Pretzel Nuggets with Whiskey Cheese
Anything served with cheese is an ultimate winner in my book. Beer Cheese?? faaagetabouttih. Call that a wrap! I would get a bath with beer cheese. Don't look at me like that.....like you wouldn't.....? But WHISKEY Cheese???? Have you ever heard such a thing???? Buckle your belts, kids.
But this isn't just any ordinary pretzel nugget - this is another spin off my favorite shot "pickle back" This is a pickle infused pretzel dough with a Jameson infused cheese.
I'll let your head wrap around that for a sec.
This is a pretzel dough I've always come back to - it makes the most light and airy, soft...pretzel dough. I only took out half the water and added kosher dill pickle juice. It was actually hard for me to NOT eat the dough. That's how good it smelled.
After the dough rises, I dump out the dough onto a lightly floured surface - I find parchment is always the answer to all my prayers...and I form the pretzel dough into ropes, cut and form into little nuggets.
And after the first bake - they get salted immediately. My fiance always rolls pretzels in his hands so all the salt falls off, he likes bald pretzels and I'm usually the one licking the tip of my thumb to press into the fallen salt to eat! What kind of person are you??
There are two bakes to this, first is a boil bath and then the second is the oven. The boil bath consists of water and baking soda - this gives the pretzels that outer twang shell that the good ol pretzel is known for. The boil bath only takes about 1-2 minutes. It's also quite fun because you'll feel like a scientist. Once the baking soda hits the boiling water it gets all bubbly and frothy! This would be a fun idea to do with kids!
Once baked - they become little golden sunsets. I mean come on, look at them
They come out so sooo soft and I truly believe the pickle juice has some sort of thanks for this, aside from the bread flour. Bread flour is oh so crucial - it requires a good knead but it is the reasoning behind the airy dough. (if you do not have a stand mixer, highly suggest you invest! It does all the hard work for you)
And onto the award winning cheese. The Jameson Cheese. You could do this one of two ways....You could buy a store bought cheese dip - but I would probably go more a nacho than a queso... & heat it up over the stove and add in your whiskey.. or....
follow my lead ;) The recipe is below.
Pretzel Nuggets with Whiskey Cheese
yield: 50-60 pretzel nuggets
prep time: 1 hour 10 minutes
cook time: 15-20 minutes
1 c very warm water
2 tsp granulated sugar or honey
pinch of salt
1 packet instant dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
3/4 c kosher dill pickle juice
3/4 c bread flour
3 1/4 c all purpose flour
4 Tbs melted butter, cooled
1/2 c baking soda (do not add to pretzel dough)
pretzel salt (do not add to pretzel dough, this is for topping)
Whiskey Cheese Sauce****
8 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded or cubed (I used Cabot)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
pinch of salt
3 Tbs heavy cream (add 1Tbs more if sauce is too thick, after adding whiskey)
1/8-1/4 c Jameson Whiskey (depending on how frisky ya feelin)
In a stand mixer combine your warm water, sugar, salt and packet of instant dry yeast. Let sit for 10 minutes.
Add in your pickle juice and then add your flours - 1/4 c at a time - mixing on low speed with a dough hook.
Just before you are done adding in your last 1/4 c of flour, add in the cooled melted butter.
Mix until dough is formed and does not stick to the sides of the bowl - about 10-15 minutes. If dough sticks to sides of the bowl, add in an additional 1/4 c of all purpose flour.
Let the dough rise at room temp, covered, for an hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Dump out your pretzel dough onto a lightly floured surface (I like to use parchment paper again here)
Cut your pretzel dough into sections and form into ropes. Cut the ropes into small chunks and form into pretzel nuggets. Place the nuggets on the parchment lined baking sheet.
Once all nuggets are formed, add the baking soda to the boiling water.
Add in pretzel nuggets, about 20 at a time, to the boil bath and cook for 1 minute. Take out nuggets using a spider or slotted spoon and place back onto the parchment lined baking sheet, salting immediately. Repeat until all nuggets have been boiled & salted.
Once all pretzel nuggets are done - bake for about 15-20 minutes until golden browned.
While pretzels bake - make your cheese sauce! ****Combine all ingredients EXCEPT the whiskey in a saucepan over medium heat until all melted and smooth. Turn heat to low, remove sauce pan from burner and add in your whiskey. Stir until well combine and add back onto the low heat, keeping warm until ready to serve!*****
When pretzels are done, serve right away with the Whiskey Cheese Sauce and ENJOY!!!
so, two pretzels are walkin down the street and one gets assaulted....