Inspiration comes at random moments.
I was in the kitchen with an open jar of peanut butter from the peanut butter cookies I had just finished making. I was cleaning out the freezer because we no longer have room for anything and I know there’s stuff buried inside that needs to be thrown away. While cleaning, I came across a bag of frozen soft pretzel dough which I had completely forgotten about (oops!).
This suddenly brought an image to my mind of one of my favorite childhood snacks, Combos, which are crunchy pretzel nuggets stuffed with various flavors like pizza, nacho cheese, etc. Since I had the peanut butter out, it made me think of peanut butter flavored combos (I don’t actually remember having peanut butter flavored one, but that is what I was picturing in my mind.)
And I suddenly thought, what about stuffing soft pretzel bites with peanut butter? I was so excited by the idea that I whipped up a batch of new pretzel dough, even though it meant using baking dishes I had just finished washing.
Later that evening, I watched tv while slathering the pretzel dough bites with peanut butter before rolling them back up. Then off into the oven they went.
These bites came out just as I imagined. I love the combination of soft pretzel dough with the peanut butter. I was a little worried when I cut into my first one because the peanut butter gets a little cooked, but it tasted delicious. I would have liked to stuff more peanut butter in each one, but then it makes it hard to close up the dough. These make a perfect snack. I am also submitting this post to Yeastspotting.
P.S. There is still a little time left to enter the oyster mushroom kit giveaway! Contest ends July 16, 2011 at midnight PST.
The soft pretzel base is adapted from Alton Brown.
|Peanut Butter Soft Pretzel Bites|
- 3/4 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water
- 1/2 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/8 tsp active dry yeast
- 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 ounce unsalted butter, melted
- 1/3 cup baking soda
- 1 egg
- peanut butter for filling
- Combine the warm water, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow it to sit for about 5 minutes. Add the flour and butter and using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead about 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl. Remove the dough from the bowl, and place the dough in a glass bowl oiled with vegetable oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
- Divide the dough into 8 pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 12 inch rope. Using a sharp knife, cut rope into 1 inch pieces.
- Take one piece of dough and flatten to a square/rectangle with your fingers. Then spread some peanut butter on about half of the square/rectangle (about 1/4 tsp of pb). Make sure you don’t reach the edges of the dough or else you can’t completely seal the dough. Seal the dough back up to resemble the piece you originally cut, so it looks like a soft pretzel bite. You can shape it a little between your fingers. Repeat with remaining dough.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
- Using a large sauce pan, fill with water. Bring the water to a boil and add the baking soda.
- Place the pretzels into the boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula. Place pretzels on baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silpat mat.
- Beat one egg. Brush the top of each pretzel bite with the beaten egg (I’ve found that using just an egg yolk wash creates a darker golden shiny exterior which I prefer. Sometimes an egg wash with egg white ends up being too pale). Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 6 minutes.