 2018

Soft Pretzel Bites & Beer Cheese

Who doesn’t love a good pretzel? I can’t keep myself from making an Auntie Anne’s stop when I see them pull fresh ones out of the oven. For that reason, I knew these were a must-have for my pot-luck party recipe stash. These are my go-to for football watch parties (Go Steelers and as always...Boomer Sooner) because they are so incredibly simple to make and they are always a crowd favorite. 

Frozen yeast roll dough (y’all know I always like Rhodes brand)
1/4 cup Baking soda 
3qts Water
Kosher Salt
Cheese Dip (look for my beer cheese recipe down below)

Allow the dough to thaw until it is soft enough to cut. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut each ball of dough into four and lay out on a lined baking sheet. Boil water, slowly add baking soda. Drop the pretzels in small batches of 10-15 making sure they aren’t stuck together. Let boil for 20-30 seconds and remove, placing them back on lined baking sheet. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with salt. Bake 15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with homemade or store-bought cheese sauce. 

Note- if you are making more than a few batches I recommend having a second pot of water boiling that you can add baking soda to when you are ready to use it. After a few batches the water starts to give a very sour/bitter taste to the pretzels so it should be swapped out. 

Homemade Beer Cheese Sauce: 
1/2 cup Butter
2 Tbsp flour
1 cup beer 
1/3 cup cream cheese
1 cup of shredded cheddar (white or yellow)
Pinch of cayenne, optional

Which beer to use is up to you but I recommend a good flavorful beer, not dark in color- don’t use cheap domestic beer like a bud light, it doesn’t have enough flavor. I use Sam Adams Boston Lager or a light colored German lager. 

Melt the butter in a pan and add the flour. Cook the flour in the butter until it starts to brown. Add the beer (just as you would add milk if you were making gravy) and stir constantly until it starts to thicken. Add the cream cheese, stir until melted and combined. Lastly, slowly add in the cheddar cheese stirring in a figure eight pattern until melted and combined. If you like a little spice you can add in a pinch of cayenne. If you don’t want to use beer you can use milk instead and it will be more of a mac&cheese type of sauce. 

Enjoy! XOXO~