Mini Pretzels with Pumpkin Beer Cheddar Sauce

These pretzels and are my own little nod to Oktoberfest.

It's hard for me to make myself care about football, so this fall I've been devoting my Sundays to making various football snacks. These mini pretzels were really fun and easy to make. Unlike the buffalo wings (post to come), which took the better part of an entire half just to prep.

This pretzel recipe uses pre-made pizza dough. Appropriately, I used Portland Pie Company Shipyard Beer dough. You boil the dough in an alkaline solution before baking it, which is a technique I've never used before. This was the fun part. You can get a little assembly line going, so it would not be too difficult to double the recipe for a large gathering. In the time the pretzels are baking, you can whip up the cheese sauce and have it all ready to serve.

Mini Pretzel Nuggets

  • 1 lb pre-made pizza dough
  • All purpose flour for dusting
  • 2/3 cups baking soda
  • Kosher salt
  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper and cornmeal.
  2. On a floured surface, split the dough into quadrants. Then split each quadrant into bite sized nuggets.
  3. Bring 12 cups of water to a boil and stir in the baking soda.
  4. Drop the dough nuggets into the boiling water in batches (I did 6 to 8 at a time). Boil the pretzels for 60 seconds, then fish them out using a small strainer. Place the nuggets on the baking sheet and sprinkle with kosher salt while they are still warm. Repeat with all the nuggets. Allow the last batch to cool slightly so that all nuggets reach the same temperature, then place in the oven. 
  5. Bake the pretzels for 20 minutes, until the tops are browned and the bottoms are crisp.

Pumpkin Beer Cheddar Cheese Sauce


  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin beer (I used Wormtown Fresh Patch!)
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 dash of Worcestershire
  • 3 cups sharp cheddar cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Sprinkle the flour over the bottom of the pan and whisk into the butter to fully incorporate. Add the milk gradually, whisking the mixture until smooth.
  2. Add the beer, garlic and Worcestershire. Continue whisking for ~5 minutes until the mixture thickens.
  3. Remove the mixture from heat. Stir in the cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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