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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Pretzel Bites with Beer Cheese Dip

I love recipe swaps. It is a wonderful thing to be given a blog and told to make a certain recipe. Even better - when I get to pick the recipe that I get to make from the blog. Jenna is a lot like me. She didn't start cooking until college and has had mishaps of her own. I love that she is a woman on a mission in the kitchen. She has a wonderful eye for recipes and I honestly had a hard time picking which recipe to make - thank goodness I took my phone into a department store while waiting in a thirty minute line to return a gift. It did not take me long to decide that I positively would be making these bites. 

This recipe sounds more complicated than it is - and the pretzels are absolutely delicious. The beer cheese dip I adapted a tiny bit to fit my tastes. The garlic, beer, and cheese perfectly blended together and the whole really was greater than the sum of the parts. The Steelers may have been a man down on Sunday, but this recipe definitely did score. For fun, I leave you with a picture of our mayor making good on his bet loss. 
Mayor Luke Ravenstahl tebowing - fulfilling his bet with Denver mayor. 

Pretzel Bites
4 tsp active dry yeast 
1 tsp white sugar 
1 1/4 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C) 
5 cups all-purpose flour 
1/4 cup white sugar 
1/4 cup brown sugar 
1 1/2 tsp salt 
2 Tbsp butter, melted 
1/2 cup baking soda 

4 cups hot water 

In a bowl dissolve the yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in warm water. Set aside. (Mixture should become foamy, if it doesn't your yeast may be bad or your water too hot) 

In the bowl of a standing mixture fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour, sugars, and salt on low speed. Turn off the mixer and pour the yeast mixture and melted butter into the bowl. Turn the mixer on and knead for 8 minutes or until the dough is smooth. If the dough is too dry, add extra water, a tablespoon at a ti

Lightly oil a large bowl. Remove the dough from the mixer and shape into a ball. Place the dough ball in the bowl, cover with a clean towel, and allow to rise for one hour (*or until double in size). 

Towards the end of rising, preheat oven to 450 degrees and prepare baking sheets with parchment paper and cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine the hot water and baking soda. 

After the dough has risen, punch down the dough and then knead with hands for one minute. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and divide dough into 12 even portions. Roll each portion into a snake then cut the snake into bite size pieces, about 1 1/2 inches in width. 

Dip the pieces in the baking soda water and place on the baking sheet (dab the pretzels with a paper towel if they seem too wet) then sprinkle with kosher salt. 

Bake for 7-8 minutes, until browned.

Beer Cheese Dip
6 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup good quality beer  
1/2 tsp garlic powder 
1/2-3/4 cups cheddar cheese, grated

Microwave cream cheese for 30-45 seconds until very soft. Stir in the beer, horseradish, and garlic powder. Microwave again for 30-45 seconds. Add the grated cheese and stir until smooth, microwaving again if necessary.

Pretzel Bites - Adapted from and Sunny Side Up in San Diego 
Beer Cheese Dip - adapted from Jenna’s Cooking Journey, originally seen in Sunny Side Up in San Diego 


  1. These look so good. I would have thought making pretzels was a difficult task. I'm glad it isn't. It's great to have you back in the swaps!

  2. how much horseradish? its not on the ingredients list for the beer cheese.

  3. Hey Sarah! If you'd like to add horseradish, you'd add a tablespoon. Hope that helps!


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