At what point does it make sense for a person purchase a tuxedo? Chocolate Soft Pretzels with White Chocolate Chips have caused me to wonder.
Not that these pretzels are going to be receiving an invite to the Oscars anytime soon, but if and when foods do make the guest list, I believe Chocolate Soft Pretzels with White Chocolate Chips deserve a place right at the top—these fluffy, cocoa-scented soft pretzels are always dressed for a black-tie event.
The only person I know in real life who I suspected might own his own tux is my Uncle RD. He’s an architect who has lived abroad for the past 22 years, the most recent 17 being in London. I emailed him to ask, and it turns out that he not only owns a tux—he is on his third since college and purchased a new one just last year. I know (logically) that RD doesn’t spend every night hobnobbing at Kensington Palace; however, the fact that he has worn out multiple tuxedos leads me to believe that his life is even more illustrious than I dared conjecture.
In this same email, RD casually assured me that owning a tux is a totally normal thing and I probably know multiple men who own their own; I just don’t realize it. I sincerely hope this to be true because, deep down inside…I’m dying to go to a ball! Where there are men in tuxes, surely there must be glamorous women in ball gowns, correct? Clearly my parents let me watch too much Cinderella as a kid.
If I ever do wrangle an invite to a ball, I’m going the Rent the Runway route. I see no point investing in a ball gown long term, because I wouldn’t dream of being seen at two balls in the same dress. Since I’m sure a slew of party invites will arrive just as soon as I’ve attended the first, I’m glad I have my wardrobe strategy planned in advance.
While soft pretzels might not be an instinctual choice for a swanky black-tie event, premier Hollywood party planners should give Chocolate Soft Pretzels with White Chocolate Chips a chance. Can you imagine what a hit Auntie Anne’s would be at an Oscars afterparty? I can see the celebs clamoring over one another for a bite of that buttery, hypnotically-scented, soft pretzel goodness now.
I’ve adored soft pretzels since the fifth-grade. My mom would drop me off at the mall (a safe distance from the door, mind you) to “go shopping” with my friends. “Go shopping” in those days meant peruse Claire’s in search of new smiley face accessories and mood rings. This smiley face fetish represents one of many phases in my life where I must seriously question my fashion sense. Bangs are another.
In between rounds of sniffing the different lotions at Bath and Body Works (Do I go with the Freesia or the Sun Ripened Raspberry?), my friends and I would become exhausted and in need of sustenance. Auntie Anne’s came to the rescue every time.
Though shopping is no longer something I really enjoy (unless it’s Christmas shopping—I’m a crazy person who likes the mall at Christmas. Everything smells like pine trees and cinnamon, and Williams-Sonoma hands out free peppermint bark), my love for soft pretzels remains strong and true. I’ve dropped my Auntie Anne’s fetish in favor of homemade soft pretzels, which are healthier, equally irresistible, and don’t require me to fight off an old lady for a parking space.
Start to finish, Chocolate Soft Pretzels with White Chocolate Chips are ready in less than an hour and require only 15 minutes of rise time. Rather than fussing with boiling the shaped pretzels in a baking soda solution (the traditional pretzel method), I use a quick egg wash to give the pretzels a glossy finish and texture. The dough is also incredibly fun to roll out and twist into pretzel shapes. I may dream of going to a ball, but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy playing with my food.
Recap: I want to be Cinderella, I play with my food, and I love free samples at the mall. Basically I’m 12.
I baked Chocolate Soft Pretzels with White Chocolate Chips with my favorite yeast, Red Star Platinum. From my Red Velvet Cinnamon Rolls to No-Knead Oatmeal Bread to Honey Swirled Coffee Cake, I simply cannot say enough positive things about this yeast. I bake with whole wheat flour in nearly all of my bread recipes, a practice which can result in a heavy, dense loaf if the right steps are not taken. Red Star Platinum helps ensure my final product is super soft and fluffy, and these chewy on the outside, tender on the inside Chocolate Soft Pretzels with White Chocolate Chips are no exception!
With their soft, dark cocoa dough and fun white chocolate polka dots, Chocolate Soft Pretzels with White Chocolate Chips are dressed for a party. I’m petitioning them for a red-carpet affair, but I’m equally in support of smearing them with peanut butter for a quick, tasty breakfast or snack. No ball gown required.
Chocolate White Chocolate Chip Pretzels
- 2 cups white whole wheat flour or substitute all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 1/4 teaspoons Red Star Platinum Instant Yeast (1 packet)
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee (optional, will intensify chocolate flavor)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt divided
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour (up to to 1 ¾ cups)
- 3/4 cup white chocolate chips divided
- 1 large egg for egg wash
- Make the Dough: In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a large mixing bowl), combine the white whole wheat flour, cocoa powder, sugar, yeast, instant coffee, and ½ teaspoon salt. Heat water to the temperature directed by the manufacturer (Red Star Platinum is 120 to 130 degrees F.) Mix the ingredients on low speed or stir by hand with a wooden spoon, until combined.
- If using a standing mixer, switch to the dough hook. (If mixing by hand, continue with wooden spoon.) Mix in 1 ¼ cup all purpose flour until incorporated. Continue to stir in the remaining ½ cup all purpose flour, one tablespoon at a time, adding flour just until the dough is lightly tacky but no longer sticky. (All of the remaining flour may not be needed.) Knead dough for 5 minutes by machine or 7 minutes by hand on a lightly floured surface. Knead in ½ cup white chocolate chips a little at a time, just until evenly distributed.
- Place rack in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat mats.
- Lightly flour a knife and cut the dough into 4 equal parts. Then, cut those 4 parts into 2 parts each so that you have 8 pieces total. Lightly dust a work surface with cocoa powder. Roll each piece of dough into a long rope that is even in diameter and 20-22 inches long. Most of the white chocolate chips will gravitate towards the center of the rope, which is OK (white chocolate chips that are too exposed may scorch.) To form the pretzel, lay the rope horizontally, then pick up each end and draw them upwards as if you were forming a circle that connects at the top. About 2 inches from each end, twist the rope ends together to close the circle, forming a full twist all the way around (the rope that starts on the left should end on the left.) Draw the down into the circle, then adhere the loose ends to the bottom of the pretzel at the 5 o’clock and 7 o’clock positions. Repeat to make eight pretzels. Press the dough ends lightly to hold the shape.
- In a shallow bowl or pie dish, beat the egg and with 1 teaspoon of water and remaining ½ teaspoon salt to create an egg wash. Dip each entire pretzel into the egg wash, flipping to coat both sides. Place each pretzel on the prepared baking sheet and let rest 15 minutes. Pretzels will puff slightly.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the pretzels darken and an instant read thermometer inserted in the center registers 190 degrees F. Remove from oven. While pretzels are still warm, lightly press the remaining ¼ cup white chocolate chips onto the outsides to decorate.
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Red Star Yeast compensated me for my time to create this recipe and post. As always, all opinions are my own.