Aunt Annie's Soft Pretzel Clones

This year I wanted to do something a little different for our Valentine's treats. While I'm sure Marcus would have loved nothing more than a chocolate coma, my idea of fun was not one that involved a toddler hopped up on sugar.

My sister-in-law, Carolyn, sent us a picture of homemade soft pretzels she made, and I couldn't resist. I had to make them.

A closer look at the pretzels led me to my Valentine's epiphany. The pretzels were shaped like hearts! It was as if the baking gods had spoken. I couldn't NOT make these.

Admittedly, I was a littler nervous when I saw that the recipe included yeast. I had never worked with yeast before, and just seeing that ingredient left me feeling intimidated. However, I was pleasantly surprised at how easy these pretzels were.

It is rumored that these are supposed to taste exactly like the pretzels found at Aunt Annie's, which you can find in any mall across America. While I confess it's been awhile since I've had an Aunt Annie's pretzel, I can't compare. What I CAN say is that these are so, so, SO good.

Aunt Annie's Soft Pretzel Clones
1 1/2 cup warm water
1 1/8 tsp active dry yeast
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 cup bread flour
3 cups regular flour
2 cups warm water
2 Tbsp baking soda
4 Tbsp melted sweet butter

Cover baking sheet with parchment paper. If you don't have parchment paper grease your baking sheet.
Sprinkle yeast on lukewarm water in mixing bowl; stir to dissolve. 
Add sugar, salt and stir to dissolve.
Add flour and knead dough until smooth and elastic.
Let rise until dough doubles in size, roughly 90 minutes.
While dough is rising, prepare a baking soda water bath with the 2 cups warm water and 2 Tbsp baking soda. Be sure to stir often.
Preheat oven to 450. 
After dough has risen, pinch off bits of dough, a bit smaller than the size of a baseball.
Roll dough into a long rope, about 1/2 inch thick, or less. (The longer and thinner you make the dough rope the more like Aunt Annie's they will be.)
Dip pretzel in soda bath solution and place on parchment covered baking sheet.
Allow pretzels to rise again, 20-30 minutes.
Bake at 450 for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown.
Remove pretzels from baking sheet and transfer to a cooling rack.
Brush pretzels with butter. 

I simply topped with sweet butter, but the next go around I'll try dipping the entire pretzel in butter and then coating with a cinnamon sugar mix.
Topping with coarse salt, or parmesan garlic would be tasty, too!

There were reservations that Marcus might not like these. The kid is so hit and miss with food. However, I'm pretty sure he enjoyed these.
Soft pretzels for the win!

What are some sweets you're sharing with your sweeties this Valentine's Day?

Recipe source: cdkitchen


  1. I know what I'm doing this weekend! I'm a little disappointed that there is no nacho cheese smothered all over these. Also, I'm glad I'm not the only one intimidated by using yeast.
    P.S. Love the little guy's shirt. Seems fitting for Valentine's Day!

  2. Yummy Yummy Yummy! You are such a good mommy! I wish I would spend more time trying new things like this. I really need to make time for it! Thanks for the recipe!

  3. Those look great!! I think I will be making them also!! LOVE his face while eating the pretzels. :)

    Laura @ Mice In The Kitchen

  4. They look delicious! I will have to make them this weekend!

  5. These look very yummy!! It looks like Marcus enjoyed them too. :-)


    How psyched is M about diving in to that pretzel?? Love it!!

    And omg......LADIES MAN fo sho.

  7. Oh.my.goodness. One of my favorite foods. TY!

  8. They look really good. Let me know when I can be expecting my batch delivered to my house... Because you know there are too many ingredients and directions for me to handle.

  9. Yummy!!! Saving this so I can make these after the move! I threw out most of my baking staples already!

  10. That recipe looks Abby-proof.. as long as I remember to take them out of the oven on time. :) Looks like the little man liked them too!

  11. auntie annes is SUCH a weakness of mine!! mmmm!! i have to try these!
    you are super mom!

  12. I'll have to put these on my to-do list! Clay loves the pretzels from the Target cafe but they LOAD those things with butter and salt. I've never used yeast OR bread flour though...yikes!

  13. OMG yum!! I've never dealt with yeast before and it kind of scares me as well...but the yum factor may be enough for me to overcome my "fear" :)

  14. OMG, Sean would love me forever if I figured out how to make these! I'm going to have to give these a shot.