These pretzels are the kind of thing you want to curl up with when it's cold outside, tuck into while the wind howls or the rain comes down.
But, they are also good on a cool spring evening, and they are so irresistible I imagine they would be good anytime, really.
A couple of months ago, I watched a big bowl of these get eaten at a party, one after another, until the party was practically over and almost everyone had left.
The few of us still there kept eating until the pretzels were gone, too. It was sad when the bowl was empty and we had to drive home.
A week later, on a carb-craving evening, I accidentally drove to the grocery store and bought the ingredients. It was a night when I was pretty sure there'd be a snow day the next day.
There was, and I slept in late after sharing half a batch of these with S. I put the other half batch of dough in the freezer and had them for dinner last week. When S objected, I explained that it was just like eating pizza, nutritionally. He relented and finished off his half.
You can find the recipe here. Courtesy of Bobby Flay and the Food Network. Thank you, Bobby. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. These pretzels made my winter. And my spring.
The darker pretzels you see above are ones from the first time I made them. I followed the recipe exactly, and they came out tasting like a pretzel. This may not seem strange to you, but I mean, they tasted like a pretzel! I had never made my own pretzel before.
The pretzels you see in all of the other pictures are Linda's variation. She was the one who made them the first time I had them. They are shaped into fat little sticks, perfect for dipping into the cheese sauce. Instead of 3/4 cup of baking soda, I just sprinkled a bit in, as did she. Her cheese sauce was thinner (she didn't measure-so maybe more milk or less cheese?), too, and instead of the egg wash, I brushed the tops with melted butter, as did Linda. The result is less pretzel-tasting, but mouth-watering. I suggest you try them both ways, as you are sure to make these more than once. Cup O' Cake Designs' Chrissy made them recently after her husband raved about them, and you can see her post here.