Spicy Pretzels give holidays a kick

Jeremy Ford and his family smile for the camera. Ford is a writer for the Washburn Review. (courtesy of Jeremy Ford)

As a college student, I have found myself missing a lot of elements of living at home. but the the home cooked meals have by far been the most difficult thing to part with. It’s become quite the challenge to cook a creamy alfredo or grill that perfect steak, but I can always make do with some simple snacks to get me through the week- something that is quick, easy and a treat that everyone will want you to bring to the party. I am going to show you how to make a spicy seasoned pretzel mix that my family has simply coined “Spicy Pretzels.” This snack has quickly become a family and friend favorite, so let’s get right into this easy and delicious munchy!

1 teaspoon lemon pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 ½ teaspoon garlic powder or garlic salt garlic/salt
1 ranch dry seasoning packet
¾ cup vegetable oil
1 16-ounce oz bag of pretzels

Let’s start with the utensils. A lot of people don’t mind doing dishes and I would certainly classify myself as part of that group. Fortunately for everyone, this recipe only requires three or four utensils. All you need is a large baking sheet, a measuring cup, some measuring sticks and either a large bowl or gallon Ziploc baggie. I like to use a bowl because it gives me a place to put my pretzels when they are done. Some of my folks prefer to eat the pretzels right off the baking sheet when they come out of the oven, so they just use a Ziploc baggie to mix it all up and then throw it away – but it’s all personal preference.

Most of the ingredients needed are spices or peppers that people already have and don’t even realize, so make sure to check your spice cabinet and cupboards before heading to the store. You are going to need lemon pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic powder or garlic salt, a ranch dry seasoning packet, vegetable oil and pretzels in the quantities listed above. I like making my pretzels really spicy, so sometimes I will add an extra half 1/2 of teaspoon of lemon pepper, cayenne pepper and garlic salt to help give it that kick. I typically use straight pretzels because it is easier to coat them, but the pretzel loops work well too.

The best way to go about making your pretzel mix is to add all your dry ingredients to the vegetable oil and then mix them in the measuring cup. This way, you know that the mix is evenly distributed and you’re not dumping all the ingredients just onto one section of the pretzels. After your mix is done, add all the pretzels to your bowl or Ziploc bag and then pour your mix on top of them. When the mix is added in, you want to seal your bowl or baggie and then shake your pretzels to make sure the seasoning coats all of them the pretzels. This is also why I prefer a bowl over a bag because it can help you better coat your pretzels better.

Once your pretzels are nice and coated, you want to lay them out as evenly as possible on your baking sheet. Make sure there isn’t a big clump of pretzels that are going to bake unevenly. Once your pretzels are good to go, bake them in the oven for about 30-40 minutes at 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the timer goes off, just pull them out and let them cool for about 10 minutes. After that, you’re ready to eat and enjoy!

Edited by: Alijah McCracken, Aja Carter