I know I’m a little late to the pretzel party, but you’ll thank me when you try these Soft Pretzels with Roasted Jalapeno White Cheddar Cheese Sauce.
I’m invoking the “better late than never” adage here.
You know those pretzel places at the mall? I think Auntie Anne’s is one of the more popular ones nowadays but growing up all of my mall pretzels came from Pretzel Time.
Or maybe it was Pretzel Maker. I can’t remember which. They were both mall pretzel places and my mother swore up and down that one was better than the other.
Obviously I couldn’t tell the difference because I can’t even keep the two straight.
When we were younger, my mother used to take us to the mall occasionally, usually for back to school shopping at ZCMI or JC Penny. If we were good, she would treat to a big, delicious, hot soft pretzel.
She would buy two, one for my two brothers, and one for me and her. (Just an fyi, I have more than two brothers and many many sisters, but they are not part of this story.)
My mother and I loved our pretzels buttered, with extra salt, and mustard.
Yes people. Mustard.
I had actually never tried a soft pretzel with cheese sauce until I was much older, maybe in high school.
Oh my delicious. Love at first bite. Truly.
I still enjoy a soft pretzel with mustard. Even if it is just for nostalgia’s sake.
But I am a huge huuuuge fan of soft pretzels with melty, gooey cheese sauce. And I’m an even bigger fan of this Roasted Jalepeno White Cheddar Cheese Sauce. Like one of the fans that paints their entire body the color of their chosen team and sports one of those foam #1 Fan fingers.
So I guess I’d have to paint myself white. With dark green specks. For this cheese sauce.
Wooooooh! Go cheese sauce!!
You get the idea.
I’ve become pretty fascinated with the whole idea of creating your favorite dishes from memorable places and times, right in the comfort of your home.
When it occurred to me that I could make mall pretzels at home, I bought yeast. Me! Yeast! Isn’t that incredible??
You all know how much I’ve dreaded learning to use yeast. Remember those incredible Quick & Easy No Yeast Cinnamon Rolls? They were seriously fantastic.
And yeast free.
This recipe put an end to my yeast fear. Or at least it lessened the fear. I don’t know if this really counts as a yeasty recipe. There’s really no rising time and the whole shebang is finished within an hour.
Does that count for a yeast-including recipe?
And tell me…
Am I losing my mind? Or does yeast make a hissing sound when you open the package?
I promise I heard a hissing sound when I opened the yeast package. Lets just say it did little to comfort me. I almost backed out.
I generally have a thing against using ingredients that hiss.
These pretzels were big and puffy and salty delicious, and so so good in the cheese sauce.
P.S. you must roast the jalapenos. It takes no effort. You just stick them in the oven while its preheating. Easy peasy. And it adds incredible flavor to the cheese sauce without igniting a mini bonfire in your mouth. So you can actually taste the pretzel.
If you want a little more heavy jalapeno flavor, definitely go with two peppers. And this recipe makes alot of cheese sauce. So don’t dip, scoop. There will be plenty I assure you.
Soft Pretzels with Roasted Jalapeno White Cheddar Cheese Sauce
- 2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted and cooled
- coarse sea salt
Cheddar Dipping Sauce
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 cup half and half
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1-2 jalapenos
- 8 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese
- 1 tablespoon flour
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with nonstick foil or parchment paper. While the oven is preheating, place jalapenos in the oven, right on the oven rack, and allow to roast and char slightly as the oven is heating up, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven, allow to cool slightly, and mince, removing and discarding core and seeds. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with paddle attachment, combine warm water and yeast. Allow to dissolve 2-3 minutes. Stir in sugar and salt. Mix on low speed and add flour in slowly. When flour is just combined into mixture, switch paddle attachment to dough hook and mix on low 4-5 minutes until dough is smooth.
- Roll dough into a short "log" shape and cut into 4 equal pieces (or smaller depending on how big you want your pretzels.) Roll each piece into a long rope and form a circle. Twist the ends of the rope once, pull down to the opposite end of the circle, and pinch ends into the dough to make them stick.
- Whisk together egg and butter and brush onto the tops of the pretzels. Sprinkle with sea salt. Bake about 10 minutes, then flip and bake another 5 minutes.
- While pretzels are baking, prepare sauce. In a medium saucepan, heat milk, butter, and flour, whisking until thickened. Stir in salt, minced jalapenos, and cheese. Serve with pretzels.
*Recipe adapted from Seph&Nat