Saturday, February 25, 2012

Soft Pretzel Bites

I've had this recipe for a while now and I've been dying to give it a try. This isn't my first time making Pretzels so I knew this recipe was gonna be really good. These remind me of the soft pretzel at the movie theaters that comes with a cheese sauce. This also included a cheese sauce but I didn't have any cheese in the fridge, which was a bummer cause I love dipping these babies in cheese. But it's also good alone. I actually love dipping it in mustard too. 

Good to make for parties or for these lazy days you just wanna lay back and watch a movie at home. If you love soft pretzel you will not be disappointed with this recipe, so give it a try!

Homemade Soft Pretzel Bites with Cheese Sauce


1 1/2 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp kosher salt
2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
22 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 4 1/2 cups
2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
Vegetable oil
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
2 tbsp butter, melted
Pretzel or Kosher salt


In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the water, yeast, sugar, and salt on low speed for 10 seconds.  Switch to the dough hook and add the flour and butter.  Mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl and transfer it to a well-oiled bowl. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and set it in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an wide 8-quart saucepan or roasting pan.

In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope. Slice each rope into 1-inch pieces.  Place a lightly damp towel over the pretzel pieces to prevent them from drying out while you roll and cut the other pieces.

Using a slotted spoon lower a handful of the pretzel pieces into the boiling water and boil them for 30 seconds, flipping them around in the water with the spoon a couple of times. Remove the pretzel pieces from the water using the spoon, drain as best you can, and place them on the baking sheets. Brush the top of each pretzel with the melted butter and sprinkle with the pretzel/Kosher salt. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 10 – 12 minutes. Brush with remaining melted butter before serving. Serve warm.

Cheese Sauce:


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)
Kosher salt


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.

Source: pretzels adapted from Alton Brown; cheese sauce is a Smells Like Home original

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Deep-Dark Double Chocolate Fudge Brownies

Tis the season to eat chocolate!

Well that's stupid we should always eat chocolate all year round! Don't you agree? 

Okay what you see here is all oh so gooey and oh so good. These brownies are the most darkest, richest, moist recipe you will ever bake. I baked them in a 9" x 9" inch pan. They came out pretty thick. So next time I'm gonna try a 9" x 13", so they will come out a bit thinner. So they can come out more like bars and less like cake. Not that there's nothing wrong with some cake! ^_^

This is by far the gooiest, darkest Chocolate Brownie Recipe I have ever made. Instead of milk chocolate I use bitter and semisweet chocolate cause I like to balance out the favors. This was a super fast recipe to prepare. I was surprise by how fast it all came together. I was in and out the kitchen in no time. The coffee is there to enhance the favors of the chocolate, so if your not a fan of coffee it's no big deal. You can bake them without the coffee and just substitute with 2 teaspoons of water. But I have to say you have got to try it with coffee. It makes a big differences.

Now the kitchen smells like chocolate and my belly is doing a happy dance. Bake these!

Deep-Dark Double Chocolate Fudge Brownies

  • ⅔ cup Double-Dutch Dark Cocoa, or regular cocoa powder
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 1 cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 tbsp espresso powder
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • ½ cup bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp water or brewed coffee (cooled)

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa, sugars, salt, flour, espresso powder, and chips. Add the eggs, oil, vanilla extract and water or cooled coffee, mixing just until smooth. Spoon the mixture into a lightly greased 8 x 8", 9 x 9", or 9 x 13" square pan, smoothing the top. I used a 9 x 13" baking sheet fully lined with parchment paper for easy cleanup.

Bake the brownies in a preheated 350°F oven for about 25 minutes (for the 9 x 13" pan), 35 minutes (for the 9" pan), or 45 minutes (for the 8" pan). To see if the brownies are done, remove the pan from the oven, and stick the tip of a sharp knife into the center of the brownies. Wriggle it around just enough to see what’s going on. Is the batter under the crust still shiny, wet, and smooth? Continue to bake the brownies, checking frequently. Is it ultra-moist, but not shiny, and “crumby” looking? Take them out, they’re done.

Place the pan of brownies on a cooling rack, and allow them to cool for 1 hour before slicing. 

Source: adapted from King Arthur Flour,
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