Tron's Pretzel Things

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TronCarter

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Here is my favorite recipe for a salty, spicy garlicy snack that goes well with a homebrew.

I have been working on this recipe for a while and think I have it right where I want it. I never really took the time to name them, but after my co-workers tried them, they kept stopping by my office and asking me if I "had any of those pretzel things", and the name just stuck.

Ingredients:
16oz bag or Snyders Sourdough Nibblers
2 packets of dry ranch dressing powder
2 rounded teaspoons Lawry's Garlic Salt
2 rounded teaspoons Ground Cayenne Pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon cumin (optional)
1/8 teaspoon paprika (optional)
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup dry roasted peanuts

Start by dumping the bag of pretzels in a large mixing bowl. With the heel of your hand, smash them up a bit. I don't try to make powder out of them, but at least most of the whole pieces should be broken at least in half. Add the peanuts.

In a separate bowl mix together the rest of the ingredients. Stir with fork or whisk until no clumps of powder remain. I refer to this mixture as "the gravy".

Pour the gravy over pretzels and peanuts and stir until all dry spots have been covered. If there are still some dry spots that just won't go away, you can add a bit more vegetable oil. The idea is to get all of the pretzels and peanuts coated, but not have a lot pooling up in the bottom of the bowl. I usually use a plastic pancake flipper for stirring. Don't bother washing it yet, you will need it later. Now is a good time to preheat the oven to 250F.

Once the oven is up to temperature, give the mixture another stir and pour it all into a large cake pan (something like 9 x 13) with sides. A cookie sheet will create a big mess, so save yourself the headache and go with the cake pan right off the bat. Use a bowl scraper or spatula to scrape all of the remaining gravy out of the bowl and on to the pretzels.

Bake for 1 hour, taking them out every 15 minutes to give them a good mixing. Use the pancake flipper to scrape up the gravy that is on the bottom and mix it back into the pretzels.

After an hour, take them out of the oven and let them cool in the pan. Once completely cooled, they can put into a tin or ziplock bag to keep them from going stale.

For an added kick (if you like spicy), you can sprinkle some additional cayenne pepper on the top of the cooling mix.

The usual reaction I get to first time eaters is that they try a handful and usually say "Wooooh, that's spicy" but then in a minute or two are grabbing another handful, and another, and another.

They have been very successful for me, and I hope you love them too.

If a few of my friends are over and we are drinking some homebrew and watching the game, I, as they say, can't keep 'em in stock.

Tron
 

e lo

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Damn, that sounds delicious (maybe because I just came from our weekly meeting of Thursday Bourbon Club and, as such, am a little druck.) I'ill have to try them out for our Pumpkin Carving party on Sunday, to go along with my Old Pumpculiar which I'll be tapping the same day.

One thing that might be awesome is to use smoked paprika in place of the regular paprika. It's about the same price, and adds a really wonderful smoky heat.
 
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TronCarter

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Great ! Let me know what you think.

I have heard of smoked paprika before, but have never tried it. I think I will put it on my shopping list.

Here is a picture of the finished product on a piece of my fine china:

 

Bokonon

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This sounds exactly like a recipe I make except I use those mini pretzels. I've never added peanuts, might have to try that next time. Also I've never measured out all the dry ingredients, just added them till I get the right taste.

They are always a bit whenever I make them. I think next time I might try a mix of mini pretzels and the nuggets. Maybe even throw in some mini sticks as well
 
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TronCarter

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Yeah, I don't usually measure most of the ingredients out either but I have been asked for the recipe a few times so I made measurements during one batch and wrote them down.

This recipe can easily be changed up. I have thought about adding some Cheez-Its and a few other things that haven't occurred to me this early in the morning. I have tried it with the small twist pretzels, which sort of worked, but the gravy has much less surface area to stick to. That is the reason for breaking the nibblers up a bit. The pretzel exterior does not allow the gravy to stick and the inside surface soaks it up well. With the mini pretzels, there is not much "inside" surface area. The full sized sticks should work, that is pretty much what the nibblers are, just not cut into short pieces.
 

JustDave

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Those look good!

+1 for the smoked paprika. It's good stuff. :)
 
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Just made a batch - it's GOOD!

I made a couple of substitutions:

Used a box of crushed Snyder's Sourdough Pretzels instead of Nibblers (couldn't find the Nibblers).

Used one 1 oz package of ranch dip mix. It was an accident - I thought I was buying dressing mix. Turns out dressing mix is sold in .4 oz packets, so I just used a single dip mix packet.

Cut the cayenne to 1 tsp - didn't want them to be too spicy for SWMBO.

Anyway, this stuff is GOOD!
 
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TronCarter

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I'm glad to hear that you like them. I guess I should have been a little more descriptive as to which ranch mix I use. I get Hidden Valley Ranch "Salad Dressing & Seasoning Mix" that comes in 1oz packets. It looks like this:



So, I think you got the right stuff, I just usually use two, instead of one. You can save a little bit buying them in a two pack or four pack, but if you are buying them in a four pack or larger, I think it is like buying cigarettes in a carton. You admit to yourself that you are hooked. :D

Using the full sized sour dough pretzels, broken up should work as well, it just takes a little more effort. I use:



The heat is certainly something that you can adjust. My taste buds are a bit blown out as just about everything I eat is spicy one way or the other, so things that are normal to me are sometimes quite hot to others, so I have to ask others if something is spicy because I am not a good judge. The first time I took them to work, my first tester took a handful and said "Are they hot?" and I said "I don't know, we're about to find out!"
 

e lo

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Didn't get a chance to to try these this weekend after all -- SWMBO had snack plans more along the lines of Apple-onion-manchego torts, and I plain ran out of time to make anything else. I'll try them soon, though!
 

JustDave

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Just made a batch of these ... they rock!

Thanks for posting the recipe.
 
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TronCarter

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Great, happy to hear that you all liked them. The current version of the recipe adds Cheez-It's and sesame sticks. Around thanksgiving I added pumpkin seeds and they also went over well for everyone that tried them.
 
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TronCarter

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Yeah, that sounds good too. I think you can include just about anything that has some sort of texture to it so that the flavoring will stick and it also needs to be able to handle being in the oven at 250 for about an hour. Bagel chips and chex should be just fine.
 

GonzoIllini

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made this recipe tonight for UofI unoffical (huge St. Paticks day party done before the actual day so all the bars can make huge $$$...) and I added 1 cup of cashews and used olive oil instead ofveggie oil, and I also only used one package of dry ranch (im cheap and want to make 2 batches), and it was all gone in 30 min for 12 people. pretty amazing, thanks Tron, Cheers!
 

HitLines

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I have made these a handful of times and they are a hit each and every time. Goes so well with homebrew. I usually add a little more spice but that aides all the beer we drink with them.
 
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TronCarter

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I'm happy to hear it HitLines. I also like them a bit... no, a LOT more spicy than the posted recipe. I decided to post the 'toned down' version for the masses because it is a good starting point. If you like it more spicy, it is easy to make that happen.

Tron
 
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