Ta-dah! As promised, carbs and cheese. This killer snack is brought to you courtesy of playoff season. Despite the fact that my interest in any pro sport has faded to basically non-existent, my mind still registers the timing of big games and, apparently, dreams of worthy game day fare. Even though I would rather be playing with the kids, reading, knitting, or some combination of the above, I am more than happy to partake in the the food festivities. And what is more typical football food than beer and pretzels?

I decided to take the classic combo up a notch by making filled pretzel rolls. So many fun filling ideas came to mind while brainstorming but in the end, I made three varieties for testing purposes: jalapeño popper, chorizo, and caramelized onion. (By the way, these are my much improved answer to the former filled pretzel bites, since removed from the site for unreliability. These do require a tiny bit more effort but have a much more consistent and successful outcome.) The fabulous thing about these is that the sky is the limit when it comes to fillings. We dipped these in a beer cheese sauce that was an excellent pairing for all three fillings.

I know that someone will ask about making these ahead of time. I have not tested any make ahead form of this recipe and suspect that, because of the filling factor, these are likely best made fresh. However, if I were going to try making them in advance, I would pull from my previous soft pretzel experience and make these up to the point of filling and shaping, then freeze. Once frozen, I would boil the dough balls directly from the freezer and then add a minute or two to the standard baking time. If you try this, please let me know how it works for you.  Make these a part of your weekend plans whether you will be watching the game, in a super cool knitting frenzy, or something even more interesting. They will be a hit regardless!

Ingredients

For the dough:

  • 1½ cups warm water (110-115° F)
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2¼ tsp. instant yeast
  • 22 oz. all-purpose flour (about 4½ cups) or 20 oz. white whole wheat flour
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • Vegetable oil, for greasing the bowl

For filling/topping: 
Chorizo

  • ¾ lb. chorizo, crumbled and cooked through
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt mixed with ¼ tsp. ground chipotle, for topping

Jalapeño Popper

  • 3 large jalapeños, seeded and chopped
  • 3 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
  • 3 oz. monterey jack, freshly shredded
  • Salt and pepper

Caramelized Onion

To finish:

  •  12 cups water
  • ¾ cups baking soda
  • 1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tbsp. water

For the sauce: 

  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 cup beer (wheat beer, blonde ale, pale ale, or pilsner suggested)
  • 2 cups shredded medium cheddar
  • 1 cup milk
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  • 01

    To make the dough, combine the water, sugar, salt and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Mix on low speed to dissolve the yeast.  Add in the flour and melted butter and mix just until the dough comes together.  Switch to the dough hook and knead on medium speed until the dough is smooth and clears the sides of the bowl, about 5 minutes.  Transfer the dough to a bowl lightly greased with vegetable oil, turning once to coat.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place, about 50-55 minutes or until doubled in bulk.

  • 02

    While the dough rises, prep the filling. (The chorizo and caramelized onion fillings are self-explanatory.) For the jalapeño popper filling, sauté the jalapeños in a bit of oil just until softened, about 5 minutes. Let cool, then combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  • 03

    When the dough has risen, divide into 24 equal pieces. (A kitchen scale makes this an easy job. My dough balls weighed about 40 grams each.) Work with one piece of dough at a time, keeping the rest covered with a clean kitchen towel. Flatten the piece of dough lightly, fill with about 1 tablespoon of the filling mixture, then form the dough into a ball around the filling and pinch securely shut. Place the ball seam-side down and repeat with the remaining dough balls.

  • 04

    Preheat the oven to 450˚ F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and grease lightly. Meanwhile bring the water and baking soda to boil in a large pot. Place the rolls into the boiling water, 6-8 at a time for 30 seconds. Flip once and boil 30 seconds more. Remove from the water with a slotted skimmer and transfer to the prepared baking sheet.

  • 05

    Once all the pretzels have been boiled, brush the tops lightly with the egg wash and sprinkle with their respective toppings. Bake in the preheated oven until dark golden brown, about 12-14 minutes. Let cool slightly before eating.

  • 06

    To make the sauce, combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Process 5-8 minutes, until thoroughly blended. Transfer the mixture to a medium saucepan and heat over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper as needed. Serve immediately.

  • 07

    Notes: 

    • Each filling recipe above makes enough to fill the full two dozen pretzel rolls. If you want to make less or make a variety, cut down the filling amounts accordingly. (Or make the full amounts and save leftovers for a killer omelette later.)
    • Always use freshly shredded cheese for best texture. Pre-shredded cheese is coated in anti-clumping agents such as flour or cornstarch that will result in a gritty texture when melted. 

Source

https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8580/15636586534_faa36c65a8_c.jpg
  • Kerry Cooks

    Ooh these look so good Annie – you’re right – it’s almost reason enough to watch football!

  • These look SOOOOO tasty! I’m a sucker for anything pretzel. Definitely pinning!

  • Oh my, that sauce!! Paired with these rolls this is total snack-time perfection :)

  • Pretzel + chorizo + cheese + jalapeno in a snack form = perfection.

  • Laura J.

    Seriously, best idea ever! Caramelized is my favourite!

  • Liz N.

    I love ALL the combinations! This will be a great addition to the Super Bowl menu (and during March Madness)!

  • I love how these are stuffed – so delicious!

  • Kelly Gerschefske

    I have a caramelized onion jam, would that work as a filling you think?

  • annieseats

    I don’t see why not. Enjoy!

  • Gah, I have a feeling I’ll be thinking about beer cheese sauce all weekend now. Going to have to make these soon!

  • This is some serious gameday food! Yum! I’m loving the fillings too :)

  • Tracy

    These look magically delicious! Great flavor combinations!

  • Kate Herrold

    Hi Annie, just want to note that the oven temp isn’t indicated in the recipe! I checked the pretzel bites recipe and just assumed it would be similar.

  • Drooling over the jalapeno popper filling. I think I could possibly look forward to the superbowl after all…

  • katie

    love seeing upland brewing represented!

  • annieseats

    Thanks Kate! Fixed.

  • Sara Marie

    These turned out better than I anticipated! I stuffed them with buffalo chicken dip that I made in the crockpot… For those of you who might want to make ahead: I prepared the pretzels up to the point of stuffing and rolling them into balls, placed them on a parchment lined baking sheet, covered with a towel, and put them in the fridge for about 3 hours until my guests arrived. I let them warm up about 15 mins before continuing with the boiling/baking – but it worked perfectly! I didn’t have to increase the baking time either.
    Thank you, Annie, for sharing a great recipe! My friends devoured them before they had ample time to cool! Now I just have to figure out what to stuff them with next time…

  • Cupcake

    I made these and its my very first time baking any kind of pretzels. The recipe calls for 3/4 cups of baking soda in 6 cups of water. I thought it was to much baking soda but i made it like that anyway. I turns out that as i thought you can absolutely taste the baking soda in a horrible way! I guess the quantities there must be some kind of wrong. Am i right annie? Or is it that i’m doing something wrong. Ps: pardon my english! Is not my native language

  • annieseats

    The recipe calls for 12 cups of water, not 6, so I’m thinking that was the issue.