Snack foods are expensive. If you want to trim down your grocery bill, snack foods are a great place to start. Not only are they filler foods, loaded with preservatives, sodium, and well, all kinds of crap, they are unbelievably over priced. I just saw a sale from a nearby grocery store showcasing chips that were being sold, two for $6. When did $3 get to be a good price for a regular sized bag of chips?
But we all need some junk food now and then. Besides, the winter months bring increased movie watching and board game playing, which pretty much require a plate of snacks within reach. I’ve written on my favourite homemade snack foods before in the post “Snack Happy” in which I share my secrets on making salsa, hummus, guac, Babaganoush, microwave popcorn and more. But salsa is expensive to make these days because tomatoes are out of season, and avocadoes are not cheap either. So I’ve been on the lookout for tasty, cheap homemade snack recipes.
On the weekend, we took the plunge to try out Alton Brown’s pretzel recipe. This was fun. Rolling out long pieces of dough and twisting them into pretzel shapes, how could that not be fun? In the end, though, it didn’t work out. Yes, the pretzel dough itself was tasty. The process was fun and fairly simple. But two major errors were made. One, we didn’t roll the dough thin enough. We were supposed to roll each pretzel stick into 14″ pieces but just estimated on the length of our pretzels, and, once I realized we were only rolling them to about 11 or 12″ pieces, it was too late. As you can see, they turned out looking like bread sticks, which made the pretzels just a little to thick to enjoy as a light, crunchy snack.
Furthermore, we improvised using organic sea salt, which was chunky, almost like rock salt, instead of “pretzel salt” – yes, there is such a thing. Apparently kosher salt is far too fine. Unfortunately, our salt was far too crunchy. One bite would have you puckered in a salt overdose; another bite would be bland and boring.
Not satisfied with seeing anything go to waste, the pretzels are currently sitting in an open faced container, which will then be transfered to the food processor to form a nice pretzel crumb coating for a lucky piece of chicken or pork.
The recipe could be salvaged with thinly rolled pieces and proper pretzel salt. So if anyone wants to give it a go, be my guest. (We may even try it again another time.)
In the meantime, please share: What is your favourite recipe for homemade snacks? I need something to replace the crunchy, salty goodness of the over-priced potato chip.