Cinnamon Pretzel Twists

Sometimes you just need something warm and doughy. When I get this feeling, I usually just make cookies.

But wait. This is ‘Merica! And here we don’t just do things the easy way! Oh wait. Well, we do, but these are really a great change from cookies. Yes, pretzels from scratch take a little more effort – but they are infinitely more impressive. Also it’s October and they are a perfect accompaniment to beer.

These are really great plain sprinkled with sea salt or brushed with butter and topped with cinnamon sugar. Dare to make these a little healthier with replacing 1/2 cup of the white flour with whole wheat.

What you’ll need:
2 Teaspoons active yeast
1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons warm water
1/2 teaspoon white sugar
3 cups flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
additional butter, cinnamon and sugar for sprinkling
For the bath:
1/8 cup baking soda
1 cup very hot water

Dissolve active yeast and 1/2 teaspoon white sugar in the warm water and let sit for 10 minutes until frothy. In a large bowl, mix together brown sugar, flour, and salt. Make a well in the center and add frothy yeast mixture like so.

Now it’s time to work all of it together to form a dough ball. Add water if it’s too dry, add flour if it’s too sticky. Knead for several minutes until all the ingredients are combined and it’s a nice consistency that stays together but still has a little elasticity. Form into a ball. Lightly oil a large bowl and dough ball and drape a damp towel over the top. Stick in an oven with just the light on (no heat) for an hour.

After the hour it should have doubled in size.

Next is the fun (ish!) part! Punch down the dough. Literally, punch it down. Slap it like it’s your dough bitch. Personally, I like to punch it then spank it.

Divide into 6 even pieces. Roll it into long ropes that are about the size of your finger. A little fatter is fine! Then twist it into a little rope. This takes a little time so I do it while I’m watching TV or listening to a podcast. You end up with something that looks like this.

Dissolve the baking soda in the hot water. Using a paper towel, dab the water onto every part of the pretzel twist you can see. Top and bottom.

For regular pretzels, sprinkle with rock or pretzel salt after the soda bath.

Bake at 440 degrees for 7 minutes. I always do a test batch of 1 or 2 pretzels, I recommend you do the same!

For cinnamon pretzels, brush liberally with butter while still warm. Sprinkle with desired amount of sugar and cinnamon.

Eat while warm or just pop in the microwave later on.

Double Ginger Cookies

There’s nothing as inviting on a cold day than warm cookies. Now that it’s almost that time of year again to break out the peppermint and nutmeg, I came up with this Double Ginger Cookie recipe to satisfy everyone’s craving for the holidays. Got a tummy ache because you couldn’t handle all those mashed potatoes on your plate? Pop a cookie in that fat mouth of yours. Don’t worry, you’ll get your body back come February.

Mine didn’t. But yours totally can!

So for this recipe you need to get a couple ingredients that you may not have on hand but are really cheap and easy to find anywhere. They are fresh ginger root, blackstrap molasses, and crystallized ginger.

Ingredients:

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 stick butter
1 teaspoon of finely chopped fresh ginger
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/8 cup molasses
3 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger

No other recipes ever tell you this. Don’t preheat your oven yet!
In a small bowl combine flour, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl cream butter, chopped fresh ginger, and sugars until fluffy. Beat in egg and molasses. Beat in flour mixture. Stir in chopped crystallized ginger.
Chill mixture for 1 hour.

Here’s two gingers chillin’ as well. Insert joke about me not having a soul here.

Now preheat your oven to 340 degrees. Roll dough into 1 1/2 inch balls and roll the top half in white sugar. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet.

Bake for 10-15 minutes.

I did a variation as well using marshmallows. Cut a large marshmallow in half and stick it in the middle of a larger cookie after 10 minutes of baking. Return to the oven for 2 more minutes.