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Neujahrspretzel (New Year's Pretzels)

These Pretzels are great for New Year's! Baked and then topped with icing and chopped almonds.

Ingredients:

2 c Milk
2 packs Yeast; Active, Dry
1/2 c Sugar
2 Eggs; Large
Water
1/4 c Almonds; Chopped
1/2 c Butter Or Margarine
2 t Salt
7 c Flour; Unbleached
1 c Confectioners' Sugar
1 t Vanilla Extract

Directions:

Heat milk and butter until very warm (120-130 degrees F.).

Mix yeast, salt, sugar, and 1 cup flour. Slowly beat into warm milk. Beat for 2 minutes. Add eggs and 1 cup of flour. Beat for an additional 2 minutes. Add enough flour to form a soft dough. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.

Place dough in a greased bowl. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Punch dough down and let rise again until doubled. (1 hour more).

Divide dough in half. Shape pretzel as follows: Roll dough into a rope about 30 inches long and 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Cross the ends leaving a large loop in the center. Flip loop back onto crossed ends to form a pretzel. Repeat with remaining dough.

Place pretzels on greased baking sheets. Let rise 15 minutes more. Bake at 375 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks.

Mix confectioners' sugar, water and vanilla to form a thin icing. Spread icing on pretzels and sprinkle with chopped almonds.

Makes 2 large pretzels.

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