Miniature Soft Pretzels
adapted from Smitten Kitchen who adapted from Martha Stewart
**I followed nearly all of her suggestions and my pretzels came out great. I kind of have a soft spot for pretzels and cheese so I was really excited to make this recipe.
Makes 16 full-sized or 32 miniature
2 C warm water (100°F to 110°F)
1 Tbsp + 2 Tbsp sugar
1 packet active dry yeast
4 C wheat flour + 1 C all purpose flour
1 Tbsp salt
2 tsp canola or other neutral oil
1/4 C baking soda
1 large egg
Coarse or pretzel salt
1. Pour warm water and 1 tablespoon sugar into bowl and stir to combine. Sprinkle with yeast, and let sit 10 minutes; yeast should be foamy.
2. Add 1 cup flour to yeast, and stir until combined. Add salt and 4 cups more flour, and mix until combined, about 30 seconds. Mix until dough pulls away from sides of bowl, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add another 1/2 cup flour, and knead on low 1 minute more. If dough is still wet and sticky, add 1/2 cup more flour (this will depend on weather conditions); knead until combined, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a lightly floured board, and knead about ten times, or until smooth.
3. Pour oil into same large bowl; swirl to coat sides. Transfer dough to bowl, turning dough to completely cover all sides. Cover with a kitchen towel, and leave in a warm spot for 1 hour, or until dough has doubled in size.
4. Heat oven to 450°F. Lightly spray two baking sheets with cooking spray (parchment paper, ungreased, also works). Set aside. Punch down dough to remove bubbles. Transfer to a lightly floured board. Knead once or twice, divide into 16 pieces (about 2 1/2 ounces each) or 32 if making miniature pretzels, and wrap in plastic.
5. Roll one piece of dough at a time into an 18-inch-long strip. [I find the pretzels much easier to roll on an unfloured board, oddly enough, but see what works for you.] Twist into pretzel shape (see Martha Stewart diagram for an easy 1,2,3 method); transfer to prepared baking sheet. Cover with a kitchen towel. Continue to form pretzels; eight will fit on each sheet (you may need a third sheet if making miniatures). Let pretzels rest until they rise slightly, about 15 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, fill large, shallow pot with 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil. Add baking soda (and step back, it foams up quickly) and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Reduce to a simmer; transfer three to four pretzels to water. Poach 1 minute on each side. Use slotted spoon to transfer pretzels to baking sheet. Continue until all pretzels are poached.
7. Beat egg with 1 tablespoon water. Brush pretzels with egg glaze. Sprinkle with salt. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool on wire rack, or eat warm. Pretzels are best when eaten the same day, but will keep at room temperature, uncovered, for two days. Do not store in covered container or they will become soggy.
adapted from The Neely's
1 lb. ground pork
1 lb Italian pork sausage
1 tsp paprika
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 C panko bread crumbs
1/2 C grated Parmesan
2 large eggs
1/4 C chopped fresh parsley leaves (* I used Italian parsley)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 Tbsp olive oil, divided
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, chopped
1 (20-ounce) can tomato puree
Soft rolls, split horizontally (* I used Hawaiin Sweet Rolls)
Fresh basil leaves
1. Combine the ground pork and pork sausage, red pepper flakes, 2 cloves of the chopped garlic, panko, grated cheese, eggs, parsley, kosher salt and black pepper, to taste, in large bowl. Form into 2-inch-meatballs and set aside on a platter.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and cook until brown on all sides. Transfer to plate.
3. Meanwhile, start the sauce. Add the 2 tablespoons of the remaining olive oil to a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, and the remaining garlic. Saute until the onion begins to brown, about 4 to 5 minutes. Season the onions with salt and pepper, to taste. Add the tomato puree and the tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, stir in the meatballs and simmer the sauce, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes.
To serve, put a meat ball on the bottom of each roll and drizzle lightly with some sauce. Top with a basil leaf and some shaved pecorino. Cover with the roll tops and transfer to a platter. Serve warm.
Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chips Cookies
adapted from Picky Palate
So I will admit that I completely cheated on these cookies! I bought store bought cookie dough and mini oreos to make mine. Wrapped the cookie dough around the oreos and baked them at 350 for 10-12 minutes. But, I was pressed on time and consider how viral these have gone thought that I would give them a try.