One of my favorite bloggers — HouseholdDiva6 — has this soft pretzel recipe on her blog that looks really yummy. I’ve always wanted to try it, but even more so since our trip to Europe. That’s where we discovered that, just like Ann Marie said, most little German bakeries sell them. At least that was the case in Austria and Italy. We found some pretzels at a bakery in Luxembourg City, too. The Swiss love their soft pretzels so much, that we saw quite a few Brezelkönig (Pretzel King) stands in the train stations. They sell them in grocery stores, too.
So, I’ve been wanting to try this recipe, but I’m not a baker. I mean, I could make the darn things if I wanted, but I just hadn’t been sufficiently motivated. But then the Kitchen Aide arrived.
AND, while at the grocery store on Sunday, I noticed they had blue crab meat on sale. (The meat is not blue, that’s what the crabs are called. CLICK HERE for a picture of some live blue crabs.) My first thought was to make crab cakes, and then I remembered Ann Marie’s pretzels . I knew that would be the perfect thing to use the Kitchen Aide for.
Shannon loves cooking AND baking. Heck, the girl has made her own bagels before. Can you imagine doing that? (She takes after her Dad who also likes to bake.) She also likes crab pretzels. So I knew she’d probably be thrilled to make soft pretzels for me. Of course I had to photograph the process.
“Rawhide” has nothing to do with these pretzels by the way, except for the “rolling” thing. That tune just popped into my head.
I didn’t photograph the entire process, just the highlights. I was working after all. The pretzels REALLY smelled yummy as they were baking.
Since it is summer and Papa John’s corn-on-the-cob — the best in the WORLD — is in season, it was only fitting that we serve that with our crab pretzel dinner, too.
Now, doesn’t THAT look delicious? It was. Shannon’s homemade pretzels absolutely made the crab pretzel. The crab mixture on top was good, but the homemade pretzels are what really added the special touch.
I’m glad it all turned out in the end. I was a bit worried. Why? Because as I started to pick through the “fresh” crab meat to remove the shells, I realized it wasn’t so fresh after all. It smelled a bit off. Not horrible, but not great either. So I had to stop what I was doing and take it back to the store where I bought it then go to Costco for some of that pasteurized crab meat. Blue crab meat would’ve been better, but that’s not easy to find at reasonable ($12.99/pound) prices. It’s usually closer to $20 or even $25/pound.
It was still good though. I didn’t follow a recipe. I just mixed the crab with about 4 ounces of softened cream cheese, a few tablespoons of mayonnaise, a splash or two of Worcestershire sauce and a teaspoon or so of Old Bay seasoning. It could’ve used a teeny bit more of that, but I didn’t want the crab to be overly salty (like the shrimp salad I’d made a couple days prior). We cut little troughs in the tops of the pretzels, filled them with the crab mixture, sprinkled on a little four-cheese mixture plus an extra dusting of Old Bay and baked them at 400 degrees for about 5 minutes. Then I switched the oven to broil for a minute or two so the tops would get that nice, brown color.