If you’ve been reading my posts here at Baby Gizmo for a while, you know my family recently moved to Freeport, Illinois. (Bring on the stalkers!) One of Freeport’s claims to fame is that it’s known as “Pretzel City, USA.” Seriously—it’s in the Wikipedia article. We have our own brand of pretzels, and may God have mercy on your soul if you try feeding your guests some Rold Gold or something. According to a sign in a local coffee shop, the high school mascot, The Pretzels, has been recognized by ESPN. I have an awesome sign in my front yard with a giant orange pretzel and the words “Pretzel Pride” on it. This sign is seriously one of my favorite things about living here. I’m sure you can imagine, then, how excited I was to learn that April 26th is National Pretzel Day! As always, there’s no better way to celebrate a food holiday than to make that food into as many delicious dishes as possible, so here are eleven twisty pretzel recipes!
Cookie Dough Pretzel Bites: This is one of my all-time favorite recipes and is so amazing that even Whole 30 friends are tempted to break their diet. Seriously, I don’t know enough adjectives to adequately describe the awesomeness of these treats.
Honey Mustard Pretzel Chicken: I love how versatile pretzels are; they complement a variety of recipes, both sweet and savory. Like this pretzel crusted chicken, for example! And while you can always substitute a store-bought honey mustard or honey mustard dressing for the one in the recipe, I strongly suggest making your own because this stuff is ah-mazing.
Parmesan Ranch Snack Mix: Whether you’re looking for a fun party recipe or a yummy after school snack, this mix is sure to please! (You could even send it to school with the kids, although I’d recommend omitting the nuts.) Also, I have discovered the most amazing tool for making microwave popcorn. It’s kind the type of one-use kitchen item I usually try to avoid, but it folds flat so it’s super-easy to store.
Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Knots: As much as I love a standard salted soft pretzel, I have to admit that I’m a sucker for the cinnamon sugar variety, too. While I’m a bit conflicted about calling these little bits of deliciousness “pretzels” because of their non-traditional shape, they are using a pretzel dough—plus cinnamon and sugar!—so I’ll let them slide.
Brie-Stuffed Soft Pretzels with Rosemary and Sea Salt: Well, look at that: pretzels get all grown up with fancy herbs and cheese! Great for kids with sophisticated palates—or for adults who aren’t quite done being kids yet.
Spinach, Artichoke, and Bacon-Stuffed Soft Pretzels: Another addition to the grown-up table! Not because of the rich filling, but because they’re beer pretzels. Yum, yum! And if you’re not up for making your own spinach artichoke dip, you can always substitute store-bought dip—just be sure to add the bacon. Otherwise, what’s the point?!
Pizza-Stuffed Pretzels: Okay, okay. One more stuffed pretzel recipe and then I’m done. Lest you think that all stuffed pretzel recipes are fancy, I bring you the pizza-stuffed pretzel. The recipe calls for pepperoni pizza fillings, but you can use whatever pizza toppings (stuffings?) you love.
Strawberry Pretzel Salad: For some reason, I associate the Midwest (and the 70s) with Jell-O salads. You know, the bundt-pan or ring shaped Jell-O molds full of weird stuff like carrots and/or fruit cocktail? Don’t worry, I’m not about to give you a recipe for one of those—but this recipe is for a “salad” that includes fruit-filled Jell-O, nonetheless. Hm. I’m not really doing this light, summery treat justice. Picture a pretzel crust with a sweet creamy filling topped with strawberry Jell-O filled with fresh strawberries. That sounds much better, yes? Anyway, it really is good, so just give it a try!
Pretzel Dogs: Speaking of summery foods, here’s a fun recipe for homemade pretzel dogs. These are great for picnics because, while they are delicious fresh out of the oven, they’re also tasty at room temperature and eating them doesn’t require utensils. And they’re great for kids because: 1) Hot dogs. Duh. 2) Food you can eat with your hands! And 3) They’re dippable. It’s like the perfect food.
Chocolate Pretzels: Um. I don’t even know what more to say besides the name of this dish: Chocolate. Pretzels.
Campfire Snacks: This isn’t so much a recipe as a fun idea, but I wanted to share it anyway. What a neat idea for a camping-themed party or play date! Or, if you’re really into cute food for your kids, any day.
Happy National Pretzel Day, everyone!