We love our appetizers. My family makes a meal of appetizers every once in a while. These are one of our favorite small bites. The pretzels are soft and flavorful. You can make the dough without a bread maker but if you have one why not let it do all the timing and stirring? The beer cheese is super simple to make. As I tell my kids the hardest part is grating the cheddar cheese and stirring the mixture.
I almost didn’t have enough pretzel bites left once they were out of the oven! The family kept eating them every time they walked by. They kept murmuring how good they were but I just kept saying, “Please leave enough for the party!”
You don’t need to boil the pretzel bites in baking soda but that is what gives them that real pretty brown color. They will still taste like pretzels but they won’t look like them.
The beer cheese is super easy and yummy. If you are having a party put it over a sterno flame and stir occasionally to keep it from burning. If you need to thin it out at any time just add a teaspoon or two of beer and mix well.
Beer Cheese Ingredients:
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup beer (your favorite – I suggest a red, amber or darker for best flavor)
- 1/2 cup half and half
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon Worchestershire sauce
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- Cayenne pepper, to taste if desired
- black pepper, to taste
- In a medium sauce pan melt butter over medium heat. Sprinkle flour over the butter and whisk until a paste forms. Cook about 1-2 minutes until
- Gradually add in beer and milk, whisking constantly.
- Add garlic, dry mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Switch to a wooden spoon and stir frequently until thickened, about 5-10 minutes.
- The sauce should begin to coat the back of the spoon. Remove from heat and stir in cheese. Add cayenne pepper and salt & pepper to taste.
Pretzel Bites Ingredients:
- 1 1/4 cups warm water
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 3 1/2 cups flour
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 2 quarts of water
- 1/3 baking soda
- Layer all dough ingredients in your bread-maker according to your brands directions. Set machine for white dough.
- On a lightly floured surface cut dough into pieces. roll each piece into a 16″ rope. Cut into 1″ pieces.
- Cover and let rise for 15 minutes in a warm area.
- Bring 2 quarts of water and baking soda to a boil. Place pieces in pan a few at a time and boil for about 30 seconds each. Remove pretzel pieces from pan with a slotted spoon.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Place on a greased baking sheet 1″ apart. Brush with egg white and water if desired. Bake for 12-15 minutes until done.