Friday, February 11th, 2011

Cinnamon Sugar Pretzels Recipe

Half of a Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel

Last week, I decided to take a couple day off to relax with family. That did not end up going well, because I had my nose in work and in The Kitchen Generation. Before I knew it, it was Sunday, and I had to go back home. I missed the train to get home by two-minutes; I was stuck in Penn Station for an hour.

Cinnamon Sugar Pretzels

When I got to the main waiting area at Penn Station, I let out a sigh of relief; it was practically empty. Practically two-hundred empty seats for me to sit on; I found a seat, then rummaged through the mess of my suitcase for my planner. I wrote down a few events, checked things off my to-do list, and closed my planner to look up and find a woman sit a seat away from me in the middle of an empty waiting area.

Cinnamon Sugar Pretzels

The woman sat a seat away from me; after opening my planner back, as though to show her that I was not suspicious as to why she sat next to me in a practically empty waiting area. She pulled out a can of Pepsi from the inside of her purple coat, opened the can, took a sip, let out a burp, and placed the can on the seat between us.

Cinnamon Sugar Pretzels

A minute or so passed and the waiting area was bombarded with people; a younger woman sat next to me with the music on her iPod as loud as a jet engine. Then I smelled it. I smelled dirty feet. Purple coat lady took her shoes and socks off, and placed them right next to her can of soda. It’s rude of me to call her “Purple Coat Lady;” from here on we’ll call her June. The young woman sitting next to me sniffled, and I felt the hairs in my nostrils begin to shrivel into complete nothingness.

Cinnamon Sugar Pretzels

I got up politely, as to make it seem as if I was not offended by the smell of her feet. With my backpack weighing me down, and the weight of my suitcase practically pulling my arm out of its socket, I walked to the Amtrak area to find something to snack on (I could hear my stomach shout at me) while waiting for my train to get home. I passed a Krispy Kreme, a couple of deli’s, and decided on cinnamon sugar pretzel nuggets from Auntie Annie’s. When hunger strikes, even foods I would never eat, taste better than I would normally think they tasted. To my mind, those pretzel nuggets and the icing package that came along with them were the best things I had ever eaten (dare I mention that it was the first time I ate a cinnamon sugar pretzel?). After finishing my $4 investment, I felt guilty. I ate something that would have normally tasted like poison and cardboard to me (no, I’ve never tasted poison before, and I intend to keep it that way).

Cinnamon Sugar Pretzels

After convincing myself that it was better of me to spend $4 on cardboard than spend more money at a dirty fast food joint (Aunti Annie’s had an A for cleanliness!), the idea to re-create a better and tastier version of the pretzels at home hit me.

So, my dear friends, thanks to Purple Coat Lady June, I’m sharing a recipe for Cinnamon Sugar Pretzels with you today. Yes, I know- I’ve recently shared pretzels with you, but you’ll thank me for this small burst of warmth in your home. Oh, and if you are feeding your kids this- put them in a cage first and leave them in there until the sugar high is gone. I am only kidding. Sorta.

Cinnamon Sugar Pretzels Recipe
Adapted from THIS post
Makes 12

I suspect that maybe adding a pinch of nutmeg to the cinnamon sugar mixture might enhance the flavors of the topping a bit. As for the glaze, if you prefer using vanilla instead of the coffee simply use 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and instead of 2 teaspoons of milk, make it 3 teaspoons (1 tablespoon).

When it comes to making any bread dough, I do everything by hand. No machinery is needed for this recipe, but if you are short on time, or don’t have the energy to knead for a good 5-10 minutes, I’ve included instructions on how to make the dough in a stand mixer.

When measuring the flour for the dough, I used a scale (if you don’t have one, it’s time to make the best $25 investment you will ever make). If you do not own a scale, when measuring the flour, be sure not to compact the flour into the measuring cup; fluff the flour in its container and spoon it [lightly] into the measuring cup, and use the back of a knife (or a spatula) to level the flour. Do not tap the sides of the measuring cup, as this will compact the flour.

For shaping the pretzels, refer to the four photos in this blog post.

2 ¼ teaspoons (¼ ounces; 1 envelope) active dry yeast
⅛ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
2 teaspoons (8 grams) granulated sugar
1 cup (8 fl. oz) warm water (100º to 110ºF)

1 cup (128 grams) Bread Flour
2 cups (256 grams) All-Purpose Flour
2 tablespoons salted butter, softened

Vegetable oil, for bowl and baking sheets

¼ cup (72 grams) baking soda
1 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar

Cinnamon Sugar Topping
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons freshly ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt

4 tablespoons butter

Coffee Glaze:
2 teaspoons strong coffee
2 teaspoons milk
2/3 cup of powdered sugar


Mix yeast, sea salt, sugar, and warm water in a small bowl, whisking until sugar dissolves. Let stand until foamy, about 5 to 10 minutes (Kamran Note: I let it sit for about 8 minutes).

Place flour into a large bowl. Using two butter knives, a pastry cutter, or your fingertips, cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Slowly pour yeast mixture over flour mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon or your hands to combine. Using your hands, gather dough together. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until it is no longer sticky, about 5 minutes.
Lightly brush a large bowl with oil and turn the dough to coat. Cover with plastic, and let rise in a warm place, until the dough has doubled in size. About 1 hour. (Kamran note: If you want, you can place the bowl of dough in the refrigerator over night)

Cut dough into 12 equal pieces, and roll each into an 18-inch rope. Form a U shape with 1 rope, and twist ends together twice. Fold twisted portions backward along center of U shape to form a circle, then gently press ends of rope onto dough to seal. Transfer to an oiled baking sheet, and repeat. Let rise for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 475ºF.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and add baking soda and 1 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar. Boil pretzels in batches until puffed and slightly shiny, 30 seconds per side. Transfer to wire racks to drain. Place pretzels on an oiled baking sheet. Mix the 1/4 cup sugar, 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, and the pinch of salt in a bowl; set aside.

Bake until golden brown and cooked through, about 15 minutes. In the last 5 minutes of baking, melt the 4 tablespoons of butter and prepare the coffee glaze (recipe below).

Brush the warm melted butter onto the tops of the pretzels, once they are immediately out of the oven, sprinkle on some of the cinnamon sugar, then drizzle on some of the coffee glaze (recipe below) and serve immediately.

If you want to keep the pretzels (without melted butter, cinnamon sugar, and the glaze) they will keep uncovered at room temperature for up to 12 hours; just warm them up in a 250ºF oven, and brush on some melted butter, sprinkle on some of the cinnamon sugar, and if desired, drizzle on some of the coffee glaze.

Coffee Glaze Preparation:
Mix the milk and coffee in a small bowl. Slowly stir in the powdered sugar, making sure there are no lumps.

Font Size: a A | print recipe Print Recipe | 33 Comments


  • Tessa
    February 11th, 2011

    Love these photos (as usual). And also, Kam… I have to say… cinnamon sugar > “cheese” sauce!

  • Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets
    February 11th, 2011

    Love your homey photos :). And these look like awesome comfort food for me!

  • Tweets that mention Cinnamon Sugar Pretzels Recipe | the sophisticated gourmet --
    February 11th, 2011

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Coffee Gourmet, Kamran Siddiqi. Kamran Siddiqi said: New post! Cinnamon Sugar Pretzels Recipe – […]

  • Joy
    February 11th, 2011

    That’s my absolute favorite flavor of pretzels, aside from plain (how boring am I?). I must admit I haven’t baked your pretzels like I said I would, so shameful.

    And oh god, I hope to never have the Purple Coat Lady and pretzels in the same thought again. Ew, ew. LOL.

  • Jessica @ How Sweet
    February 11th, 2011

    These are my favorite soft pretzels. Love them!

  • thejewishhostess
    February 11th, 2011

    Thanks for sharing this great recipe. Is it possible to substitute whole wheat flour for any part of it?

    kamran replied:

    thejewishhostess -of course! I would say your best bet is to use whole wheat flour in place of the bread flour.

  • Eliana
    February 11th, 2011

    These pretzels look super super delish.

  • Brian @ A Thought For Food
    February 11th, 2011

    You know… I’ve never been a fan of the sweet pretzel since I’m more of a salt person. But a homemade soft pretzel? I can’t see how I wouldn’t like that.

  • Lana @ Never Enough Thyme
    February 11th, 2011

    You know, I’ve never had a sweet pretzel, but I’m really liking the idea! I’ve also never made home made pretzels. Sounds like a good weekend project to me.

  • Joanne
    February 11th, 2011

    People really do the weirdest things. I would never take off my shoes in public. Because really. Why should I subject anyone to that?

    I have to say, I have a severe weakness for Auntie Annie’s although I haven’t had it in YEARS (decades maybe?). These look so delicious!

    kamran replied:

    Thanks so much, Joanne!

  • Becca@bakingmonster
    February 12th, 2011

    I always do find it strange when people sit right next to you in a empy room, I geuss you looked friendly. Although that doesn’t sound like the greatest experience for you, I’m glad it happend because this recipe looks great! I have never had cinnamon sugar pretzels either, I’d like to give these a try. I also love the photos.

  • Lexi
    February 12th, 2011

    I love soft pretzels, whether cinnamon and sugar or regular. The pictures are amazing.

  • Geni
    February 13th, 2011

    Warm, fresh pretzels are my son’s favorite food ever. Perhaps I should make this for a Valentine’s Day gift to him? Your photos have a dream-like ethereal quality. Just beautiful. I do enjoy that you added that Auntie Anne’s had an “A”. It says alot.

  • Wenderly
    February 13th, 2011

    Mmmmmmm these look divine! I adore soft pretzels and the coffee glaze sounds crazy fabulous!

  • Angela@spinachtiger
    February 13th, 2011

    HaHaHaHa. I’m still laughing, thinking about the feet, and the burp. I’ve sat at Penn Station. I remember never wanting to touch anything. I can fully understand going for the donut pretzel things. And, see it was all inspiration. So is June her real name?

    kamran replied:

    Ha! How would I know? I was thinking of names and then I remembered that I don’t know any food bloggers by the name of June (I think), so I went with it . . .

  • Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction
    February 16th, 2011

    These look amazing!

    And, loved your Penn Station story… I, too, have done my share of waiting in Penn Station, and it is rarely dull and boring. That’s my least favorite part of traveling to NYC.

  • May Cookie Co.
    February 16th, 2011

    I love the smell and taste of cinnamon. Toasty warm cinnamon sugar is exactly what I need on these cold, winter days! Thanks for the entertaining story and great recipe!

  • Kelly
    February 17th, 2011

    Mmmm. Those look so much better than Annie’s. I especially love the drizzle of glaze on top.

  • Friday Favorites – Episode 81 | my kitchen addiction
    February 18th, 2011

    […] love soft pretzels, so I’m especially fond of these Cinnamon Sugar Pretzels from The Sophisicated Gourmet. They remind me of the pretzels from the food court at the mall, except much, much better! […]

  • Natalie
    February 18th, 2011

    I’m going to have to try these! Thanks for sharing.

  • Chihiro
    February 18th, 2011

    Hi! I just stumbled across your site :) It’s beautiful. Are you a college student in NYC? Sorry if I missed that.
    Anyway, I am also tempted by the Auntie Anne’s when I’m trekking to my bus at Port Authority. Did not know of the A for cleanliness.

    kamran replied:

    I go to school in New Jersey.

  • Delishhh
    February 24th, 2011

    Just came across your blog and love it. Very clean. And what a great pretzel recipe. Nice work!

  • a frog in the cottage
    March 17th, 2011

    let’s face it ! I definitely can’t resist cinnamon !!

  • Brandi
    March 17th, 2011

    This is a cool recipe, I’ll have to try to make them one day. I like your site! Very impressive set up and photographs for an 18 year old. I found your site by browsing Pioneer Woman’s tweets and saw that she said something to you. I’ll be bookmarking your blog!

  • Leah
    April 11th, 2011

    Just made these today!!!! Absolutely loved them!!!!!!Thanks so much for posting the recipe!!!

  • Pretzel Nuggets « Redemption of the Former Anti-Cook
    January 31st, 2012

    […] Soft Pretzels Bites (Pretzels adapted from Annie’s Eats and Cinnamon Sugar topping from Sophisticated Gourmet) […]

  • Eat Your Way Around Euro 2012 » Amy Elizabeth
    June 13th, 2012

    […] often the order of the day (cue jokes about Bratwurst!) But, why not try making your own pretzels? Warm and dusted with cinammon, or cold and flavoured with rosemary and sea salt. The possibilities, as they say, are endless. […]

  • Mina
    July 6th, 2012

    Made these yesterday. DELICIOUS! :D

  • Eat Your Way Around Euro 2012 | Amy Elizabeth
    July 15th, 2012

    […] often the order of the day (cue jokes about Bratwurst!) But, why not try making your own pretzels? Warm and dusted with cinammon, or cold and flavoured with rosemary and sea salt. The possibilities, as they say, are endless. […]

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