Being in law school, I never really have a lot of food in the house. I'm not exactly sure if that's because I'm poor or because I don't have time to cook. Maybe a bit of both? Anyways, sometimes when you're craving something sweet for dessert, you have to get a bit creative. But as long as you have a half-eaten bag of pretzels, cinnamon, sugar, and oil/butter you can whip up this sweet and salty snack in less than 20 minutes. You're welcome.
I started off using a modified recipe I saw on pinterest which coated big pretzels in oil and rolled them in cinnamon sugar. For these, I used 1/4 c. sugar, 1/4 c. oil and 1 t. cinnamon.
Mix together in a large bowl.
And dump in some pretzels! Keep stirring until the pretzels get nicely coated. You might think you added in too many, but just keep stirring. This bowl wasn't even big enough for all of the pretzels, I kept spooning pretzels onto my baking sheet and adding more to the bowl to coat in sugar.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and bake at 350.
Now the recipe on pinterest said to bake for 30 minutes, stirring twice. However, after 15 minutes my pretzels were burnt! Good thing I couldn't help myself and after a few minutes I spooned off a hot pretzel to cool so I could try it. I would recommend baking for 15 minutes, stirring every 5. You'll be able to tell once they're ready.
They go from this....
To this! Look at that sugary goodness. They aren't too sweet either, the salt from the pretzels balances them out. See how dark mine are though? That's because they're slightly burnt--whoops.
Since these were slightly burnt (they were still pretty good but definitely had a rich, smokey flavor), I decided to use the rest of the pretzels and try the recipe using butter instead of oil. Oil just sounded gross to me where a butter, cinnamon, and sugar mixture sounded much more appetizing.
I was very surprised to learn that they produced a very different, but also just as delicious, pretzel.
First I melted the butter in my previous bowl of cinnamon and sugar.
Again, I used 1/4 c. butter, 1/4 c. sugar, and 1 t. cinnamon.
Bake at 350 for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so and your pretzels will magically go from this...
...to this! The sugar caramelized this time (which makes sense that the oil would evaporate out and sugar and butter would caramelize) and left a sticky, sweet pretzel.
See the difference? Much less of a granulated cinnamon sugar elephant ear taste and much more of a caramelized sugar, cinnamon roll type flavor. In my book, both are absolute winners.
I would be hard-pressed to choose a favorite.
But come on, could anyone really choose between an elephant ear and a cinnamon roll?
Yeah, that's what I thought. Make both, you won't be disappointed.