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It’s still October and so besides Halloween I am still in Oktoberfest mode in my kitchen. Cincinnati has deep German roots so it makes sense for me to serve German food through the fall and winter. I’ve posted before about some of my favorite side dishes to serve alongside grilled or beer-basted sausages but today I’m sharing a fun, German-inspired appetizer.
These Sausage Stuffed Pretzels with Beer Cheese aren’t just for Oktoberfest. They’d be a spectacular addition to any tailgating or pumpkin-carving festivities you’ve still got going on in October and November! Stuffed with Hillshire Farm® Polska Kielbasa, these pillowy pretzels are hearty fair for the crisp fall air. And the beer cheese is their perfect companion. No flour or cornstarch required, just a simple mix of sharp cheddar, german-style mustard, German beer (of course) and a little garlic powder.
This year at our local Oktoberfest party in downtown Cincinnati, one of our former Bengals quarterbacks Ken Anderson was the leader of the Chicken Dance on our town square. That put me in mind of football and tailgating. So when I had the opportunity to create a recipe using the Hillshire Farm® Polska Kielbasa rope sausage I knew I wanted a crowd-pleasing appetizer that would travel well.
These pretzel rolls are amazing. I did a little happy dance when they came out of the oven looking so gorgeously browned and photo ready. And for such an impressive looking dish, the ingredients are nothing fancy at all and were really quite inexpensive at my local Walmart.
These sausage stuffed pretzel rolls with beer cheese need to be added to your must-make list for fall. Whether in October or beyond they will put a big smile on your face!
- 1 packet instant yeast (I used Red Star Platinum)
- 2 T. light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 c. warm water
- 6 T. unsalted butter, melted
- 4 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
- 2 t. salt
- 1 pkg. Hillshire Farm® Polska Kielbasa
- pot of water
- 1/2 c. baking soda
- 8 oz. extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 3 oz. good German beer
- 1 T. beer and brat style mustard
- 1/4 t. garlic powder
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment, add the yeast, brown sugar and water and allow to stand for about 5 minutes until the mixture looks foamy.
- Stir in the melted butter.
- Stir in the flour and salt and knead on low speed with the dough hook for at least 5 minutes.
- Turn the dough out onto a smooth surface and add a little more flour if it is too sticky. Form into a ball and place in an oiled bowl, turning the dough to coat. Allow the dough to rise for 60 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Get pot of water heating on stove.
- Punch down dough and divide into 16 equal pieces. Cut the Hillshire Farm® Polska Kielbasa into 16 equal pieces.
- Flatten each piece of dough and place one piece of the Hillshire Farm® Polska Kielbasa into the center. Pinch the dough to seal and then roll into a ball in your hands until the dough is very well-sealed around the sausage piece. Repeat with each piece of sausage and dough.
- Bring the pot of water to a boil and gently add the baking soda. Drop four stuffed pretzels at a time into the boiling water and cook for about 30 seconds. Take the stuffed pretzels out of the water with a slotted spoon and transfer to baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
- Sprinkle the tops of the stuffed pretzels lightly with kosher salt.
- Bake for 14-16 minutes, or until well-browned.
- In the bowl of a food processor, add the shredded cheese, beer, mustard and garlic powder. Process until smooth.
- Serve the sausage stuffed pretzels with the beer cheese for dipping.