Soft Pretzel Nuggets with Beer Cheese Fondue

It's almost time for the Super Bowl... aka the best night of the year to eat snack food! I'm not a big football person, but I can always get excited for appetizers! Buffalo wings, meatballs, chips & salsa, anything wrapped in bacon... I can't wait for Sunday. Back before Christmas, my husband and I visited a new steakhouse here in Lima for his work holiday party. We ordered a few appetizers, and the one that stuck out was a beer cheese fondue with freshly baked pretzel balls. It was SO good, I knew I had to re-create it at home. Soft Pretzel Nuggets might be a little bit of work - but they are so worth it! Paired with a super simple Beer Cheese Fondue, these snacks will be a hit at your Super Bowl party.   IMG_5873   Start with the pretzel dough. Combine warm water, sugar, salt, and yeast in a stand mixer. Add flour and melted butter; mix to combine. Knead with the dough hook about 5 minutes until smooth. (You can also do this by hand, it will just take a bit longer.)   pretzel dough   Place in a greased bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.   IMG_5800   Divide the dough into 6 portions and roll each into a long rope. Cut into 1-inch nuggets. (At this point, you can freeze the nuggets if you want to work in advance. I highly recommend this!)  



  When you are ready to bake, bring a pot of water to boil along with 2/3 cup of baking soda. Boil the pretzel nuggets for 30 seconds, and then remove to a parchment-lined baking sheet. The boiling process is what gives soft pretzels their chewy texture. Brush with egg wash, sprinkle with salt, and bake at 450*F until dark golden brown, about 10 minutes.  


  While pretzels are baking, get started on your cheese fondue. It's really simple - a little diced onion, garlic, beer, and shredded cheddar! Cook the onion and garlic first, then add the beer and cheddar along with a little cream and stir until smooth. Such a great combo with the soft pretzel nuggets.   IMG_5870   They'd also be great sprinkled with cinnamon-sugar instead of salt. (Maybe with a chocolate dipping sauce??! YUM!)   IMG_5866   Looking for additional Super Bowl recipe ideas? Check these out! --------

Soft Pretzel Nuggets

Servings/Yield: about 75 nuggets
  • Pretzel dough
    • cups warm water, 110*-115*F
    • 2 teaspoons sugar
    • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
    • teaspoons instant yeast
    • cups all-purpose flour
    • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • To finish
    • 10 cups water
    • cup baking soda
    • 1 egg yolk
    • 1 tablespoon water
    • additional kosher salt
Method To make the pretzel dough, combine the warm water, sugar, salt, and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed to dissolve the yeast. Add in the flour and melted butter; mix just until combined. Switch to the dough hook and knead until the dough is smooth, about 5 minutes. (Alternately, if you do not have a stand mixer, you can stir everything together with a wooden spoon; then, knead by hand 6-8 minutes until smooth.) Place dough in into a greased bowl, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place, about 55-60 minutes or until doubled in bulk. Divide dough into 6 portions. Roll each into a long rope about 1-inch in diameter. Cut into pretzel nuggets about 1-inch long. (At this point, you may freeze the dough chunks on a baking sheet until firm; then store in a freezer bag.) When you are ready to bake the pretzels, preheat the oven to 450*F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Bring the water and baking soda to a boil in a large saucepan. Drop the pretzel nuggets (either fresh or frozen) directly into the boiling water; boil for about 30 seconds. Remove using a slotted spoon and place on parchment-lined baking sheets. Repeat with remaining pretzel nuggets. Combine egg yolk with water. Using a pastry brush, coat each pretzel nugget with the egg wash. Sprinkle with a bit of kosher salt. Bake in the preheated oven about 9-11 minutes until dark golden brown. Cool at least 5 minutes before serving. Source: adapted from Annie's Eats   

Beer Cheese Fondue

Servings/Yield: about 4 cups
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup beer
  • 4 cups freshly grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cream
Method In a saucepan, saute onion in butter over medium heat until soft. Add garlic; saute 1 minute more. Add beer. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low. Toss grated cheddar with flour; add to saucepan. Stir until melted. Stir in cream. Serve with soft pretzel nuggets. Source: adapted from Taste of Home

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