January 31, 2013

Chicken Cheesesteaks

My challenge in life now is to bake more savory than sweet. I simply cannot be trusted around sweets right now with this pregnancy. This child inside me made me eat 10 cupcakes in 3 days ... at least I can feel somewhat better that the cupcakes weren't frosted.

So it was the perfect time to try this recipe from How Sweet It Is. My husband loves Philly cheesesteaks, so I was curious how he would rate this homemade (and fairly healthy) version. He gave me the sincere compliment, "You can make these again."

These are fantastic sandwiches. Although there are a few steps, nothing is difficult. You could even make the sandwiches ahead of time, wrap them in foil and refrigerate until you want to serve them. Then simply toss them in the oven to toast them and warm them and wow your guests ... or your stomach ... or both.

Apologies: I had the best of intentions of photographing these delicious sandwiches for your viewing pleasure. But then we got so caught up in the deliciousness that we forgot.  

Chicken Cheesesteaks
2 lbs. skinless chicken thighs
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 green pepper, sliced
1 sweet onion, sliced
8 oz. sharp white cheddar cheese, freshly grated
1/2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 Tbsp. flour
2/3 cup whole milk
6 whole wheat sub rolls

Preheat oven to 400°F. Heat a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Season chicken on both sides with 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Place in the skillet, and sear on both sides until golden, about 2 minutes per side.

Once seared, place skillet in oven and roast chicken for 15 minutes. When finished, remove and let cool slightly and then shred into pieces. Reduce oven temperature to 300°F.

After chicken is done roasting roasting, heat the same skillet over medium-low heat. Add peppers, onions, salt and pepper, stirring to coat and cooking until soft but not caramelized.

In a small saucepan, heat butter over medium heat until it's sizzling. Whisk in flour to create a roux, cooking until mixture is golden and smells somewhat nutty, about 2 minutes. Add in milk, and stir until milk is bubbling and thick. Then reduce heat to low, add about 5 ounces of shredded cheddar and mix until combined and creamy.

To assemble, lay out 6 squares of aluminum foil, and place a roll on each. Stuff each roll with chicken, then drizzle with cheese sauce and stuff with peppers and onions. Top with a handful of extra shredded cheddar. Roll each sandwich up tightly. Once all sandwiches are rolled, place on a baking sheet and bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Serves 6.

January 30, 2013

Grandma Buns

We lost my husband's grandmother last spring. The holidays won't be the same without her seated around the table making sure everyone has enough food to eat. One of the things we all miss is her food, which she always insisted was "terrible."

Of course, she never wrote down her recipes, which makes it harder to replicate her "terrible" food. One of her 13 children wrote down the recipe for Grandma's buns, which I made for my hubby returning from deer hunting. He said they were "terrible," which I was pleased to hear. The verdict is they are close to Grandma's but not exactly the same. Guess I'll have to keep practicing.

Grandma Buns
1/2 cup warm water (between 105ºF and 115ºF)
2 Tbsp. dry yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. butter
2 cups warm water
3 cups flour
1 egg
1 1/2 cups flour
4 cups flour
Additional butter for greasing tops

Combine 1/2 cup warm water with yeast, and stir to dissolve. Set aside to proof yeast.

Combine sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and butter. Add 2 cups warm water, and stir until butter is melted. Add 3 cups flour, and stir until mixed. Then add egg and water with dissolved yeast. Mix well. Stir in another 1 1/2 cups flour.

In a large bowl, place 4 remaining cups of flour, and make a well in the center. Pour the other bowl into the well. Gradually start working the flour into the rest of the mixture. You have to work the flour in and knead it for about 10 minutes. If your dough is too sticky, gradually add more flour.

Butter a dutch oven pan, and put your kneaded dough into it. Now make the sign of the cross on the dough and thank God for all he gives us. Cover with lid, and let rest 15 minutes. Punch down dough. Cover and let double in size, about an hour.

Butter 2 cookie sheets, and pinch chunks of dough off and form into rolls. Place on cookie sheets When cookie sheets are full, place a towel over the top. Let raise another hour or a little longer.

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Bake buns for 20 minutes or until golden and slightly crusty. Grease tops with butter. Take off pans, and cool on wire racks. (Grandma always broke hers apart if they baked together.) My batch yielded 38 buns.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars

I had the best intentions of making biscotti yesterday until I saw a recipe for Ina Garten's PB & J Bars. And then Baby was suddenly craving them like no other ... never mind that neither Baby nor I have ever had them. They sounded incredible. They are incredible. I made only a half batch since I have no willpower right now with sweet treats (but the recipe below is for the full batch). Bonus points for me, too, because I'm using our preserves.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars
2 sticks butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla
2  eggs, at room temperature
2 cups creamy peanut butter
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups strawberry jam or other jam

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 by 13 by 2-inch cake pan.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light yellow, about 2 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the vanilla, eggs, and peanut butter and mix until all ingredients are combined.

In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the peanut butter mixture. Mix just until combined.

Spread 2/3 of the dough into the prepared cake pan and spread over the bottom with a knife or offset spatula. Spread the jam evenly over the dough. Drop small globs of the remaining dough evenly over the jam. Don't worry if all the jam isn't covered. Bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown. Cool and cut into squares.

The number of servings depends on whether you're pregnant. If you're pregnant, a half batch will be lucky to make it 2 full days. If you're not pregnant, then this recipe yields at least 12 bars, if not more.

Mint Marshmallows

Homemade marshmallows are a fun project. How cool is it to say you made your own marshmallows? And what's better in hot chocolate than a peppermint marshmallow?

Peppermint Marshmallows
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 oz. unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup cool water
1 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp. mint extract

In a small bowl, sift together powdered sugar and cornstarch. Set aside. Grease an 8-inch pan with vegetable oil. Place parchment paper to cover the bottom and two sides of the pan. Oil parchment paper as well. Coat pan with half the sugar/cornstarch mixture.

Fill a large bowl with water and sprinkle with gelatin. In a medium pot with a candy thermometer, combine sugar, corn syrup and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium, and cool until mixture reaches 240˚F. Remove from heat, and set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat reserved gelatin mixture 30 seconds. Then pour in sugar-corn syrup mixture in a slow steady stream. Increase mixer speed to high, and beat until very thick, ribbony and doubled in volume, about 12 to 15 minutes.

Beat in mint extract for 30 seconds. Pour into prepared pan. Using dampened fingers, smooth top. Sprinkle with remaining powdered sugar mixture. Let rest, uncovered, in a cool, dry place, about 4 hours or up to overnight.

Invert marshmallows onto a dry surface and discard parchment. Brush powdered sugar aside. Dust a knife in remaining sugar, and cut marshmallows into squares. Makes about 16 marshmallows.

For extra fun, dip one side of marshmallows in melted chocolate and then sprinkles.

Pretzel Rolls

We needed bread for my hubby's lunches, and I happened across this recipe on Ezra Pound Cake. These are relatively quick to make, less than an hour total of rising time and 25 minutes for baking time. That means you could get them done within 2 hours, which is fast for how delicious they are. They shall be our supper tonight topped with chicken, BBQ sauce and bacon. Yummmmm ....

Pretzel Rolls
2 3/4 cups bread flour
2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 to 1 tsp. celery seeds
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons hot water (125°F to 130°F)
8 cups water
1/4 cup baking soda
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 egg white, beaten
Coarse salt 

Combine bread flour, yeast, salt, sugar and celery seeds in food processor, and blend. With machine running, slowly pour hot water through feed tube, adding enough water to form smooth elastic dough. Process 1 minute to knead. Place the dough into an oiled bowl. Cover, and let dough rise in warm area until doubled in size, about 35 minutes.

Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper or Silipat, and set aside. Punch dough down, and knead on lightly floured countertop until smooth. Divide the dough into 8 pieces. Form each dough piece into ball. Place dough balls on prepared sheet, flattening each slightly. Using a serrated knife or kitchen shears, cut an X in top center of each dough ball. Cover with towel, and let dough balls rise until almost doubled in volume, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375°F.

Cover a second baking sheet with a Silipat and set aside. Bring 8 cups water to boil in large saucepan. Add baking soda and 2 Tbsp. sugar. (The water will foam a lot.) Add 4 rolls, and cook 30 seconds per side. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the rolls to the prepared sheet, arranging X side up. Repeat with remaining rolls.

Brush rolls with egg white glaze, and sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake rolls until brown, about 25 minutes. Transfer to racks, and cool 10 minutes. Serve rolls warm or room temperature. To rewarm, place them in a 375°F oven for 10 minutes. Makes 8 rolls. Easily devoured in one day.

Roasted Pecan Pumpkin Butter

This is what sweet rolls deserve as their filling. I'm not saying that's what How Sweet It Is intended with this recipe, but that's the first place my mind goes when I spread this on toast. Try it.

This won't replace my staple nut butters, but for homemade sweet rolls ... this is the ticket.

Roasted Pecan Pumpkin Butter
1 pound (16 oz.) unsalted pecans
3 Tbsp. pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 Tbsp. maple syrup
1/4 tsp. salt (or more to taste)

Preheat oven to 300ºF. Spread the pecans out on a baking sheet, and bake for 15 minutes, flipping every 5 minutes.
Once roasted, add pecans to a food processor, and blend and pulse, scraping down the sides of the processor until the butter comes together. This takes about 5 to 6 minutes. Add in pumpkin, spices, syrup and salt, pureeing and blending more until your desired consistency is reached.

Taste and season more if needed, and then place in a seal-tight container or jar to serve. Store in the fridge if this butter will not be consumed within 1 to 2 weeks. Makes about 1 1/3 cups.

Chocolate Chess Pie

For my hubby's family Christmas gathering, I made this simple chocolate pie from Ezra Pound Cake.

Of course, it wasn't quite so simple for me to make because I had to bake it in a roaster oven due to a broken heating element. But, it was the only pie that disappeared completely at the family gathering and got rave reviews.

This should be a repeat recipe for me, but I know how busy I get trying new recipes.

Chocolate Chess Pie
1 unbaked 9-inch deep-dish pie shell (homemade or store-bought)
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 heaping Tbsp. cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
5 oz. evaporated milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. If you’re using a homemade crust, roll it out, and place it in a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan. (If store-bought, follow the directions on the package for a one-crust filled pie.)

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the sugar, cocoa and salt. Add the evaporated milk, melted butter, eggs and vanilla. Stir together until everything is completely combined.

Pour the filling into your pie shell, and bake for 45 to 50 minutes. (If you’re using a thinner store-bought crust, cover it with aluminum foil or a pie crust shield halfway through baking to keep the crust from getting too dark.) When the pie is finished, it will be set but still a little jiggly in the center.

Cool the pie on a wire rack. Serve it warm, or chill for a few hours before slicing. Pairs fabulously with vanilla ice cream or homemade whipped cream. Makes 1 amazing pie!

January 29, 2013

Venison Nachos

I found this recipe in Field and Stream  of all places. The description of the meat sounded fabulous and worth the effort. It was. The meat is tender, yet crispy on the edges, and full of flavor. My husband said I had to put this on my blog, so we would make it again.

Venison Nachos
2 lb. venison roast, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
3 Tbsp. olive oil
6 cloves garlic, chopped
2 Tbsp. cumin
1 Tbsp. oregano
4 bay leaves
2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, chopped
4 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup olive oil
Additional nacho toppings

Dry the venison with paper towels, and season well with salt and pepper. Heat the 3 Tbsp. olive oil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven. Add the venison, in batches to avoid overcrowding, and brown on all sides. Transfer the browned pieces to a clean plate.

Once all venison is browned and set aside, add the garlic to the pot. Stir about 1 minute, and then add remaining seasonings. Stir to combine, and then add chicken stock and venison. Bring to a simmer, and cook partly covered for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the venison is very tender but not falling apart. Remove the lid, and continue to simmer 30 minutes or until liquid is nearly evaporated.

Remove venison, and set aside. Clean and dry the Dutch oven, and return to medium-high heat. Add the 1/4 cup olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the venison in batches, cooking until outside edges are crispy. Remove venison from the pot, and set aside. When cool enough to touch, shred the meat.

Layer tortilla chips with shredded venison and cheese, along with any other desired toppings. Bake or broil until cheese is melted. Serves 6.

January 28, 2013

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

In addition to my unique pickles cupcakes, these are the final cupcakes for my co-workers in Green Bay.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes
2 Tbsp. (1 oz.) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup (7 oz.) sugar
2 oz. chocolate peanut butter chips
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup (2 fluid oz.) vegetable or canola oil, measured in a liquid measuring cup
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup (2 3/4 oz.) full-fat sour cream
1 cup (5 oz.) all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup (1 oz.) natural cocoa powder
1/4 cup (2 fluid oz.) whole milk, measured in a liquid measuring cup
1 cup chocolate peanut butter chips
Frosting1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter (I used approximately 1/3 cup crunchy because I ran out of creamy)
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 Tbsp. milk (or as needed)
1 bag chocolate peanut butter chips
Nutter Butters

Preheat oven to 350˚F.  Place 12 cupcake liners in a cupcake tin.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, mix butter and sugar until fully combined. The end result should look like wet sand.

Melt the chocolate in the microwave or in a double boiler. Once the melted chocolate is cool enough to touch, add it to the butter/sugar mixture and mix until just combined.

Mix in eggs one at a time until just combined. Mix in oil, vanilla, and sour cream until just combined.

Sift together flour, salt, baking soda and cocoa powder into a separate medium-sized bowl. Use a fork or a whisk to ensure that the ingredients are mixed well after sifting.

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in three additions, mixing until just combined after each addition. Mix in milk until just combined. Stir in remaining chocolate peanut butter chips.

Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full, and put in the oven.

Check for doneness at 18 minutes - a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake should come out clean.  If they are not done, check again every three minutes until they are done.

Immediately remove cupcakes from the cupcake tin and place on a cooling rack or on the counter to cool to room temperature.

To make frosting, beat butter and peanut butter together until well mixed. Gradually add powdered sugar. When mixture gets thick, slowly incorporate milk one tablespoon at a time as needed to keep frosting spreadable. Beat at least three minutes to make frosting fluffy.

Once cupcakes are cool, pipe on frosting. To make garnish, melt chips, and spread onto wax paper. Chill until set. Break into pieces. Top each cupcake with pieces of chocolate and a Nutter Butter cookie. Makes 12 cupcakes. (Note, the frosting recipe will frost more cupcakes, and an entire bag of chips will garnish more cupcakes.)

Pickles and Ice Cream Cupcakes

I discovered these cupcakes from Cupcake Project after my son AJ was born. When I started making weekly cupcakes for my co-workers, I tucked this idea in the back of my mind for when our second child came along.

Coincidentally, we're in the midst of moving to a new town because my husband accepted another job. This means I can still work for my company, but I'll be switching offices. This means my current co-workers have one final week of cupcakes. 

What better way to leave than on a weird note? In addition to these, which I'll promote as "mystery" cupcakes to allow people to guess the flavor, I'll make a more normal batch as well.

Pickles and Ice Cream Cupcakes
1 cup flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground dill
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. onion powder
6 Tbsp. butter, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup dill pickle juice (the liquid from the pickle jar)
1/3 cup finely chopped dill pickles

Preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, dill, salt, and onion powder in a medium-sized bowl. Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and sour cream until blended. 

Alternately fold in flour mixture and pickle juice, beginning and ending with the flour. Fold in the chopped pickles.

Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full. Bake  about 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the cupcake clean. Cool completely on wire racks. Top with ice cream to serve. Makes 8 cupcakes.

Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

A couple years ago I borrowed a Ghirardelli chocolate cookbook from the library and copied several recipes, which I tucked away in my stash of recipes to bake. I found that stack while packing my cookbooks for our impending move. Among the recipes was one for a chocolate shortbread, which I promptly made as part of my Christmas cookie stash. The recipe suggests an option of dipping cookies and sandwiching them with chocolate/peanut butter goodness. I didn't do that, but I think they'd also be fantastic stuffed with chocolate cream cheese frosting.

Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp. salt

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until smooth. Add remaining ingredients, and beat just until incorporated. Chill the dough at least 30 minutes.

Line 2 cookie sheets with silipats. Preheat oven to 325˚F.

On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to a thickness of 1/4 inch. Cut 2-inch rounds out of the dough, and reroll scraps as needed. Place cookies on sheets at least 1/2-inch apaprt.

Bake 15 minutes. Let cookies cool on sheets, and then remove with a spatula. Makes about 40 cookies.

Vanilla Bean Shortbread

Oddly enough, this recipe is why I purchased whole vanilla beans for the first time. And then Christmas was over, and I never made this Cooking Light recipe. So, this year I pulled out this recipe and gave it a shot.

It's an OK shortbread for a slightly healthier version, but it doesn't top my mom's Scotch shortbread recipe.

Vanilla Bean Shortbread
2 cups flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line bottom and sides of 13 x 9 pan with foil, coat foil with cooking spray and set aside.

Combine flour, cornstarch and salt in a large bowl. Beat butter in separate medium bowl 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add oil, and beat on medium speed about  3 minutes until well blended. Gradually add sugar, beating well. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean, and add seeds to butter. (Discard the pods.) Add flour mixture, beating on low until just incorporated.

Spoon dough into prepared pan. Use a sheet of plastic wrap to press dough evenly into pan. Discard plastic wrap.

Bake 30 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool in pan 5 minutes on a wire rack. Carefully remove shortbread by lifting out foil. Cut into 32 pieces, and cool squares completely on wire rack. Makes 32 small pieces of shortbread.

Skillet Caramel Apple Pie

This pie looks delicious. This pie smells delicious. I'm wondering if my co-workers would notice if I sneak a piece before tomorrow's Christmas potluck. I'm guessing they would.

I've been meaning to bake this since I found the recipe ... and still have a bag of apples from my parents' tree sitting in my garage. (Now that bag is less full, thanks to this pie.)

This pie may look a bit complicated, but it's easy. If you're scared of making your own pie crust, buy the pre-packaged kind. They work wonderfully. Thanks to Sticky Gooey Creamy Chewy for this deliciousness that will make my co-workers love me tomorrow.

Skillet Caramel Apple Pie
6 large apples (about 4 lbs.) peeled, cored and sliced thinly
3 Tbsp. flour
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 stick + 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter (divided)
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
2 pie crusts

Preheat oven to 450˚F. Toss apples with flour, lemon juice and cinnamon. Set aside.

In a small saucepan, melt 6 Tbsp. butter over medium heat. Add 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup sugar and water. Bring to a boil stirring constantly. Reduce heat, and let the mixture simmer 3 minutes without stirring. Remove from heat, and set aside.

Roll out pie crusts, so they will fit 10-inch skillet. Place bottom crust in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes to prepare it for the wrath of a hot skillet. Cut a couple decorative pieces out of the top pie crust to allow steam to vent.

In 10-inch oven-safe skillet, melt remaining butter over medium heat. Once butter is melted, add remaining brown sugar. Stir until sugar is melted, and then remove from heat. Make sure caramel mixture evenly coats the bottom of the pan.

Working quickly, place bottom pie crust into skillet on top of caramel sauce. Fill with apple mixture. Pour half the caramel sauce from the saucepan over the apples. Top pie with remaining crust, and crimp edges to seal. (Be careful not to burn your fingers on the hot skillet.) Drizzle remaining caramel sauce over the pie, without seeping it over the edges.

Bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350˚F. Bake an additional 50 to 60 minutes until pie is golden. Cool on a wire rack at least 15 minutes.

Makes 1 decadent pie.

January 15, 2013

Soft Pretzels

I recently saw a few recipes for soft pretzels pop up on blogs I follow including Brown-Eyed Baker. I decided that would be a good baking project for our second morning in our new temporary home. Baking helps make life feel a bit more normal despite being in a new town where we know no one. Eek. No wonder I'm baking.

These turned out fairly well. My pretzel shapes collapsed on me during the boiling water phase, but the texture is wonderful. I might have eaten two of them as an early lunch. Might have.

Soft Pretzels
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
2 tsp. kosher salt
2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast (1 packet)
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
10 cups water
2/3 cups baking soda
1 egg yolk + 1 Tbsp. water, whisked together (for egg wash)
Coarse salt, for sprinkling

Combine the water, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes, until the mixture begins to foam.

Add the flour and butter. Use the dough hook attachment to mix on low speed until all of the ingredients are combined. Increase the mixer speed to medium and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, about 4 to 5 minutes.

Remove the dough from the mixer and place in a clean, oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until the dough has doubled in size, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and brush with the vegetable oil; set aside.

Combine the water and baking soda in a large, wide pot (a Dutch oven works perfect for this). Bring the mixture to a rolling boil.

In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope. Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel. Place onto the parchment-lined baking sheet.

Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 2 or 3 at a time (or however many will fit comfortably given the size of your pot – don’t crowd them), for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large, flat spatula. Place the boiled pretzels back on the baking sheet, brush the top of each pretzel with the egg wash and sprinkle with coarse salt.

Bake until dark golden brown in color, about 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving. Makes 8 pretzels.