As I write this, we are a few days into December and Christmas preparations are … well, a little less than organized. The lights have been hung on the outside of the house and are working (the solar sensor isn’t but at least they turn on and off … by hand). We have our tree in the stand and half of the lights on it. Christmas music is streaming and my cards will arrive in time to be stamped and mailed.
From Thanksgiving through Christmas and into the New Year, it is always nice to have some options on hand for those last-minute guests, party invitations, and gifts. Homemade cookies, jams or jellies, quick breads, and candies are always appreciated. Sometimes though I like to go with a savory option and I thank my cousin, Brenda, for my obsession with these amazingly simple pretzels.
It was probably 15 years ago, at a family reunion, that I grabbed a handful of what I thought were regular pretzels from a bowl on our table. One bite told me that they definitely weren’t “regular” pretzels; they had been given some TLC. When I figured out which one of my cousins had made them, she said her family called them “Seasoned Pretzels” and laughed when I asked for the recipe. She said it was too easy for a recipe.
No baking. Simple ingredients. And addictive as …
Well, that’s the story of how these pretzels got a new name. I started taking these pretzels with us to baseball tournaments and tailgates. Once, when they were passed around, one of the dad’s said “Hey! Are these the Crack Pretzels?”
“They’re so good! Once I start eating them, I can’t stop!”
It is true that it is hard to show restraint when it comes to this snack; but, I just wasn’t comfortable introducing them with a drug reference. Call me old-fashioned. I turned to my social-media-wordsmith son who immediately determined the name had to convey the addictive nature of the flavor. It took him about 30 minutes to come up with …
I knew he was on to something when I looked at my picture (which he could not see at the time) and saw the stick pretzels, the round pretzels, and the traditional pretzels. Not that you have to use all three shapes … use what you want … they’ll still make people want to stick around.
You select the shapes, you choose the name, AND you are responsible for how many you eat!
- 3 1-pound bag pretzels
- 3 gallon-size resealable plastic bags
- 1 16-ounce bottle popcorn popping oil e.g. Orville Redenbacher's
- 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
- 1 1-ounce package dry ranch dressing mix
- 1 teaspoon dill weed
- Pour each bag of pretzels into a resealable plastic bag.
- Pour popping oil in a large measuring cup or small bowl and add lemon pepper, ranch mix, and dill weed: whisk to combine.
- Drizzle one-third of the oil mixture into each of the three plastic bags of pretzels.
- Seal the bags and gently turn the bags over and over to distribute the oil throughout the pretzels. Lay the bags on the counter and turn over every 15-30 minutes until all of the oil has been absorbed (no oil will be left on the inside of the bag).
- Wait one day to start munching for best flavor ... or dig in right away if you can't help yourself.
I am happy to say that I have a bag of these safely stashed in my freezer. I may not be fully prepared for Christmas but I feel less pressure knowing I have a quick hostess gift or party contribution ready.
If I can maintain self-control. They go perfectly with Christmas movies, you know!