Craft Beer Cheese & Soft Pretzel Bites are a game day essential that will disappear fast.
Tailgating and Super Bowl Party food is right up my alley. I love game day and all the fanfare that surrounds it. And what goes better with football than beer, pretzels and cheese? Nothing. As we began to plan our posts going into the big game, Jackie really wanted to make pretzels. She “had a bee in her bonnet” (a saying we like to use that I had never heard of until I met her). The saying refers to being preoccupied or obsessed with an idea. Boy was it true in this case.
I have a tendency to brainstorm ideas, easily forgetting what our next recipe should be. This Super Bowl idea for craft beer cheese was a particularly tough mental block for me, and each time I would forget, my girl would politely remind me that we should do a pretzel and beer cheese. After several reminders, I realized that this was a “bee in the bonnet” situation, and that there was no way of getting around this it. Thankfully, this Craft Beer Cheese and Pretzels turned out to be an incredible recipe that we are excited to share.
Sometimes it seems much easier to stop by the local market and pick up the frozen variety of pretzels and a jar of processed beer cheese. However, this recipe is one that proves it is worth the time and effort to bypass the store-bought variety and create your own. The pretzels hot out of the oven taste divine by themselves, but dipping them in melted golden goodness is heavenly. You can make the cheese ahead of time, and have the pretzel dough prepared so that the pretzels are exiting the oven just as the coin flip happens. We think the bite-sized nugget shape is perfect for dipping and popping directly in your mouth with one hand so that you never have to put your choice of beverage down. Our teams may be out of contention, but this recipe is sure to win some fans.
Check out some of our other favorite Game Day Foods: Sweet & Hot Chicken Wings, BBQ Pulled Pork Nachos, Seriously Good Potato Skins
- Beer Cheese:
- 3 TBSP butter
- 3 TBSP flour
- 1 tsp garlic (chopped)
- 2 tsp dark paprika
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 6 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
- 12 oz of your favorite beer (we used IPA, however it was bitter for some. I liked it alot, but I would suggest a more subtle flavor such as a lager)
- Soft Pretzels:
- 3½ C flour (bread flour works best)
- 1 pkg dry instant yeast
- 2 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp. butter, melted
- 3 tbsp. brown sugar
- ⅓ c baking soda
- 2 eggs
- kosher coarse salt
- For the Beer Cheese:
- In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, melt butter then add the flour and whisk and cook for 1 minute.
- Add bottle of beer and whisk until smooth.
- Add cream cheese, cheddar cheese, garlic and paprika and continue to whisk until all cheese has melted and product is smooth (about 5 minutes).
- For the Pretzels:
- In a large bowl add yeast, sugar, salt and 1½ C warm water.
- Allow to set for 2 minutes, then add flour and mix until well combined.
- Turn onto floured surface and work dough until it forms a slightly sticky ball, adding water a tablespoon at a time if needed. About 5-8 minutes.
- Spray a large bowl with cooking spray and roll dough ball in bowl until coated. Cover with loose plastic and allow to rise in warm place until doubled. about 2 hours.
- Remove and place on lightly floured surface and divide into 10 equal pieces.
- Roll each piece into a log about ½ in diameter.
- Cut into 1 inch pieces and continue until all dough is cut. Place on baking sheet and cover with kitchen towel and allow to rest to rise about 30-40 minutes.
- Fill a large pot with water and add brown sugar and baking soda and heat on medium heat.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees and and lightly spray baking sheet with cooking spray.
- As water in pot starts to boil, place pretzel pieces in water in batches of about 20 and cook for 1 minute.
- Remove with a slotted spoon and place on baking sheet, continue till all done.
- Brush pretzel pieces with beaten egg and top with coarse salt and bake 10-12 minutes until pretzels are golden brown.
- Remove and dip into warm cheese sauce.