I have an update on our yard glacier! I will post about it in the morning. Hurry and get your guess in for your chance to win $200 before the polls close!
The sun is shining today, but it is still only in the 30s. I stepped outside to get my cutie off the bus and was shocked by the wave of cold air that smacked me in the face. Goodness, SPRING! Where the heck are you?!
Onto these pretzels and the totally gooey cheese dip that I made last night. They are almost gone because my boys have been munching on them non-stop since the moment they came out of the oven. "Another pretzel, Mom. A big one, please."
And the cheese dip? I am trying to shed my winter pounds, so I had to really pull myself together after I took a few bites of this stuff. I limited myself to three bites. It was tough.
First, get the pretzels started!
(adapted from the Food Network.)
In a small saucepan, warm 1 cup of milk until it reaches 110 degrees F. This took less than 5 minutes, if you do not own a candy thermometer. Do not let the milk boil!
Pour it into a medium bowl.
Sprinkle one 1/4-oz. package of acrive dry yeast over the top.
Let it sit for 2 minutes.
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons light brown sugar (mine drowned in the milk before I could snap the pic!)
Mix until incorporated.
Cube 2 tablespoons of salted butter and soften it in the microwave.
Add it to the mixture and stir.
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon fine salt
Stir until a sticky dough forms. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, adding more flour if needed, until smooth (3 to 5 minutes).
Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a lightly greased bowl.
Cover the bowl and place it in a warm place until it has doubled in size, between 60 and 90 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
When the dough is ready, punch to deflate it and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough into 5 equal pieces. Roll and stretch each piece with your hands to form a 20- to 24-inch rope. Cut each rope in half, making ten 10- to 12-inch ropes.
Form each rope into a pretzel shape.
In a shallow dish, dissolve 1/3 cup of baking soda in 3 cups of hot water. Gently dip each pretzel in the soda solution, covering each one completely.
Arrange the dipped pretzels on the prepared baking sheets.
Sprinkle the pretzels generously with coarse salt. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, or until the pretzels are golden-brown.
In a small bowl, melt 8 tablespoons of butter in the microwave. Using a basting brush, spread the melted butter over the entire surface of each pretzel once they are out of the oven.
What should you serve with these soft, delicious pretzels, you ask? The jalapeño cheese dip I am about to share with you is a perfect match, and you can prepare it in 10 minutes or less (while the pretzels are cookin' in the oven).
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.
Add 1 diced jalapeño pepper and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until it is softened and fragrant.
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Stir until lumps form (this happens quickly, so have your milk ready).
1 cup milk
Whisk the mixture until the lumps are gone. Heat to boiling. Lower the heat and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
Remove from the heat and add:
Salt and pepper, to your liking
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (or whatever shredded cheese is hanging out in your fridge)
Stir until the cheese is melted.
Ding! The pretzels are done and both are ready to serve! ENJOY!