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Hump Day Snack: Soft Pretzel Footballs

Happy mid-January: a time of wavering resolutions and intense longing for endless carbs and sugar-crusted sweets. The good news is the Super Bowl is only 18 days away, which gives you a perfect excuse to indulge in a cheese-and-bread bowl or two in honor of the home team. To help you prep for that glorious day of snacking, here’s an easy football-shaped soft pretzel recipe that uses store-bought pizza dough to speed things up. A quick dip in a beer-and-baking-soda solution before baking gives these twists a deeper flavor and a nicely browned crust — no lye required. Set them up with a duo of mustard and cheese sauce and let the carb-loading games begin!

Feast your eyes on more pretzel-centric recipes from Cooking Channel below:

31 Days of Cookies: Chocolate Diablo Cookies

This year, we’re celebrating the season with a month of nonstop cookies. It’s the final day of the 31 days of cookies, and we’re wrapping it up with the photo that inspired it all, the spicy, cakey Chocolate Diablo Cookie. Until next year…

Click here for the Chocolate Diablo Cookies recipe.

More cookies:
All-Star Cookie Swap
Food Network’s 12 Days of Cookies

31 Days of Cookies: Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

This year, we’re celebrating the season with a month of nonstop cookies. With New Year’s resolutions quickly approaching, we’re fitting in all of our vices for the 30th day of cookies: It’s time for Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Click here for the Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe.

More cookies:
All-Star Cookie Swap
Food Network’s 12 Days of Cookies

31 Days of Cookies: Boozy Marmalade Shortbread Cookies

This year, we’re celebrating the season with a month of nonstop cookies. New Year’s Eve is approaching, so for the 29th day of cookies, we’re making Alie and Georgia’s liqueur-spiked boozy shortbreads.

Click here for the Boozy Marmalade Shortbread Cookies recipe.

More cookies:
All-Star Cookie Swap
Food Network’s 12 Days of Cookies

31 Days of Cookies: Grown-Up Apricot Newtons

This year, we’re celebrating the season with a month of nonstop cookies. For the 28th day of cookies, we’re giving chewy classic Newtons an elegant upgrade with dried apricots and pistachios.

Click here for the Grown-Up Apricot Newtons recipe.

More cookies:
All-Star Cookie Swap
Food Network’s 12 Days of Cookies

31 Days of Cookies: Amaretto Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwiches

This year, we’re celebrating the season with a month of nonstop cookies. For the 27th day of cookies, we’re squishing amaretto-spiked ice cream between two crunchy chocolate-almond cookies, courtesy of Giada.

Click here for the Amaretto Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwiches recipe.

More cookies:
All-Star Cookie Swap
Food Network’s 12 Days of Cookies

31 Days of Cookies: Black and Whites (Deli! Deli! Deli!)

This year, we’re celebrating the season with a month of nonstop cookies. For the 26th day of cookies, we’re feasting on leftovers, and preparing to make these deli-inspired black and whites to go with it all.

Click here for the Black and Whites (Deli! Deli! Deli!) recipe.

More cookies:
All-Star Cookie Swap
Food Network’s 12 Days of Cookies

Hump Day Snack: Christmas Mess with Christmas Tree Meringues

Merry Christmas to mid-week snackers everywhere! Since you’ll probably be trapped under a snowdrift of gift bags and Christmas ribbon for the next few hours, this will be brief.

If you’re still in need of a deceptively overachieving dessert for family dinner tonight, try this festive twist on Eton mess. The very name of this traditional English pudding implies how easy it is to assemble: Just pile generous layers of molasses-spiked strawberry sauce, nutmeg-infused whipped cream and tree-shaped meringues in a trifle dish and call it a day. It’s definitely a mess worth making, just like the chaotic gift-opening crime scene that is your living room right now. Read on for the winter-spiced recipe or play around with your own flavor combos, using Cooking Channel’s meringue recipes below as a guide. Merry mess-making!

31 Days of Cookies: Pistachio and Sour Cherry Linzer Cookies

Merry Christmas! This year, we’re celebrating the season with a month of nonstop cookies. For the 25th day of cookies, we’re creating a wonderland of red and green with Gabriele Corcos’ jaunty pistachio cookies with bright sour-cherry filling.

Click here for the Pistachio and Sour Cherry Linzer Cookies recipe.

More cookies:
All-Star Cookie Swap
Food Network’s 12 Days of Cookies

31 Days of Cookies: Sleeping Almond Meringue Cookies

This year, we’re celebrating the season with a month of nonstop cookies. For the 24th day of cookies, ’twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, we were channeling a good night sleep with Sleeping Almond Meringue Cookies.

I think what I miss the most about believing in Santa Claus is falling asleep on Christmas Eve and knowing that, in what feels like the blink of any eye, I’ll be under the tree, ripping into boxes and finishing off cookies left out the night before. Now that I’m the one hiding the presents and baking the cookies, the lure of sleeping in while someone else does the work is that much more appealing.

It’s also why I love making these sleeping almond meringues. For years, I’d been trying to make my grandparents’ meringue cookies, which were always crisp on the outside but creamy in the center. The recipe, a straightforward combination of egg whites and sugar, was too simple for them to write down, and I couldn’t seem to replicate it. Most recipes I found gave helpful tips on how to completely dry out the meringues, which is exactly what I didn’t want to do, and the opposite of what I remembered.

Finally, a friend shared her own grandmother’s recipe. The meringues are piped onto baking sheets, then placed in a scorching-hot oven that is immediately turned off. Though they were wonderful with just a little bit of lime juice and vanilla for flavor, I couldn’t resist the added crunch of toasted almonds. Left on their own overnight, they take on a pearly sheen that gives way to a taffy-like center — just as long as you can keep yourself from peeking in the oven until the next day.

Continue Reading 31 Days of Cookies: Sleeping Almond Meringue Cookies

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