I don't know about you guys, but the last few times I have been to the mall there has been NOTHING cool to speak of. I mean, seriously, nothing is even worth trying on. Last time, Piggie and I drove almost an hour to get to a decent mall and didn't get a single thing. Stopped at Target on the way home- found a dress within eight seconds. Not to mention the Target sunglasses, purse, books, dinnerware, make-up, chocolate, and etceteras that I am currently basking in. Seriously, it just gets better and better every time I go there.
Every night I pray to God that he will someday give me the courage to hide in a rack of clothes during closing time so I can stay there ALL NIGHT.
I can tell you one thing. When that does finally happen one day, they will find their supply of Choxie chocolate severely depleted by morning. Or non-existent.
But getting back to how much I hate the mall, I have to say, there is no way that any lack of coolness could ever completely keep me away from that wasteland. You know why?
Mall pretzels. That's why. They're just SO GOOD. So buttery and warm. So chewy and soft. So salty and delicious. But, since I'm not wasting my life there so much these days, I decided I would have to make my own. If anything, they could only be better. I mean, I hate when they hand you one that's been sitting there five hours and you just want to say, "Excuse me, my good sir, but I just spent my last few bucks on this instead of buying a pair of earrings on clearance. The least you could do is give me one that's been made this century."
Anyways, they WERE better. They were just like Auntie Anne's only you can eat them right out of the oven. So hot that you burn your fingers. Plus they take less than two hours to make. Can't beat that.
It starts out with some dough.
You must roll them thin. Very thin. The more Auntie Anne-ish you want them to be, the thinner you will roll them.
Then dip them in some baking soda and water. That's what really makes it into a pretzel. It gives it that chewy brown crust.
Someone was hungry. That's what the bowl says. And it was true. So I worked fast.
Sprinkle on some salt. The bigger the better. I had Kosher which worked marvelously.
Then the big secret is dipping them in butter at the end. Now you know they must be as good as I'm making them out to be.
Like seriously good. And if you want cinnamon sugar ones, just mix together a little cinnamon and sugar and dip the pretzels in in right after you dip them in the butter. If you want something to dip them in, I just used the extra dipping butter and mixed it with a handful of powdered sugar and a splash of milk to make a little icing. Waste not want not.
Then serve them on your really cute Target plate as seen above.
Note: Some people have said in comments that they needed to add 3/4 cup more flour. I have made these several times and have never found this to be the case, but if your dough is way too wet, you should probably try it.
Auntie Anne's Pretzels: Copycat Recipe
Makes 12 Adapted from Food Network
2 cups milk
1 1/2 tablespoons (2 packets) active dry yeast
6 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons butter, melted
4 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons fine salt
1/3 cup baking soda
3 cups warm water
8 tablespoons butter, melted in a shallow dish
Warm up the milk in the microwave or on the stove for just about one and a half minutes. It should be about 110º. If it's too hot it will kill the yeast. You should be able to comfortably keep your finger in it. Stir in the yeast and let it sit for about 3 minutes. Add the butter and sugar. Add the flour about 1 cup at a time and the add the fine salt. Kneed for about 10 minutes with a stand mixer, or by hand. Put it in a greased bowl and cover with greased cling wrap. Let rise for 1 hour in a moist, warm place until doubled in size. Preheat the oven to 450º. Punch down dough and divide into 12 lumps (I like to divide it in half, then divide each half into three, and then divide each remaining one in half again). Roll them all out as thin as you can. Combine the warm water and baking soda in a wide bowl. Form the dough into pretzel shapes, then dip in the baking soda water. Place on a greased baking sheet and sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake for about 7-11 minutes or until browned. Dip each in the melted butter while hot. Serve with cheese sauce.
For Garlic Cheese Sauce:
(A Yammie original)
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
3 cloves minced garlic
1 cup milk
1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
a pinch cayenne pepper
8 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded (Not pre-shredded. Do it yourself.)
In a saucepan, combine the butter, flour, and garlic over medium heat. Whisk until lightly browned. Whisk in the milk, paprika, and cayenne pepper and continue whisking until thickened. Add the cheese and whisk until melted. Can be reheated in the microwave.
Now if you liked these, you'll love these pretzel buns which sprouted from the same recipe!
If you feel like being cool, follow me on Facebook. And check out my new Etsy shop too. Good day.