In its purest form, a good pretzel is all about simplicity. But that blank canvas also leaves room for some wacky variations on the classic snack. National Pretzel Day is April 26, and there’s no better way to celebrate than by chowing down on these twisted creations.
1. S’MORES PRETZEL
You don’t need to build a campfire to make these playful pretzels from the blog Layers of Happiness. Popping your pretzels in the oven produces the same toasty, goopy marshmallow texture you remember from childhood. To make things even messier, the recipe recommends drizzling them with a warm chocolate ganache before serving. Licking melted chocolate and marshmallow off your fingers is the best way to feel like you're camping without leaving the kitchen.
2. EVERYTHING PRETZEL
Warm Vanilla Sugar
It’s hard not to associate the taste of poppy, sesame, onion, and garlic with a toasted bagel on a Sunday morning. But to limit these flavors to breakfast time would be a big mistake. This recipe from the blog Warm Vanilla Sugar proves the seasoning is just as well-suited for a buttery soft pretzel as it is for a bagel. Just make sure you have some cream cheese on hand when they come out of the oven.
3. APPLE CINNAMON PRETZEL TWIST
Running to the Kitchen
If you’ve ever visited a mall in the United States, you know that the smell of warm, cinnamon-sugar pretzels is one of the most intoxicating aromas on earth. For her blog Running to the Kitchen, Gina Matsoukas manages to make this sweet pretzel even more appealing by adding apples to the mix. She also gives the classic pretzel shape a (literal) twist. If you don’t have time to bake this recipe now, consider bookmarking it until autumn rolls around.
4. CHEESE-STUFFED PIZZA PRETZEL
Pizza makes everything better—pretzels included. In this video from Tasty, a soft pretzel stands in as the crust beneath a layer of crispy cheese and pepperoni. And in case that didn’t sound extravagant enough, the inside of the pretzel has been stuffed with a gooey core of mozzarella cheese.
5. FETA OLIVE PRETZEL
If you’re a serious pretzel-lover, Sigmund’s Pretzels in New York City is worth a pilgrimage. Earlier this year, Martha Stewart named the artisan offerings at Sigmund’s “the best pretzels in the United States.” Their feta olive pretzel, served with a crumbly heap of cheese piled in the center, is a favorite among the staff.
6. SAMOA PRETZEL
Girl Scout cookie season may be behind us, but the taste of a Samoa is something you can recreate at home year-round. On her blog Twigg Studios, Aimee Twigger shares her recipe for decadent Samoa pretzels. The classic flavor combo of chocolate, caramel, and toasted coconut on a chewy soft pretzel is the perfect treat to satisfy your cookie cravings until next year.
7. SPINACH, ARTICHOKE, AND BACON PRETZEL
For this recipe, Tieghan Gerard of the blog Half Baked Harvest takes a game day favorite and bakes it into a portable pretzel package. It contains all the ingredients of a classic spinach artichoke dip, plus beer and bacon because you only live once. She made these particular pretzels for football season, but they’d be a welcome addition to any occasion—sports-related or otherwise.
Header/banner images courtesy of Layers of Happiness via Instagram.