Seriously, whoever decided to make this day happen is pretty much the smartest person who ever lived.
To celebrate, I made soft pretzels. That I filled with Nutella. And topped with butter and cinnamon-sugar.
Then I ate too many, woke up, and had the rest for breakfast.
I love my job.
For the filling, I decided to make Nutella “chips,” so to speak. I filled a disposable pastry bag with about a quarter cup of Nutella, snipped the end of the bag off, and just piped little dollops of Nutella onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Next, I pressed each one down slightly with a wet fingertip to make them less pointy. After that, all I did was pop them into the freezer until they had all hardened, about 30 minutes.
It took all of about five minutes to pipe these “chips.” They look a bit time consuming, but trust me, they’re fast and easy.
Once I had a rope of dough rolled, I cut them into about 12 pieces each. In the end, you’ll end up with 12 dozen bites. It’s a lot. But guess what? You can easily cut this recipe in half. I did. Worked perfectly.
**Be sure to cover the bites with plastic wrap until you’re ready to use them, or they will dry out and be harder to pinch closed.
Remove your Nutella chips from the freezer, and place one on each bite. Only do five to ten bites at a time, and place the remaining Nutella chips back into the freezer, or they will soften very quickly, and become impossible to work with.
After this, it’s just a matter of following regular pretzel making instructions, and…
…voila! You have soft, lovely, buttery little pillows of cinnamon-sugar pretzel goodness with a hidden little gem of chocolaty hazelnut goodness inside. (I followed the same directions for adding cinnamon sugar to the bites that I used in my original pretzel post.)
Do not be intimidated by these delicious little treats! I’ll admit that, before I actually made them, I was petty nervous that they wouldn’t do what I was hoping they would do, but in the end, they were actually quite quick, very easy, and worth every last second of time, and every ounce of effort that goes into them.
These are one of the most amazing things I’ve ever eaten in my entire life. I’m not even going to try to be humble about it, because I’m completely head over heels for these little devils. I have a total pretzel hangover from overindulging in them, and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
They’re sweet, soft, and buttery, they have the perfect amount of cinnamon spice, and the soft, chocolaty, Nutella filling kills me. It just kills me. I’m dead. And it was totally worth it.
Plus, bonus! Who says you gotta use Nutella?? Why not try peanut butter or (Biscoff) cookie butter (especially if you want to make these vegan)? Oh yeah. The possibilities are endless.
Nutella-filled Soft Pretzel Bites
Makes about 12 dozen bites
**This recipe can be cut in half, and it works beautifully**
FOR THE NUTELLA “CHIPS”
1/2 cup Nutella spread (or peanut butter or Biscoff spread, for vegan bites)
FOR THE PRETZELS
5 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/4 cups warm water (no warmer than 110 degrees)
1 tablespoon canola oil
FOR THE WATER
4 cups hot (boiling or close to it) water
1/2 cup baking soda
FOR THE TOPPING
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter (margarine for vegan)
Cinnamon-sugar (1/2 cup sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon cinnamon)
To make the Nutella “Chips”: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
Fill a disposable piping bag with the Nutella. Pipe small dollops, about 1/2-inch across, of the spread onto the prepared baking sheets. Press the top of each dollop down with a moistened finger to get rid of the point. Freeze until hardened, about 30 minutes. Keep the Nutella in the freezer until you are ready to use it.
To make the pretzels: Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer. Add the oil and the water and mix until a dough forms. If it is too dry add more water, very little at a time. If it is too wet, add more flour. Knead the dough for eight to ten minutes, until smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and allow to rise until doubled in size, about one and a half hours.
Once the dough is doubled in size, preheat oven to 450 degrees. Turn dough onto a clean, dry surface (dust with flour, if necessary) and divide it into 12 equal pieces (about three and a half ounces each). Roll each piece into a rope, about 16 inches long. Cut each rope into 12 bites.
Working with 5 to 10 bites at a time (and keeping the rest covered under plastic wrap to keep them from drying out), press an indentation into each bite with your thumb. Place a Nutella chip on each bite, replacing the remaining chips to the freezer to keep them hard. Wrap the pretzel dough around the Nutella and pinch it closed firmly, being sure to seal them completely.
Combine hot water and baking soda in a medium bowl. Drop each bite into the water and leave it until it floats. Remove with a slotted spoon, allowing excess water to drip off. Place on a line baking sheet and bake for 6 to 8 minutes. Allow to cool completely before topping.
To top: Melt 1 stick of butter or margarine in a small bowl. Dip each bite in the butter. Top with cinnamon-sugar. Serve.
Recipe by Darla