Soft Pretzel Bites with Cheesy Dip

These are the most amazing, soft, sweet .... yet salty, delicious, homemade pretzel bites. They are were so goooooood. These are so perfect straight out of the oven and they last for days and taste equally as good if you heat them for 6 seconds each exactly .... you like that? I have it down to a science. I like to walk past the pretzel bowl, take one out and throw it in the microwave. These are so yummy. Everyone liked them .... except Olive. But Olive doesn't like anything. I swear, all that kid eats is Pirates Booty, bananas, and egg whites so you really can't take her words of advice ... wait. she doesn't even talk. Whatever, these are amazing. Pair them with my super fabulous "cheesy" dip and you got yourself a Parrrr...tAAAY (say it with an accent).

Soft Pretzel Bites with "Cheesy" Dip

Ingredients for pretzels
4 teaspoons active dry yeast + 1 tbs sugar
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 1/4 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup baking soda
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 cups + 1 tbs hot water
1/4 cup kosher salt (to sprinkle on top)

Ingredients for Cheesey Dip
8 ounces Velveeta (cubed)
1 package (3 ounces) Philadelphia® Cream Cheese, softened
1 tablespoon whole milk
Diced jalapeno (optional)

1. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and 1 teaspoon of white sugar in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, 1/2 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1 1/2 tsp salt (not the finishing salt). Make a well in the center and add the oil and yeast mixture. Combine and form into a dough. If the mixture is still dry, add another tablespoon of water.

3. Knead the dough until smooth, about 7 to 8 minutes or use a stand mixer with the hook attachment. Lightly oil a large bowl and place the dough in the center of the bowl. Toss the dough around to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 - 2 hours.

4. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. In another large bowl, dissolve the baking soda in hot water.

5. Once the dough has risen, put the dough on a lightly floured surface and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope or make flat (like we did)  and cut into 1" - 1 1/2" pieces. Once all of the dough is all shaped, dip each pretzel bite into the baking soda mixture and place on a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with kosher salt.

6. Bake in preheated oven for 6-8 minutes, until lightly browned. Watch carefully! Serve warm with cheese dip (instructions below). Best the first day.

Directions for Cheesey Dip
1. Combine cheeses in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 2-3 minutes or until melted, stirring occasionally. Stir in milk and a diced jalapeno if you like some heat.