April 26 is National Pretzel day and today my family is celebrating with these delicious Mickey soft pretzels I baked up yesterday. Judging by how many my husband enjoyed, I think this will definitely have to be a repeat recipe in our house.
The Mickey soft pretzels were a must try Disneyland snack recommended to us by my husband’s co-worker. Even though he has severe dietary restrictions, he said the Cream Cheese filled Mickey Pretzels were amazing and worth experiencing a little discomfort for. With a glowing review like that, we knew we had to try them.
We bought our soft pretzels from the Bayside Brews cart in California Adventure. Unfortunately I did not get a picture of our actual pretzels before they were devoured, so thank you the Mouse and the Monorail for the image below. These pretzels are available throughout all Disney parks in both Mickey and traditional pretzel shapes, so I will have to add these to my photo list on our upcoming Disney World trip! They make for a quick and fun lunch or a great snack item on the go.
Besides the adorable Mickey shape, the appeal of these pretzels comes from their soft and slightly chewy texture. The plain pretzels are baked to a gorgeous golden brown with a sprinkling of coarse salt, and the cream cheese filled version gets filled with a sweet cream and given a light coating of cookie crumbs. Whether you want savory or slightly sweet, they have you covered.
I modified the shape of my Mickey soft pretzels to be a bit simpler than those you would find in the parks. Instead of twisting the dough into pretzel shapes, I rolled it out with a rolling pin and used my Mickey and Minnie shaped cookie cutters. This made it easy to sandwich some of my cream cheese mixture in between two of the cut-out shapes, and then pinch firmly around the edges to seal the filling in. For the unfilled versions, I used a small circular cutter to cut out the middles.
Mickey Soft Pretzels with Sweet Cream Filling
- 2 cups hot water
- 1 TBSP sugar
- 1 envelope instant yeast
- 5 cups all purpose flour
- 1 TBSP table salt
- Non-stick cooking spray or cooking oil
- 2 TBSP baking soda
- 1 egg (beaten)
- 1 8 oz. package cream cheese
- 1 cup icing sugar
- Optional: Coarse salt or cinnamon sugar
Prepare the Dough and Filling
- Begin by dissolving the sugar in warm water, then stir in the yeast and set mixture aside 5 minutes to give the yeast time to activate.
- Combine flour and salt in the bowl of your stand mixer. Create a small well in the middle and pour the water/sugar/yeast mixture in.
- Gently mix everything on low speed, using the dough hook on your mixture. Combine mixing on medium speed until dough comes together in a ball and pulls away from the edges of the bowl. If it is sticking, additional flour can be added in 1 TBSP increments.
- Place dough on a lightly floured surface and knead gently by hand until fully combined.
- Put dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with saran wrap or a dishtowel. Place in a warm spot for approximately 1.5 hours, until the dough has risen and doubled in size.
- While the dough is rising, make your cream cheese filling by combining the room temperature cream cheese and icing sugar. Whip lightly in your stand mixture until smooth and creamy. Put blended mixture into a Ziploc or piping bag.
Boil and Bake
- Once the dough has doubled in size, preheat the oven to 450 degrees farenheit.
- Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface and cut out using cookie cutters. If you are doing plain salted pretzels, roll the dough to 1/2″ thickness. I used a Mickey Mouse shaped cutter, with a smaller circle to cut out the center of each.
- If you are filling your pretzels with the cream cheese mixture, roll to approximately 1/4″ thickness and cut two of each shape per pretzel. Snip the corner of the Ziploc/piping bag and squirt a small amount of the mixture into the middle of one half of your pretzel, then place the second cut shape on top. Pinch around all edges to seal your filling in.
- Prepare your boiling mixture by stirring 2 TBSP of baking soda into a large pot of water filled with water 2 inches deep. Heat to medium high.
- Carefully place your cut shapes into the near boiling water and poached for 1 minute. Strain and place onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
- Brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg and top as desired. I used coarse salt on my plain pretzels and opted for cinnamon sugar on the cream cheese filled versions. Disney appears to use a cookie/graham crumb mixture on their cheese filled pretzels.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Cool slightly and enjoy! The plain pretzels would be great dipped in hot cheese or mustard.
I will admit this recipe is a little time consuming with all the steps, but none of the steps are overly complicated. After a failed attempt to make rolls for Easter dinner, I was a bit scared to work with yeast and make another bread based product. I followed the steps carefully and luckily it seemed a lot easier to bake a successful pretzel.
Have you tried the Mickey soft pretzel in the parks? What is your favorite version – plain or cream cheese filled? I would love to be in the parks today enjoying one today on National Pretzel Day, but since we can’t I am delighted with how tasty my home baked versions turned out.