Even though we’re always busy preparing the current month’s treats, we eagerly anticipate the treats we will make in the future. While waiting – or the virtue of patience – does not top our list of desired character traits, Peachie and I are learning that there is an active component of waiting called strategizing and this somehow, diminishes the frustration. Figuring out what to make and how to make it has added to our excitement and enjoyment as we wait for a particular month or holiday to roll around. And, pretzels in October are the perfect example.
While I am of German heritage, we didn’t make them while growing up. My fondest memory of a pretzel is actually from a Peter Sellers’ movie, The Pink Panther Strikes Again, when he is in Munich on “assignment” and uses a giant pretzel to defend himself 🙂
We decided on the Octoberfest theme (I just love those felt hats!) because we wanted to make the pretzels and as we would be delivering them warm, decided that this would be the perfect time to make the doughnuts as they are best the day they’re made.
• Soft Pretzels
• Baked Caramel Apple Doughnuts
Soft Pretzels. Salty, chewy, and perfect with a cold one or just a schmear of mustard. It took us a number of tries, but we finally made it. It was pretty funny seeing Peachie wrangle the dough into long, springy ropes that eventually turned into the puffy twists we know and love.
We weren’t prepared for how fast they would raise – with the dough overtaking the outline of the knot. And, while we didn’t achieve the durable exterior or rich caramel color associated with commercial ones, we were happy nonetheless.
Baked Caramel Apple Doughnuts. These doughnuts were really good with a cake-like texture, and best of all, they’re baked! We used Granny Smith apples in the batter and then layered them with a simple glaze and a homemade caramel sauce. We got the caramel recipe from Baker’s Royale. Who knew it was so easy and so good?!
The detailed instructions were really helpful, but I still managed to have to try it twice. After “convincing” Peachie (she has always let me learn the hard way – perhaps because I give her no choice) that we wanted a deep caramel with intense flavor, I didn’t add the butter and cream until after the mixture smoked for 30 seconds. This was a mistake. If you’re used to the commercial version which is light-colored, delicate, and sweet – do not wait to add these ingredients. Add right away and take off the heat once the mixture begins to smoke.
Here’s to patience, giant pretzels, felt hats, and learning the hard way 🙂
corrie @Peachie’s Treats