WINTER PARTY MUST-HAVE: PRETZEL BOWLS WITH BACON CHEDDAR DIP

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Warm pretzels dipped in thick melted cheese is one of my favorite pub snacks of all time. In fact, when I was little I remember having this snack with my mother at our kitchen table. There was nothing better than the salty cheese and soft dough pairing — it was the ultimate comfort food snack.

These days I take it a step further and make warm bacon cheddar dip and serve it up in hot baked pretzel bowls. The dip is dense and cheesy with a delicious bacon-y bite. The hearty flavors are perfect for the cooler seasons.

Winter Party Must-Have: Pretzel Bowls with Bacon Cheddar Dip
IMAGE SOURCE: KELSEY BANFIELD

I make the pretzel bowls myself, though you could easily pick up soft pretzel buns at your local store and use them instead. If you decide to make them, it’s surprisingly easy and you only have to do it once in a while since this recipe makes four. I usually use one immediately and freeze the remainder for later. They will last for up to four months in the freezer so you can dole them out for entertaining as needed. They also make good soup bowls!

Here is how we make this delicious snack. Get ready to follow along and serve this up at your next winter event!

Pretzel Bowls with Bacon Cheddar Dip

Makes: 4

Ingredients:

  • Pretzel bowls (recipe below)
  • Bacon cheddar dip (recipe below)
  • Shredded cheddar cheese, for garnish
  • Cooked bacon, crumbled, for garnish

Directions:

  1. After making pretzel bowls and bacon cheddar dip, preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Then cut away the top of the pretzel bun and tear out the insides to form the bowl.
  3. Add the dip to the bowl and smooth the top with a spatula. Then scatter more cheese and bacon on top as a garnish.
  4. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until warm all the way through. Serve with chips and remaining pieces of bread that were torn out from the center.

Pretzel Bowls

Makes: 4 bowls

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/8 teaspoon dry yeast
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup baking soda

Topping:

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

Directions:

  1. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer add the butter, 1 cup warm water, brown sugar, and yeast. Whisk together briefly and leave the yeast to proof. After about 5 minutes the liquid should be slightly bubbly and foamy. Add the flour and salt and mix the dough well until a solid ball forms.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it 5 or 6 times. Then transfer it to a lightly oiled bowl and place it in a warm, dry space with a cotton towel draped over the top of the bowl. Leave it for 1 hour.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  4. After an hour punch the dough down and divide it into 4 equal pieces.
  5. In a large saucepan add 4 cups water and baking soda. Bring it to a low boil and add the dough rolls, one at a time, cooking for about 45 seconds to 1 minute per side.
  6. Place the rolls on a baking sheet. Make an X in the top of each. Brush the top of each roll with the melted butter and sprinkle with the salt. Bake the rolls for about 20 minutes, or until browned and baked through. Remove and allow to cool completely.

Bacon Cheddar Dip

Makes: amount for 2 bowls

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, plus more for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 slices cooked bacon, crumbled, plus more for garnish

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl combine all of the ingredients and mix until completely smooth.

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