Pull-Apart Pretzel Skillet with Beer Cheese Dip

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Today I was planning on posting a different recipe, but I’m feeling very German at the moment so pretzels and beer were a must.

Pull-Apart Pretzel Skillet with Beer Cheese Dip.  This skillet is great for a party or game day!

By “feeling very German”, I mean that my whole house is now obsessed with DuoLingo (if you want to learn a language, look it up, it’s free and I’ve been using it for years now!), and I just discovered a kick-butt German music artist that I have been listening to non-stop for the past week.

Non-stop.  I’m listening to him right now, in fact.

Do you ever get like that when you discover a new song/band?  I will literally play the same song 10 times in a row if I have my headphones in.  Tell me I’m not alone.

Pull-Apart Pretzel Skillet with Beer Cheese Dip.  This skillet is great for a party or game day! Pull-Apart Pretzel Skillet with Beer Cheese Dip.  This skillet is great for a party or game day! Pull-Apart Pretzel Skillet with Beer Cheese Dip.  This skillet is great for a party or game day!

Anyway, back to the pretzels.  Just like I get obsessed with songs and bands, I get obsessed with foods.  I’ve said this a million times before on this blog, and I’ll say it a million times more, I’m sure, but pretzels will never get old for me.

Pull-Apart Pretzel Skillet with Beer Cheese Dip.  This skillet is great for a party or game day! Pull-Apart Pretzel Skillet with Beer Cheese Dip.  This skillet is great for a party or game day!

I worked at Auntie Anne’s for 7 years, and pretzels are still one of my favorite foods of all time.  They’re insanely delicious.  Salty, fluffy, and warm.  What more could a girl want in life?

Pull-Apart Pretzel Skillet with Beer Cheese Dip.  This skillet is great for a party or game day!

Oh wait, I know the answer to that question.  Cheese.

And beer.

And… actually, that’s about it.

Pull-Apart Pretzel Skillet with Beer Cheese Dip.  This skillet is great for a party or game day! By the way, I know I was saying that I was feeling very German and you may have noticed from my first picture that I used Guinness… which is not German (but sláinte to all of my fellow Irish folk).  I was out of German beer.  

Forgive me.

Pull-Apart Pretzel Skillet with Beer Cheese Dip.  This skillet is great for a party or game day! The Pull-Apart Pretzel Skillet with Beer Cheese Dip is still great with Guinness, though.  I’m going to pretend that I did it on purpose to honor different parts of my heritage.  You can use whatever kind of beer you’d like, as long as you promise to pull apart those steaming pretzel rolls and dunk them in the beer cheese before snacking away.

Pull-Apart Pretzel Skillet with Beer Cheese Dip.  This skillet is great for a party or game day!

Football preseason is only just over a week away, and everyone is getting their fantasy leagues together.  Today feels almost like fall with it’s cool breeze and tiny peak of sun.  Doesn’t it just make you want to make these?

Can’t you imagine making them for Game Day, or for an Oktoberfest celebration?  Don’t forget about them after August comes and goes!  I know I posted this a bit early (don’t worry, summer is still here!), but if you practice making it now, you’ll have it perfected as your go-to autumn appetizer once the time comes.

Or, you know, use whatever excuse you need to make this Pull-Apart Pretzel Skillet with Beer Cheese Dip immediately because it’s fantastic and can’t wait until fall.  It just can’t.  You won’t regret it.

Pull-Apart Pretzel Skillet with Beer Cheese Dip.  This skillet is great for a party or game day!

Pull-Apart Pretzel Skillet with Beer Cheese Dip
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 16
Ingredients
For the Pull-Apart Pretzels:
  • 1½ cups warm water
  • 2¼ teaspoons (1 packet) active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 4½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons Kosher salt
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted and let cool
  • ¼ cup baking soda, for baking solution
  • 8 cups water, for baking solution
  • 1 whole egg, lightly beaten, for brushing
  • Kosher salt, for topping
For the Beer Cheese Dip:
  • 1 8 oz package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon ranch seasoning packet
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
  • ⅓ cup beer of your choice
  • 1 green onion, chopped, to garnish (optional)
Directions
  1. In a large bowl or bowl of a countertop stand mixer, combine the warm water, yeast, and sugar. Let sit 5 minutes, or until it gets a bit foamy. If it gets foamy, it means that your yeast is good and you're set to continue. If it never gets foamy, your yeast might be bad and your pretzels will not turn out, so make sure you do check!
  2. Stir in 3½ cups of the flour, the Kosher salt, and the melted butter. Mix until well combined. Slowly add more flour, a bit at a time, until the dough is no longer sticky and pulls away from the edges of the bowl. You may use the entire 4½ cups, or you might need a bit less.
  3. Lift the dough from the bowl and spray the bowl with nonstick spray. Place the dough back down, cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel. Let rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
  4. Line a pan with parchment paper and spray your skillet or baking dish with nonstick spray.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and cut into 16 equal-sized pieces. Take each piece and shape into balls by pulling each corner toward the middle and pinching together. Place pinched-side down on the parchment paper lined sheet. Loosely cover again with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let rise again for 15 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Bring the 8 cups of water to a boil in a large pot. Once the water is boiling, slowly add in the baking soda. Make sure you add it slowly or the water could boil over!
  7. Put the rolls (1-3 at a time, depending on how big your pot is), in the water pinched side down. Boil for 30 seconds, then flip and boil the other side for another 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, remove the pretzel rolls from the water and place back on the baking sheet to cool. Continue until all of the pretzels have been boiled in the baking solution.
  8. Arrange the pretzels around the outside of the prepared skillet. Squeeze them together so they fit snugly. You may not be able to fit all of the pretzels-- if not, that's okay. You can bake the remaining ones separately.
  9. Cover once more and let sit for 5 minutes. As you wait, prepare the Beer Cheese Dip. Combine the cream cheese and ranch seasoning in a medium-sized bowl using a handheld mixer. Slowly add in a bit of beer and a bit of shredded cheese as you blend, until all has been added.
  10. Scoop the Beer Cheese Dip into the center of the skillet.
  11. Brush the pretzels with the beaten egg, and then sprinkle with Kosher salt. Using a sharp knife, make X-shaped slices in the top of the pretzel rolls. It's okay if they're not perfect, mine never are.
  12. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the pretzels are deep golden brown and the cheese has browned on top. Sprinkle the cheese with chopped green onion and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

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Comments

  1. Tiffany says

    Ok, this is great and all, but what on earth is the German artist/song that you’re obsessing over?

    ps – best food blog I’ve ever come across. I’m now a frequent visitor.

    • says

      Haha I have been obsessed with Peter Fox. His music is like German reggae/hip hop, which is really cool and unexpected (or at least to me)! And thanks so much for the nice comment! I’m glad you enjoy it =)

      • Heidi says

        I have a great Peter Fox DVD ! “Haus em See”? The German pretzel bread is popular as my husband is from Stuttgart so I’ve made them a few times. I can wait to try your skillet idea with them!

    • says

      I’ve never tried to do that but I do know that you can make the dough ahead of time, and then after it rises you can put the dough in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let the dough come to room temp before dividing it up into pieces, rolling into balls, and boiling. I hope that helps =)

  2. Evan says

    Hi Morgan,

    Been following you for a while but never posted until now – when I saw this awesome recipe and used it for

    • Evan says

      Dog hit the keyboard before I finished this one. Anyways, I wanted to sing the praises of this recipe and share with you my results:

      http://imgur.com/a/TLl4G#0

      Pretty awesome! The whole thing was gone by the end of the night and it received rave reviews from all partakers. One question, one suggestion:

      Would you be able to add some clarification to the recipe regarding the baking soda “bath”? I didn’t use exactly 8 cups of water because the pan didn’t fit it, but is the amount of baking soda exact to that 8 cups? I ended up just kind of eyeing it and it worked out though.

      Second, a suggestion to all who make it: Definitely consider including multiple dips if you can “partition” the center. A few people commented that putting buffalo chicken dip and (especially)….some sort of chocolate dip would make this recipe even better. Just a thought. Thanks for posting!

      • says

        Yours looks awesome, Evan! I love the suggestions for buffalo chicken dip or chocolate dip! I’ll try that in the future =)

        As far as the baking soda bath goes, it is proportionate to the amount of water, although I would suggest including just slightly over half of the baking soda if you decide to halve the amount of water. In my experience, this has given better results, although I couldn’t tell you why!

  3. Lizzie says

    I’m interested in making this recipe tonight, but I don’t know what size skillet you used. I have a 15″ cast iron skillet. Will that work? Thanks.

    Best,
    Lizzie

    • says

      I used a 10″ skillet here, but if you increase the amount of dip, a 15″ cast iron skillet will work =) You just won’t have the leftover pretzels to bake on the side that I mention having!

  4. Jay says

    Quick question: If I were just wanting to make this dip, what style dish would you use and would that alter the temperature and/or cooking duration. Thanks!

    • says

      Jay– Sorry I’m just seeing this! It somehow got buried in the comments. Do you mean if you just wanted to make the beer cheese dip? The great thing about that dip is that it’s very versatile. You could serve it cold (although the shredded cheese wouldn’t be melted, but it still tastes great) or warm, and you can heat it up in a ceramic or glass dish or a cast iron skillet in the microwave. If baking it, I’d suggest anywhere from 400 degrees to 425 degrees, as you want the cheeses to melt and warm and for the top to get a bit bubbly and lightly browned. Hope that helps!

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