Saturday, February 4, 2017

buffalo & cheddar pretzels

 Hey, hi, hello! I saw these pretzels on Half Baked Harvest this week and scrapped my plans for a coconut cake to replace it with these!

These perfect pretzels would be a fantastic Super Bowl snack since they're incredibly easy, extra tasty, and super quick. In the time it takes for the dough to proof you can prep the rest of your snacks and have your kitchen clean! I, of course, am just imagining this in my head because I will actually getting my hair cut during the Super Bowl! Will I be the only person not watching, or do you also have other plans?

These pretzels are perfect, seriously. That's the very first thing I thought when I bit into one of these. Absolutely perfect! They're soft, loaded with flavor, and the most satisfying size for a small snack. I also want to note that the inside of the pretzels are brushed with buffalo sauce lending the tiniest bit of spice. You can add more sauce for dipping obviously, but I was so happy with the flavors that I found I didn't need any. 

Buffalo & Cheddar Pretzels

recipe from Half Baked Harvest

2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 packet active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly 
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 1/4 cups of AP flour**
1/2 cup buffalo sauce
12 cheddar cheese sticks, unwrapped
2/3 cup baking soda
1 egg, beaten
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
3 tablespoons poppy seeds
2 teaspoons minced, dried onion
2 teaspoons minced, dried garlic
2 teaspoons coarse salt

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook combine sugar, yeast, and warm water until just combined. Let stand for about 5 minutes to bloom.

Once yeast has bloomed add melted butter, salt, and flour** to yeast mixture and mix on medium speed until dough comes together and begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl to form a ball. 

Place dough ball into a greased bowl and cover with a towel. Let dough rest and rise until doubled in size, about an hour.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees and bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add baking soda to boiling water right before adding pretzels. 

Once dough has risen, remove from bowl and roll into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick on a clean surface. Cut dough widthwise into 12 even strips and brush liberally with buffalo sauce. 

Wrap each cheese stick with a strip of dough making sure the buffalo sauce is on the inside. Seal both ends. 

Boil pretzels 1 - 2 at a time for 30 seconds in the soda water. Remove pretzels with a slotted spoon. Place 6 pretzels each on two baking sheets covered with parchment then brush with the egg wash. 

Place sesame seeds, poppy seeds, onion, garlic, and salt in a small bowl and mix generously. Cover unbaked pretzels liberally in "everything" spice before baking. 

Bake pretzels for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. 

** Original recipe calls for 4 1/4 cups of flour. I recommend adding only 4 cups of flour and letting it combine before determining if the dough needs more. If it does, add a few tablespoons of flour at a time until you get the right consistency. 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

brown butter snickerdoodles + a secret ingredient!

Happy 2017 everyone! I hope your new year is off to a grand start, and that you're still excited about this new, fresh, exciting year! January is so motivating to me, and while I don't always follow through with my grand new year plans, it feels nice to reevaluate, organize, and reset.

Most of my plans for 2017 are large and a lot of them require getting out of my comfort zone and won't actually produce results until a little later. However, i'll be 30 this year (what?!?!) and that's made me a little introspective. My perspective on goal setting this year was, "what do I want my life to look like in the next 5 years", and I have some clear goals for both personal and professional areas.

What does all of that have to do with cookies? NOTHING. Not one thing! Ha! Maybe I can segue this blog post super gently into cookies by saying: if your resolution is to make super delicious cookies, this recipe will rock your world!

I'm sure you're just dying to know what that secret ingredient is, huh? Well friends, it's toasted PECANS. Yep, you read that correctly. Pecans! Toasty, fragrant, delicious, pecans that are pulsed in a food processor that add the best nutty flavor, especially when paired with the brown butter. 

I didn't realize that snickerdoodles were hit or miss cookies. Did you? It seems like people either love them, or they really don't. I am actually not a huge fan of snickerdoodles (give me chocolate chip any day), but I just couldn't pass on these cookies with the yummy extra additions so I gave them a try. I am so glad I did because not only are they delicious and impressive, but they're incredibly easy, too!

Brown Butter Snickerdoodles

2 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup whole pecans
1 cup oats
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

for rolling
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a heavy-bottomed metal pot brown your butter. If you've never done this before I use this post! Once it's browned pour the entire mixture into the bowl of your stand mixer to cool.

In a large skillet over medium heat toast whole pecans until lightly browned and toasted. 

Immediately transfer the toasted pecans to a food processor. Add flour and pulse mixture until nuts and oats and combined. 

Transfer oats and pecans to a large mixing bowl and whisk in flour, baking powder, and salt until well combined. 

Meanwhile in the stand mixer, add both sugars to the browned butter and mix well (about 3 minutes on high). Add in eggs one at a time until combined, then the vanilla extract. Scrape the sides of the bowl. 

Add in flour mixture to the wet ingredients beating on low speed until combined. 

Use a medium cookie scoop to form dough balls then roll in cinnamon sugar mixture. Place dough on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack then enjoy!