February 28, 2011

Pretzels Shaped like Swans. That's right.

I've been wanting to make homemade pretzels for a while now, and figured an Oscar Party was the time to do it. Note to self: Don't try [what you deem to be] major new cooking experiments about 2 hours before you have to leave for a party. Save for a few kitchen nightmares, tears, smoke alarms, stomping of feet and freak outs, my Black Swan-themed soft pretzels didn't turn out so bad. Here are a few shots, recipes, and a few tips.

To help accommodate my lack of natural home-cooking instincts, my lovely husband had bought me some nice n' easy mix from Williams-Sonoma for Valentine's Day. If you want to do it the hard way, Guy Fieri has a tasty looking recipe in Food Network Magazine.

If you despise having sticky stuff on your hands like me, recruit the husband to do this part for you. It's nasty.

The finished product! A bit thicker than I planned, but they sort of look like swans, right??? Natalie Portman would totally eat one. Then again, she is super preggers and would probably eat anything.

Hint #1: Brush them with a lot of butter right after they come out of the oven. Will make 'em shiny and of course that much more delicious!

Hint #2: This recipe called for just 8 minutes in the oven. I was worried about them burning and yelped at Bradd plenty of times for this, but it turned out to be a good idea - after about 7 minutes, flip them over so they get a little brown on the top side. Adds to the crispy outside, but keeps the inside soft.

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