I have to tell you that I have been on a search for Norwegian Almond Pretzels ever since I went to Epcot at Disney World, and visited the Norway Exhibit. There is a wonderful bakery in the exhibit with traditional Norwegian pastries. I remember the first time I laid eyes on those gorgeous, yes gorgeous pretzels covered in almonds. I had to have one instantly. My heart was beating fast and the counter person could not have put it into a bag quick enough. One bite and I thought I went to heaven! Not overly sweet, just soft and delicious.
This is European comfort food!
I have been on a quest for several years to find that elusive almond pretzel recipe from Epcot. I never found it, but I was lucky enough to find a traditional German Pretzel recipe from a baker friend of mine who happens to be German. Yes, German people know a lot about pretzels. Well, I decided to make a glaze of my own and add the sliced almonds. I have to say I was quite pleased with my endeavor. They are soft, not to sweet and just delicious. I think the folks at Disney might even approve! Well, this is my version of a Norwegian Almond Pretzel with the help of a dear friend, who isn't Norwegian, but the next best thing, German!
I would definitely make this recipe again and after baking, dip them in salted butter or cinnamon sugar. Maybe even a jalapeno cheddar pretzel with a cold glass of beer might be nice!
Warning! You cannot just eat one. They are addicting!
Yields 7 pretzels
preheat oven to 375 degrees
2 tsp. dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water (105 degrees)
1/2 tsp. salt
4 T. sugar
2 large eggs room temperature
3 to 4 cups of flour if you need a little more just add a little at a time ( You want a soft dough, not sticky and not firm, just right!)
2 cups water with 1/4 cup baking soda added
1 cup powder sugar
1 tsp. almond extract
Water ( start with 1 T. and more until you achieve a smooth consistency but not to thin)
In a large mixing bowl, stir yeast into warm water and dissolve, add sugar. Wait five minutes to activate yeast. Add eggs and beat in with a whisk. Add first cup of flour with 1/2 tsp.of salt. Add remaing cups beat with dough hook on a stand up mixer, or if doing by hand, knead to form a soft dough. Grease another bowl, add dough and cover with a tea towel until double in size. Divide dough evenly into 7 balls. Roll out into long strings and form a pretzel knot. Dip into soda water solution and place 4 pretzels onto 1 cookie sheet that has been sprayed with oil. Place the other 3 onto another cookie sheet. Let double in size. Bake for 12 minutes until slightly golden. Cool and brush with glaze and drizzle with sliced almonds. Sift confectioner's sugar over pretzels.