I like make a special treat for my family on Valentine’s Day to show them how much I love them. Normally I make chocolate covered strawberries and buy sparkling cider but this year I wanted to mix it up a bit. Hearts and pink make the perfect pair — so do soft pretzels and sweet strawberry dip! Soft pretzels are a little bit time consuming to make but it’s a great recipe that little ones love to help with! The dip is simple with just 3 ingredients and can be whipped up in just minutes. Spend some time with those you love this Valentine’s Day and enjoy a special treat!
1 tsp dry yeast
2 Tbsp and 2 tsp brown sugar
2 + cups flour
Coarse kosher salt
Shortening or butter
1) In large mixing bowl mix 1 Tbsp HOT water and 1 tsp yeast. Mix until yeast dissolves completely.
2) Stir in 2/3 cup WARM water.
3) Stir in 2 Tbsp and 2 tsp brown sugar.
4) Slowly add 2 cups flour, stirring constantly. Continue stirring until the mixture is smooth and does not stick to the sides of the bowl. You may need to add more flour to get to the correct consistency.
5) Lightly flour counter. Dip your hands into extra flour. Knead the dough until it is stretchy and smooth. (Push it down and away from you with the palms of your hands, turning the dough as you work)
6) Grease cookie sheet(s) well with butter or shortening. Sprinkle greased cookie sheet(s) with kosher salt. Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
7) Using a liquid measuring cup fill a large saucepan at least 1/2 full of water. For each 1 cup of water, add 1 Tbsp baking soda.
8) Divide the dough into 16 equal sized pieces.
9) Roll out to 8″ long pieces about the thickness of your thumb and shape into hearts.
10) Bring water into saucepan to a gentle boil (not too many bubbles)
11) Use a slotted spatula to lower each pretzel into the saucepan. Count slowly to 30. Then lift the pretzel onto the greased and salted cookie sheet (shaking off excess water back into the saucepan). Repeat until all the pretzels are done.
12) Sprinkle some kosher salt on top of the pretzels and put them in preheated oven. Bake for 6-8 minutes or until the pretzels are golden. These keep well in the freezer so I like to make a double or triple batch to keep on hand for quick snacks.
8 oz Cream Cheese
1 Cup Powdered Sugar
5 Fresh diced Strawberries
Mix softened cream cheese with powdered sugar and strawberries. A hand mixer or stand mixer both work great.
If sweet & salty aren’t your thing, try these variations on the pretzels and skip the dip:
Add pressed garlic and Parmesan Cheese
Use cinnamon and sugar instead of kosher salt
What other variations could you try? I think soft pretzels make a great snack and I plan on making these more often for my family!