White Chocolate Mummy Pretzels

October 27, 2016

 

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Oh ho ho! It’s getting close to my favorite holiday! No not Thanksgiving – not that I’m not thankful or anything…I am. But….I’m talking about Halloween! Whats not to like? You get to dress weird, drink booze and eat candy for dinner. In fact all of that fun stuff is encouraged. That is my kind of holiday! These White Chocolate Mummy Pretzels will be a welcome addition to all of your Halloween festivities. Quite tasty and maybe a bit more on the cute than scary side of things, they will prove to be very popular with all of the ghosts and ghouls your encounter on All Hallow’s Eve.

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Dogs can have white chocolate right?

Halloween actually has Celtic origins. Our modern Halloween celebrations are derived from the Celtic holiday of Samhain. Samhain was Celtic New Year. It was a harvest festival which marked the dying of the sun-god and a turning to the colder, dormant half of the year. On this night, the Celts believed the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead was at its lowest point. The dead could more easily travel back over to our side, and if we weren’t careful, we could accidentally wander over in to their world and be trapped-a good reason to stay close to home and bonfires, no doubt! This belief likely gave rise to our Halloween legends of ghosts, ghouls and witches wandering about on this night in particular. Oh and I shouldn’t forget mummies. Yup they’ll be about too.

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These treats are very easy to make. Just melt your chocolate in a double boiler. Use a spoon to pour chocolate over 3/4 of the pretzel rod. Tap the rod lightly against the side of the bowl to shake off any excess chocolate and then just add the eyes and bandages. I actually made it a bit harder on myself because I was convinced that I didn’t want to eat those candy eyeballs which come oh so conveniently in a pack from the store. No, I decided it would be a good idea to use and upside down white chocolate chip for the white of the mummy’s eyes and then add a mini M&M for the iris bit. Well, that required me to whittle the pointy bit off of 40 chocolate chips so that they would sit flat on the mummy’s face, then stick the M&M to the chip with a bit more melted chocolate and finally to draw the pupils onto the M&M with an edible marker. Yeah….store bought candy eyeballs would have probably worked just fine! Oh well, live and learn. And you can benefit with the knowledge of my travails. Though the M&M eyes are pretty cute, you gotta admit…

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White Chocolate Mummy Pretzels

  • Servings: 18 - 20 Mummy Pretzels
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe from: Lets Dish Recipes

Ingredients:

  • 18-20 pretzel rods
  • 12 ounces white melting chocolate (such as Ghirardelli)
  • 40 white chocolate chips*
  • 40 mini M&Ms*

Directions:

Melt chocolate according to package directions. Dip pretzel rods into white chocolate, or use a spoon to coat, covering about 2/3 of the pretzel. Gently tap pretzel rod on the side of the bowl to remove excess chocolate.

Place two candy eyeballs on each pretzel rod (if they slip off, let the chocolate set for about a minute first). Place on waxed paper to set. Repeat with remaining pretzels. Or if you want to spend a bit more time fussing over them, place white chocolate chips upside down on the mummies for the whites of their eyes. You will likely need to whittle the pointy bit off of the top of the chip so that it sits flat.

Carefully spoon remaining chocolate into a pastry bag, zip-top bag or squeeze bottle. If using a bag, snip of a small corner. Drizzle white chocolate over the pretzels to form bandages, being careful not to cover the eyes, to resemble a mummy. If using mini M&M’s for eyes, squeeze one drop of chocolate on each M&M and stick it onto the white chocolate chips you placed earlier. Use an edible marker to add the pupil of each eye in the center of the M&Ms. Let white chocolate set completely before serving.

Enjoy!

*You can just use store bought candy eyeballs if you prefer.

White Chocolate Mummy Pretzels brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

Links to Useful Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for White Chocolate Mummy Pretzels:

Wilton Candy Eyeballs

Ghirardelli White Chocolate Melting Wafers

Still looking for additional spooky Halloween treats for your festivities? Take a look at some of my past Halloween offerings.

Yeasted Irish Barmbrack Bread (traditional Halloween/Samhain)

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Irish Tea Barmbrack with a Whiskey Honey Glaze (traditional Halloween/Samhain)

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Soul Cakes (Traditional Halloween/ Samhain)

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Halloween Cookies & Cream Owl Cupcakes

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Mini Mummy Brownie Bite Cupcakes

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Pretzel Ice Cream Pie

September 16, 2016

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Pretzel Ice Cream Pie! What can I say…Another winner from the Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook! All you pretzel lovers out there need to sit up and take notice because this decadent dessert packs quite the pretzel punch. First let me tell you about the the crust. Well it’s made of magical Pretzel Crunch which is pretzels crumbled up with butter, sugar and malt powder. Crunchy, buttery, sweet & salty bliss! I found it to be nearly as addictive as the Cornflake Crunch that I encountered when I made those Milk Bar Cornflake Marshmallow Chocolate Chip Cookies. So yeah, I probably could have just sat there and gobbled up all of the pie crust then and there, but thank goodness I was able to control myself because this glorious pie shell is filled with this unbelievably delectable Pretzel Ice Cream. Now this isn’t vanilla ice cream that has some pretzel pieces thrown into it. Oh no. This is pretzel flavoured ice cream, made with pretzel infused milk, which I had no idea was even possible. But it is! And once you’ve tasted it, you’ll be hooked! This ice cream is very rich, sweet and salty and has a deep malty pretzel flavour. It  feels amazingly smooth and creamy in your mouth. Chef Tosi attributes this texture to using gelatin rather than eggs when making the ice cream base. The only thing I added was a drizzle of dark chocolate over the top of the pie. Truly the best ice cream pie I’ve ever encountered!

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Now I’m not going to lie to you, making this pie was a good deal of work. I certainly wouldn’t just happen to make one on a whim. As with most Chef Tosi recipes, you actually have to make a couple of recipes for ingredients before you can make the dish you are actually trying to create. And then there are always some odd ingredients that you may need to order online before you get started. With this particular recipe I had to turn to amazon to get glucose. I know, there is a notation that you can substitute corn syrup for glucose, but I have definitely learned a couple of things while working with the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook. You have to follow those recipes closely or you will be disappointed. To that end, I am leery of substituting anything. I stick with the ingredients Chef Tosi intended be used and measure all ingredients exactly using a scale. If you are rather slap dash in the kitchen, I admire you but your success will likely be somewhat fleeting. But those with an eye to detail who are happy to plan ahead, will be fully rewarded with the abundance of mouthwatering morsels to be found in this magical cookbook.

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So I suppose that this Pretzel Ice Cream Pie is more of an occasion dessert. I originally made it for the husband’s birthday. Loving pretzels and sweet & salty combinations, he was very pleased.

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I can definitely see serving this for a non-traditional Thanksgiving Day dessert. I’m sure a few folks out there are a bit weary of good old Pumpkin Pie. Or it would be very welcome at a big Super Bowl party. Whatever you do, find some time to make this amazing treat. It is soooo worth it!

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Pretzel Ice Cream Pie

  • Servings: One 10 inch pie 8 - 10 servings
  • Difficulty: easy but many steps and recipes within recipes
  • Print

Recipe from: Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook by Chef Christina Tosi

Ingredients:

  • 1 recipe Pretzel Crunch (recipe to follow)
  • 25 grams (2 Tablespoons) butter, melted
  • 1 recipe Pretzel Ice Cream (recipe to follow)
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips – for drizzle (optional)

Directions:

Using your hands (or a food processor if you prefer), crumble the pretzel crunch clusters to half their size. (The smaller size will make for better distribution of the moisture and fat, creating a nice crunchy crust.)

Toss the melted butter into the crumbled pretzel crunch, mixing well. Using your fingers and the palms of your hands, press the mixture firmly into a 10-inch pie tin, making sure the bottom and sides of the pie tin are evenly covered. Wrapped in plastic, the crust can be frozen for up to 2 weeks.

Use a spatula to spread the ice cream into the pie shell. If you would like to drizzle a bit of chocolate over the top of the pie as I did, simply melt about 1/4 cup of chocolate chips of your choice. (I used dark chocolate). You can do this in a double boiler or simply melt it in the microwave in 10 -15 second bursts. Let cool slightly. Either drizzle the chocolate free hand or if you are a bit obsessive compulsive you can place it in a pastry bag and thereby do a much more controlled drizzle.

Freeze the pie for at least 3 hours, or until the ice cream is frozen hard enough so the pie is easy to cut and serve. Wrapped in plastic wrap, the pie will keep for 2 weeks in the freezer.

Pretzel Crunch

Yield: 2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 100 grams (about 1/4 (16-ounce) bag (2 cups)) mini pretzels
  • 60 grams (1/4 cup tightly packed) light brown sugar
  • 25 grams (2 tablespoons) sugar
  • 20 grams (1/4 cup) milk powder
  • 10 grams (1 tablespoon) malt powder
  • 100 grams ( 7 tablespoons) butter, melted

Directions:

Heat the oven to 275°F.

Pour the pretzels in a medium bowl and crush them with your hands to one-quarter of their original size. Add the milk powder, malt powder, sugar, and salt and toss to mix. Add the butter and toss to coat. As you toss, the butter will act as glue, binding the dry ingredients to the pretzels and creating small clusters.

Spread the clusters on a parchment- or Silpat-lined sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes, at which point they should look toasted, smell buttery, and crunch gently when cooled slightly and chewed.

Cool the pretzel crunch completely before storing or using in a recipe. Stored in an airtight container at room temperature, the crunch will keep fresh for 1 week; in the fridge or freezer, it will keep for 1 month.

Pretzel Ice Cream

Ingredients:

  • 300 grams (about 3/4 (16-ounce) bag, (6 cups)  mini pretzels
  • 440 grams (2 cups) milk
  • 1 1/2 gelatin sheets
  • 200 grams (1/2 cup) glucose (75 grams (1/4 cup) of corn syrup can be substituted)
  • 30 grams (2 tablespoons tightly packed) light brown sugar
  • 45 grams (1 1/2 ounces) cream cheese
  • 2 grams ( 1/2 teaspoon) kosher salt
  • 0.75 grams (1/8 teaspoon) baking soda

Directions:

Heat the oven to 300°F

Spread the pretzels on a sheet pan and toast for 15 minutes, until the pretzels have slightly darkened in color and your kitchen smells pretzely. Cool completely.

Put the pretzels in a large bowl, pour the milk over them, and stir while steeping for 2 minutes.

Strain the milk mixture through a fine-mesh sieve and discard the soggy pieces of pretzel.

Bloom the gelatin. Place the sheet gelatin in a small bowl of cold water. It has bloomed when it has become soft, after about 2 minutes. If it still has bard bits, it has not bloomed long enough. If it completely falls apart, it has overbloomed. Gently squeeze the bloomed gelatin to remove any excess water. *Powdered gelatin can be substituted for the sheet gelatin: use 3/4 teaspoon. Sprinkle it evenly over the surface of 2 tablespoons of cold water in a small cup. Allow the granules to soften entirely for 3 -5 minutes.

Warm a little bit of the pretzel milk and whisk in the gelatin to dissolve. Add the remaining pretzel milk, glucose, brown sugar, cream cheese, salt, and baking soda and whisk until all of the ingredients are fully dissolved and incorporated.

Pour the mixture into your ice cream machine and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The ice cream is best spun just before serving or using, but it will keep in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.

Enjoy!

Pretzel Ice Cream Pie brought to you by Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

Links to Useful Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Pretzel Ice Cream Pie:

King Arthur Flour Malted Milk Powder

Perfecta Gel Silver Gelatin Sheets

Glucose

Cuisinart 2 Quart Frozen Yogurt Sorbet & Ice Cream Maker

Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook


Pretzel Dogs!

August 6, 2015

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I’mmmmmmmmm back! Good Lord above, I can not believe that I haven’t written one tiny little thing on this blog since April 3rd!  And that post was written after I had taken a sizeable break after my St. Patrick’s Day blog-a-thon. Yup…back then I said I’d be getting right back into the kitchen. I don’t know what got into me. Wellll….I kinda do. You see I’ve been busy planning a big bathroom renovation. I’m not sure if I mentioned it or not, but about 1 1/2 years ago we had a bathroom fire that was started by a faulty bathroom exhaust fan. (Here’s a tip for all you readers out there…Do NOT leave your exhaust fan running over night. The motor in our’s heated up and because our bathroom had last been renovated sometime in the 70’s, the fan did not have a thermal fuse, so it just kept getting hotter and hotter until it caught the insulation in the ceiling on fire. We were very lucky that the bathroom was all that burned up.) So yeah, you did read that right…the fire happened all that time ago and we are just now getting around to doing something about it. How pathetic is that? Seriously, we just sealed that bathroom off with plywood, moved to the guest bathroom down the hall and have been doing our best to ignore it. But I’m happy to report that we’ve finally got our act together and have hired a contractor and have nearly finished the design. Construction is nigh I tell you!

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Big gaping hole which we unbelievably ignored for over 1 year!!!

And then we just purchased a condo down in Richmond Virginia. Yes….I did say “down”. That is because Richmond is even further south in Virginia than we currently are now. I’m sure you all know how I loathe summer weather in Virginia and what did we do? Went further south! Must be stone cold crazeeee! So that has taken a bit of doing. The good news is as it turns out, Richmond is quite the hidden foodie destination. So I’m looking forward to telling you about some of our future dining exploits. But here is a sneak preview pic:

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Green Eggs & Lamb & Non-Huevos Rancheros with Griddled Jalapeno Grits, Black Bean Chili & Carnitas at Black Sheep brunch! #RVA#BlackSheepRVA

And last but not least, we just returned from a completely fantastic holiday in Iceland. Yup, we’ve been there before, three times now counting this visit and I am completely smitten! I’ve got a post coming up about a delicious Icelandic doughnut I sampled there.

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Icelandic Doughnut or ástarpungar from the Geirabakarí in Borgarnes…stay tuned for the recipe!

So anyhoo…..I should probably make you some sort of assurances that I’ll settle down again and blog faithfully, but I’m not sure it would be prudent to make such pledges. I do have good intentions….but I am the person that walked around with a boarded up bathroom for almost two years. So there you have it. I can be a bit negligent. But I beg your forgiveness and will try to be better. I’m going to start out fresh today with a great recipe for Pretzel Dogs!

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At this point, I don’t know if I even need to say one other word, their name says it all. Who doesn’t love those big soft chewy salty pretzels? And hot dogs? We loooove hot dogs in this house. I’ve posted quite a few hot dog blogs in the past, like how ’bout those Bacon Wrapped Dogs,

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or those tasty little Mini Corn Dogs?

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Yup, we’re big fans. I just told you we were recently off visiting Iceland. Well, as it turns out Icelanders love hot dogs too. There is this famous hot dog stand, Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur, in downtown Reykjavik and the husband and I made it a point to stop there every single day for one of their hot dogs with everything (“eina með öllu.” – they have a whole bunch of delicious toppings like mustard, raw onions, crispy onions and some sort of special hot dog remoulade).

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Day one….

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Day two….

And I can truly say the husband and I have never met a pretzel we didn’t like. Usually we nibble on the hard and crunchy store-bought variety, but certainly do love the big soft and chewy ones. So when I came across a recipe for  Pretzel Dogs, I knew without a doubt I would be giving it a whirl. Basically you just make up a yeast dough, similar to what you would do for bread. The thing that magically transforms it into a pretzel is the alkaline bath that it is dipped into prior to baking. That magical soak is crucial for both the texture as well as the color of pretzels. Once that yeast dough is introduced to this bath, the outside of the dough is gelatinized which prevents the usual “springing” of the dough which occurs during baking, giving you the chewy texture, distinct pretzel-y flavour and lovely brown colour. Once upon a time, pretzels were a noticeably darker brown color. This was achieved with a dip in a lye bath – albeit a food grade lye ( sodium hydroxide) bath. Now that stuff, “food grade” or not, is actually quite the hazardous chemical. I’m serious….you can still use it but you’re going to have to go all “Breakin Bad” and wear big rubber gloves and safety goggles when you’re doing your cooking. Personally, I don’t think I need to be that authentic. I’m happy to go with the old tried and true baking soda as a substitute. Everyone has a box of that lingering on their shelves at home. It will definitely give you that lovely soft and chewy brown pretzel crust that you’re longing for without any hazardous chemical concerns.

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And now that we’ve covered the pretzel bit, lets not forget that oh so important dog that it is wrapped around. So everyone has their favourite brand, and far be it from me to tell you what you should buy. However I will say, I like a dog that has a bit of flavour and a little snap when you bite into it. Usually we buy Hebrew Nationals, Nathan’s or Boar’s Head brands, but I’ll leave that choice up to you. As far as I’m concerned, you really can’t go wrong with these. Straightforward and easy to make….not to mention so delish! Comfort food extraordinaire! With a little side dish of good ole yellow mustard for dipping, you’re totally set. Don’t even get me started thinking about the spicy nacho cheese dip possibilities. So don’t be a proscrastinator – like yours truly – jump right on this and make up a batch of these comfort food gems today!

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Pretzel Dogs

  • Servings: 8 pretzel dogs
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe from: Bake with Christina

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups warm (110 to 115° F) water
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 package (2 1/4 teaspoon) active dry yeast
  • 4½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • Vegetable oil, for pans
  • 10 cups water
  • 2/3 cup baking soda
  • 8 hot dogs (we love Hebrew National, Nathans and Boars Head)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Kosher salt, for sprinkling

Directions:

Combine the water, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast over top. Let sit for 5 minutes, or until the mixture begins to foam. In the meantime, lightly oil a large bowl and set aside.

Using a dough hook, add the flour and melted butter to the yeast mixture on low-speed until well combined. Increase speed to medium and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl (about 4 to 5 minutes).

Place the dough in the lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm area for an hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 450° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly brush with the vegetable oil. Set aside.

Pour 10 cups of water in an 8 quart pot which has deep sides. Bring the water to a rolling boil. Carefully add the baking soda. The mixture will foam up quite a bit, hence the deep sided pot recommendation. Stir until the soda has dissolved and then lower the heat to medium and keep the solution simmering.

In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a rope that’s about 24-inches long. Starting at one end, wrap the dough around the hot dog, pinching each end together so that it’s sealed and stays in place. Take care to make sure you have a good seal or your pretzel dogs will begin to unravel in the baking soda bath. Place onto the baking sheets and repeat with the remaining dough and hot dogs.

Lower the pretzel dogs into the boiling water two at a time and boil for 30 seconds. Using a large flat slotted spatula, remove them from the water and place on the baking sheets. Brush the tops with melted butter and sprinkle with the coarse kosher salt. Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until they are golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!

Pretzel Dogs brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

 

 


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