Homemade peanut butter filled pretzel nuggets are the best snack! Soft pretzel dough is filled with peanut butter, boiled in alkaline solution and baked to salty-bronzed perfection! Grab a cold beer or tall glass of milk and enjoy!
Gather, measure and prepare the ingredients as listed. For the most consistent results, we recommend using metric weight measurements whenever possible. To view metric measurements, toggle the US Customary/Metric switch at the top of this recipe card.
Mixing the Dough: Combine the whole milk and light brown sugar and warm to approximately 105° Fahrenheit (40° celsius). This can be done in the microwave for about 45 seconds or on the stovetop. Stir in yeast to bloom (hydrate) and set aside for 5 minutes until frothy.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, or a medium mixing bowl, add the milk, sugar and yeast mixture. Then, add the butter, beer, all-purpose flour and salt. Stir or mix on low speed for one minute or until a shaggy dough is formed.
Increase the speed of the stand mixer to medium, or knead by hand. Knead for 4 - 6 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic. Meanwhile, use some additional butter to grease a medium mixing bowl.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead once or twice to shape into a round. Transfer the dough into the greased mixing bowl and cover with a damp kitchen towel, or plastic wrap. Allow dough to proof (rise), covered, in a warm place for about 40 minutes, or until doubled in size.
Preheat the Oven: Arrange two racks in the center third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 425° Fahrenheit (218° celsius)
Shaping the Nuggets: On a lightly floured work surface, turn out your proofed dough and punch down to deflate. Roll dough into a large rectangle, about ¼ inch (6 millimeters) thick.
Using a pastry wheel, pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut strips of dough about 2 inches (5 centimeters) wide.
Pipe 1 inch (2 ½ centimeter) lines of chilled peanut butter down the center of the strip of dough. Be sure to leave space to be able to seal the dough around each segment of peanut butter.
Seal the dough around the peanut butter and cut into nuggets. (See How to Fill Pretzel Nuggets with Peanut Butter text, images and How-To video, for technique clarification). Repeat process with the remainder of the dough.
Meanwhile, prepare your alkaline solution (baking soda water bath). Bring water to a rolling boil over high-heat.
Once boiling, add your baked baking soda to create your alkaline solution. (See Note: c.) Maintain the solution at a rolling boil.
In small batches, about 8 - 10 at a time, carefully drop your pretzel nuggets into the alkaline solution. Boil nuggets for 15 - 20 seconds.
Using a kitchen spider utensil or slotted spoon, remove the pretzel nuggets from the solution. Allow any extra water to drip off the pretzels before transferring them to a parchment-lined baking sheet. As soon as you are able to handle the pretzel nuggets, arrange them on the baking sheet, seam side down. Do not allow the boiled dough to stay in contact for too long, they will begin to stick together as they cool and dry.
Continue this process until all pretzels have been boiled in alkaline solution.
Finishing the Pretzel Nuggets
Before baking, brush each pretzel nugget with egg wash.
Sprinkle pretzels with pretzel salt, as desired.
Bake Peanut Butter Filled Pretzel Nuggets for 12 - 16 minutes, rotating the pan about halfway through baking. These Pretzel Nuggets are done when they are deeply browned and puffy.
Allow Peanut Butter Filled Pretzel Nuggets to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Once cooled, enjoy! Leftover pretzel bites (as if!) can be frozen for up to two weeks.
a. We recommend using natural or fresh-ground peanut butter for the best results, in this recipe. However, if you would like to use your favorite brand of peanut butter, feel free! We suggest adding 2 tablespoons of honey to big-brand peanut butters to help maintain a softer texture while baking. b. We recommend piping the peanut butter onto the dough for this recipe. If you do not have a piping bag, you can use a ziplock style bag with the corner cut off. In the video above, we used a #805 pastry tip for the peanut butter. You can chill the peanut butter directly in the piping bag while you prepare the dough, or overnight. c. Baking your baking soda prior to making the solution will result in more desirable pretzel texture and color. See How to Boil Pretzels in Baking Soda Solution text above