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  • Writer's pictureEmma Tierson

Pretzel Bites with Beer Cheese Dipping Sauce

Who doesn't like a good bar snack?! Let me tell you a secret, most of the time when I make pretzel bites it turns into more of a meal than a snack. They're salty, small, and oh so addicting!


Pretzel Bites with Beer Cheese Dipping Sauce

One thing I love about baking pretzels is more often than not I have all of the ingredients already on hand. Eggs, flour, salt, yeast, and baking soda. The beer cheese dip has very common ingredients too, which is why I never buy this snack in the freezer section. I'm not interested in spending over $5 for two pretzels when I could spend $4 on over 10 of them at home PLUS BEER CHEESE DIP!!


One of my main goals in life is to live with quality and not to use my resources foolishly. That's why I spend so much time in the kitchen with friends and family. There is nothing better than eating a meal that you've worked on assembly-line style with your loved ones. Especially if that meal happens to take a while to complete due to chatting away. Once you all finally sit down and share food together the world melts away. Nothing can compare to that feeling.


Also, since Easter was approaching rapidly, it seemed fitting to make a couple of bunny-shaped pretzels. They may not be perfect, but I love my pretzel bunnies.


bunny pretzel bite

Now, I do have to tell you in advance, this recipe makes a GOOD amount of beer cheese dip. I normally do this on purpose so that the next day I can make some elbow macaroni up for lunch and just pour the extra dip on it for easy mac n cheese. So just keep that in mind, you may prefer to just make a double batch of pretzels.




 

Ingredients:


Pretzels

2 3/4 tsp fast-acting yeast

1c hot water

2 Tb sugar

1 tsp salt

3-4c flour

1/2c baking soda

1-2 eggs

2Tb water/egg

kosher salt to taste


Beer Cheese Dipping Sauce

1/2 bottle/can of beer

8oz cheddar cheese shredded

1-2c milk

2Tb flour

2Tb butter

2 cloves of garlic minced

worcestershire sauce

salt

pepper

paprika


Directions:

Preparing the pretzel dough

Begin by combining the hot water, sugar, and yeast, giving it a stir, and letting it proof for about ten minutes. It should be nice and bubbly, at least doubling in size, and smell like fresh bread. Put this in a mixing bowl (Kitchen Aid or a large bowl if you will be kneading by hand). Add the salt, and 1 cup of flour at a time. Mix it by hand or with a dough hook attachment if using Kitchen Aid. The dough should be slightly tacky, not wet, and not dry, when it is ready. I normally knead it for about 3 minutes after it has been combined completely. If your dough is too dry, feel free to add a spoonful of water to hydrate.

Once the dough has been kneaded, let it rise covered with a tea towel for about 30 minutes. It should just about double in size.

WHILE DOUGH IS RISING, PREPARE THE DIPPING SAUCE

(See below)


After the dough has rested, punch it down. Place it on a floured workspace, and divide it into 8 pieces. Roll each piece as if it is a snake, and cut it into sections about an inch long. Let those pieces rest for 15-30 minutes.


During their rest, bring a large pot of water and the 1/2c baking soda to a gentle boil. Also prepare a bowl with an egg wash. To do this, crack 1-2 eggs, depending on how many pretzel bites you have made, and add 2 tablespoons of water per egg. Whisk it up and set aside. Preheat the oven at 450 degrees.


When the water has come to a gentle boil and the dough has rested, it is time to 'pretzelize' the dough! Put the pretzel bites in the boiling water, a few at a time so that they don't crowd the pot, for roughly 30 seconds. Then take them out using a slotted spoon and put them on a lined or greased baking tray. Do this in batches for all of the dough. Once all the dough has been 'pretzelized', it is time to do an egg wash. If you're using a kitchen brush, simply brush the eggwash you made earlier onto the dough bites. If you don't have a brush, then use a slotted spoon to dip the bites into the egg wash. That method will accrue more egg than is really necessary for pretzels, however if you want pretzels to turn out like pretzels then the egg wash is a requirement. Sprinkle the bites with kosher salt to your liking and pop in the preheated oven

for 8-12 minutes. They should be beautifully golden brown when cooked.


Beer Cheese Dipping Sauce


Melt the butter in a saucepan on low-medium heat. Add the minced garlic and flour when the pan is heated. Wisk for a minute to combine the butter with the flour and get rid of the 'floury' taste. Turn the heat up to medium. Add in the milk about a half a cup at a time. Whisking as you go. As the mixture begins to heat up it will start to thicken from the rue (the melted butter and flour). After the milk has all been added and the mixture has properly thickened, begin to add the cheese, a handful at a time. If you add it all at once it will not combine properly. When the cheese has all melted nicely it is time to add the beer and whisk to combine. Let this sauce simmer (low heat, not bubbling violently), for about 10-15 minutes to cook off the alcohol. To finish it off, add a splash of worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and paprika to taste.


That's it!

Eat it all up once the sauce is done and the pretzel bites are cooked!



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