Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Game Day: Pepper-Jack Cheese Dip & Yeast-less Soft Pretzels

It's pretty obvious by this point that I love me some football! Sundays are a big deal in our house. I'm a big fan of the Sunday Dinner but on Game Day I like to take that to a whole new level.

Enter cheese dip.

Nothing beats a recipe that uses ingredients you have in your kitchen. I don't know about you, but I try to avoid the supermarket at any cost. This dip was made without stepping foot into a grocery store. I love it already. But it gets better.

Let's start with what you'll need to pull this gooey, golden yum-fest off....

1 cup of milk
1 1/2 tbsp of flour
2 tbsp of softened butter
1lb of pepper-jack cheese, shredded
3/4 of a block of cheddar cheese, shredded

First thing you'll want to do is make a rue with your butter & flour. This basically means you melt your butter in a pan & whisk your flour into it until it's a smooth, even consistency. Then, add the milk & continue to whisk. The milk should begin to thicken slightly & you'll notice a creamier, less runny appearance. Add in the cheeses & continue to whisk until the cheeses are incorporated & you have a smooth, thick consistancy. I then put mine into a porcelin baking dish & put it into a 375 degree oven for about 15 minutes, but you'll want to pull it out when it has some browning on the top. & you're done!

This dip is great with chips. But i was craving pretzels. Soft pretzels, specifically. The only problem was that I did not have any yeast, which I believed to be a requirement to make soft pretzels. Luckily, google had something else to say about that.

So, here is a recipe for an easy & tasty, flourless pretzel that compliments the heck out of our tangy, Pepper-jack Cheese Dip!

2 cups of all-purpose flour
3 tbsp of butter
2 tbsp of sugar
2 tsp of baking powder
1/3 cup of milk (I used a bit more than this. You can eyeball it...)
A pinch of salt
Sea salt (to top pretzels)
1 egg - beaten

Start by throwing your flour & butter into your mixer. Let this combine until mixture is slightly crumby. Add the rest of the dry ingredients. Add the milk SLOWLY until your mixture is wet. The dough should be damp but not sticky or dry. You can add more or less if your dough reaches desired consistency sooner.

You do not have to let dough rest or rise, you can immediately begin to work with it. I rolled the dough into narrow "snake-like" rolls & then trimmed 2-inch sections from the roll. This made small, bite-size squares but you can fashion the dough however you wish. Prepare your baking sheet with no-stick spray & place your prepared pretzels onto the sheet. Egg-wash the tops of the pretzels & sprinkle with sea-salt.

Pretzels will need to cook in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes but this will depend on the size of your pretzels.

Mine came out slightly pale in places but still tasted very much like pretzels are supposed to. they were also the consistency of pretzels inside which was interesting since they looked almost like little biscuits.  Considering the ease of these babies, they were TOTALLY a winner in my book.


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