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.