Baking Through the Alphabet: J is for Jalapeño Bacon Cheddar Pretzel Poppers

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I’ve spent the past hour figuring out how to start this post. So in a nutshell:

  • Happy Spring!
  • Happy spring quarter, AKA my last quarter of college
  • the working life is tiring, but I am grateful.
  • God is faithful. 1 Corinthians 1:9

Quite possibly the shortest introduction I’ve ever had. Maybe I’ll do it this way from now on. Hah, we shall see.

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This one is a mouthful–jalapeño bacon cheddar pretzel poppers…or jalapeño bacon cheddar cream cheese pretzel balls….or jalapeño cheddar bacon cheese pretzels. I don’t know, and I’ll probably never have a consistent title for this one, but as long as it starts with a j, I’m ok.

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I started these off with the mindset that I wasn’t going to eat any because I’m not a fan of unsweetened cream cheese or jalapeños. That ended up failing, and I ate some from all four batches. (Side note, these pictures are actually from round 4 with Sam’s new lens. The other pictures were no bueno.) I didn’t think I’d like the cream cheese and jalapeño combo, but it worked, but probably because of everything else–the pretzel dough, the bacon, and the cheese. They taste the best when they’re hot out of the oven, but if not, just microwave it for a few seconds and they are good to go!

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One more thing, the dough from this recipe doesn’t require any rises. I know it sounds strange, but it works. Also, the original recipe called for beer in the dough. But being the 20-year-old I am…I just used water, and it still tasted perfectly fine (although I don’t have beer dough to compare it to..). Just saying, water works too.

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Jalapeño Bacon Cheddar Pretzel Poppers
Adapted from The Slow Roasted Italian
Makes about 36 pretzel poppers

Ingredients:

For the dough:
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast (1 packet)
12 ounces warm water, can also use milk or beer
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting counter
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for pretzel tops

For the filling:
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
8 ounces shredded Mexican cheese blend (or cheddar cheese)
1 (4 ounce) can diced jalapeños
12 ounces bacon, cooked and chopped into bite size pieces
salt and pepper, to taste (optional)

To finish:
2 tablespoons baking soda
2 cups hot water
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 450°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Stir together warm water, yeast and sugar. Add the flour and salt, and knead until the dough comes together in a ball. If the dough is too sticky to come together, add some water. The dough should be tacky, not sticky.

In a medium bowl, mix together both cheeses, the bacon, and jalapeños. It’s important for the cream cheese to be softened, otherwise you’ll have a hard time getting everything combined. Add optional salt and pepper (I added them because I was scared the filling would be too bland).

Sprinkle clean countertop with 1/4 cup flour. Place dough on floured countertop, and knead in the flour until it is no longer tacky. Form the dough into a ball. You want to get 36 balls out of this ball, and there are two ways: 1) eyeball it. or 2) Quarter the ball of dough. Roll each quarter into a fat log, and cut each log into 3 pieces. Roll each piece into a log, and cut that into 3 pieces. You should end up with 36 pieces in the end.

In a large bowl, add the hot water and baking soda (the water will react a little to the soda, don’t worry).

Roll each dough piece into a ball and flatten into a circle. Add a tablespoon of filling into the center of the dough circle, and pull the dough over the filling, pinching the edges closed. (it’s sort of like making dumplings, if you’ve done that before). Gently roll the dough into a ball. Place 3-4 stuffed dough balls (depending how big your bowl is) into the hot water mixture for a few seconds (or while you prepare the next few dough balls). Remove the dough balls from water and place onto the baking sheet. Repeat the process until all the dough pieces are stuffed and dunked in the baking soda/water mixture.

Place the dough balls onto the parchment paper. Make sure they aren’t touching. Brush each ball with egg wash and sprinkle with salt. I sprinkled mine with garlic salt!

Bake in preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown. Enjoy!

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Until next time,

Soli deo Gloria, and happy reading, eating, and baking!

 

Bacon Egg Cups

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Hello all!! Sorry for being MIA! These past few weeks have just been crazy–two big baking jobs, one missions trip, and a lot of things to be thankful for.

1) My first birthday cake! I should elaborate that it wasn’t just any ordinary birthday cake. It was a birthday cake for J’s second cousins, but here’s the catch: it had to feed 50 guests, and it had to be milk, nut, and egg free because of the boys’ allergies. It was a challenge, but I did it! I’m thankful for the challenge because I was able to go out of my comfort zone and I was able to learn a lot about cake making and decorating.

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I ended up making a two tiered cake covered with marshmallow fondant. The bottom tier was a rainbow cake with vanilla “buttercream,” and the top layer was a chocolate and Oreo cake with Oreo frosting in between. The theme was puppy pool party, so I used this picture of another cake from Pinterest that the mom sent me as a guide. I don’t have any other pictures of the cake, but once the mom sends me them (she’s a photographer!), I’ll be sure to make a post on it. I’m pretty proud of my work; I’m glad it turned out okay =) . I hope they liked it!!

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PowerPlant 2013 AKA P2 Missions in Phoenix, Arizona. It was definitely a blessing to be able to serve Crosspointe Church in Tartesso, Arizona by hosting a basketball camp for the kids in the community. I worked with the preschoolers and kindergarteners, so we had our own curriculum–we did games, crafts, and bible stories. I think it was a little difficult to get their attention, but it was still a joy to see them eager to learn about the Gospel (maybe because the evangecube was so interesting, I don’t know). We spent the last two out of four days of the camp sharing the Gospel with them, and it was encouraging to hear them tell me about what they learned by the end of the week. I’m only going to post one picture:

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This is Phoenix, Arizona. We climbed up to this place called South Mountain that overlooked the city, and it was pretty cool to see the city and the sunset. God’s creation is simply amazing. What’s sad is that so many people in Phoenix don’t know Christ–there are so many people there, but so few are saved. It’s pretty breathtaking. I’ll end this on one note: P2 Missions may be done, but the mission itself is never ending.

3) My first wedding dessert order! Jess and Aaron got married this past Friday, and it was a joy to see such an amazing couple become united in marriage. I thought it was cool how they asked their friends to take on big roles in the wedding; they asked me and two other friends to make “black and white” themed desserts, and I decided to make Oreo cheesecake bars. After 12+ hours, 611 Oreos, 9.75 cups of sour cream, 78 eggs, 5 sticks of butter, 26 cups of sugar, and 21 lbs of cream cheese, and lots and lots of help, patience, and encouragement, I succeeded! 460 Oreo cheesecake bars, at your service. There were a lot of leftovers, but I’m glad that people enjoyed them. I’m even happier for Jess and Aaron! Thanks for the opportunity! Congratulations you love birds =)!!!

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That’s my short update. It’s been a crazy past few weeks, but I’m glad to be back at work, back in the apartment, and back in the blogging world (not that I was really gone, hehe. ALTHOUGH the WordPress dashboard did change! I like it!).

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BACON. EGG. CUPS. Easy peasy, and sooo good. I’ll be honest; I was never really a fan of bacon…until I came across these. I made these for J’s birthday last year, and I’ve been making it ever since. Cook some bacon, line it in a cupcake tin, crack an egg, add seasonings, and bake away. 30 minutes, tops! Hope you all try them! The recipe comes from a YouTube video.

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Bacon Egg Cups
Serving Size: Depends
Adapted From Recipe Cards on YouTube

Ingredients:

Bacon
Eggs
Seasonings of your choice

1. On medium heat, fry bacon on a skillet until lightly browned on each side but still pliable. Make sure it doesn’t get crispy because it will continue to cook in the oven and it needs to be able to bend. Drain on paper towels and let cool.

2. Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Line the muffin tins with bacon slices. To make it easier, line the tin with the meat side on the bottom and the fat on top. Cover the bottom of the muffin cup by placing a chunk of the bacon.

3. Crack an egg into each cup. Sprinkle with herbs, salt, and pepper. Bake until set, about 15-20 minutes. Loosen from cups and remove. Enjoy!!!

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Until next time,

Soli Deo Gloria, and Happy reading, eating, and baking!