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Celebrate National Pretzel Day With These Munchies!

Who doesn't love to snack on good ol' pretzels? Chewy or crunchy, twisted or sticks, sweet or salty - there is a pretzel to satisfy the craving of every foodie.  

Did you know that the Catholic church may have something to do with introducing the pretzel during the early days? According to History.com, pretzels became a popular Lent fasting food during in the 7th century because it was made from simple, basic ingredients - flour, water and salt.

Pretzels were also purportedly served in wedding ceremonies during the 17th century, possibly the origin of the term "tying the knot."

With or without occasion, pretzels continue to be a favorite snack across the globe today. Justine of Cooking and Beer has a great recipe for soft pretzels that are just mouth watering!

Soft Pretzels with Spicy Beer Cheese Sauce. Courtesy: Cooking and Beer

Homemade Soft Pretzels with Spicy Beer Cheese Sauce (from Cooking and Beer)
1/2 cups lukewarm water
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 packet active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (more as needed)
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (more as needed)
1 tablespoon canola oil
2/3 cup baking soda
1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water to make an egg wash
coarse sea salt

Justine paired the soft pretzels with a yummy sauce made with beer, Cheddar, milk, hot sauce, cayenne, butter and flour.

If you'd rather have hard pretzels than chewy ones, you might want to try this pretzel rods recipe by Stephanie of Girl Versus Dough.

Homemade Hard Pretzel Rods. Courtesy: Girl Versus Dough

Homemade Hard Pretzel Rods (from Girl Versus Dough)
For the dough:
1 cup warm water (110 to 115 degrees F), divided
2 teaspoons light brown sugar, divided
1¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
1½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1½ cups bread flour
½ teaspoon salt

For the baking soda bath:
8 cups water
½ cup baked soda*
¼ cup packed light brown sugar

For topping:
1 egg whisked with 1 tablespoon water (egg wash)
2 tablespoons pretzel salt or coarse sea salt

Stephanie uses an interesting technique to make the pretzel rods hard. She poaches dough rods in the simmering baking soda bath before lining them in a baking sheet, topping them with egg wash and sea salt, and baking them in the oven.

Pretzel Turtles. Courtesy: Jo Cooks

If you're not in the mood to bake pretzels from scratch and would rather make something out of grocer pretzels, then this recipe is for you. Jo Cooks has a recipe for a salty-sweet treat that looks crafty but is actually a lot easier to whip up than you think.

Pretzel Turtles (from Jo Cooks)
35 whole pretzel twists
35 caramels
35 whole pecan halves
12 oz good dark chocolate, melted
1 tsp fleur de sel

This recipe is all about layering, so patience is the key.

Pretzel Turtles. Courtesy: Jo Cooks

TIP: Using a silicone mat will make it easier to take off the pretzel turtles from the pan after the chocolate has cooled.

Know someone who loves pretzels? Sharing is caring! :-)

Pretzel Turtles. Courtesy: Jo Cooks

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