This is the perfect cheese sauce for dipping pretzels, bread, or even drizzling over tortillas for nachos! My dear friend Candy sent me a box of fresh pretzels from the east coast – an Oktoberfest surprise, she said – and I just had to make a delicious cheese sauce to go with them. My mom came over and what would have been a rather uneventful Wednesday suddenly became a snack event. Isn’t it cool how food can turn your whole day around?
My mom couldn’t believe how well this cheese sauce held after it had been sitting out for probably half an hour. It stays just about perfect! It’s not too runny, not too thick, just the right amount of cheesy, with a little kick from chili powder to up the flavor game.
We have to briefly talk about these pretzels. I had never heard of Eastern Standard Provisions before this box showed up on my porch but I am unbelievably impressed. I was honestly blown away by the quality. This the best pretzel I’ve had outside of Germany. They’re honestly very reasonably priced too! They have loads of gift boxes under $30. My box is the Oktoberfest party pack: 2 wheelhouse pretzels, 2 topknot pretzels, 1 bag of pretzel bites, Maui Onion mustard, and pretzel salt. I followed the instructions and brushed two pretzels and some bites with water, sprinkled the salt on, and baked at 450 for about four minutes. They tasted bakery fresh! I highly recommend them if you are a pretzel fanatic like my mom and I are.
This recipe comes together in mere minutes. Probably five, but I wasn’t keeping track. Be sure to grate your own cheese when making this for the creamiest possible sauce. The pre-grated stuff just doesn’t melt as nicely.
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk (or 3/4 cup 1-2% milk and 1/4 cup cream)
8 oz sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp chili powder
For serving: pretzels, bread, or chips. Also good with apples and celery.
- Grate cheese. You should have two cups of cheddar. You don’t want to use pre-grated cheese if you want a really creamy dip. The pre-grated stuff doesn’t melt as nicely.
- Melt butter in a saucepan. Whisk in flour and cook for two minutes, until bubbling. Turn heat up and whisk in milk. Bring to a simmer, then remove from heat and slowly whisk in cheese, handful by handful, until fully incorporated. Whisk in salt and chili powder. Serve immediately.
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