Almond Crunch Soft Pretzels {photo tutorial}

If you find soft pretzels as irresistible as I do, then this is the post for you. Homemade soft pretzels with an almond crunch topping (just like at the mall!) are on the docket for today. (And I’ve got a photo tutorial on pretzel twisting for you!)

#sorrynotsorry

Almond Crunch Soft Pretzels - homemade soft pretzels with almond crunch topping, just liken the mall!

I have many food weaknesses, but my biggest one is the soft pretzel stand at the mall. Jordan is fully aware of this deficiency in my parenting armor and she uses it to her advantage, quite often. She could beg for See’s Candy or Orange Julius all day long and I’ll have to trouble saying no. But then we walk by the soft pretzel store.

And my resolve crumbles.

Into 5 million little pieces.

It’s kind of like when we walk by the kids shoes at Payless or Target. She knows she’s getting a new pair as long as she works it correctly. Same goes with pretzels.

After making Sally’s and Averie’s multiple times, I finally decided I needed my own soft pretzel recipe. Because if I love them so much, I’m sure you do too.

I decided that, since there are so many soft pretzel recipes out there, that I wanted to make a copycat of one of my favorite mall flavors: Almond Crunch Soft Pretzels. The result?

Holy carb addiction, Pretzelman. (In other words, I achieved success.)

Almond Crunch Soft Pretzels - homemade soft pretzels with almond crunch topping, just liken the mall!

The base pretzel recipe is actually one I’ve been tweaking to make my own homemade pizza dough. (If there is one thing I love more than dessert or soft pretzels, it’s homemade pizza!)

Until that recipe is 100% ready to share, we’re going to enjoy some soft pretzel action. And because making soft pretzels is sometimes scary (how did she make that twist???) I’m going to show you how.

Ready? Okay, let’s begin.

First, start with your risen dough.

Almond Crunch Soft Pretzels

Risen Dough for pretzels

Before you continue, you put a pot of water onto boil. You’re going to boil these pretzels to get that pretzel texture!

Pretzel Rope 1

Then you slice your dough into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a 12″ rope.

Pretzel Rope 2

Then, roll each pretzel rope until it’s double that, about 24″.

Time to start pretzel twisting like a pro!

How to twist a pretzel U

Form a “U”.

How to twist a pretzel

Cross over the tops of the “U”.

Pretzel twisting

Twist it once. Then fold it down and seal the tops to the bottom of the pretzel. And voiala! You have a pretzel!

unbaked soft pretzel

Now it’s time for the boiling, topping, and baking. Here are a few tips:

  • Make sure the pot you’re using for boiling is large enough to hold 8-10 cups of water and still have some room at the top. Once the water has boiled you add baking soda, and that can cause the water to bubble up (and over) if there’s not enough room.
  • To top the pretzels, brush them with butter and sprinkle with the almond/sugar mixture (you pulse almonds + sugar in the food processor). Try not to get too much of the nut mixture on the cookie sheet. They’ll brown/burn faster than the pretzel, which won’t hurt the pretzel, but it’ll smell.
  • Don’t want almond topping? No problem! Brush them with butter before baking, then brush with butter after and sprinkle with salt or cinnamon sugar. These pretzels are great plain too!

The one thing you need to make sure of? That you have someone to share them with. Otherwise you’ll eat them ALL!

Almond Crunch Soft Pretzels - homemade soft pretzels with almond crunch topping, just liken the mall!

I kind of did!

Did you make this recipe?

Almond Crunch Soft Pretzels

These homemade soft pretzels are boiled for that mall pretzel shop taste! Add some almond crunch topping for a copycat pretzel that's better than at the store!


Ingredients:


  • 1 cup hot water (about 110-115°F)

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (Red Star Yeast is my favorite)

  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted, divided

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 cup baking soda

  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar


Directions:


  1. (Note: you can make these without a stand mixer by stirring by hand, then kneading until the dough comes together,but I used a stand mixer.)

  2. Fit a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Place hot water, yeast, and brown sugar in the bottom of your stand mixer bowl. Let sit until the yeast is fluffy, about 5 minutes.

  3. Add the salt and 2 tablespoons of melted butter to the yeast mixture. Stir with the paddle attachment. Add flour and stir until the dough is semi-combined and starts to stick to the paddle. Switch out the paddle attachment for the dough hook. Continue mixing, raising the speed to medium-high, until the dough forms a ball and the sides of the bowl are mostly clean.

  4. The dough should be slightly tacky but not wet. If it’s too wet, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time until you can touch the dough with just a bit of stickiness (your hands should stay mostly clean but not totally).

  5. Transfer the ball of dough to a bowl that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit until doubled in size, about 1-2 hours.

  6. Bring a large pot of water to boil (about 8-10 cups of water). Make sure there is at least 4-5 inches at the top of the pan that has no water (so there is room to add the baking soda in step 11.) Preheat oven to 425°.

  7. Once the dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough into 12 pieces.

  8. Roll each piece into a rope that is 12 inches long. Let them sit for 5 minutes.

  9. Form each pretzel: roll rope until it is double in size (about 24 inches). Form it into a “U” shape. Cross the top ends of the “U” over each other. Twist once then fold over into a pretzel shape. Press the ends onto the bottom of the pretzel to seal. Repeat with remaining dough.

  10. Line 2 cookie sheets with silpat baking mats or parchment paper.

  11. Once the water is boiling, add baking soda to the water. Boil each pretzel for about 45 seconds to 1 minute, then transfer with a slotted spoon to prepared baking sheets. Continue until all the pretzels are boiled.

  12. Place almonds and granulated sugar in a food processor and pulse until the almonds are small pieces.

  13. Brush each pretzel with melted butter (from the 2 tablespoons remaining). Sprinkle with the almond and sugar mixture. Try not to get too much on your pan, it will brown in the oven. (This won’t hurt the pretzels, but it will smell.)

  14. Bake pretzels for about 8-14 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool before eating.


Notes:

Leave off the almond crunch topping and just brush with melted butter and salt for a more traditional soft pretzel, or brush with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar for a sweet treat.


All images and text ©. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

Red Velvet Soft Pretzels

Red Velvet Soft Pretzels (4 of 6)w

EASY (no-rise) Cinnamon Sugar Soft Pretzel Bites

Easy Cinnamon Sugar Soft Pretzel Bites (2 of 6)w

Cake Mix Soft Pretzels

Cake Batter Soft Pretzels (4 of 7)

Sweets from friends:
Soft Pretzel Bites by The Slow Roasted Italian
Soft Pretzel Sandwich Rolls by Foodie with Family
Soft Pretzels with Butterscotch Ganache by Something Swanky

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50 comments

  1. Wow. Love this recipe, Dorothy! I can see how these get very addictive, very fast.
    Though I can’t resist the See’s Candy, either. It’s the best!

  2. Awesome! I have always wanted to try making my own, and now I have a tutorial! Will definitely be giving these a go to make my fiancee happy 🙂 Thanks!

  3. These pretzels sound fantastic, Dorothy! I’ve never made my own before but really want to start! And I’m a sucker for Auntie Anne’s pretzels and these look way better! Pinned!

  4. You should look into making a stuffed almond pretzel. My aunt makes some really good ones. They are stuffed with almond paste…and I love almond paste!!!!! Any type of stuffed soft pretzel would be delicious!! maybe peanut butter…or jelly…i don’t know just a thought!!

  5. Oh so gorgeous! I’m starving it seems. I’ve never made an almond pretzel. It’s gotta be amazing!
    Pinned.
    Have a beautiful Wednesday Dorothy!

  6. I LOVE soft pretzels! I’ve heard of these Almond Crunch pretzels, but I’ve never had one! I don’t even think we have them up here, so I definitely need this recipe!

  7. I love the idea of an almond crunch pretzel! These sound so good and the photos are so helpful!

  8. Gorgeous pretzels! I’m so envious right now. I actually tried to make pretzels for the first time yesterday and my dough failed to rise. I’ve worked with yeast dough numerous times and never had that issue. I even activated the yeast first to make sure it was good… I dunno. 
    Your pretzels look perfect and I love how you boiled them first so the inside is soft and chewy!

  9. My husband’s favorite soft pretzels are the almond ones! Can’t wait to try these. Yours look absolutely perfect!

  10. Sounds delicious — I love soft pretzels too 🙂

  11. Holy pretzel goodness, batman! I NEED these in my life! I’ve never seen the almond crunch ones at the pretzel stores — now I must hunt those down (for research, obvi) then make these (for more research, obvi). Pinned!

  12. well, you know I;m addicted to all things carb, but these are WAY over the top – I can NEVER pass up a soft pretzel

  13. I love getting pretzels at the mall! I’ve never tried this kind before though. Sounds so good!

  14. Yes, please! I need these in my life! Pinned!

  15. I love soft pretzels, thanks for this great recipe and also thank you for the photo tutorial, I am planning to make pretzels soon and this will help me a lot 🙂

  16. I love soft pretzels like this and haven’t made any in ages. WOW these look AMAZING. I love the almond crunch. That is so you! And that there’s brown sugar in the dough. Mmmm!  Wonderful step by step shots, too! The first time I made pretzels I didn’t know how to make them without lots of struggle…wish I had this guide back then 🙂

  17. I looooove soft pretzels. I actually plan on making a big batch this weekend for an Oktoberfest party.I will definitely make some of these sweet babies too!!!

  18. How can one resist the buttery lure of the soft pretzel stand in the mall–it’s impossible. This is one great recipe! 

  19. Oh my gosh I loooove soft pretzels – hehe my first big girl job was at those pretzel stands in the mall 🙂 I still can never resist whenever we walk by.  Love that you made almond crunch ones – they look gorgeous Dorothy! Pinned!

  20. Totally DYING – these look just like the ones I drool over at the mall. YUM! 

  21. I actually just tried an almond pretzel from Auntie Annes the other day and thought to myself I need to make this at home. Now I can! Thanks for the recipe! And the tutorial, makes it so much easier. Pinned!

  22. You do the best tutorials!  You should have your own Food Network show.

  23. Making bread (and working with yeast) has been on my bucket list forever. You might have pushed me over the edge!

  24. Ahhh mall soft pretzels…my weakness too! But I always get the cinnamon sugar. I think I need to take the plunge and make them myself…starting with your almond crunch topping!!! 

  25. Aw these just look like SO MUCH FUN! I have to try this! Thanks for the fantastic photo tutorial! 

  26. I could most definitely become addicted to these!! Love that almond crunch! 🙂 

  27. The soft pretzels at the mall are my absolute favorite too – I can’t resist!  They have one at LaGuardia and the smell tempts me literally every time I fly!  Yours look incredible, and I love the step by step instructions.  Can’t wait to try them!

  28. is it really 1/4 cup of baking soda or is it a typographical error? Thanks!! Love to try this out ASAP. :)))

  29. Hi! I’m a huge fan! But the thing is I’m a beginner  so I don’t understand a few things on some of your recipes. Plus I’m from india. We don’t get a lot of things here. Like bi carb soda or self rising flour. All that aside what do you mean by divided butter? 
    Love your recipes! 

  30. And what is fluffy yeast??

    • The butter is divided because I used it in two places. When you go through the directions it will tell you when to use what amount. Fluffy yeast…not sure? Maybe you mean it gets fluffy once it’s proofed?

  31. If you read the website for Auntie Anne’s, her Almond pretzels have coconut mixed in with the almond and sugar. You might get closer to her taste with this added. Just a thought!

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