Oooh, you guys! It’s the second Monday of the month, and something I’ve been waiting for since shortly after I started blogging…

I’m finally a part of the Secret Recipe Club.

I stumbled on this group in my very early blog days, back before there was a HUGE waiting list…but the problem was, you had to have 60 recipes to join.  And by the time I had those 60 recipes?  Yep, huge waiting list.  So, I submitted my request, and I have been (not-so) patiently waiting ever since.

For my first month I was assigned to Claudia’s blog From Arepas to Zwetchgen.  I felt sort of an instant connection with Claudia after reading her “About” page, where she indicated she started her blog because she has over 400(!!) cookbooks and loves trying new recipes.  While I don’t have that many cookbooks (yet!), my family will tell you that I am sort of a cookbook-a-holic.  🙂  As you might have guessed from the name of Claudia’s blog, she has recipes from countries all over the globe.  I can’t tell you how many of these I drooled over and have on my ever-growing list of recipes to try (does it surprise you I was especially drawn to her Mexican recipes??).

At any rate, since I’m sort of in football mode right now, I felt like I hit jackpot gold when I spotted a recipe for Bavarian style soft pretzels with bacon and cheese.  If that doesn’t say game-watching food, I don’t know what does!

I ended up swapping the bacon for jalepeños and adding cream cheese, to make sort of a “popper” style stuffed pretzel, since the Tall Boy’s favorite game day appetizer is jalepeño poppers.  And, because my pretzel-forming skills are less than stellar, I made these into mini-bites.  Served ’em with queso dip–and let me tell you, we hogged right out.

I left some of ’em unfilled, since Doodle isn’t into the  jalepeño-thing, and he gave me a big thumbs-up.  He said they were better than the ones from Auntie Anne’s at the mall, which I take as pretty high praise.  We’ll definitely be making these–and variations of ’em throughout football season–and beyond.

Jalepeno Popper Pretzel Bites {Secret Recipe Club}
Serves: about 5 dozen
  • 1½ cups warm water
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4½ to 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • Canola oil
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 jalepenos, diced
  • ¾ cup baking soda
  • 1 whole egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water
  • kosher salt
  • Queso dip for dipping, optional
  1. Combine the water, sugar, yeast, and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix with the dough hook until combined. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the salt and flour and mix on low speed until combined. Increase the speed to medium and continue kneading until the dough is smooth and begins to pull away from the side of the bowl, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add additional flour, just a little at a time, if your dough appears too wet. Remove the dough from the bowl, place on a flat surface and knead into a ball with your hands.
  3. Add the dough to a bowl oiled with canola oil. Turn the dough to coat with oil. Cover with a clean towel or plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until the dough doubles in size, about 1 hour.
  4. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Bring the water to a boil in a large pot over high heat and add the baking soda. It will cause the water to boil violently, so add it careful installments.
  5. Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a flat surface. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a long rope and cut it into one inch pieces to make the pretzel bites. Roll each bite flat with a rolling pin. Stuff each bite with the combined cheeses and jalepenos. Fold over the dough and pinch the ends. Set bites on a baking sheet and continue until all pretzel bites are stuffed.
  6. Boil the pretzel bites in the water solution in batches, about 30 seconds at a time. Remove with a large slotted spoon. Place pretzel bites on a lined baking sheet. Make sure they are not touching. Brush the tops with the egg wash and season liberally with the salt.
  7. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool for five minutes.

I’m linked up at these great parties this week: Crazy Sweet Tuesdays, Trick or Treat Tuesdays, Tasty Tuesdays, Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Cast Party Wednesday, Whip it Up Wednesdays, Watcha’ Whipped Up Wednesdays, Eat, Pray {Read}, Love, Sweet Treats Thursday, Mrs. Fox’s Sweets, Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons, Itsy Bitsy Paper, Crumbs and Chaos, I’m Lovin’ It Fridays, Weekend Potluck, and Six Sister’s Stuff!