[this post is brought to you by Rodelle, who I’m partnering with in 2016 to make all sorts of delicious recipes! as always, I only work with products that I 100% love and use in my own kitchen. thank you for your support!]

Today we are solving all of your holiday snacking needs.

smoky vanilla bourbon pretzels I howsweeteats.com

I realize that these pretzels don’t look like much. In fact, they look like… pretzels. Plain old pretzels.

But they totally are NOT plain old pretzels.

smoky vanilla bourbon pretzels I howsweeteats.com

Let me back up a minute. Confession time.

I don’t really… care about pretzels at all. I don’t NOT like them, but I have no desire to snack on pretzels, ever. They are way too boring and I’d rather choose something more delicious, like tortilla chips and guac. It cracks me up because right now, Max would do anything for a pretzel. He snacks on them daily and they are one of his favorite things. He constantly runs around screaming for pretzels.


There is a certain kind of pretzel that makes ME lose all self-control.

smoky vanilla bourbon pretzels I howsweeteats.com

If you follow my holiday baking posts, they you know that every year, Lacy and I make whiskey pretzels. A friend gave them to her a few years ago and we have made them ever since… and it’s a miracle that anyone else even gets any because they are completely addictive.

After baking, we can barely keep our hands off the sheet. They are RIDIC.

My mom freaks out over these every year. Everyone who tries them thinks they are about to eat a plain old pretzel and look at me like… WHAT IS THIS DELICIOUS THING?!


smoky vanilla bourbon pretzels I howsweeteats.com

I changed them up just a leeeettle bit!

You stir together melted butter, brown sugar, an array of spices and since I can’t let anything be, vanilla.

Yep, I added vanilla to this crunchy little snack. My favorite Rodelle vanilla bean paste, to be exact. I can’t even tell you guys how many bottles of this stuff I have gone through this year. It might be my favorite ingredient in the spice cabinet. I use it constantly!

smoky vanilla bourbon pretzels I howsweeteats.com

The vanilla paste gives just a little hint of sweetness but also a little warmth. The combination is SO delicious. Sweet, salty, smoky and warm. Put these on a cheese plate with some roasted red peppers and you’re good to go.

They also make the loveliest homemade gift! Especially for the hostess, because you can take them to the party and everyone can eat them right away. Perfect for cocktails! They pair so well with beer.

And wine.

smoky vanilla bourbon pretzels I howsweeteats.com

And whiskey! Obviously.

smoky vanilla bourbon pretzels I howsweeteats.com

Smoky Vanilla Bourbon Pretzels

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  • Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Spread the pretzels all over both sheets. You don’t want to layer them.
  • In a bowl, whisk together the melted butter, bourbon, sugar, vanilla paste, paprika, garlic and pepper flakes. Pour it over the pretzels and use your hands to toss everything together really well. Place the pretzels in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Toss and bake for 10 minutes more. Remove and let cool completely on the sheets. I like to store these in mason jars or even resealable containers or bags. You can dress them up cute for gifting!

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smoky vanilla bourbon pretzels I howsweeteats.com

When you want to have pretzels for dinner…