It is officially football season. I know it has been for a while but I am always a little late to the game (ha!). Anyway, as much as I love Buffalo Sauce and mozzarella sticks, sometimes they can be overdone. Football food doesn't always have to be from the freezer or from the refrigerated section of the grocery store.
Although homemade pretzels are time consuming, a lot of the time is rising time. They really are not difficult to make and can be quite fun for the kids too! I tested this batch a few way and found that the Pretzels can be made a head of time and frozen. I boiled, baked, and froze one batch. Just boiled the second batch and simply rolled, shaped, and froze the third batch. After reheating or baking, the results were all the same-fresh, warm delicious homemade pretzels!!! So if you are planning on making these for an upcoming party, go ahead and make them in advance! I also made a ton and froze them for quick after school treats!
Now let's move onto the beer cheese. I was recently introduced to beer cheese by my friend Clare and now I am obsessed! She was able to get the recipe from the restaurant, but after testing it it was no where near what we had tried. So I took it upon myself and tested beer cheese recipes for about a week (I have a rough job). I think I finally came up with a winner!
I used Kerry Gold's Aged Cheddar with Irish Whiskey, but any sharp cheddar will work. I also used Lagunitas IPA, but again any good quality IPA beer will work. I wouldn't suggest using Coor's or Budlight in this recipe as you will not get the same flavors.
Although amazing with warm homemade pretzels, if you do not have time to make them make this cheese! It is soooo delicious and would be incredible on bread or crackers. You will not be disappointed!
- 1 ½ cups warm water
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoons honey
- 1 package active dry yeast (2 ¼ teaspoons)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted
- 2 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 4 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- Vegetable oil
- 10 cups water
- ⅔ cup baking soda
- 1 whole egg
- 1 tablespoon cold water
- Coarse sea salt
- 2 cups (16 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 cups (16 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 ½ cups IPA Beer
- 2 teaspoons mustard
- 1 jalepeno , seeded and diced
- 1 ½ teaspoons garlic , minced
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ cup diced green onions , plus more for garnish
In a large bowl combine warm water and sugar. Sprinkle yeast on top and let sit for about 5 minutes until foamy.
In a separate bowl stir together flour and kosher salt.
Melt butter in a microwave safe bowl for 30 seconds. Add honey to butter and stir to combine.
Slowly add butter and honey to yeast, while mixing on low.
If using your mixer, attach the dough hook. If kneading by hand begin by adding flour with wooden spoon and switch to hand kneading once it gets too difficult to stir.
Gradually add flour to wet mixture. Knead the dough until it no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl and dough ball is smooth.
Remove dough from bowl, clean bowl, then oil it well with vegetable oil. Once again add dough to bowl and cover with a warm damp cloth and place in a dark corner in your kitchen to rise. Allow dough to double in size, about 1 hour.
Once dough has doubled in size, punch dough down and divide into 8 or 16 portions. On a lightly greased surface, roll each piece into an 18-in. rope and twist into a pretzel shape.
Bring water and baking soda to a rolling boil. Once boiling, add pretzels (one at a time) and boil for 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon or spatula and place on a lined baking sheet.
Brush pretzels with egg and sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Bake pretzels for 12-14 minutes and allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, add all ingredients and stir to combine.
Pour mixture into an oven safe 8x8 dish.
Bake until top begins to golden and is bubbly, about 20-25 minutes.