Michael Gary Scott has many monikers - practitioner of Propeica, spokesman for scotch & splenda, tormentor of Toby, and pioneer of pretzel paraphernalia. Not listed among these accolades is arterial health, as our sugar-hyped-hero forgoes a day's work for the sake of a fully-loaded pretzel, courtesy of Stanley's favorite annual visitor. Hope you've got your Gary Glitter cued up.
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 packets active dry yeast
- 6 Tbsp brown sugar
- 3 ¼ cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup bread flour
- 2 tsp salt
- 4 Tbsp cooled melted butter
- 4 cups hot water combined with ½ cup baking soda
- Rock salt or cinnamon sugar (½ cup sugar and 2 Tbsp of cinnamon combined)
- Melted butter
Caramel Topping (From “Homer Simpson's Patented Space Age Out-Of-This-World Moon Waffles”):
- ½ cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ½ tsp vanilla extract (optional)
Hot Fudge Sauce:
- 4 Tbsp butter
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- ⅔ cup chocolate chips
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
Peanut Butter Drizzle:
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ cup light corn syrup
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- A little bit of vanilla paste (optional)
- ½ cup smooth peanut butter
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar, sifted to remove lumps
- 3-4 Tbsp milk
- 2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
- Cinnamon sugar
- Melted chocolate
- Melted white chocolate
- Mint chips
- Chocolate chips
- Miniature marshmallows
- Nuts (peanuts)
- Toffee Nuts (candied pecans)
- Sweetened coconut flakes
- Crushed Oreos
- Multi-colored sprinkles
- Cotton candy bits
- Powdered sugar
- In a small saucepan, heat milk to 110℉. Remove milk from heat, add yeast and let sit for about 5 minutes, or until frothy and bubbly.
- Put milk and yeast mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer and add the brown sugar, all purpose flour, bread flour, salt, and butter. Knead mixture for 10 minutes using the dough hook attachment. Dough should not be sticky and should pull away from the sides of the bowl. If the dough is sticky, add a few tablespoons of flour.
- Place dough in a well-oiled, covered bowl and let rise in a warm place (recommended: on top of or inside an oven that is off) for 1 hour. This a great time to make your toppings! See the recipes below. To continue the pretzels:
- Preheat oven to 450℉. Spray workspace with cooking spray. Unwrap the dough, which should have doubled in size, and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll dough out into long strands that are about the thickness of your finger and 3 feet long. Grab dough by ends and twist around itself three times. Then, fold the dough on top of itself, forming a pretzel. Watch the video above to see how it's done!
- Dip pretzels into the hot water and baking soda mixture, then place on baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Sprinkle rock salt or cinnamon sugar on top.
- Place pretzels into preheated oven for 12 minutes, or until lightly browned. Turn pretzels halfway through to ensure even cooking.
- After the pretzels have slightly cooled, brush them with melted butter.
- Top with sweet glaze, cinnamon sugar, chocolate drizzle, white chocolate drizzle, a smearing of hot fudge, M&Ms, caramel sauce, mint chips, chocolate chips, miniature marshmallows, nuts (peanuts), toffee nuts (candied pecans), coconut, peanut butter drizzle, crushed Oreos, multi-colored jimmies (sprinkles), cotton candy bits, and a gentle snowfall of powdered sugar.
- In a saucepan, bring water and sugar to a boil. Stir gently, making sure the sugar doesn’t stick to the sides of the pan. Pour yourself a glass of scotch for color reference and bring the mixture to 350℉.
- While water and sugar are coming to a boil, heat heavy cream to almost boiling. Then, pour cream into water and sugar mixture ¼ cup at a time (slowly!). Continue to combine over low heat. Add vanilla extract if you desire.
- Set aside to cool and thicken
Hot Fudge Sauce:
- In a saucepan, combine butter, cocoa powder, chocolate chips, sugar, and condensed milk over heat and bring to a bare simmer.
- Cook mixture for about 7 minutes or until a beautiful chocolate fudge sauce forms. Pour sauce into glass mason jar and set aside. Note: this mixture may need to be microwaved to become pourable again after it has cooled and solidified.
Peanut Butter Drizzle:
- In a saucepan, combine heavy cream, sugar, light corn syrup, butter, and vanilla paste (if you desire) and heat until just steaming and all of the ingredients are incorporated.
- Let mixture cool slightly and then add peanut butter. Mix until smooth and then pour into a glass mason jar and set aside.
- Place sifted sugar into bowl and combine milk slowly until the mixture is a pourable glaze. Add vanilla extract, if you desire.