Friday, May 16, 2014

Perfect Pretzel Bites and Cheese Dip

Hello again! Jill here, hacking my cute mama's blog to add one of my favorite recipes. These little pretzel bites have become a staple at our house.  I usually make them for a snack, but when my carnivorous husband is at work, I will even make a batch for dinner along side some carrot sticks and apple sauce. They have a thin, crispy outside, and perfectly chewy inside...The very thing that foodie dreams are made of. No joke.

The recipe comes from Mel's Kitchen Cafe...I love this blog. I like to think if we were neighbors, Mel and I would be very best friends.  Next time you have an hour, take a chance to look through her fabulous recipe index. I have never made anything from her site that I didn't love!

Mel has great instructions and a helpful step-by-step picture tutorial for putting the recipe together. I've probably made these 25 times (totally not exaggerating) in the last few months, and they turn out perfect every single time.

What's fun about these pretzel bites is that the variations are endless! I usually sprinkle some of them with cinnamon sugar after they come out of the oven. Kid love that! Last night, sprinkled some of my favorite Penzy's salad seasoning on before baking them and the flavor was amazing.

Every good pretzel needs cheese sauce for dipping. I'm pretty sure I've read it as a law somewhere...I'll get back to you on that one.  I have a basic recipe I use to get started, then throw in whatever different cheese I have on hand (Cheddar, Mozzarella, Swiss, fresh Parmesan, etc.)  to add a little zing!

1 Tbs Butter
1 Tbs Flour
3/4 cup milk
1/8 tsp garlic powder
Dash Worcestershire Sauce (up to an 1/8 tsp, but usually I just sprinkle a few drops in)
1 1/2 - 2 cups cheese, depending on what you have.  I always use at least 1 cup of cheddar, then add whatever else I have on hand. Be sure you take into account the strength in flavor of your cheese. If you have extra sharp cheddar, you'll need much less than if you are using medium.  

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and stir in flour to make a roux. Pour in the milk and stir until the mixture thickens. Stirring constantly, mix in cheese, Worcestershire, and garlic powder. Continue to cook and stir until cheese has melted and all ingredients are well blended, about 5 minutes. 

*** A helpful few tips***
- If you add your cheese and feel like your sauce is too thick, just add a little milk a teaspoon at a time until you get your desired consistency.
- Don't use pre-shredded cheese. these cheeses are typically coated with a flour/cornstarch mixture and don't melt well.
- If you want to add a little kick, sprinkle in a scant amount of cayenne pepper. My kiddos don't love it, so I keep it out. Or, use pepper jack cheese!
- Be sure to keep the heat at medium or even a little patient. All sorts of crazy things start to happen you get cheese and milk too hot. trust me!

Alright, go make your kids think you're the coolest parent around and whip up some of these pretzel bites.

See, proof that they rock. And my 7 year old doesn't give his stamp of approval to just anything!


Catherine said...

I can see your sons approval!
These would not last a NY minute in my home!
Blessings, Catherine

Cindy said...

Jill, thanks so much for sharing this yummy recipe. They look amazing. Jack looks like one happy boy. said...

Oh, Cindy! These look so tempting! It's almost midnight, and I am so craving some of your pretzels!

Debra Eliotseats said...

Thumbs up, indeed.

fromcalculustocupcakes said...

These look delicious! Thanks for sharing with Foodie Friends Friday.

NewMrsAdventures said...

This looks delicious! I would love for you share it on my Tasty Tuesday recipe link up here! Everything gets pinned and I would love to have you!

Jaren said...

These sound great! Love pretzels!

NewMrsAdventures said...

Thank you so much for linking up at Tasty Tuesday! Your recipe has been pinned to the Tasty Tuesday Pinterest board! Please join us again this week!