Archive | May, 2014

Soft Beer Pretzels with Beer and Sharp Cheddar Dipping Sauce

15 May



Ummm. What the?

This recipe is bananas. I created this monster recipe, and even I think it is ridiculous. Ridiculously awesome, that is.

Samuel Adams approached me a while back and asked if I would like to create a recipe using one of their beers (that are now available in Canada by the way.) So of course I jumped on board right away. There are three types of beer available in Canada at this point in time, which are Samuel Adams Winter Brew,  Latitude 48 IPA and The Boston Lager. I decided to go with the Boston Lager which is widely available, I’ve seen it in almost every liquor store I’ve been to recently, but I picked mine up at the one of the BC Liquor Stores.



I really wanted to make something that you could taste the beer in, and really complemented the flavor of the rest of the dish. I went back and forth on a few ideas and then finally I had the great idea of making these pretzels. Not only is there a beer cheddar dipping sauce, but there is beer baked right into the pretzels! I told you, bananas.

Also, this recipe is fairly straight forward but because I know some of you shy away from baking breads, I did a step by step with photos, to help you along the way. There’s 49 pictures, so lets get going…

Start by pouring one bottle of Samuel Adam’s Boston Lager, into a small pot over medium high heat.




It feels VERY wrong to heat up beer, but trust me, it’s worth it.

Heat it until steaming but not yet simmering. Remove from the heat for a minute or two, then add one package of active dry yeast.




Set aside to let the yeast work it’s magic.

Now in a large bowl, combine the melted butter, sugar and salt.




Now back to the beer/yeast mixture. It’s looking all frothy and weird, which in this case is just what we want!




Now add the beer/yeast mixture to the bowl with the butter/sugar/salt mixture.



And stir!

Now add about 3 cups of flour.



Mix it up with a spoon until it comes together into a sticky and stringy dough. It should look something like this:




Now pour the dough out onto a floured work surface, such as this:




It should look like this: (I’m really babying you guys here)




Now knead the dough for a good 8-10 minutes, until it forms a smooth and elastic dough (flour crop circles optional.)




Now set the dough ball into a greased bowl, flipping over so the whole surface of the dough is coated in a light layer of oil. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place, until doubled in size, about an hour or so.

You can use this time to clean your kitchen or watch an episode of  ‘The Real  Housewives of ____________’ (pick your poison.)




Whoa, this got big.




Now if you ended up watching TV, you should probably have a little leftover flour on your work surface from before. If you cleaned up like a crazy person, you’re gonna need to lightly flour your surface before turning it the dough out of the bowl.




The dough should be super airy and fluffy. Punch down the dough and then cut into 8 equal pieces.




Roll each piece into a ball.




Then roll the ball into a super long rope shape. Think making playdough snakes.




It really helps if the dough isn’t too floury here, it makes the rolling much easier.




Now take each roll and twist it into a half circle.




Then bring the ends up and around to make a pretzel shape!




FUN! Repeat with the remaining 7 dough ropes.




Now get a big pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil. Add a bunch of baking soda, this helps to get that pretty brown crust on the pretzels when you bake them. Without the baking soda, you’re just going to have a bunch of pretzel shaped bagels.




Drop one or two pretzels in the water at a time. Just cook for about 30 seconds before pulling them out.




Once they are done, remove them and place them on some paper towels to dry for a sec.




Repeat with the remaining pretzels.

Once they are all done the boiling process, place them on an oiled baking sheet. Crack one egg into a bowl.




And beat it!




Grab some coarse salt.




Now grab your pretzels, I only put 4 pretzels on one baking sheet to allow enough room for them to bake up.




Brush each with the egg wash.




Then sprinkle generously with the coarse salt.




All done!




Just kidding, we need to bake them first.

Stick them in a preheated oven (425 degrees)




And bake them for about 12-15 minutes. Until they look like THIS:








There is seriously nothing more satisfying than baking something that turns out perfectly, like these little babies.

Now leave them on a wire rack to cool while you make the beer cheese.


Heat half a bottle of beer in small pot over medium high heat. Drink the other half, obviously.




Again with the heating of the beer. Makes me feel bad inside.

Add some sharp cheddar cheese.



Cream cheese.




Dijon mustard.








And pepper!




Whisk all together till it’s melted, smooth and creamy…




Now chop up some parsley for color and freshness…




And add it right into the cheese sauce.




Holy moly this is wicked stuff. I don’t trust myself around things like this.

Now serve up a warm pretzel with a side of this delish beer cheese.




My goodness, these are good.




They are really not that difficult to make, just set aside a chunk of time and try them out! You will feel like a domestic goddess when they turn out perfectly.

You can really taste the beer in the dip and you get s slight hint of beer in the pretzel too.

Enjoy, Folks!


**This post was sponsored by Branding and Buzzing however all recipes and opinions are my own!**


Soft Beer Pretzels with Beer and Sharp Cheddar Dipping Sauce:

Makes 8 Large Pretzels

Total Time:

Total time where you’re actually doing things:


What you need:

For the pretzels

1 bottle (355 ml) Samuel Adams Boston Lager

1 packet active dry yeast

2 tbsp butter, melted

3 tbsp sugar

2 tsp salt

3 cups flour (plus extra for rolling and such)

2/3 cup baking soda

1 egg, beaten

1/4 cup coarse salt


For the Beer and Sharp Cheddar Dip

1/2 bottle Samuel Adams Boston Lager

2 cups grated or chopped sharp cheddar cheese

1 block cream cheese (250 g)

1 tbsp dijon mustard

1 tbsp honey

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley


What to do:

For the pretzels

In a small pot over medium high heat, add one bottle of Samuel Adams Boston Lager and heat until just steaming (not simmering or boiling.) Remove from the heat for a moment and once it reaches around 110 degrees, add the packet of yeast. Set aside for 5 minutes until frothy.

In a large mixing bowl add the melted butter, sugar and salt. Add the beer/yeast mixture and stir gently to combine. Add the 3 cups flour and mix with a spoon until it comes together into a sticky stringy dough. Turn out onto a well floured surface and knead for 10 minutes or so, until the dough is smooth and elastic. You can add more flour as you need. Form into a ball and place into a greased bowl. Flip the dough over so the whole surface of the dough ball is coated thinly in oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, loosely so it has room to rise, and set in a warm place until doubled in size, about an hour.

Once the dough has risen. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Punch down and then cut into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and then roll into long rope shapes, about 15 inches long. Form each rope into a pretzel shape.

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees and grease two baking sheets.

Bring a large pot of water (about 8-10 cups) to a boil over high heat, then add the baking soda. Boil 1 or 2 pretzels at a time, for 30 seconds. Remove to a stack of paper towels to drain. Repeat with the remaining pretzels. Set 4 pretzels on each greased baking sheet. Brush each with some beaten egg and sprinkle generously with coarse salt.

Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden! Remove to a wire rack to cool.


For the Beer and Sharp Cheddar Dipping Sauce

In a medium pot over medium high heat, add the beer, cheddar and cream cheese. Heat until smooth , whisking constantly. Add the dijon, honey and pepper and remove from the heat. Add the chopped parsley. Serve hot with the yummy Soft Beer Pretzels!

Enjoy, Ya’ll!

Simple Spinach & Garlic Rotini with Crispy Sausage

2 May

Good Morning Ya’ll!

I hope you guys are all having a wonderful Friday so far. I’m hoping I get a bit of a chance to relax this weekend, the last few weeks have been insane for me. I just really want to curl up with a book (ideally outside but the weather doesn’t seem like it’s going to hold up) and maybe have a Netflix marathon.

What do you guys have planned for the weekend?

Onto more delicious things, I made this pasta for you! I saw a similar recipe from Jamie Oliver a while back and it just stuck in my head. Finally when I went to look at the recipe I noticed it called for using the greens from garlic, which I had no idea where to get. So I decided to switch it up with just spinach and a bunch of garlic. I also decided to sauté the spinach rather than boiling it, to reserve some of the healthy nutrients!


The color of this pasta is amazing, if you didn’t know any better you would assume it was pesto. The flavor is much more mild than pesto but with a kick of garlic.


This recipe is super simple and comes together in less than 30 minutes so it makes for a perfect weeknight meal.


Enjoy, Folks!


Miss Delish asks:

Do you have a recipe that you’ve seen that you currently can’t get out of your head?

What are you up to this weekend?


Spinach & Garlic Rotini with Crispy Sausage:

Serves 4-5

Total time: 25 minutes

Total time where you’re actually doing things: 20 minutes

What you need:

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil plus 1/4 cup (divided use)
  • 1 bag washed baby spinach
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 box rotini pasta, cooked as per package directions and drained
  • 1 tbsp. fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1 lb Italian sausage (removed from casings)
  • 1/2 cup grated grana padano cheese (or parmesan if you prefer)

Heat a large, deep, sauté pan over medium high heat. Add 2 tbsp. of the olive oil until hot. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute until softened. Add the spinach and continue tossing until the spinach is soft and wilted. Season generously with salt and pepper. Transfer the spinach and garlic to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. While blending, slowly pour in the remaining olive oil until combined, set aside.

In a mortar and pestle, add the fennel seed and chili flakes, bash them up a bit to get the oils out. You can also use a rolling pin on a cutting board if you don’t have a mortar and pestle. Set aside.

In the same skillet as you cooked the spinach (if you’re lazy like me) set over medium high heat, add the sausage meat, and sauté until cooked through. Add the spices you bashed up, and stir to combine. Now continue cooking, stirring often to break into small pieces, until the sausage is super crunchy. This will take about 7-8 minutes.

When the sausage is cooked, remove it to a bowl, and add the pasta and sauce to the pan, toss and stir to coat completely. Add about half of the grated grana padano, and stir again to coat. Transfer to a serving dish or individual bowls. Top with the sausage and another sprinkling of cheese.


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