Heart Shaped Beer Pretzels with Jalapeno Jack Dip

In this household, nothing says “love” like soft, chewy bread products!

So, for this Valentine’s Day, I give you my beer pretzels recipe. While this recipe can definitely be used to form more traditional pretzel shapes as well – of course! – I find it to be a lot of fun to get a bit seasonal with it.

What better to go with beer pretzels, than jalapeno jack melty cheese dip? This accompanying recipe works up quickly and easily, and really satisfies. Comfort food at its finest, when paired with a fresh from the oven pretzel!

Heart Shaped Beer 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
Olive oil

3 quarts water
3/4 cup baking soda

2 eggs
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.

Once the dough has doubled in size:

Pinch off a fist-sized chunk of dough, roll it into a thick “snake”, form into a heart shape, and pinch ends to seal:

Repeat with remaining dough.

Preheat oven to 375F. Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Add baking soda, stir until combined.

Boil the pretzels, a few at a time, for 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 pretzels. Generously sprinkle the tops with coarse sea salt. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. Allow to cool for a minute or two before eating. Enjoy!

Jalapeno Jack Dip

1 cup milk
12 oz shredded jalapeno jack cheese
2 tbsp corn starch
Salt and pepper

Heat milk in a medium saucepan. In a separate bowl, toss cheese with corn starch.

Add about half of the cheese to the pot, stirring until melted in. Add the rest, continue stirring until everything is melted and smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve hot!

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