At no surprise to anyone, one of the biggest snack/appetizer weekends of the year is coming up this Sunday. Some of us are sports fans. Some of us are fans of the team playing. Some of us just come to eat. I follow the NFL close enough to have some idea of what’s invested on Sunday, but you can securely count me in for camp #3 🙂
I’ve made this recipe for pigs in a pretzel blanket from Just a Little Bite twice now. First for my husband’s work Christmas party and the second time for the NFL divisional playoff games a couple weeks ago. The first time we brought them to the party I don’t think they lasted 15 minutes with the food spread.
I’ve made pretzels a couple times before on this blog (see here and here), but I like how these play off a childhood favorite of mine (we absolutely ate pigs in a blanket for dinner as kids). I made them as written, however 2 things on that. First, be VERY careful in adding the baking soda to your boiling water. It will boil up. I have made A HUGE mess before including baking soda water dripping in between the glass panels on my oven door. Second, I like to serve these with a cheese dip (I just bought some from the store, but you could certainly make your own) versus mustard. Just a personal preference. Enjoy!
Lil’ Smokies in A Pretzel Blanket
From Just a Little Bite
3/4 cup warm water
1-1/2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 package (or just slightly more than 1 tsp.) of yeast
2-1/4 cup flour
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
5 cups of water
1/3 cup baking soda
1 egg yolk, beaten
1 package lil’ smokies (I use all beef ones)
Add the sugar, water, and salt to a mixer bowl with the beater attachment. Sprinkle the yeast over the top and let it sit for 3-5 minutes. Add the flour and butter and mix until the dough is starting to come together. Stop the mixer and add the dough hook. Mix for about 5 minutes until the dough is smooth. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise for about 60-90 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Unwrap the lil’ smokies. Take a small (slightly large than a teaspoon) piece of dough and roll it out into a long, thin piece (like a play dough snake). Wrap it around one sausage 3 to 4 times, securing the ends by pinching them together. Complete this for the rest of the package. If you have extra dough, you can make some pretzel bites or small soft pretzels.
Meanwhile, boil the 5 cups of water. CAREFULLY add the baking soda. Submerge each wrapped sausage in the boiling water for around 30 seconds. Remove them with a slotted spoon and place on a baking sheet (pre-greased to avoid sticking). Brush with your beaten egg yolk and sprinkle with salt as desired. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with your favorite pretzel dipping sauce – mustard vs cheese dip.