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Anything is good, in moderation. I cook because I love to and because I can share with those around me. I crochet for the same reason.

Do what you want to do, enjoy what you do and use it to touch those around you.

Jan 2, 2013

New Year's Pretzels

Recently, my friend posted information about a German tradition of making New Year's Pretzels.  These aren't just any pretzels - they are a sweet dough topped with frosting then sprinkles or nuts.  The dough reminds me a lot of a cinnamon bun, but denser because of not being rolled thin.  I made them, and shared them, this year and can see this becoming a New Year's tradition - pretzels for breakfast and Pork and Sauerkraut for lunch/dinner.

  2 Cups 1% Milk                                                                       Topping
  1/2 Cup Salted Butter                                                               1 1/2 Cups Confectioners Sugar
  4 1/2 Tsp Yeast                                                                        1 Tsp Vanilla
  2 Tsp Salt                                                                                 1/2 Cup Salted Butter
  1/2 Cup Sugar                                                                          1/2 Cup Crisco, NOT Butter Flavored
  8 Cups Bread Flour                                                                  Rainbow Sprinkles
  2 Large Eggs                                                                           

Grease a large bowl and set it aside.  Melt the butter.  Warm the milk and add the butter.  Test it on your forearm to make sure it is not too hot - you want it to feel warm and not burn you (about 110 degrees).  Stir in the yeast then add the salt, sugar and 1 cup of flour.  Mix for three minutes.  Add 1 cup of flour and eggs, mix for another two minutes.  Add remaining flour, about a cup at a time, until it forms a soft dough.  Knead for a few minutes until smooth.  Put the dough into the greased bowl, turn it over, cover the bowl with a bowl and raise for 1 hour - at least double in size.  Punch down the dough and rise again for about an hour until once again doubled in size.

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Divide dough into 4 pieces.  Roll each piece into a 25 inch rope about 1 inch thick.  

Make a circle, crossing the ends over each other then pull the top over the ends to make the pretzel shape.  Put on a baking sheet that has been lined with non stick foil or a silicone baking mat.   

Once all 4 pretzels are formed, allow to raise another 10 minutes.   

Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.   

Remove from pan to  a cooling rack.

When cool, mix Confectioners sugar, vanilla, butter and Crisco.  Beat until smooth and spread on pretzels.  Top with Rainbow Sprinkles.

My friend took a picture of a pretzel next to a computer mouse so you have a reference of how large they are.

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