Yesterday was National Pretzel Day, and it’s pretty cool we get an entire day to recognize one of America’s favorite snacks. Whether you’re snacking on a bag of pretzels or getting creative with your favorite recipes, the mighty pretzel should be your go-to choice this week. I appeared on WSAZ last night to talk pretzels, eat some snacks and share from facts.
First let’s start with some fun foodie fun facts for National Pretzel Day:
- National Pretzel Day began in 2003 when Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell declared April 26 “National Pretzel Day” to acknowledge the importance of the pretzel to the state’s history and economy.
- According to The History of Science and Technology, pretzels were first invented in 610 A.D. by an Italian monk, who folded strips of bread dough to resemble the crossed arms of someone praying.
- Hard pretzels originated in the United States in 1850.
- The Pennsylvania Dutch immigrants introduced soft pretzels to North America in the 19th century. At this time, many handmade pretzel bakeries populated central Pennsylvania, and their popularity quickly spread.
- It was in the 20th century that soft pretzels became very popular in areas such as Philadelphia, Chicago and New York.
- The United States pretzel industry is worth over $550 million, annually.
- The average American consumes about 1.5 pounds of pretzels per year.
- Philadelphia opened a privately run “Pretzel Museum” in 1993.
My personal favorite pretzel brand is Mikesell’s. They are local to Ohio, family owned and have been around for more than 100 years! Here are two pretzel recipes you can add to your menu this week.
Mikesell’s Chicken Pretzel Bites:
- 3 cup Mikesell’s Mini Pretzel Twists, crushed
- 2 cups flour
- 5 teaspoons black pepper
- 5 teaspoons salt
- 2 large boneless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
- 3 eggs
- Preheat the oven to 400°.
- Beat eggs. Crush pretzels into pieces.
- Dip chunks of chicken into the egg, dredge in flour, dip back into the eggs, and then coat in pretzel pieces.
- Arrange pretzel coated chicken bites on parchment paper on a baking sheet.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes.
Mikesell’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars:
- 3 cups of Mikesell’s Mini Pretzel Twists
- 1 cup of butter, melted
- 5 cup of peanut butter
- 3 cups of powdered sugar
- 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 tbsp. of coconut oil
- Set aside 1.5 cup of Mikesell’s Mini Pretzel Twists and finely crush the other 1.5 cup.
- Mix together butter, peanut butter, crushed pretzels and powdered sugar in a large bowl.
- Line a baking pan with foil or parchment paper and press peanut butter mixture onto pan.
- In a microwave, melt semi sweet chocolate chips and coconut oil. Stir until smooth.
- Spread stirred, melted chocolate over your peanut butter mixture on your baking pan.
- Spread your reserved, 1.5 cup of Mikesell’s Pretzels over top and refrigerate, covered for 1 hour.
- After 1 hour, cut into bars – Enjoy!