These Sugar 'n Spice Dipped, Giant Soft Pumpkin Pretzels are just begging to be pulled apart and gobbled up. They are drizzled in sticky-sweet orange glaze too. Accents of citrus and cinnamon in each warm and chewy bite.
This sweet treat is the perfect companion to a tall steamy cup of hot cocoa. If you have never made giant soft pretzels and want to learn how - or maybe you are already a soft pretzel fan - give this recipe a try!..
Pair with: Cup o' cocoa..
..These pretzels, all sticky and sweet, caramelized sugar crystals on top and a warm chewy toasted bottom are perfect paired with a hot mug of your favorite beverage. Tea, coffee, cocoa or seasonal "nog." Dip and dance into pumpkin cinna-sugar dreamland.
Dough pretzels, ready to be popped in the oven..
don't be scared: there are a lot of steps below. But trust me, these little pretzels are quite easy to make. I just describe the directions with some detail to help you succeed!
Sugar 'n Spice Dipped Pumpkin Pretzels + Orange Glaze
vegan, makes about 8 large pretzels
3 cups white flour, unbleached/organic (Bob's Red Mill used)
1 packet yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 cup pumpkin puree, canned/unsweetened
1 tsp cinnamon (or pumpkin pie spice)
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp veggie oil (safflower oil used)
1/3 cup demerara sugar
+ additional flour as needed / rolling out dough
1/4 cup vegan butter (Earth Balance), melted
a few pinches of fresh orange zest
cinna-sugar mixture: 1/3 cup demerara sugar + 1 tsp cinnamon
Sweet Orange Glaze
1/4 cup vegan butter (Earth Balance)
1 cup powdered sugar, organic
1-2 tsp water or non-dairy milk to thin
1/4 tsp orange zest (OR 1/8 tsp orange extract)
1/8 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
1. In a large mixing bowl, add the yeast and warm water. Stir until dissolved.
2. Add in the salt, cinnamon, oil, sugar and pumpkin. Fold until smoothed.
3. Start adding in the flour a 1/2 cup at a time. Fold the flour into the wet mixture. Once you have reached the three cups added, you should have a nice ball of dough. Begin kneading the dough. I just knead in my large bowl - or on the counter works too. You will probably need to add a few more tablespoons of flour as you knead so that the dough doesn't get too sticky. Knead for about 3 minutes at least.
4. Place the kneaded ball of pumpkin dough back in the bowl - grease and or flour the bowl so the dough doesn't stick as it expands. Cover with a clean dish or paper towel and set in a warm spot to rise. I let my dough rise for 35-75 minutes. (If using "quick rise" yeast packets you may need less time.) The dough should puff up quite a bit, almost doubled in size.
4. Punch out the dough and place dough on a floured surface. Begin kneading it. This will help soften the dough for your pretzel rolling. Tough dough can be quite tricky to roll and stretch out into thin strands for the pretzels. Knead for 2-4 minutes.
5. Separate the dough into tennis ball sized sections (or a bit smaller for smaller pretzels.)
5. Start rolling out your dough. You want long snake-like pieces. There are several ways to roll out the dough, but I just roll it quickly and fiercely between my palms and let it dangle in the air as I roll. It takes some muscle power! Pressing and stretching gently (so the dough doesn't break) is also helpful.
6. As you are rolling out the dough, you can turn your oven to 400 degrees. You will also want to quickly get your cinna-sugar mixture ready and melt the vegan butter for brushing the tops of the pretzels.
7. Take your long dough pieces and fold into a pretzel shape. Or any shape you'd like! I like to twist my strands a bit for a slightly twisted texture.
8. Once your pretzels are formed, brush the tops and sides, generously, with the melted vegan butter. You can either dip your pretzels in the cinna-sugar or sprinkle it over top. Sprinkling is a bit messier, but easier on the pretzel shapes (less handling.) Lastly, add a few pinches of fresh orange zest over top the pretzels.
9. Place your prepped dough pretzels on a greased baking sheet - giving at least one inch separation between them. Bake at 400 degrees for about 15-17 minutes - or until the edges begin to brown and the pretzels hold their shape when slightly lifted.
10. Cool pretzels on a cooling rack. Cool for at least 15 minutes before adding drizzle.
11. While the pretzels cool, make the glaze. Combine the melted vegan butter with the powdered sugar. Mash around until a thick white mixture forms - and the powdered sugar is smooth and thick. Then add in the liquid a splash at a time until a glaze texture forms. Stir in the orange and optional vanilla flavor too. Place this glaze in the fridge to firm up a bit until ready to drizzle.
12. Drizzle the glaze over top your slightly cooled pretzels and serve warm. You can also set aside and re-warm in the oven. Store in the fridge or freezer and re-heat to serve. (But from my tasting, they tasted best when eaten within one hour of baking! But delicious re-toasted in the oven too..)
* Use FRESH flour. It is the main ingredient, so it really impacts your final product. Choose a trusted brand you like. I love Bob's Red Mill.
* Other flour? Yes you can probably try this recipe with different varieties of flour, but the texture will change a bit. (gluten free, whole wheat..)
* Demerara sugar adds a crystal-y sparkly effect to the top which I love, but any sugar can be used. Choose organic sugars for vegan pretzels. More info on demerara sugar in this post.
* Dough handling. Always use common sense with how much flour to add during kneading. If things get sticky, add more flour. If you added too much and need to wet the dough more, add another scoop of pumpkin or a splash of water.
* To taste. You can add the spices to taste. You can even add a bit more or less sugar to the dough if you'd like. Or add a bit more or less oil. There are so many creative tweaks you could add - don't be afraid to try your own ideas (like adding dried cranberries or golden raisins to the dough!)