Cider Pretzel Knots stuffed with Baked Apples and Cheddar Cheese

I hate waking up Thursday morning thinking it’s Friday.  That’s got to be one of the worst realizations.  Although, lucky for me, I have tomorrow off thanks to Chinese New Year!  祝大家马年快乐!

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Anyway, before I got that wonderful news yesterday afternoon, this week had just seemed to drag on and on and when that happens, I think we could all use the comforting warmth of something baked, warm and fresh from the oven.  Or the microwave, let’s not try to overdo it on a weeknight.

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Growing up, I remembering eating warm soft pretzels on cold nights, and even though they weren’t homemade (they were the frozen kind you get in the grocery store), I still remember the joy of pulling apart that pretzel shape, studded with oversized bits of salt, and shoving those chewy bits into my mouth.

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I remade a childhood classic a little while ago, and while I’m still enjoying those, sometimes you just need something soft, warm and gooey.  So here I am again, remaking my childhood memories in the kitchen.

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This time around, we’re kicking the frozen soft pretzel up about five notches.  I made the dough using apple cider and cinnamon to give it an extra punch of warm flavors, then made an apple-cheddar filling to turn these pretzel knots into a seriously satisfying snack.  Or meal…I mean, there’s protein and fiber and all that good stuff, right?

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Enjoy the weekend, dear reader, and make yourself some delicious pretzels, you deserve it!

One Year Ago: Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Two Years Ago: Apple Cheddar Scones

Cider Pretzel Knots stuffed with Baked Apples and Cheddar Cheese

Prep Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes

Yield: Makes 4 large pretzel knots

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup warm apple cider
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp active dry yeast
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 medium apple, peeled and diced
  • ½ cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • Sea salt for topping
  • 1 large egg, beaten, for egg wash

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the apple cider, brown sugar and yeast. Mix in around a bit and let it sit for 5-10 mins, it should get frothy. Add the melted butter, salt, cinnamon and flour to the mixture and stir until a shaggy dough comes together. Turn the dough out onto a light floured surface and knead, adding flour as necessary to keep the dough from being too sticky, for 3-4 mins, until the dough is smooth and supple. Place in a large, greased bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until the dough has doubled, about 1-1 ½ hours.
  2. Meanwhile, make the apple filling. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Toss the diced apple with another ½ tsp cinnamon, then transfer to a lined baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 mins, or until the apple pieces are dry to the touch. Remove from oven and let cool.
  3. Once ready to roll out the dough, increase oven temperature to 425 degrees F and bring a large pot of water to boil. Line or grease another baking sheet and set aside. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces, then roll each one out into a 12x3” rectangle. Place a little of the cheese and apple pieces one length of each rectangle, dividing the filling evenly. Lightly brush the opposite side of the dough with the egg wash, then, starting with the side closest to the filling, roll the dough into a long log, enclosing the filling inside. Pinch the seams together to make sure the filling is fully enclosed.
  4. Take the two ends of each log and form them into a knot. Carefully add 2/3 cup of baking soda to the boiling water (it will foam up at first), then boil the pretzels, 2 at a time for 30 seconds, making sure to spoon water over the top. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining pretzels, then brush with the egg wash and sprinkle with salt.
  5. Bake for 18-20 mins, or until the pretzels are golden brown. If they are browning too quickly, you can cover them with foil about halfway through the bake time.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 mins, then enjoy!
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Adapted from Baked by Rachel

This post has been submitted to Yeastspotting!

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