I know it’s getting close to Valentine’s Day and that means showering those closest to us with love in the form of chocolate, heart shaped things and unhealthy amounts of red food coloring. I also know that Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Bites don’t really fit into any of these Valentine’s Day food staple categories… not in an obvious way at least.
And that’s ok because these pretzel bites weren’t made to shower my family with love and affection. They were made so that my family would shower me with love and affection. You see, around here they have a name for the woman that helps with homework, cleans the dishes, does the laundry and stocks the fridge. That name is Mom.
But the woman who stands in the kitchen holding a plate piled high with bite sized nuggets of soft, chewy, cinnamony goodness goes by a different name – The-Bestest-Best-Most-Awesomest-Mom-Ever.
And that lady gets things. I’m not just talking about some extra hugs and kisses either. I’m talking about finding dirty dishes in the sink instead of everywhere else besides the sink, toys getting picked up before they are tripped over and only having to ask two or three times before the trash is taken out. The kind of behavior usually only seen in December when fear of being put on the naughty list is at it’s height.
Fair warning… These pretzel bites are not the kind of thing that you can just eat one or two of and stop. They’re the kind of thing that you will have eaten at least half a dozen of before you even get them on the serving plate and then you’ll keep telling yourself that this is the last one while you eat a half a dozen more. Only you still won’t be done…
Not until they’re all gone.
These pretzel bites are easy to make but they are a bit of a project so before you start make sure you have some extra time and counter space available. This is definitely not a last minute kind of recipe.
Once kneaded, the dough should be soft, smooth and stretchy. If you’re kneading by hand, add flour by the ½ tsp, using only enough to keep it from sticking to your hands and counter. It will start out kind of clumpy and sticky but after a couple of minutes you should see it start to come together. The more you knead it the more elastic and less sticky it will become. If you’re using a standing mixer, just attach the dough hook, add the ingredients and let the mixer do the rest of the work for you.
I’ve included two options for the baking soda/water bath that gives pretzels their signature taste. The first and easiest way is to pour the baking soda/water mixture into a large pan or dish and then let the pretzel dough pieces soak in the mixture for a few minutes. The second is to bring the baking soda/ water mixture to a simmer and boil the pretzel dough pieces for about 20 seconds each. This method will give you a stronger pretzel taste but it takes a little more time and attention.
Depending on the size of your pot or dish you may need to make some adjustments to the amount of baking soda/water solution you use. If you think you need more water, add two tablespoons of baking soda for every one cup of water.