Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Salty, Crafty, and Sweet Christmas {Soft Pretzels... Move over, Auntie Anne's}

The inspiration and recipe for these comes from over here.
Sarah's blog has been one of my favorites for years.  You really need to check out her family-friendly recipes at cooking on clover lane.  Every one I've tried has been delicious.

These pretzels exceeded my expectations.  They are fabulous.  But let me give you a little pep talk first.  For those of you who are afraid of yeast, like I was, and still kind of am... do not be afraid.  When I look at a recipe and see yeast, for some unknown reason, it stresses me out.  I always assume it's going to be more complicated than it is.  If you have a Kitchenaid mixer, this recipe is a snap.  

Here are two things I learned after making my first batch of pretzels.
1.  A teaspoon is a teaspoon and not a tablespoon.  In my first batch, I used 2 1/2 tablespoons of yeast, instead of teaspoons.  Just so you know, they turned out just fine, but were a little yeasty (for lack of a better word) tasting.  Imagine that.
2.  Parchment paper is not the same as wax paper.  Yes, I  sort of knew that, but apparently, when there are 5 little boys running around the house and I'm trying to think, I think thoughts like, "Well, I'm sure there's only a minor difference between wax paper and parchment paper."  When my oven started smoking, I realized my mistake.

Batch 2 turned out perfect.  Since I didn't have parchment paper, I just sprayed my cookie sheets with cooking spray.
This is the finished product.  Yum!  The boys and I ate batch one as a snack, the yeasty ones, without a problem.

I think it's helpful to measure the water temperature.  But my hot tap water was 110 degrees.  Now I know that.

Just let your mixer do the work for 8 minutes.

Put in bowl and cover to let rise.

In about an hour, it looks like this.

Cut in 12 pieces.

Let your kids have a blast making long ropes of dough and form into pretzel shapes.

Deep concentration.

Graham made most of them. 

He really got into it.

This is how they look after your dip them in butter and sprinkle them with salt.
Just like you're at the mall.  Minus about $30.

 Cry Cry tried to make pretzels.

He wanted to do it all himself.

Poor baby.

He wants to be a big boy so badly.

We delivered ours to some friends in the neighborhood. 
It was a good way to pass those lovely hours right before Daddy gets home.

Now go make some pretzels.  I promise, it's fun.
Craft day is tomorrow.  I've never been much of a crafty mom, so I'll let you know how it all goes.


Melissa said...

I love crycry, and how you get him! and i am suspicious at those beautiful pretzels...are you sure your boys made them?

thethomfamlee said...

Mmmm..those pretzels were wonderful and even better now seeing Cry Cry's efforts.

Lori said...

Sweet Nathan! His face expresses his frustration perfectly!! I'm going to have to try this with my kiddos.

Jen said...

Yum! Those look awesome, I'm trying those soon! And crycry...oh he is the sweetest. He would get along so well with Gravy. :)

Angie said...

Made these today! They were amazing!