Friday, March 4, 2011

Sugared Cinema: Can't Hardly Wait (1998)

Things I couldn't hardly wait for in 1998:

High school graduation.

Going to get my first (and only) facial piercing after feeling inspired by Jonathan Davis' eyebrow in Korn's Got the Life video (shut up!)

Heading off to college in Philadelphia, only to come to the (very, very wrong) realization that I wanted to stay local to be with my (then) boyfriend.  Had I known then that parting would have, in actuality, been the sweetest un-sorrow ever, I would have packed my bags and jumped on the first train to the City of Brotherly Love.

Ahh well.  You live, you learn, you get a full-time job at Esprit before going back to school.

Can't Hardly Wait came out when I was the same age as the characters in the film so naturally, I felt like I could really relate to them.  Really feel what they were going through.

Well, maybe not Amanda Beckett so much.  But definitely Denise.  And possibly even William.

You see the salt on this pretzel?  Look at the stars.  Some people, they say the stars are billions and billions of tons of hot gas.  But I think maybe, maybe it's just God's salt.  And God's just waiting to eat us.

The truth is out there.  And William is going to uncover it.

Today's recipe is from Christa Rose over at Le Petit Brioche.  If you haven't checked out her blog, you've been missing out, not only on her wit, humor and gorgeous pictures but these pretzels, too.  Her pretzel recipe has received over 1,000 reviews on and was featured in the Allrecipes cookbook, Dinner Tonight.  Being a former Auntie Anne's junkie myself, I was left with no choice but to make them.
Buttery Soft Pretzels
Recipe by Christa Rose at Le Petit Brioche

4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 1/4 cups warm water (110 degrees F)
5 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup baking soda
4 cups hot water
kosher salt, for topping

In a small bowl, mix the yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in the warm water.  Let it stand for 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, 1/2 cup sugar and salt.  Make a well in the center and pour in the oil and yeast mixture.  Mix until it forms a dough (if it's too dry, add 1 or 2 Tablespoons of water.)

Knead the for 7-8 minutes.  

Lightly oil a large bowl.  Place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place until doubled in size (about an hour.)

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.  Grease a baking sheet.

In a large bowl, dissolve the baking soda in the hot water.

Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces.  Roll out each piece into a rope and twist into a pretzel.  Dip each pretzel into the baking soda mixture and set on the greased baking sheet.  Sprinkle kosher salt over the pretzels.

Bake for 8 minutes or until golden brown.

So good!  These pretzels are soft, perfectly chewy (none of that overly doughy yeastiness) and taste best when eaten straight out of the oven.  You can eat them plain or brush them lightly with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.

That mall aunt doesn't stand a chance.  Thanks Christa Rose!

Happy Friday, ya'll.  Time to find me a house party.


  1. ahhh-i looove this movie! what a throwback. and to think that it actually enhanced my love for seth green aka special k. i was just transported to 9th grade all over again! thanks, ali!

  2. Oh snaps! Mike Dexter! I love this movie. I loved how so many people on it are/were everywhere. The Jerry O'Connell appearance. Oy, great movie.

    Now, for those pretzels, they're making me thirsty. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

  3. Ali, is there anything you can't do? I am in awe of your skills.

  4. Ali, I'm a soft pretzel fanatic and cannot wait to make these in my new house. If you need a house party to go to, come on down to the Peach state for our housewarming party after we get settled in. ;)

  5. I have no recollection of this movie, but I do have recollections of making similar mistakes at that age (albeit 9 years earlier...)

    Homemade soft pretzels are da bomb! I've made Smitten Kitchen's recipe (which I think she got from Martha Stewart) and loved them plain with salt, dipped in mustard, or even dipped in peanut butter and chocolate. Never even thought of cinnamon & sugar!! Nice. Now I am craving pretzels!!

  6. OMG, now I want to throw a 1990s theme party.

  7. Taylor - I went through a Seth Green phase after that movie. The part where Special K follows Denise in his big ass truck then gets out and apologizes to her in the middle of the street...that clinched it.

    Margie - "I'll kick everyone's ass in this room!" I also loved Jenna Elfman's cameo. And that's coming from someone who never watched Dharma and Greg.

    Wendi - If you only knew. For starters, making apple cranberry rhubarb relish...

    Jen - you know I'm going to take you up on that offer, right? GTGATLOMG.

    Breadandputter - oh man...PB&C. I'm going to have to whip up a second batch this weekend.

    Celia - time to ressurect the babydoll dress...

  8. Oh, the 90's. JLove Hewitt's heydey. I must have watched that movie at least 20 times.

    I honestly have not had a soft pretzel in years, but now I can't stop thinking about cinnamon-sugar ones. I'm in trouble.

  9. Me neither but she was great in CHW. Barry Manilow anyone?

  10. Lauren - Her "What are you waiting for?! I'm right here!" scene in I Know What You Did Last Summer should have earned her an Oscar nomination.

    Margie - It's okay. Look at me...Scott Baio. We all have our things.

  11. That's it - making these this weekend with my kiddos.

  12. ohmaygad i'm craving pretzel so much right now.

  13. I LOVE that flick, one of my favorite weekend watches.

    I also love these soft grande pretzels.

  14. how about when i saw this movie i was all sorts of psyched there was an asian chick in it?? i seriously thought there was an asian invasion impending.

    loverly pretzels!

  15. Buncha pretzel fiends, the lot of ya!

    Kristen - and you really did make them, too. I love that.

    Angry Asian - that's exactly how I felt when I saw Clueless. I was all "OMGAZNGRL!" I loved how her name was Summer.

  16. You managed to combine two things I'd like to have right now. A soft pretzel in one hand and a little Ethan Embry in my dvd player. Bravo Ali, bravo!

    Can you start taking cinema requests? I vote for Empire Records. Or Mallrats. Or another piece of 1990's nostalgia.

  17. Someone needs to improve their nail care regimen!

  18. Shannon - <3 Preston. And hell yes, I will take cinema requests! Although would you believe that I've never seen Empire Records? For shame.

    Anonymous - LOL! Hey! I know, I nails/cuticles are busted. Bad habit for about, oh, 22 years now.

  19. I've been away from the web for a week and immediately logged on to get my Three Baking Sheets fix! Thank you for featuring my pretzels :)I'm seriously honored. I think your writing and pictures are superb (so many people think the same) and I keep coming back for more. Your pretzels look perfect!