Soft Pretzel Nuggets with Cheese Sauce

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Pretty much anytime I’m in a mall, I’m about 50% focused on shopping. The rest of my brain is reserved for locating the nearest Auntie Anne’s and ordering pretzel nuggets with cheese sauce almost instantly (even better when I can sniff it out).

If I had known, all these years, that I could make an even better version of these at home, with pretty minimal effort, AND eat them within 90 minutes, I would have said “nuh uh, no way!”

Let’s just say Auntie Anne isn’t the only pretzel-baker in town anymore 😉

Note: I used dry active yeast, which requires an hour of rising time. You could use fast-acting yeast which only requires about 10 minutes…pretzels in mouth faster? hell yes.

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Melt butter, and set aside to let cool.

Add water and yeast to a large bowl. Stir and let stand for 1 minute.

Add the sugar, salt and cooled, melted butter, and mix to combine.

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Start adding in the flour, about a cup at a time, until the dough comes together and is only barely sticky to the touch. This took just over 4 cups for me.

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Knead the dough for 5 minutes. This is by far the hardest part of making these pretzels…I considered it my workout for the day!

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Form the dough into a ball.

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Place dough in an oiled bowl, and set in a warm place to rise for 60 minutes, until the dough doubles in size.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Line two large jelly roll pans with a silpat mat.

In a large stock pot, boil 9 cups of water with the baking soda.

Cut the pretzel dough into 6 sections, and form a rope with each of them, about an inch wide and 16 inches long.

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Cut each rope into 10 pieces (they’ll be about 1 1/2 inches each), so you have 60 pretzel nuggets.

Drop 10 pretzel nuggets into the boiling water, and cook for 20 seconds.

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Remove with a  slotted spoon and place onto jelly roll pan.

Continue until all the pretzel nuggets have been boiled.

Whisk together the egg and water, and brush atop each pretzel nugget.

Finally, sprinkle each pretzel with sea salt.

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Place in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes, or until the pretzel nuggets are golden brown.

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While the pretzels are baking, make the cheese sauce.

In a small pan over medium heat, melt butter.

Whisk in the flour continuously until it becomes light brown.

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Whisk in the milk, and keep whisking until it thickens slightly, about 4 minutes.

Add in the paprika and cayenne.

Whisk in the cheeses (yes we’re using american cheese, because it gives an unbeatable creaminess…you could use all cheddar if you must).

Remove from the heat and whisk until the cheese is fully melted.

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Try the cheese sauce and add salt and pepper as needed.

Once the pretzels are finished baking, remove from the oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes.

Once cool enough for consumption, devour immediately with cheese sauce.

Try your best not to eat the whole pan.

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Note: these can be frozen and reheated in the microwave (and then rolled in butter, and cinnamon sugar if you’re feeling fancy).


Adapted from: Chef Savvy

Makes: 60 pretzel bites

Prep: 10 minutes (plus 60 minutes resting time), Cook: 20 minutes, Total: 30 minutes, active (90 minutes total)

Pretzel Nuggets:

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 packet active dry yeast (or fast-acting)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
  • 4 1/4 cups all purpose flour, more if needed
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water

Cheese Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 6-8 slices white american cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • pinch of cayenne, more or less depending on your spice preference
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Melt butter, and set aside to let cool.

Add water and yeast to a large bowl. Stir and let stand for 1 minute.

Add the sugar, salt and cooled, melted butter, and mix to combine.

Start adding in the flour, about a cup at a time, until the dough comes together and is only barely sticky to the touch. This took just over 4 cups for me.

Knead the dough for 5 minutes.

Place dough in an oiled bowl, and set in a warm place to rise for 60 minutes, until the dough doubles in size.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Line two large jelly roll pans with a silpat mat.

In a large stock pot, boil 9 cups of water with the baking soda.

Cut the pretzel dough into 6 sections, and form a rope with each of them, about an inch wide and 16 inches long.

Cut each rope into 10 pieces (they’ll be about 1 1/2 inches each), so you have 60 pretzel nuggets.

Drop 10 pretzel nuggets into the boiling water, and cook for 20 seconds. Remove with a  slotted spoon and place onto jelly roll pan.

Continue until all the pretzel nuggets have been boiled.

Whisk together the egg and water, and brush atop each pretzel nugget.

Finally, sprinkle each pretzel with sea salt.

Place in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes, or until the pretzel nuggets are golden brown.

While the pretzels are baking, make the cheese sauce.

In a small pan over medium heat, melt butter.

Whisk in the flour continuously until it becomes light brown.

Whisk in the milk, and keep whisking until it thickens slightly, about 4 minutes.

Add in the paprika and cayenne.

Whisk in the cheeses (yes we’re using american cheese, because it gives an unbeatable creaminess…you could use all cheddar if you must).

Remove from the heat and whisk until the cheese is fully melted.

Try the cheese sauce and add salt and pepper as needed.

Once the pretzels are finished baking, remove from the oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes.

Once cool enough for consumption, devour immediately with cheese sauce.

Try your best not to eat the whole pan.

Note: these can be frozen and reheated in the microwave (and then rolled in butter, and cinnamon sugar if you’re feeling fancy).

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8 thoughts on “Soft Pretzel Nuggets with Cheese Sauce

  1. Oh my, I love this. One of my sisters lives in France and she is obsessed with Pretzels. Honestly, every time she comes she eats German Pretzels. We even thought of sending her some frozen ones in her suitcase but that doesn’t work of course. I will totally make these with her so she can do it at home!
    Greetings from the student kitchen,
    Johanna

    Liked by 1 person

    1. omg I hope you try them with her!! I’m pretty positive she’s going to LOVE them! It’s amazing how boiling in the baking soda water gives them that characteristic pretzel taste 🙂 let me know how it goes!! Thanks for stopping by

      Liked by 1 person

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