1 hour, 17 minutes
Bavarian Pretzel Nibblers with Beer Cheese Sauce
Introducing Bavarian pretzel nibblers with beer cheese sauce! These delectable bite-sized treats are perfect for any occasion, whether you're hosting a party, enjoying a cozy night in or simply craving a delicious snack.
To craft these delightful pretzel nibblers, start by preparing the pretzel dough. In a large bowl, combine warm water, sugar and yeast, ensuring that the yeast dissolves completely. Then, add flour, softened butter and a touch of salt, mixing everything until a soft dough forms. After kneading the dough for 10 minutes, let it rest in a warm place until it doubles in size, becoming wonderfully fluffy and light.
Meanwhile, bring water and baking soda to a boil in a medium pan and preheat the oven to 375°F. Once the dough has risen, punch down the excess air and shape it into small, one-inch balls. These dough balls are briefly boiled in the baking soda water, which gives them their characteristic pretzel-like texture and golden color. After a quick sprinkle of salt and a small cut on top of each roll, they are baked to perfection in the oven, resulting in irresistible nibblers that are both tender and slightly crisp.
Now it’s time to prepare the beer cheese sauce. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine heavy whipping cream, sliced yellow onion, salt and pepper. As the mixture simmers, add a combination of shredded havarti and sharp cheddar cheese, whisking until the cheeses melt into a smooth sauce. To thicken, create a slurry, mixing corn starch with water, incorporating it into the cheese mixture along with Wernesgrüner Beer. The sauce continues to thicken as it is whisked gently over medium heat, ensuring a velvety consistency. Before serving, strain the sauce to achieve a silky texture, ready to be drizzled over the warm pretzel nibblers.
The combination of the warm and flavorful pretzel nibblers with the rich and indulgent beer cheese sauce is truly a match made in culinary heaven. The soft pretzel dough provides a satisfying chewiness, while the slight saltiness perfectly complements the creamy, tangy notes of the cheese sauce. Each bite offers a delightful contrast of textures and a burst of savory flavors that will leave your taste buds craving for more.
- For the pretzel dough: In a large bowl, combine warm water, sugar and yeast. Mix until yeast is dissolved.
- Add flour, butter and ¾ teaspoon of salt. Mix until a soft dough forms. Knead for 10 minutes. Use additional flour if dough becomes too sticky. Place in a bowl coated with cooking spray and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rest in a warm place until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
- In a medium pan, bring 6 cups water and baking soda to a boil. Preheat oven to 375°.
- Punch down the excess air from the dough. Break off 1-inch pieces and roll into balls. Dust with flour if dough becomes too sticky. Place on a parchment lined sheet tray coated with cooking spray. Cover with a damp cloth and rest in a warm place for 5 minutes.
- Drop each dough ball into boiling water, no more than 5 at a time. Cook for 30 seconds. With a slotted spoon, remove dough and return to parchment lined sheet tray spaced ½-inch apart. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and cut an X into the top of each roll. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for 5 minutes before removing from tray.
- For the Beer Cheese Sauce: In a medium saucepan, over medium heat combine cream, onion, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer; add cheese and whisk until melted. In a separate small bowl, mix together corn starch and water until dissolved. Add corn starch mixture and beer to cheese sauce. Continue whisking over medium heat until sauce thickens. Remove from heat, strain and serve immediately with warm rolls.
TIP: To make the cheese easier to shred, place in freezer for 30 minutes.
Recipe Courtesy of Chef Linsey, ALDI Test Kitchen