superbowl sunday funday

The awesome thing (well really one of the nearly innumerable awesome things) about living in an apartment is that you can invite people over to your house. And make them food. And the awesome thing about the Super Bowl is that even if you don’t have a vested interest in the game, it’s still a really good excuse to invite people over to your house. And make them food.

Sam and I spent part of Saturday and all of Sunday in the kitchen creating our kitchen spread, which fed all of 6 people. We have a ton of leftovers and zero regrets.

Image

I made pretzels again. A lot of pretzels. Which isn’t a bad thing by any means. When I make them for my family, I make a double batch and there isn’t any evidence that there were ever pretzels in the house after two days. But I really did mean to just make a single batch this time. And then I measured the yeast with half a tablespoon instead of a teaspoon and poured water on it before I realized my mistake. Oops.

I don’t think anyone in my apartment minds having extra pretzels around.

I’m almost sad to share this recipe, because when you see how simple it actually is you won’t think it’s so cool that I can make delicious pretzels anymore. Because then you’ll be able to, too. So I’m solving my dilemma by making this post a double feature and posting a semi-complicated cookie recipe after this one.

ImageIronically Buttery Soft Pretzels

from Christa Rose, Allrecipes.com

4 teaspoons dry yeast
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 1/4 cups warm water

5 cups flour (can use all-purpose or bread flour. I don’t recommend using all whole wheat – they’d be really dense – but you could use 2 parts all-purpose and 1 part wheat)
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

6 cups hot water
1/4 cup baking soda

toppings: sea salt, cinnamon sugar, garlic salt, Italian seasoning, etc.

In a small bowl, mix yeast with 1 1/4 cups warm water and add 1 teaspoon sugar. Set aside until creamy, about 10 minutes. Combine flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and add oil and yeast mixture. Stir until dough forms, adding more flour or water as necessary to incorporate the whole mixture. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth. Place dough in oiled bowl and cover with a clean dish towel or plastic wrap and let rise until double in a warm place, about 60 minutes.

Punch dough down and divide into pieces (a single batch makes 12 mall-sized pretzels). Roll pieces into ropes and twist into pretzel shapes. In a large pot, boil water and dissolve baking soda (watch for bubbling over, baking soda tends to do this when you’re not paying attention. Also, cinnamon sugar pretzels taste better just boiled in plain water, so I always do these first and then add the baking soda for the pretzels with savory toppings). Keep water simmering and add pretzels, one or two at a time, removing them with a spatula when they rise to the surface of the water (about 30 seconds to a minute). Place on greased/parchment paper-lined cookie sheet and sprinkle desired toppings while pretzels are still wet. Bake at 450 for 6-8 minutes or until tops are golden brown. It’ll be tempting not to wait, but let them cool for a few minutes so you don’t burn yourself!

There it is. I have released the secret to the masses. Just kidding, it was on a super-popular recipe website the whole time. Now for the cookie recipe! I’m kinda proud of it. I started with a base recipe and changed it a lot as I went – so much so that I’m not sure I technically need to credit the original, but I’ll do it anyway. It’s kind of a lot of ingredients, but that’s what happens when you decide you really want to use a gluten-free flour that doesn’t hold together well on its own. And then when your batter’s too liquidy and you want to thicken it for fluffy cookies. And then when you add too much liquid. At least they tasted good in the end – and I can claim that, because Erin, Steph, and Sam can vouch for me 🙂

ImageDouble Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

{gluten-free, sugar-free, can be vegan}

makes ~50 bite-size cookies

inspired by The Bojon Gourmet’s Soft and Chewy Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

4 tbsp coconut oil + 4 tbsp plain Greek yogurt (or use 8 tbsp coconut oil for vegan version)
2 tbsp honey (sub for another tbsp stevia for vegan version)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp caramel extract (optional)
2 tbsp flaxseed + 6 tbsp warm water
1 tbsp flaxseed
1 tbsp + 2 pkts stevia
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup brown rice flour (or wheat flour if not gluten-free)
1/2 cup oat flour
2 tbsp coconut flour
2 tbsp tapioca starch
1/2 tsp xanthan gum (omit if using wheat flour)
1 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 – 2/3 cup water
1/2 cup oats
1/3 c chocolate chips

Mix 2 tbsp flax with warm water and set aside to gel. Heat the coconut oil, honey, and extracts over medium heat till coconut oil browns (watch closely, it happens quickly. Turn the heat off right away). Stir in baking soda, salt, stevia, and flax mixture plus the extra tablespoon of flaxseed. Add in flours, starch, cocoa powder and xanthan gum. Mix in as much water as needed to create batter consistency. Add oats and chocolate chips. Drop moderate to heaping spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet and bake at 375 for 8 to 9 minutes.

So there you have it – pretzels and cookies the day after the Super Bowl. Not very helpful, I suppose, but hey, Valentine’s Day is coming up and nothing says I love you like fluffy soft pretzels made with a recipe that has the word “buttery” in the title but doesn’t actually use butter as an ingredient! Right?

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