The the Fourth of July is drawing close. I am not a fireworks fan. In fact, till last year I knew squat about entertaining for this holiday outside of me standing all day over a hot grill. . The Fourth of July has always meant outdoor BBQ to the shivers of my husband. You see, he’s not a big fan of BBQ. He is not a big fan of BBQ sauce. When he told him me he hated sweet meat BBQ dishes especially mine, I reacted as any typical southerner would and pointed out he must be an Alien from another planet or something. So he requested or challenged me to come up with new Fourth of July goodies. He cannot cook by the way. (Just saying).
So every Sunday while my husband plants his behind infront of the TV watching whatever, I try my hand at making some Fourth of July worthy snacks. Since the summer holiday is coming up, whether you’re having a ton of friends over or it’s just your family, you’ve got to have a ton of snacks to last you the whole day. As my husband put it, there are 3 big eating days in America- Christmas, Thanksgiving, and 4th of July. So I thought I’d share some snack recipes that aren’t your usual chips and dip whatever the occasion. Today and each week up until the Fourth of July I will be posting some new creation for you and your family to enjoy. Here is the first my Southern Mini Sausage Stuffed Pretzel Bites.
So to start you off I had to do a soft pretzel recipe, since my husband loves them. But to spruce them up a little, I decided to stuff them with mini cocktail sausages otherwise known as Little smokies. I used Lit’l Cheddar Smokies, but you can use any kind you like or even stuff the pretzel with peppperoni and cheese or ham and cheese, or chicken….anything you want. Here’s how to make them…
Little Smokie Stuffed Pretzel Bites Recipe
For the Soft Pretzel-
2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
2 tbsp light brown sugar
1 1/2 cup warm water (80F-110F)
6 tablespoons butter (melted)
4 1/2-5 Cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon salt
A Pack of Little smokie sausages
5 quartz water for boiling
1/2 cup baking soda
1 Egg beaten with a tbsp cold water (for egg wash)
Kosher salt (for sprinkling)
For the Honey Mustard Diping Sauce:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 tbsp honey
1 tbsp Dijon Mustard
1 tbsp Yellow Mustard
1 tbsp lemon juice
Pinch of Salt to taste
– In the bowl of a stand up mixer add the yeast, light brown sugar and warm water together and let it sit for 10 mins.
– Once the yeast mix is bubbly, pour in the melted butter.
– In a separate bowl, add salt to 4 1/2 cups of all purpose flour and mix.
– Add all the flour to the yeast mixture and with the dough hook attachment, turn the mixer to medium speed until a smooth and elastic ball forms (about 5-6 minutes). If the dough seems too sticky, add a tablespoon of flour at a time until the dough comes together.
– Place the dough in a well oiled bowl and turn it over to coat the dough in oil. Cover with cling film and a cloth and leave the dought o rise for a couple hours (atleast 1 1/2 hour)
– Once the dough has risen, turn it out onto a lighly floured surface and divide it into 4 quarters
– Roll each piece into a long rope around an inch thick and cut the rope into 2 inch pieces.
– Roll out each piece with a rolling pin.
– Place the little smokie sausage in middle. Roll the dough around it and pinch the ends shut. Do this with as many stuffed pretzels as you want, you can also keep some plain by cutting them into smaller pieces and follow the next step.
– Pre-heat the oven to 425F. While that’s preheating, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1/2 cup of baking soda to the water and lower to a simmer. (Tip- Don’t fill the water right to the top cos it will spill over when you add the baking soda).
– Carefully boil the pretzel bites in batches. Drop them in the water and once they rise to the surface on their own, remove them using a slotted spoon and place them on a papper towel to dry.
– Place the pretzels on well sprayed baking sheet. Brush the tops of each pretzel with the egg wash and sprinkle with kosher or coarse salt.
– Pop them in the oven for 12-14 minutes until golden brown and beautiful.
– For the honey mustard dipping sauce…simply mix together the mayonnaise, honey, both mustards, lemon juice and salt.
– Serve the Pretzels warm with the honey mustard dipping sauce