Monday, February 4, 2013

Super Bowl Yums (Soft Pretzels and Chocolate Football Cookies)

        I hope you all enjoyed the Super Bowl! I myself had a lot of fun, and I was actually paying attention to the game this time.  You see, I don't really care about football, but this time I made a bet.  And I lost :(.  Whatever. 
        What better way is there to celebrate the Super Bowl than eating some good ole' American food? And by that I mean European soft pretzels.
        So, soft pretzels are really delicious and easy to make. There are a lot of flavor variations your can make, like you can dip them in cinnamon-sugar, sprinkle on some sugar, or wrap the dough around a hot-dog to make a pretzel dog.  I suggest serving it with just mustard. I was going to make my own mustard until I realized you have to make it ahead of time for the flavor to develop, so I used store-bought.  Mustard is actually really easy to make if you have mustard seeds and a blender.  There's some great info here.
        Soft pretzels are good for any occasion.  Is it someone's birthday? Give them a soft pretzel. Are you feeling sad, or celebratory?  Go to the kitchen and make soft pretzels, now.  I also find it perfectly applicable to the Super Bowl.
        Alton Brown actually adapted this recipe from a bagel recipe.  The processes and ingredients are really similar.  He featured the recipe on his show, "Good Eats," and there's a really helpful video of it here. I'm a big Alton Brown fan, and this recipe does not disappoint.  They just taste so genuine and are so soft and chewy.

Soft Pretzels

Makes 8 large or 15 smaller ones
Recipe adapted from Alton Brown


1 1/2 cups warm water (110-115*F)
1 tbs sugar
2 tsp kosher salt
2 1/4tsp active dry yeast (1 packet)
22oz all-purpose flour (about 4 1/2 cups)
1 tbs vital wheat gluten (optional)
2 oz unsalted butter, melted

10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
1 large egg yolk + 1 tbs water beaten together for egg wash
Coarse salt for sprinkling


  1. Mix water, salt, and sugar together in a large bowl.  Sprinkle yeast on top and let it sit like that for 5 minutes until it is frothy. 
  2. Add melted butter and flour and mix slowly until a dough forms. You can also use a dough hook on low speed if you have one. 
  3. Knead dough on a lightly floured board (don't add too much flour) until smooth and elasticy, about 10 minutes. Or use a dough hook for 5 minutes.
  4. Oil a bowl and add dough, flipping it over to coat in oil.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or moist towels and let rest in a warm place until doubled, 50-55 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 450*F and bring 10 cups of water and baking soda to a rolling boil in a large, wide pot. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly brush with oil.
  6. On a lightly oiled surface, split the dough into equal portions. 8 for large pretzels, 15 for smaller ones, or you could make a bunch of pretzel nibs about an inch long.  Keep the dough you aren't touching covered.  Pat a dough ball into a rectangle and roll into a tube, cylinder shape.  Roll out to a long rope with a width of about 3/4 of an inch.  You can shape these however you want.  To make pretzel shapes, make a U, cross the ends, and then twist and press the ends back into the U. 
  7. Place a few pretzels (as many as you can fit comfortably) into the boiling water.  Boil for about 30 seconds and remove with a flat spatula onto a wire wrack.  Repeat with all the pretzels. 
  8. Place pretzels on the baking sheets and brush with the egg wash.  Sprinkle with a bit of salt.  Bake in oven for 12-14 minutes, until dark golden brown.  Let cool on a wire rack 5 minutes before serving.  Enjoy!

        These are chocolate roll out cookies with royal icing decorations.  They are really cute and perfect for any football celebration.  It's good because the cookies are brown, and so are footballs!
        They stay soft and taste like really nice brownies.  Yum!
        To make the cookies softer, you can substitute 1/4c of the butter with shortening, but since I don't use shortening, I omitted that.  To decorate it, just use a basic royal icing recipe.  What I did was just beat 2 egg whites until frothy and then add confectioners sugar in until the consistency was right. 
        Wow, February is a busy month.  There are so many holidays coming up.  There's this, then Mardi Gras, Valentines Day, and Chinese New Year (which I have to handle on my own since my mom is going back to China for 2 weeks!)
        I hope you enjoy!

Chocolate Roll Out Cookies

makes about 3 dozen
adapted from All Recipes


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
 ½ tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
1tsp vanilla


  1. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
  2. In a medium bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the vanilla and eggs.
  3. Gradually add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until well combined.
  4. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for 2 hours or freeze for 1 hour.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375*F. 
  6. On a surface dusted with cocoa powder (or flour), roll out the cookie dough to about an 1/4 inch and cut into desired shapes (I just used a knife).  Place on baking sheets 1" apart.
  7. Bake for 8-10 minutes.  Let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and let cool completely before decorating.

No comments:

Post a Comment