Gluten free cinnamon sugar gluten free soft pretzel bites just like Auntie Anne's—with sweet glaze. Get your Auntie Anne's back!
These cinnamon sugar gluten free soft pretzel bites and sticks may have been a transparent excuse to whip up a copycat version of Auntie Anne's sweet glaze.
Personally, I'm partial to the sticks. I have my reasons.
Okay, my reason is pretty thin. They're just easier to dip in the glaze without having to dirty your fingers and then be faced with resisting the licking of the fingers. As a person who cooks and bakes for other people all day every day of my life, I am very sensitive to the licking of fingers. I never, ever do it. EVER. Even when I'm totally alone. I just … can't.
Now, I made the bites and the sticks. Half bites, half sticks. The bites remind me of donuts. The sticks? A soft, sweet chewy glaze delivery system.
It's really a personal thing. Mine is not to judge.
Mine is merely to show you the light and fluffy, chewy inside those gorgeous gluten free soft pretzel sticks, coated with cinnamon sugar, ready to be dipped in that gorgeous glaze. Oh, and a word about the glaze: I realize that it seems ridiculous to use light cream cheese when a person is whipping it with heavy whipping cream. It's just that the light cream cheese is a bit thinner and can be easier to whip. If you only have regular cream cheese, just roll with it.
Auntie Anne’s-Style Cinnamon Sugar Gluten Free Soft Pretzel Bites and Sticks
FOR THE SOFT PRETZELS
1 recipe Gluten Free Soft Pretzel Dough (I used the Pretzel Rolls dough from page 153 of GFOAS Bakes Bread, but the Pretzel Rolls from the blog would work fine, too), prepared according to each recipe’s instructions, but made with the following adjustments:
- In the book recipe:
- Reduce the amount of Gluten Free Bread Flour to 3 cups (420 g) from 3 1/4 cups (490 g).
- Eliminate the nonfat dry milk.
- Increase the packed light brown sugar to 1/4 cup (55 g).
- Increase the butter in the dough to 5 tablespoons (70 g).
- Replace the warm water with 1 cup (8 fluid ounces) warm milk (about 95°F).
- In the blog recipe:
- Increase the packed light brown sugar to 1/4 cup (55 g).
- Increase the butter in the dough to 4 tablespoons (56 g).
- Replace the warm water with an equal amount (1 1/2 cups (12 fluid ounces)) of warm milk (about 95°F).
Baking soda bath for boiling (6 cups water plus 1 tablespoon baking soda plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt, brought to a rolling boil over medium-high heat)
4 tablespoons (56 g) unsalted butter, melted, mixed with 1 tablespoon (21 g) honey (for brushing)
1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
FOR THE SWEET GLAZE
1 cup (115 g) confectioners’ sugar
2 ounces light cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup (2 fluid ounces) heavy whipping cream, chilled
On baking day, line a rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper, grease it lightly with cooking oil spray, and set it aside. If using the pretzel roll dough from the book, please note that these instructions begin “on baking day,” after the dough has already had its first (refrigerator) rise.
If using the pretzel dough from page 153 of GFOAS Bakes Bread, on a lightly floured surface, knead the dough until smoother as directed in These General Shaping Tips. Divide the dough in half, and roll each half into a ball as illustrated in this gluten free bread shaping video. Cover one piece of dough loosely with a towel to prevent it from drying out. Working with the other half, divide it into 4 equal pieces. Roll each piece of dough (pressing down and out with your palms) into a rope about 9 inches long. Using a floured bench scraper or sharp knife, slice each rope into 3 equal pieces (each 3-inches long). Place each piece of shaped dough on the prepared baking sheet, 2 inches apart from one another. Repeat the process with the other half of dough, but slice each of the 4 ropes into 1 1/2-inch bite-sized pieces of dough instead of 3-inch sticks. Place the bite-sized pieces of dough on the prepared baking sheet, about 1 inch apart from one another. Dust all of the shaped pieces of dough lightly with flour, then cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap. Set in a warm, draft-free location to rise until nearly doubled in size (about 40 minutes). The bites and sticks will swell in every direction as they rise, but the doubling will not be as obvious as it is with a larger piece of dough.
To make the sweet glaze, place the confectioners’ sugar and cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or a large bowl with a handheld mixer). Mix by hand until the cream cheese is incorporated into the confectioners’ sugar. If you try to mix it with the machine at the start, sugar will fly everywhere! Once the sugar is absorbed into the cream cheese, you should have a very thick mixture. Beat with the whisk attachment or handheld mixer on medium speed until fluffier. With the mixer still on medium, drizzle in the heavy whipping cream slowly and continue to beat on medium speed until the dip is light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill while you finish making the pretzels.
As the dough nears the end of its rise, preheat your oven to 350°F and line a second baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper. In a large pot, make the baking soda bath by dissolving the baking soda and salt in approximately 6 cups of water, and bringing it to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. Once the dough has finished rising, place the risen sticks and bites a few at a time in the boiling baking soda bath for about 30 seconds per side. Remove the boiled dough with a strainer and return the pieces to the baking sheet, placing the sticks on one prepared baking sheet, and the bites on the other (they should bake separately from one another as they will bake at different rates). Using a very sharp knife, slash each boiled dough stick at a 45° angle in 2 or 3 places, about 1/4-inch deep, and each boiled dough bite in the same way, but once in the center of the bite. Brush all the pieces of dough generously with the melted honey butter mixture, and place the baking sheet in the center of the preheated oven. Bake the sticks until golden brown all over (about 9 minutes). Remove from the oven and allow to cool briefly. Bake the bites until golden brown all over (about 7 minutes). Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the pan briefly.
Once the sticks and bites have cooled until they can be handled, brush each bite and stick with the remaining honey butter, and roll in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Serve warm with the chilled dipping sauce.