A few posts ago I shared parts of the road trip my husband and I took. When we stopped to visit with my godparents we enjoyed some local favorites of New Castle, PA. I was excited to try the local salad favorite which included french fries and lamb surrounded by a salad. I know you are asking, “French fries, in a salad? Doesn’t that defeat the whole purpose?” Well, don’t think about it that way. Think about it that we had a salad with a side of french fries! 🙂
Although the salad was quite wonderful, there was a different New Castle favorite that blew my mind. Soft pretzels dipped in hot fudge! I know what you are thinking here too…”Why didn’t I think of that?!” I LOVE those mall pretzels. Every time I’m at the mall I try to make sure I don’t walk past the food court luring me with the smell of soft pretzels. Every once in a while I cave in–but they do have a new honey whole wheat pretzel which is pretty yummy! But back to the hot fudge. If my blog had a different name, it would probably include hot fudge. Peanut butter and hot fudge together, now that’s the best combination.
Since you are probably drooling over your keyboard by now, I should probably get to the recipe for the soft pretzels we made the other day. They were delicious on their own, but magnificent when dipped in hot fudge–Mrs. Richardson’s Hot Fudge for that matter. Yum!!
Soft Pretzels with Hot Fudge
Recipe Adapted from: The Food Network
- 1 cup milk
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
- 2 tablespoons softened unsalted butter, plus more if you desire it for dipping
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup baking soda
- 2 tablespoons coarse salt, if desired
- Hot fudge
Begin by warming the milk in a saucepan until it reaches approximately 110 degrees. Pour the milk into your stand mixer bowl and sprinkle in the yeast. Let the yeast and milk stand for about 2 minutes. With the dough hook to the stand mixer, stir in the brown sugar and 1 cup of flour. Dice the softened flour and stir into the mix. Add the remaining 1 1/4 cups flour and the 1 teaspoon of salt. Mix with the dough hook until well combined. The dough should be slightly sticky. You may add more flour if still very sticky, just don’t over do it.
Shape the dough into a ball and place into a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise for about 1 hour until it doubles in size.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Grease a large baking sheet, or line it with parchment paper. Punch down the dough to deflate it, then turn it on to a slightly floured surface. Now you can mold the pretzels into any shape you would like. I made mine into nuggets for easier dipping. You could also choose sticks or take the time to make them into pretzel shapes. To create the pretzel shape: Divide the dough into 6 pieces. Roll and stretch each piece with the palms of your hands into a 30-inch rope, holding the ends and slapping the middle of the rope on the counter as you stretch. Form each rope into a pretzel shape: Divide the dough into 6 pieces. Roll and stretch each piece with the palms of your hands into a 30-inch rope, holding the ends and slapping the middle of the rope on the counter as you stretch. Form each rope into a pretzel shape: “Divide the dough into 6 pieces. Roll and stretch each piece with the palms of your hands into a 30-inch rope, holding the ends and slapping the middle of the rope on the counter as you stretch. Form each rope into a pretzel shape.”
Regardless of the shape, dissolve the baking soda in 3 cups of warm water in a shallow baking dish.Gently dip each pretzel in the soda solution and place on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with coarse salt, if desired.
Bake pretzel nuggets or sticks for approximately 8 minutes. Bake the pretzel shape for 10 to 12 minutes. With a pastry brush, spread melted butter over the pretzels, if desired.
Enjoy your pretzels the New Castle, PA way!!