Sunday, February 5, 2023

Baking Pretzel Bites and Tasty Jalapeño Beer Cheese Dipping

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Pretzel bites and Jalapeño beer cheese together as a tasty snack. PN/ Photo by Anayah L. Peterson

Baking Pretzel Bites To Satisfy Your Taste Buds

By Christopher Machine, Reporter

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 pkg.) Active Yeast
  • 7 cups Warm Water
  • 1/2 cup Honey
  • 3 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons Salt
  • 3 Tablespoons Baking Soda
  • 1 large Egg (beaten)
  • Coarse Salt (Preferably Kosher)
  • 6 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • 1 cup Sugar

When deciding what snack to sink your teeth into on movie night or a light snack while you’re studying, pretzel bites are high on my list of options. While store-bought pretzels are nice, there is nothing like making them at home. Both the ingredients needed and the tools required for making pretzels are basic and will more than likely be in your home already.

Directions: The ingredients for making pretzel bites are yeast, warm water, baking soda, a large egg, unsalted butter, salt (both coarse and fine) and all-purpose flour. Make sure you have plenty of time, as this recipe will take over two hours to complete.

First we’ll mix together the yeast and water to let the yeast activate in the water, then set it aside for a few minutes (I usually let mine set for about 5-10 minutes). While letting the yeast activate, mix together the flour and salt.

After letting the yeast mixture activate, stir the honey into it and stir the mixture intensely for at least 6 minutes or until consistent (If you have a mixer, you can use a dough hook to knead the mixture instead.)

Next you’ll want to transfer the dough into a large bowl (preferably lightly oiled or greased to make sure the dough doesn’t stick to the bowl when you remove it later,) cover the top with plastic wrap and let it rise for about 2 – 2 1⁄2 hours. Check on the dough halfway through the wait and push down on it.

After the wait, pour your remaining water into a skillet or frying pan and bring to a boil. Divide your dough into quarters, and roll them into ropes about an inch in length, and cut the ropes into half-inch “Bites.” This should leave you with about 2 1⁄2 dozen bites for you to enjoy.

To make sure that the bites hold their form, we’re going to boil them for just under a minute. Be sure to use a spoon (preferably a slotted one) when maneuvering around the boiling water so as to not ruin the bite’s shape. Remove the bite’s from the water and place them onto your baking tray.

In a separate bowl, beat your egg to make egg wash and brush over the pretzel bites with your wash. This will give the bite’s the brown crust associated with pretzels.

Sprinkle the pretzels with coarse salt and put them into the over for 9-12 minutes, or until the pretzels have browned.

Remove the pretzels, heavily brush them with butter and enjoy!


Jalapeño Beer Cheese is Tasty Dipping Treat

By Anayah L. Peterson, Managing Editor

AGES 21+ RECIPE

Ingredients:

  • One bottle of beer
  • 1 1⁄2 Tablespoons of minced garlic
  • 8oz. Gouda Cheese shredded
  • 8oz. Medium Cheddar Cheese shredded
  • 2 Tablespoons of cream cheese
  • 1 jalapeños, diced
  • 2 dashes of nutmeg
  • 2 dashes of black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Corn Starch

Beer cheese is extremely delicious to eat with pretzels, chips, bread and more. However, the dish is a delicate process because if rushed it will not come out right. I recommend blocks of cheese instead of a bag of shredded cheese. Shredding it yourself from a block makes it more finer and easier to melt.

Directions: In a small sauce pot, pour the whole bottle of beer and let it simmer for a few minutes on low. Once the beer is fragrant, add the minced garlic in and let that simmer in the beer until the garlic is fragrant. You should be able to smell it but avoid letting it steam. Add in your corn starch, jalapenos, cream cheese, nutmeg, and black pepper. Mix these ingredients thoroughly until the cream cheese has melted. Pour in handfuls of the shredded cheese and let it melt completely before adding the rest in. You must repeat this process until you’ve run out of cheese to add into the dip, which feels slow. Adding all the cheese at once will lead to there being an inconsistent texture throughout the cheese, and leaves “curds” of cheese in your mix.

When all the cheese is added and mixed thoroughly, let it sit to thick up a bit if you do not want liquid dip and serve hot with your food of choice for dipping.

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