Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Jalapeño Cheddar Soft Pretzel Bites

I love semi-homemade anything. I mean, what's there not to love? Homemade taste + easy breezy convenience = recipe for success. And these jalapeño cheddar pretzels surely won't disappoint... promise!

What's the secret to making these super easily with practically no measuring? Auntie Anne's Homemade Baking Mix! I picked mine up from A.C. Moore for all of $5. Surely you can make homemade mix, but the kit has everything you'll need for a basic batch of pretzels (or cinnamon-sugar if you're so inclined). Now, to jazz it up, I decided to go with one of my favorite summer combos - jalapeño peppers and sharp cheddar cheese.

(recipe is below photos)

Auntie Anne's Baking Mix (+ 6.5 cups of water total)
1/3 cup diced jalapeños
1 1/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar
Non-stick spray
Flour (for the kneading process)

1. Follow the instructions to prepare the dough per the box instructions (total, this should take about 40 minutes. 2 minutes for the yeast to activate, 5-7 minutes of kneading, and 30 minutes of rising)
- During the kneading process, pat the dough flat and spread the peppers and one cup of the cheese on top of the dough
- Fold the dough in half (encasing all of the 'filling' on the inside)
- Knead, knead, knead! Knead the dough until the peppers and cheese have been fully incorporated within the entire dough ball **Please note that the liquid from the peppers will make the dough SUPER slimy at first, you'll need to add more flour to whatever surface you are using - this will clear it right up!**
- Go back to the Auntie Anne's instructions which will include placing the dough in a warm area within large greased bowl covered by greased saran wrap
2. Once the pretzel dough has risen for about 30 minutes, flip the dough out of the bowl onto a lightly greased surface.
3. Preheat the oven to 400
4. Mix the enclosed baking soda with 4 cups HOT water and set aside
5. Using a plastic spatula or dough knife, cut the dough into long strips about 3/4inch to 1 inch thick
6. Cut the strip into little nuggets
7. Drop the pretzels into the baking soda and water mixture and quickly remove
8. Place pretzel bites onto greased baking sheet
9. Sprinkle with salt and place a bit of cheese on the top of each
10. Bake one tray at a time for 5 minutes.
11. Rotate the pan 180 degrees and increase the heat to 475. Bake for 2-5 minutes until golden brown.
12. Remove the finished pretzels from the oven, decrease the heat to 400 again (for the next batch) and place the pretzels on a cooling rack.
13. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container

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xo Jess

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