Zesty Ranch Pretzels

Whether you need something tasty to munch on during the big game or
just an easy everyday snack, these Zesty Ranch Pretzels are the perfect choice!
Warning: They are very addicting and very delicious!

Zesty Ranch Pretzels--Warning: These are really, really addicting!! I’m happy to announce that I spent the better part of the last four days watching the NCAA basketball tournament.  At the same time, I’m sad to announce that I’m already out of Warren Buffett’s Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge.  Continue Reading »

Stuffed Pretzel Bites + Homemade Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

THESE ARE AMAZING!  Perfect for gameday appetizers!  Stuffed Pretzel Bites with Homemade Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

I’m a pretty big sports fan.  By pretty big sports fan, I really mean a die-hard, crazy, live-for-Saturdays-and-Sundays kind of sports fan.  And like any true sports fan, I love a good gameday appetizer.  I’ve been loving the pretzel craze that has swept the country lately, and the other day I decided the time had come to make some Stuffed Pretzel Bites as a tasty gameday treat.  I added some shredded smoked cheddar cheese and then just sealed the little bites up.  Ummm…woah!  These little bite-size nuggets are totally delicious!!  And to make it even better, I whipped up a quick Homemade Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce using Colman’s Mustard.  These tasty treats have quickly raced to the top of my all-time favorite appetizer list!  And the best part?  They’re surprisingly very easy to make.

THESE ARE AMAZING!  Perfect for gameday appetizers!  Stuffed Pretzel Bites with Homemade Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

Several weeks ago, I entered a mystery ingredient contest.  The rules were pretty simple.  A mystery ingredient would be mailed to me, and I then had to create a recipe using that ingredient.  I was admittedly a bit nervous about participating in this one.  What if I opened the box and the ingredient was something wild and crazy?  What if I had no idea what to do with it?  As it turns out, I didn’t have to worry about that.  I opened up the mystery box to find…Colman’s Mustard!  I immediately knew that pretzels had to be involved somehow.  After all, pretzels and mustard just go so darned well together.  After a bit of experimenting in the kitchen, I ended up using some of the dry mustard in the actual dough to boost the flavor.  And I also whipped up an easy honey mustard dipping sauce using some of the same Colman’s Dry Mustard. These Stuffed Pretzel Bites are not only easy to make, but they’re also super tasty.  Pretty much a win-win if you ask me!

THESE ARE AMAZING!  Perfect for gameday appetizers!  Stuffed Pretzel Bites with Homemade Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

Disclaimer: Colman’s Mustard supplied the mustard to me at no cost, but the recipe and opinions are entirely my own.

Stuffed Pretzel Bites + Homemade Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

Yield: 32 pretzel bites

Ingredients

    For the Pretzel Dough
  • 2.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ Tbsp brown sugar
  • ½ Tbsp Colman’s Dry Mustard
  • 1 packet (2 ¼ tsp) active dry yeast
  • 7/8 cup warm water
  • For the Soaker
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 Tbsp baking soda
  • For the Pretzels
  • Coarse salt
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup smoked cheddar cheese, shredded
  • For the Dipping Sauce
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp Colman’s dry mustard
  • 1.5 Tbsp honey
  • ½ Tbsp brown sugar
  • ½ tsp cider vinegar
  • Pinch cayenne pepper

Instructions

  1. Using a countertop mixer with the dough hook attached, combined all of the dough ingredients (flour, salt, brown sugar, Colman’s dry mustard, yeast, and water). Mix on medium speed for 6 minutes.
  2. Transfer dough to an oiled bowl. Cover and place in a warm (85°F) location for 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the soaker by combining the boiling water with the baking soda. Mix until baking soda has fully dissolved, and set aside to cool.
  4. After 30 minutes, divide the dough into 8 pieces of equal weight. Allow dough to rest uncovered for 5 minutes, then roll each piece of dough into a rope about 18” long. Cut each rope into 4 pieces of equal length. Roll each piece flat with a rolling pin, fill with ½ Tbsp of shredded cheese, and then fold the edges over and pinch together to create the bite.
  5. Place pretzel bites in the Soaker mixture for 2 minutes. (If the mixture does not cover the top of the bites, then just spoon some of the mixture over the top of each bite.) Transfer the pretzels to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with coarse salt, and allow the pretzels to rest for 10 minutes uncovered.
  6. Bake at 475°F for 9-10 minutes, or until pretzels are golden brown in color. Remove pretzels from oven and brush with melted butter.
  7. To make the Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce, combine all of the ingredients (mayonnaise, Colman’s dry mustard, honey, brown sugar, cider vinegar, and cayenne pepper) in a small bowl. Stir vigorously until mixture is smooth.
http://spicedblog.com/stuffed-pretzel-bites-homemade-honey-mustard-dipping-sauce.html

Bavarian Bacon Melt

I’ve really been loving this soft pretzel/pretzel bun craze lately.  And now that the weather is getting cooler, I crave hot sandwiches pretty much every day for lunch…and sometimes dinner, too!  So when Hidden Valley Ranch asked me to create a sandwich idea using their new Sandwich Spreads & Dips, it didn’t take me long to figure out what to make!  A delicious, cheesy chicken sandwich on a homemade pretzel bun!  (If you’ve never made pretzel buns before, check out this recent post…it’s easier than you think!  The only difference was I doubled the size of the roll and shaped it into a hoagie roll rather than a round roll.)  Not only does this sandwich have a tasty bun, but it’s loaded with all sorts of deliciousness inside, too!  We all know that bacon makes everything better (even donuts!), so I had to throw a couple pieces of bacon in there.  I chose the Smoked Bacon Ranch sandwich spread flavor to really give this sandwich some serious bacon oomph…and I’m not lying one bit when I say this might be one of my new favorite sandwiches!

In addition to the Smoked Bacon Ranch flavor that I used on this craveable Bavarian Bacon Melt, Hidden Valley Ranch also has three other tasty Sandwich Spreads & Dips: Country Herb Ranch, Oven Roasted Garlic Parmesan, and Spicy Chipotle Pepper.  Man, my brain is pretty much going into overload right now just thinking of all the fun sandwich combinations I can come up with using these spreads!  Forget the plain old turkey sandwich…my lunches just became more fun!  These spreads are packed with flavor (not to mention that they are much lower in fat and calories than mayo).  Hidden Valley Ranch used cream cheese and white beans to create these sauces!

If pretzel buns aren’t your thing, then try using these spreads on your favorite sandwiches.  I’m thinking the Oven Roasted Garlic Parmesan would be delicious on an Italian coldcut sandwich.  Or just slice up some carrots, celery, and broccoli and use the Country Herb Ranch as a dip.  (Talk about a not-so-bad-for-you lunch.)  Either way, these tasty spreads are sure to spice up your sandwich routine!

Hidden Valley’s line of new Sandwich Spreads & Dips will take your boring sandwich routine to another level. With new flavors like Spicy Chipotle Pepper and Oven Roasted Garlic Parmesan, your mouth will be thanking you and you’ll be on your way to delivering sandwich-envy.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Hidden Valley Ranch. The opinions and text are all mine.


Bavarian Bacon Melt

Yield: 2 8" hoagie sandwiches

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 pretzel hoagie buns (homemade or store-bought)
  • 2-3 Tbsp Hidden Valley Ranch Smoked Bacon Ranch sandwich spread
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked
  • 4 slices Muenster cheese

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, combine together the mustard powder, salt, and pepper. Rub this mixture on both sides of the chicken breasts. Grill chicken on outdoor grill or indoor grill pan until fully cooked, about 4-5 minutes per side.
  2. Meanwhile, spread the Smoked Bacon Ranch spread on the bottom side of the top buns.
  3. Place cooked chicken breast, 2 pieces of cheese, and 2 slices of bacon on each bottom bun. Top with the top bun and serve warm.
http://spicedblog.com/bavarian-bacon-melt.html

Candy Corn Pretzel Sticks

Easy Halloween Treat!!  Candy Corn Pretzel Sticks It’s almost here!  Halloween is just over two weeks away.  Have you figured out your costume yet?  I know we’ll have all sorts of ghosts, witches, and NFL players trick-or-treating at our door.  But before that happens, there will be Halloween parties galore with neighbors and co-workers…and I couldn’t be more excited!  Halloween is one of my favorite holidays of the year.  There’s something about this spooky day that lets you embrace your inner kid again.  You mean I can dress up in a full gladiator costume and no-one will think it’s strange?  Awesome!  (and yes, I do have a full Roman gladiator costume.  Don’t ask why.)

Easy Halloween Treat!!  Candy Corn Pretzel Sticks One of my favorite Halloween candies is the classic candy corn.  Don’t get me wrong…I love all the mini-chocolate bars, too.  But candy corn will always be near the top of the list for me!  (And here’s a little secret: Even though I buy all that Halloween candy for the kids who will come trick-or-treating, I’m pretty sure I eat more of it than they do.  I’m pretty sure my wife figured out this little trick years ago, though.)

Easy Halloween Treat!!  Candy Corn Pretzel Sticks This little tasty treat features the classic candy corn…and it’s really quite simple to make.  The saltiness of the pretzels goes quite well with the sugary sweetness of the white chocolate and candy corn.  (While the recipe calls for melted white chocolate, I’ve also used vanilla candy coating/candy quick…which makes this treat even easier to make!)  Since these snacks can be made in just a few minutes, they’re perfect for neighborhood Halloween gatherings and parties with co-workers.  They’d also be perfect if you need a festive treat for your kid’s class!  (And yes, I may have eaten all of these myself. That just means I need to make more next time, right?)

Candy Corn Pretzel Sticks

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces white chocolate or vanilla candy coating/candy quick
  • 1/3 cup candy corn
  • 10-12 large pretzel rods
  • yellow and orange sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Cut each piece of candy corn in half length-wise. Set aside.
  2. Using either a double-burner or a microwave, carefully melt the white chocolate or candy coating. Transfer the melted chocolate into a tall glass. (This will make it easier to dip the pretzel rods!)
  3. Dip the pretzel rods into the chocolate and place on a parchment-lined sheet pan.
  4. While the chocolate is still hot, place the halved candy corn onto the pretzel rods.
  5. Garnish with yellow and orange sprinkles.
  6. Let cool for 1-2 hours, or until chocolate is hard. Store in an air-tight container at room temperature.
http://spicedblog.com/candy-corn-pretzel-sticks.html