|Yes, you read that right. Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Pretzels. I think I may have just invented the *perfect* food.
What started as a “hey, you know what would be awesome..?” thought a while back was seen through to fruition this weekend, with spectacular results. This recipe is not only simple, it only costs about $5 to make 40 poppers! So freaking good.
As is, these have the ideal amount of heat – enough to give it some kick, not enough to make it painful or mask the actual flavor. Feel free to use more or less jalapenos based on your personal preferences.
Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Pretzels
1 1/2 cups warm beer
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 package active dry yeast (about 2 1/4 tsp)
5 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
4 ounces unsalted butter, melted
4 large jalapenos, seeded
8 oz cream cheese, softened
8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated
3 quarts water
3/4 cup baking soda
1 tbsp cold water
Coarse sea salt
Combine warm beer with brown sugar, stir until sugar is almost dissolved. Add yeast, stirring until incorporated. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm place for 10 minutes, or until foamy.
In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Add melted butter, stirring until well distributed. Pour in yeast/beer mixture, stirring until well combined. Turn dough out onto a clean surface, knead for a couple of minutes. Dough should be soft and smooth.
Pour about 1 Tbsp of olive oil into a large, clean metal or glass bowl. Add freshly kneaded dough to the bowl, turning to coat with the oil. COver with plastic wrap, set aside in a warm spot to rise for an hour or two, until doubled.
In a food processor, chop jalapenos until finely minced. Add softened cream cheese, continue to process until mixture is well combined, and smooth. Turn mixture out into a medium mixing bowl, add shredded cheddar cheese. Use a wooden spoon to fully incorporate the cheddar into the cream cheese mixture. Cover with plastic wrap, chill for 1 hour.
Once the dough has doubled in size:
Roll small balls out of the cheese mixture – use about a rounded teaspoon worth for each ball. You’ll end up with about 40.
Divide dough into approximately 40 walnut-sized chunks. One at a time, flatten a ball of dough out in the palm of your hand. Place a cheese ball in the middle, and bring the sides of the dough up and around, fully encasing the cheese. Pinch the ends together well, and gently roll the popper in your hands to seal it – this should lessen blowouts during the baking process. After popper is well sealed, roll the ball gently to elongate it into a more oval shape, if desired. Repeat for remaining pieces.
Preheat oven to 425F. Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Add baking soda, stir until combined.
Boil the pretzels, about 10 at a time, to about a minute. Gently stir as they boil, to ensure that the entire surface of each is in contact with the water at some point. Use a slotted spoon to transfer each popper to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and/or lightly coated with cooking spray. (you’ll need 2 baking sheets)
Whisk together eggs and water, brush this mixture across the tops of the poppers. Generously sprinkle the tops with coarse sea salt. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden brown. Allow to cool for a minute or two before eating. Enjoy!
Enjoy baking with alcohol? Be sure to check out our cookbook, The Spirited Baker!