Younger kids can add measured ingredients to the mixing bowl while older ones can help measure and knead. And of course everyone will have fun rolling out the dough and twisting it into pretzel shapes.
These pretzels are really easy to make, and they bake up perfectly with a chewy golden crust and a fluffy middle. A combination of all-purpose flour and white whole wheat flour, which is milder than traditional whole wheat flour, gives them a traditional pretzel taste and texture. They taste just like pretzels you'd buy at a ball park or from a sidewalk vendor.
The pretzels are delicious on their own, but they're even more fun when you have something to dip them in. Ranch dip is a classic option that everyone loves. I also like to make maple-mustard, which is a fun alternative to honey-mustard, and mix up a quick and easy cheese spread.
Boiling the pretzels in water and baking soda seems like a funny thing to do, but it's the key to making awesome pretzels. Boiling starts the cooking process and gives the pretzels their chewy texture; the baking soda changes the pH of the water and helps the pretzels get their dark brown, shiny crust and pretzel flavor. If you skip this step, the pretzels won't brown as much and will have a softer texture that's similar to a roll.
Ranch dip: Combine 1 packet of Hidden Valley Ranch Dip with 1 cup sour cream.
Maple mustard: Combine 1/2 cup Dijon mustard with 2 tablespoons maple syrup
Cheese spread: Using a food processor or stand mixer, combine 4 ounces cream cheese with 4 ounces shredded cheddar, 3 dashes Worcestershire and a few dashes of hot sauce.
Disclosure: This post is part of a collaboration with Hidden Valley and SheKnows.
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