My Foray Into Food Storage

A regular gal learning about Food Storage, Home Cooking, Canning, Gardening, and more!

Knock-Off Recipe Test: Auntie Anne’s Pretzels

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Yesterday, my husband and I went to Disneyland for a DLD (Disneyland Date).  I saw a Wetzel’s pretzel stand and really wanted a pretzel, but I cannot eat the entire thing (at least I shouldn’t).  My husband said that he only likes Auntie Anne’s pretzels, so we went along our merry way.  Of course, the thought of pretzels stayed there in the back of my mind, so I decided to try a knock-off recipe for Auntie Anne’s Pretzels as the first post in my new “Knock-off Recipe Test” series.

 

I found several on the Internet and settled on one found on Food.com.  You can see it here.  It took a couple of hours, but, most of the time, as with many bread recipes, was just waiting for the dough to rise.  Here are some pics of my pretzel making adventure.

 

I started with the yeast.  First I put 1 1/2 cups of warm water in my handy, dandy Pyrex glass measuring cup.  Then, I added 2 tablespoons of brown sugar.  Next, I added the yeast, and let it sit.

I started with the yeast. First I put 1 1/2 cups of warm water in my handy, dandy Pyrex glass measuring cup. Then, I added 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. Next, I added the yeast, and let it sit.

 

I puttered around for about 10 minutes.  When I came back, my yeast looked like this.  I added the dry ingredients to my mixer (all-purpose flour, bread flour, and salt).

I puttered around for about 10 minutes. When I came back, my yeast looked like this. I added the dry ingredients to my mixer (all-purpose flour, bread flour, and salt).

 

 

I poured the yeast/brown sugar mixture on top and turned on my mixer.

I poured the yeast/brown sugar mixture on top and turned on my mixer.

 

After about one minute, it looked like this.  I was thinking I might need to add some water, but I decided to wait a little longer.

After about one minute, it looked like this. I was thinking I might need to add some water, but I decided to wait a little longer.

 

It's good I didn't add extra water, see?  The dough came together very well.

It’s good I didn’t add extra water, see? The dough came together very well.  Now, onto kneading.  I let my Kitchen-aid do it for me.

 

I love letting my Kitchen-aid do the kneading for me.

And it looks beautiful!  The dough is smooth and springs back when I touch it.  Perfect!

 

I removed the dough hook, removed the bowl from the mixer, and covered it with plastic wrap.  Then I let it sit.  The recipe said to let it sit for at least a half hour.  I let mine sit for a little over an hour.  It was probably 70 minutes.

I removed the dough hook, removed the bowl from the mixer, and covered it with plastic wrap. Then I let it sit. The recipe said to let it sit for at least a half hour. I let mine sit for a little over an hour. It was probably 70 minutes.

 

And here's the dough.  It rose nicely, didn't it?

And here’s the dough. It rose nicely, didn’t it?

 

 

I prepared the baking soda water bath as directed and set it aside.

I prepared the baking soda water bath as directed and set it aside.

 

I dumped the dough onto a floured surface.

I dumped the dough onto a floured surface.

 

It came out of the bowl really easily.  See how clean it is?

It came out of the bowl really easily. See how clean it is?

 

I used my pizza cutter to cut off a couple of pieces of dough.  Then I rolled them out.

I used my pizza cutter to cut off a couple of pieces of dough. Then I rolled them out.

 

I had a hard time rolling it on the counter, so I rolled it between my hands most of the time.  A few times, I swung the dough like a jump rope to help it stretch a little more.

I had a hard time rolling it on the counter, so I rolled it between my hands most of the time. A few times, I swung the dough like a jump rope to help it stretch a little more.

 

I cut half of the dough into pretzel sticks. (Shh!  They're for my nursery class at church tomorrow.  Don't tell them!)

I cut half of the dough into pretzel sticks. (Shh! They’re for my nursery class at church tomorrow. Don’t tell them!)

 

 

I dipped them into the baking soda water bath and put them on a greased cookie sheet.

I dipped them into the baking soda water bath and put them on a greased cookie sheet.

 

 

I tried to make a few in the traditional pretzel shape.  They are definitely not as pretty as Auntie Anne's pretzels.  I think I need a bit more practice, but they're passable for a first time.

I tried to make a few in the traditional pretzel shape. They are definitely not as pretty as Auntie Anne’s pretzels. I think I need a bit more practice, but they’re passable for a first time.

 

These also went into a baking soda water bath and onto a greased cookie sheet.

These also went into a baking soda water bath and onto a greased cookie sheet.

 

 

I let them rise for about 20 minutes until they were a bit puffy, then I put them in a 450 degree F oven for about 8 minutes.  The instructions say 10, but my oven runs a little hot.

I let them rise for about 20 minutes until they were a bit puffy, then I put them in a 450 degree F oven for about 8 minutes. The instructions say 10, but my oven runs a little hot.

 

 

And here they are: hot and fresh!  I brushed them with melted butter and served them.  My hubby added cinnamon sugar to his.

And here they are: hot and fresh! I brushed them with melted butter and served them. My hubby added cinnamon sugar to his.

 

Were they EXACTLY like Auntie Anne’s?  No.  But they were pretty good.  They tasted more like Auntie Anne’s after they set out for about 10 minutes.  Fresh out of the oven, it was easier to tell that they were not exactly the same.  I’d give this recipe an A-, because it was very good, and it was pretty close to the original.  Plus these were a lot cheaper than if I bought them at the mall.  I’m sure I’d pay at least $3/pretzel or for 6 pretzel sticks.  I ended up with 7 pretzels and 22 pretzel sticks, so I would have spent at least $30 to buy this at Auntie Anne’s.  I spent less than a dollar on the entire recipe, saving myself over $29 dollars.  Not too bad for a lazy Saturday, huh?

 

Yummy Knock-off Auntie Anne's Pretzels.

Yummy Knock-off Auntie Anne’s Pretzels.

 

We will definitely make them again, but, as I often do, I’ll tweak the recipe just a tad bit.  If I stumble on something amazing, I promise that I’ll share it here first.

 

Have you ever tested a Knock-off recipe?  How did it work out for you?

I am planning to do more in this “Knock-off” series.  Is there anything you’d like me to try out?

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Author: Laurie Nguyen

I am a happily married, stay at home mom with four sons, ages 24, 22, 18, and 14. I'm not a professional blogger, and I'm certainly not a foodie or a chef. But I like food, so I think I'm qualified to write about my own life experience with food. Want to be a little more prepared for the unexpected? Check out my Food Storage Blog, http://forayintofoodstorage.com. Have a question about Food Storage? Email me: forayintofoodstorage@gmail.com.

41 thoughts on “Knock-Off Recipe Test: Auntie Anne’s Pretzels

  1. they look so good! I’m sure they are better than Auntie Anne’s as well! AA drenches them in butter and salt…it’s too much sometimes.

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  2. Looks super Yummy! Even my husband thought so. Hopefully, we’ll be trying them soon. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on Food-Enjoy and commented:
    I do love a good pretzel and these look delicious. Hope you Enjoy

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  4. I think its the same for every baked products. They need to be cool for a while after baking because it is still cooking in the inside. But I am glad you pull this pretzel off =D

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  5. If you want to be insanely popular at parties, shape the pretzels into sticks and cut them into bite sized pieces. I usually make a double batch for parties and they all disappear!

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  6. Yumm-merrrss. I definitely like your style. 😀

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  7. I love soft pretzels, have never made them. Your recipe is totally doable.

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  8. My mom is coming into town this weekend and we love to bake together! Maybe we’ll give this a try! Looks delicious!

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  9. Looks great, gotta try it!

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  10. Love auntie Anne’s and the knock-offs too! 🙂

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  11. You always make me so hungry!!! I do love the pics you add with the recipes so I can see if I’m following it right and what it’s supposed to look like. Thank you for sharing another yummy recipe!

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  12. This is wonderful–I’ve bought the Auntie Anne’s kits before, because they are my FAVORITE, but this is way more affordable. And I can’t shape a pretzel to save my life 🙂

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  13. They look delicious. I love pretzels, but have never had the pleasure of a soft one. Here in my little town in Kentucky we just don’t have a place that sells them–at least not one that I know of. But I don’t get out much and things are changing out there.

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    • Have you ever considered making them? They’re quite easy, especially if you have a good mixer which can knead the dough for you.

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      • I don’t own a mixer, because I learned to do it all by hand from my grandma. Love getting my hands in a huge bowl of bread and mixing it. Maybe when my shoulder heals I’ll be able to do that again. I will definitely get my sourdough started again and make my bread, so making the pretzels might work. Would it work in a food processor?

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  14. I’ve made homemade soft pretzels like that before – the recipe I used didn’t require the dough to rise that much, but it was still so yummy! Love making them at home 🙂

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    • The recipe said to let it rise for at least 30 minute, but I’ve found many recipes benefit from a little longer rise time. I had the time (and the patience), so I gave it a little more time. 🙂

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  15. Looks like it would be a great way to spend an afternoon when the weather is cold 🙂

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  16. Those look pretty good! I tried making pretzels once some time ago. I would give mine a C+ !

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  17. I’d definitely love testing these!!!! :-))))

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  18. Reblogged this on Foods of the Caribbean and commented:
    Loved it. Going to try and make it.

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  21. These look good! Wetzel’s Pretzels recently opened in my neighborhood mall and as I was reading this, I found myself confused if I prefer them to Auntie Anne’s.. Wetzel’s seem to be chewier and bigger and are just a little bit more expensive. But here, they cost about $1/pretzel.

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