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Super snacks

Soft pretzel bites are a tasty snack for the big game that can be made at home and likely will taste even better than store-bought hard pretzels. (Republican Eagle photos by Danielle Killey) 1 / 4
You can make soft pretzels while doing other things in the kitchen or around the house as the dough rises. Spray a bowl with pan spray or oil it and let the dough rise until it is double its original size. It will take about 50 minutes to an hour.2 / 4
The key to making the bites taste like pretzels is washing them in a baking soda-water bath. Use a slotted spoon to drain the pretzel dough after letting it sit for a few seconds and flipping it in the water.3 / 4
To make pretzel bites, just prepare traditional soft pretzel dough, but cut into bite-sized pieces for a poppable snack.4 / 4

It’s about time for Super Bowl Sunday and on top of watching football — and the commercials — the foods often also take center stage.

Top Super Bowl snacks last year, according to the Nielsen Company, included salty snacks, dips, vegetables, cheese and crackers, appetizers, fruit/salad, pizza, desserts, buffalo wings and nuts.

Many of those snacks can be made at home for a cheaper option that also often tastes better.

For example, try a relatively simple at-home recipe for soft pretzel bites. They’re still easy to snack on and are bite-sized, but pack more flavor and texture than store-bought cracker pretzels.

Here’s the recipe for those and some other at-home Super Bowl snack options.

Soft Pretzel Bites Smells Like Home


• 1 1/2 cups warm water (110 to 115 degrees)

• 1 tablespoon sugar

• 2 tablespoons kosher salt

• 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast

• 22 ounces all-purpose flour (about 4 1/2 cups)

• 2 ounces of unsalted butter, melted

• Vegetable oil

• 10 cups water

• 2/3 cup baking soda

• 2 tablespoons butter, melted

• Pretzel or kosher salt

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix together the water, sugar, yeast and salt on low speed for 10 seconds. Switch to dough hook and add flour and butter. Mix on low speed until well combined.

Change to medium speed and knead until dough is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl (about four to five minutes).

Remove dough and place in a well-oiled bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise for about 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside

Bring the 10 cups of water and baking soda to a rolling boil in a wide saucepan or roasting pan.

In the meantime, put the risen dough on a slightly oiled work surface and divide into eight equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 24-inch rope and slice into 1 1/2-inch pieces.

Lower a handful of the pretzel pieces into the boiling water using a slotted spoon and flip around in the water for about 20 seconds.

Remove the pieces, drain and place on the baking sheets.

Brush the top of the pretzels with the melted butter and sprinkle with the pretzel/kosher salt.

Bake about 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Jalapeno Cream Cheese Poppers

My Homemade Life


• 8 ounces cream cheese, softened

• 1/4 cup minced jalapenos (or 1/2 can, drained)

• 1 tube of regular crescent rolls

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a small bowl, combine cream cheese and jalapenos. Set aside.

Open crescent rolls and lay on the counter, not separated. Separate the long way on the perforation, so there are two long sheets of crescent rolls with four rolls each in them. Pinch together remaining perforation or roll with rolling pin.

Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over both sheets. Roll them up to make two long rolls, then cut each into 12 to 16 pieces depending on desired size.

Place the pieces on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 11 to 13 minutes.

Brownie Batter Dip Mel’s Kitchen Café


• 8 ounces cream cheese, softened

• 1/4 cup butter, softened

• 2 cups powdered sugar

• 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour

• 5 tablespoons cocoa powder

• 2 tablespoons brown sugar

• 1 teaspoon vanilla

• 2-4 tablespoons milk

• Chocolate chips for garnish, optional

Using an electric mixer, whip the cream cheese and butter together until light and fluffy (about one to two minutes). Add the powdered sugar and mix well. Add the flour, cocoa powder, brown sugar, vanilla and two tablespoons of milk and mix until smooth.

Add additional powdered sugar or milk as needed until the desired consistency is reached. It should be stiff enough to hold its shape but soft enough to dip items in it.

Garnish with chocolate chips on top, if desired.

Serve with pretzels, strawberries, marshmallows, fruit, graham crackers or other foods for dipping.

Party Sausage Pizza Rolls Food Network


• 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for brushing

• 1/2 small onion, diced

• 1 teaspoon dried oregano

• Kosher salt

• 1 clove garlic, minced

• One 15-ounce can of tomato puree

• 12 large fresh basil leaves

• A pinch of red pepper flakes

• Freshly ground black pepper

• 12 ounces Italian sausage, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds

• 2 tablespoons grated parmesan

• 1 pound frozen pizza dough, thawed and at room temperature

• 2 cups Italian blend shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Heat one tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, 1/2 teaspoon of oregano, 1 teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft (about four minutes). Add the garlic and cook until fragrant (about one minute). Add the tomato puree, 1/4 cup water, five torn basil leaves and red pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about four minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage rounds and brown on both sides (about four minutes). Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel.

Mix the parmesan with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon oregano in a small bowl.

Divide the pizza dough into eight portions. Flatten into four-inch squares by hand or with a rolling pin. Spoon one tablespoon of sauce onto each square and spread it around. Top with 1/4 cup of the Italian cheese, an eighth of the sausage and one basil leaf. Wrap the dough around the filling and pinch the ends to seal.

Place the pizza rolls seam side down on the baking sheet.

Brush the rolls with olive oil and sprinkle with the parmesan-oregano mixture. Cut two slashes across the top.

Bake until golden and bubbly, about 20 to 25 minutes. Serve warm with the remaining sauce for dipping.

Cheesy-Stuffed Garlic Butter Crescents Mel’s Kitchen Café


• 1 tube crescent rolls

• 4 pieces of string cheese, halved

• 2 tablespoons salted butter

• 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

• 1 small clove of garlic, minced

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a small bowl, melt the butter together with Italian seasoning and garlic.

Open crescent rolls and separate into triangles. Brush the tops with garlic butter. Place half a string cheese at the wide end and roll up. Brush the tops with more garlic butter.

Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve warm.

Antipasto Kabobs Home recipe


• Cherry tomatoes

• Assorted olives, pitted (ex. back or green)

• Fresh mozzarella pearls

• Tortellini

• Salami, chopped into bite-sized pieces

• Pepperoni rounds

• Skewers

Cook tortellini as directed on packaging.

Alternate ingredients on the skewers, including a piece of each meat, one to two mozzarella pearls, a tomato, a tortellini and each kind of olive.

Serve cold.

Danielle Killey

Danielle Killey covers local government for the South Washington County Bulletin. She has worked as a reporter for other Forum Communications newspapers since 2011. She graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities with a journalism degree.

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