Thursday, December 29, 2011

On The Menu: Homemade Pretzel Bites

Luckily...I passed my three-hour glucose tolerance test. Which means I can still eat lots of carbs! And if there's one thing I've been consistently craving throughout my pregnancy, it's soft pretzels from the mall. I found this recipe through Pinterest from the blog Just Get Off Your Butt And Bake (so cute, right?). And these are just as good (I'm not kidding) as what you'd get at the mall and a heck of a lot cheaper!

Last night I made both the Cinnamon Sugar with Vanilla Glaze bites and the Traditional Butter and Salt Pretzels with Cheese. Scott's eyes literally went wide when he tried these and he clapped his hands together and said, "You should, you know, make these for OTHER people and they'd be really impressed." I guess this one gets the husband seal of approval.

Each roll makes 4 pretzel bites - That's 144 pretzel bites in this cheap bag of rolls!

What you'll need for Traditional Pretzel Bites:
• A Bag of Rhodes White Dinner Rolls - you can find these or something similar in the frozen dough section of your grocery store. I just bought the normal sized rolls, but the original recipe used the Texas Sized rolls. Each roll will make 4 pretzel bites, so only unthaw however many you think you can eat!
• Melted Butter
• Sea Salt
• Cheese Dipping Sauce - you can make your own (recipe here) or you can buy store bought Tostinos Smooth and Creamy Cheese Dip, which is what I did...because I'm lazy.

For the Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Bites:
• Cinnamon & Sugar
• Powdered Sugar
• Vanilla Extract
• Melted Butter
• Milk

For this process, I knew I wanted to make half salty and half sweet, so I unthawed 6 dinner rolls at room temperature for about an hour and a half. Then I quartered each roll into four pieces for a total of 24 pretzel bites and placed them on a (really well) greased cookie sheet and covered with plastic wrap. I let them rise to about 1.5 to 2x their size on the cookie sheet, which only took about a half hour for these little bites.

Now, this next step is very important. You must boil the dough bites for about 45 seconds and then quickly scoop them out and place on a paper towel to drain. This will make the bites puff up and really give them that perfect pretzel texture once cooked. Preheat your oven to 375° F at this time.

Here I've got everything ready to go. My oven is preheating, my water is boiling and my paper towel is ready to receive puffed up pretzel bites.

Boil about 10-12 bites at a time, tossing slightly in the boiling water for about 45 seconds. Quickly scoop them out with a slotted spoon once they're puffed and let drain on a paper towel. Some may look funny, but they'll recover nicely in the oven.

Place the bites back onto your greased baking sheet. I can't emphasize enough how important it is to grease your sheet really well! I used just plain Pam cooking spray.

Cook your boiled and puffed pretzel bites for about 13 minutes at 375 degrees F. While my bites were cooking, I prepared my other ingredients. I melted butter, made a cinnamon sugar mixture, heated up my cheese sauce, and prepared my vanilla glaze:

For Vanilla Glaze: combine 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1 Tablespoon Milk, 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract and 1/2 Tablespoon Melted Butter. It's as easy as that! Add more powdered sugar for thicker glaze.

Remove the pretzel bites from the oven and brush all of them with melted butter. For the traditional bites, sprinkle with sea salt and place around your melted cheese. For the cinnamon sugar bites, roll the buttered bites in cinnamon sugar and place around your vanilla glaze.

What they should look like after cooking. My poor cookie sheets have been through a lot...
Enjoy your Salty and Sweet Snacks!

Cinnamon Sugar Bites

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