This snack reminds me of college. After a night out, my friends and I would always make a stop to WaWa to pick up subs and snacks to help combat some of the fun we had earlier in the night. WaWa has these delicious Jalapeno Cheese pretzels that I would get every time.
Sometimes I would have to sweet talk the manager into making me one because they didn’t have any ready, and weren’t about to start making them at 2 in the morning.
I either had a lot of charm (what I tell myself) or they just wanted to get us out of the store (what is probably the reality). Either way, I would get my pretzel, and that is all that mattered!
Soft pretzels make an incredible snack. Most of the time when I head to a sporting event, I make sure to get one with plenty of mustard to dip it in. Instead of mustard, though, I made a creamy, spicy pepper jack sauce to dip them in because, obviously, cheese makes everything better.
Soft Pretzel Bites with Pepper Jack Dipping Sauce
adapted from Two Peas & Their Pod
makes a lot of bites & 1 1/2 cups sauce
For the Pretzel Bites
- 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 4 Tbsp melted butter
- 1 1/2 cups very warm water
- 4-5 cups flour
- 2 1/2 tsp salt
- Vegetable oil (for the bowl)
- 12 cups water
- 3/4 cup baking soda
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp water
- Coarse Sea Salt
For the Sauce:
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 Tbsp flour
- 3/4 cup milk
- 10 oz shredded pepper jack cheese
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the yeast, brown sugar, melted butter and warm water. Stir well, and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
- Add 2 cups of flour and 2 1/4 tsp of salt to the yeast mixture. Mix ingredients with a dough hook until well combined. Add an additional two cups of flour and continue to mix. Your dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl and not be very sticky at all. If the dough is still too wet, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it comes together. Knead using the machine for about 5 minutes.
- Knead the dough by hand for another minute, forming it into a round ball. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, turning to coat the top of the dough. Cover with a clean towel, and set in a warm place to rise for about 1 hour, or until dough has doubled in size.
- After dough has risen, divide it into 8 equal size portions. Roll each portion into a thin rope, about 20 inches long. Cut each rope into 1 inch pieces.
- Meanwhile, boil the 12 cups of water. Add the baking soda to the boiling water.
- Boil the pretzel bites in batches for 30-45 seconds.
- Remove the pretzels from the boiling water, and place on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
- Beat the egg with 1 tsp of water until well mixed. Brush the top of each pretzel with the egg wash and sprinkle with the coarse sea salt.
- Bake pretzels in a preheated 425 degree oven for 14-16 minutes, or until they are browned.
- To make the dipping sauce, melt the butter in a heavy sauce pan. Add the flour, and whisk to combine. Let the flour cook for 1 minute.
- Slowly whisk in the milk. Continue whisking until milk thickens. Add cheese and continue to whisk until cheese is melted and sauce is smooth.