Wednesday, 12 December 2012
I was recently sent some delicious Pretzel Snacks to try out by the Penn State people. I am a real pretzel lover so I was quite happy to give them a go. They have come out with a couple of new varieties for the Holiday season and interestingly enough, I had already purchased them!!
First up their Maple Bacon Pretzels. As a Canadian, I love Maple . . . and who doesn't love bacon??? The two together is pure genius! (Well, I think so at any rate. Maple Bacon is a very popular flavour in Canada . . . you get maple flavoured bacon and sausages and ham all over the place. I think it's that sweet and salty thing that is just sooooooo addictively gorgeous!)
Pretzels make the perfect snack to have with drinks when you have guests dropping in over the holidays, and Penn State Snacks fit the bill perfectly. They have a range of pretzels, both plain and flavoured which are perfect served with a dip or just to munch on while you are relaxing.
One of the best things about all of the Penn state range is that relatively speaking they are healthy snacks, with lower fat and calorie count than most crisps and chocolates because they are oven baked not fried. A 25g serving of pretzels comes in at around 100 cals. So they are not really all that bad for you as far as snacking goes. Every thing in moderation, but . . .
Pretzels are not just for snacking on these days. There are all sorts of things you can do with them. I have often used them during the Holidays to make my favourite Reindeer Cookies. Kids always love these.
Makes 3 dozen
These are fun to make and oh so delicious! I love the combination of the saltiness of the pretzels and the sweetness of the cookies. Salty and Sweet is a classic flavour combination that pleases more often than not!
1 cup soft light brown sugar, packed
1 cup white sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup smooth peanut butter
3 scant cups of flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 (300g) bag of small pretzels (the heart shaped ones)
1 (250g) bag of coloured M&M candies (smarties work well also)
Pre-heat the oven to 190*C/375*F. Line some baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Cream together the butter, peanut butter and both sugars, until light and fluffy and well mixed together.
Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Stir it into the creamed mixture, mixing it in well.
Roll Tablespoons of the dough into balls and then flatten the balls, shaping them into triangles. Place on the cookie sheets, at least 2 inches apart, with the wide end of the triangle at the top.
Lightly press pretzels into the 2 top corners of the triangle for antlers. Place a red candy at the bottom corner for the nose and two green or blue ones on the cookies for the eyes.
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until set and lightly browned. Remove from the oven. Let sit on the pan for a few minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely. Enjoy!!
But that's not all you can do with them. The Maple Bacon ones are just perfect for making these delicious little two bite Peanut Butter Pretzel Bites.
I have always made peanut butter balls at Christmas time . . . or Buck Eyes as they are sometimes called. These are along the same lines except instead of stirring rice crispies into the peanut butter mix . . . you roll it into balls and then press it between two pretzel rings . . .
But that is not all . . . no, no . . . that is not all. Once you get this moreishly scrummy peanut butter mixture pressed between the pretzels . . . you dip them into melted semi sweet chocolate.
Think about it . . . maple and bacon flavoured pretzels . . . smokey and salty . . . sandwiched together sweet peanut butter . . . and then dipped in smooth chocolate. This takes the sweet and salty thing to the limit. Oh so scrummy!
Think Elvis . . . and his favourite peanut butter/bacon sandwich . . . and then kick it up a notch! I think he would definitely approve of these scrummy snacks!
*Maple, Bacon and Peanut Butter Pretzel Bites*
Makes a lot
Scrumptious. It's that salty sweet thing. I used maple bacon pretzels for mine and they are fabulous! Bacon makes everything taste even better don't you think?
1 bag Maple Bacon Pretzel twists
1 cup of creamy peanut butter (180g)
1 TBS softened butter
1 cup icing sugar, sifted (130g)
1 cup soft light brown sugar (200g)
2 cups of semi sweet chocolate chips (360g)
Combine the butter and peanut butter in a bowl. Cream in the sugars, until you have a mixture with a smooth consistency which can easily be rolled into balls without sticking to your hands. If you find it is too sticky, add more icing sugar.
Roll tsp of the mixture into balls and then sandwich the balls between two pretzels. Place in the refrigerator to chill for half an hour or so.
Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave in a microwavable bowl according to the package directions. Dip one half of each pretzel bite into the melted chocolate. Place onto non stick baking paper and allow to set before serving or storing.
They also sent me a bag of these giant stars, which I'd also already bought myself, thinking they would be perfect as this . . .
Chocolate dipped and peppermint candy sprinkled pretzel dips. No recipe . . . just melt the chocolate and dip the pretzels in it and then sprinkle with some crushed candy canes.
OHHHH so good and scrummy and just the perfect snack for on your holiday trays during this festive season.
When I was to Idaho a few years back in one of the shops I found these fabulous dipped Pretzel Rods . . . dipped in all sorts of things . . . caramel, chocolate, etc. I fell in love with them.
No such thing as Pretzel Rods over here. I have been craving and craving them . . . but when I saw these pretzel stars I knew they would be perfect for dipping in chocolate!
And . . . they were just that!!
Penn State Pretzels are available in the snack sections of all of the major grocery stores all over the UK and come in a variety of flavours. Many thanks to them for sending me some to play with . . .
Pretzels . . . they're not just for eating plain . . . they're also fun to play with. Trust me on this.