The theme lately, with me, seems to be salty and sweet (last post). Salty, fluffy, crispy, and chewy pretzel balls paired with sweet, savory, chewy and flavorful bacon jam. What more could you ask for? Your tastebuds will be dancing once you eat these nuggets dipped in heaven. This will be a hit at your holiday party, superbowl party, or even just lounging on a lazy Sunday.
I made these recipes for the first time a year ago and it was a hit at our friends superbowl party. I made the jam the day before because it takes almost 4 hours to cook in the crock pot. Our apartment smelled of warm, sweet bacon which kept us salivating for days. The balls are time consuming as well so get ready to wait for the prize!
May I present you with…
Here’s how I made the Bacon Jam
Here’s how I made the Pretzel Balls
1 hour later
:: The finished product ::
:: Pretzel Balls & Bacon Jam ::
Pretzel Balls Adapated from Paula Deen and Bacon Jam adapted from Martha Stewart
In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium-high, stirring occasionally, until fat is rendered and bacon is lightly browned, about 20 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from skillet (reserve for another use); add onions and garlic, and cook until onions are translucent, about 7 minutes. Add vinegar, brown sugar, maple syrup, and coffee and bring to a boil, stirring and scraping up browned bits from skillet with a wooden spoon, about 2 minutes. Add bacon and stir to combine.
Transfer mixture to a 6-quart slow cooker and cook on high, uncovered, until liquid is syrupy, 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Transfer to a food processor; pulse until coarsely chopped. Let cool, then refrigerate in airtight containers, up to 4 weeks.
In a large mixing bowl, combine warm water and yeast. When the yeast dissolves/activates, add half of the flour, the butter, salt, and sugar and mix for about 3 minutes. Stir in the remaining flour. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead until the dough is no longer sticky. Let the dough rise in a greased, covered bowl until it doubles in size, about 45 to 50 minutes. Punch down the dough and divide into 12 pieces. Roll each piece of dough into 18-inch long ropes. On a greased cookie sheet, shape each rope into a pretzel shape. Let rise again until almost doubled, about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.
In a large non-aluminum dutch oven over high heat, bring 4 cups of water and baking soda to a boil. Using a large spoon, gently lower pretzels into water a few at a time and boil until they float. Return the pretzels the sheet pan and brush with an egg wash then sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake until browned, about 12 minutes.