Pretzels with sweetened cinnamon butter
Last year for our tenth anniversary, my husband and I went to Las Vegas to celebrate, leaving the kids behind with their grandparents. The plane ride out there was far from luxurious. I was stuck sitting next to this woman who smelled like she had not showered with water for a few days, but instead settled for bathing in alcohol. To make matters worse, this woman was eating the most disgusting combination of foods: pretzels with mustard and relish; chocolate cookies; and jalapeño chips. I was certain that her food choices were not going to sit well in her liquor filled belly. All I could think the entire way was ‘please do not puke on me’. The smell permeating from this woman was almost too much to stand, but I know that Kris has to have an aisle seat, so I didn’t even bother asking to switch.
Despite the unpleasant seating arrangement on the plan, the rest of the trip was perfect. We stayed in an amazing hotel and had top of the line shows scheduled for every night of our stay. Remembering our previous trips to Vegas, Kris set up limo service so we wouldn’t have to wait in the taxi line for over an hour in the scorching dry heat. Instead, we were whisked away in luxury – champagne in hand. It was fabulous to say the least.
When we finally arrived at the hotel, we were both famished. I get so nervous flying that I can’t eat a thing and I skip drinking anything because, who wants to use one those tiny airplane bathrooms? We found ourselves eating the best tasting pretzels we have ever had at Society Café at the Encore. They could have been the best tasting because we were sooo hungry, but at the time, it really didn’t matter why they were the best, just that we thought they were.
Pretzel rolls with whole-grain mustard butter
Society’s pretzels are these perfectly shaped, soft, warm sticks about the length of your finger that come along with some slightly tangy, but somewhat mild whole-grain mustard butter. I was lucky enough to have the entire ramekin of mustard butter to myself because Kris is not a fan of mustard. I made sure that none of it went to waste, breaking apart the pretzel sticks and watching the steam rise from its center, then dousing each piece with the creamy mustard butter. The heat from the fresh pretzels melted the butter, coating the entire pretzel with its tangy, rich goodness.
Since our trip to Vegas, I have been obsessed with finding a pretzel recipe that even somewhat resembles the perfect little snacks we had at Society. After testing pretzel recipes that were dunked in butter after baking; pretzels that were made with white sugar; and pretzels that were made with olive oil, I have finally found one that comes close to the ones found at Society. Thank you Bobby Flay!
I found the dough incredibly easy to work with which makes me love this recipe even more. Other recipes that I have tried created tough dough that I did not find to be elastic-y enough to create the shapes I was looking for. The only problem that I am still working on is making perfectly straight pretzel sticks. After tossing the pretzels into the baking soda laced boiling water, the pretzel sticks took on a crooked, craggily shape.
I only made minor substitutions to this recipe. I did not have any muscovado sugar, so I used light brown sugar instead. This recipe also calls for two whole eggs to be used as an egg wash prior to baking. I found using two eggs to be excessive, so I used only one egg and still had well over half an egg leftover. I also left off the coarse salt that is usually sprinkled on top of pretzels before baking. I usually like that extra bit of salt, but as I was making these, I was still debating which dippers I was going to make to go along with the pretzels and I did not want the pretzels to be too salty for my savory dippers.
Alainna cannot get enough of my version of the whole-grain mustard butter so making that was a given. I also decided to make a sweet dipper because the boys in my family are too apprehensive to try anything that looks like a seed; grain; or nut in any dish I make.
Shayne loved the sweetened cinnamon butter that I made, but Kris thought it was too fluffy – but that was the point. Who wants to plunge their pretzel into rock hard lard? No, it needs to be light and fluffy so you don’t feel guilty eating a whole stick of sweet butter on your own.
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 3 tbsp powdered sugar
- ¾ tsp ground cinnamon
- Tiny pinch of kosher salt
- Whip softened butter; powdered sugar; and cinnamon until light and fluffy; about 3 minutes
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 1½ tbsp whole-grain Dijon mustard, room temperature
- Pinch of kosher salt (optional)
- Beat the unsalted butter and salt (if using) for 2 minutes, until creamy
- Add in the whole-grain Dijon mustard and mix gently, keeping the mustard grains intact, until combined