This year, I googled “Savory Christmas Food Gifts” and I was super excited to find this recipe for Soft Pretzels. Although mine did NOT come out as full and cute as the ones pictured with the recipe, I can vouch that this recipe is tasty and spot-on. I’d never made dough before and it was really fun and easy.
After my mom and I had made the batch, she mentioned that pairing them with a sauce would make the pretzels even better. I had to agree. And even though I absolutely abhor cheese, I’m a people pleaser — and I know how tasty that combo is claimed to be! So I headed to the store with this cheese sauce recipe, and whipped up a batch. I bought Tillamook cheese, because … Tillamook!
Because our shapes were just a little off, and they happened to be bigger than what would fit in the containers I was planning to use, I ended up just using bright red lunch bags and scrapbook paper. It was easy-peasy and kept them looking homemade. (Atleast that’s how I justify it!)
Try this recipe! If you don’t have time during Christmas, this will impress on Game Day, too!
Pretzels (adapted from Taste of Home)
• 1 package (1/4 ounces) active dry yeast
• 1-1/2 cups warm water (110° to 115°)
• 4 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
• Coarse salt
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Add 2 cups flour, sugar and salt. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
- Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 minutes. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 425°.
- Divide dough into 16 portions. Roll each portion into a 15-in. rope. Fold each rope in half and twist two or three times; shape into a circle and pinch ends together.
- Place on greased baking sheets. Brush with egg white; sprinkle with salt or sugar. Bake for 12-15 minutes.
Makes 16 Pretzels
Cheese Sauce (adapted from Smells Like Home)
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
8 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (not package pre-shredded cheese – shred your own)
- In a small saucepan set over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and cook for 30 seconds, whisking constantly.
- Slowly whisk in the milk until no lumps of flour remain. Stirring constantly, bring the milk to a simmer over medium-low heat until it thickens, about 3-5 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the stove and stir in the shredded cheese until all of the cheese has melted. Add a pinch of salt, if needed.
Serve warm. Leftovers can be reheated in the microwave on medium power at 30 second intervals.