Happy Monday everyone!
How was your weekend? I had yet another unexpected 3 day weekend–I feel like I’ve hardly worked at all this month. The snow ended up hitting a bit earlier than anticipated on Friday, so I ended up with another lovely snow day. We didn’t get quite as much as we did last week which was good since we had to make it to Roanoke and back for the Zac Brown Band concert, my birthday present from Jeff. Luckily, the snow stopped early enough for the roads to clear up for us to drive safely to the concert. It was such a great show, though I’ve never seen as many plaid shirts in one place–welcome to Virginia!
I’m already looking ahead to next weekend because my 49ers will be in the Superbowl, and we’re hosting a nice little get together (Read: the perfect excuse to make lots of goodies). I vaguely remember the last time they were in the Superbowl when I was in 1st grade, but I’ll be glued to the TV for my first grown-up chance to watch my favorite team play. And this will be the only time of the year that I actually watch ads on TV, so hopefully there will be some good ones!
If you’re hosting a party this weekend or want to earn some brownie points if you’re traveling somewhere, or heck, even if you hate football and won’t be watching, these homemade pretzels with beer cheese are pretty much the perfect snack. I mean, they combine my favorite things: salty carbs + cheesy goodness + beer. I’ve been dying to make them for such a long time and glad I finally get to share the recipe with you!
I followed food guru Alton Brown’s pretzel recipe since I’d never made them before and had no clue where to start. Alton Brown’s recipes are usually some of my favorites to build off of because they use simple ingredients and easy to follow steps that lend themselves well to learning the basics before tweaking for later use.
For the beer cheese recipe, we pretty much started by combining butter, flour, half and half, beer, and globs of cheddar cheese before reaching the desired consistency and beer to cheese flavor ratio. Make sure that you use a malty, low hop beer for the cheese dip or the hops will overpower the other elements of the dip. These are some of my favorite options: New Belguim’s Fat Tire, Deschutes’ Black Butte Porter, Sierra Nevada’s fall seasonal, Tumbler.
Together, the homemade pretzels and beer cheese are great as appetizers, but definitely still filling enough to serve as a main course. Go Niners!
Homemade Pretzels & Beer Cheese Recipe
1 batch Alton’s Brown homemade pretzels
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup half and half
6 ounces beer
1.5 cups grated cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Make pretzels according to instructions.
In a saucepan, whisk together flour and butter until you form a roux.
Add the half and half and continue to whisk until sauce thickens.
Stir in cheese then add the beer, continuing to reduce until the sauce reaches the desired consistency.
Season with garlic powder, cayenne pepper, mustard powder, and salt.
Serve warm with pretzels and enjoy!
Time: 2 hours, including dough rise time