Heart-Shaped Pretzels + Cheese Dip

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It's almost Valentine's Day and I thought it would be a cute idea to share three Valentine's related recipes for the day of love. Me and my boyfriend started dating a couple weeks after Valentine's Day, leaving us in that awkward stage on v-day where we weren't sure if we should get each other presents- since we weren't officially dating. I played it safe and decided to bake him some heart-shaped cookies in his favorite flavor! Ever since, I make sure to cook or bake for him on Valentine's Day. Some past creations were heart-shaped pancakes, sugar cookies made to look like sweethearts, and an apple pie with cut-out hearts crust. 

This will be a fun little series, offering a recipe a week leading up until Valentine's Day! My first recipe is heart-shaped pretzels with cheese dip! Pretzels are one of my favorite snacks, so I'm excited to make these. They are the perfect snack to make for your loved ones or your children and are super festive for the day of love. 

Don't have a sweetie to share the day with? They can also be made into regular pretzels and would be perfect for the Super Bowl this weekend! I'll include directions for both. Check out the recipe below!

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Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes Servings: 10

SOFT PRETZELS

Ingredients

1 package Active dry yeast (I used Fleischmann's)

3/4 cup Warm water

3/4 cup Warm milk

2 tbsp Vegetable oil or olive oil

4- 4 1/2 cup All purpose flour

1 tsp Salt

Coarse sea salt, for sprinkling

For Boiling Solution

1 tbsp Baking soda

2 tsp Salt

Directions

1) Pour half of the water into a large bowl. Pour the yeast in the water and let it dissolve. It will start foaming (give it about 10 minutes).

2) Add the rest of the water, milk and oil to the yeast mixture. 

3) Stir in salt and flour gradually. Stop adding flour once it becomes too stiff to stir, form the dough into a ball and put on a floured surface to knead. Keep kneading in more flour until all of the flour is added. If the dough is still sticky, knead in flour as needed. 

4) Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel and let rest an hour.

5) Cut the dough into 10 pieces. Roll out dough into a long rope and twist into a heart. Pinch the bottom of the heart. See below.

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If you are opting to make regular pretzels, see below!

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6) Let the dough rest on the countertop while bringing a 2 liter pot filled with water and "boiling solution." Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

7) Boil 1-2 at a time for a minute at a time. Remove from water with a slotted spoon or spatula and put on a foil lined baking sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Sprinkle pretzels with coarse salt while still wet, so it sticks better.

8) Bake for 20 minutes or until golden. 

CHEESE DIP

Ingredients

1 tbsp Butter

1 tbsp Flour

1 cup Milk

1 cup Sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

1/2 tsp Dry mustard

Cayenne pepper, to taste

Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

1) In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.

2) Add flour and continually whisk to thicken (about 1 minute).

3) Add half of milk and stir until it starts to thicken.

4) Stir in cheese until melted.

5) Add the rest of milk and stir until nice and creamy. Add more milk if needed.

6) Stir in dry mustard. Season to taste.

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ENJOY. XOXO.

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