Christmas Blog Hop: Our favorite Christmas tradition: a New Year’s Pretzel

A full month of posts to celebrate the Christmastide season. Stories, traditions, recipes, videos, games and a giveaway to fill your Yuletide with Regency Era fun. Click here for a list of all the previous posts.



I'm so pleased to participate in the  indieBRAG Christmas Blog Hop. Clink the link to see the full schedule of the month long Christmas hop.

One of my family's favorite tradition is for my husband to make Christmas breakfast for everyone. When we first started doing this our boys were small. My husband decided he wanted to make a New Year's Pretzel for breakfast.

Naturally, I asked what a New Year's Pretzel was and he gave me that special look that asked 'have you lost your mind?' Since my mental faculties were indeed intact, I insisted that I had never heard of such a thing. How was that possible--surely everyone know what a New Year's pretzel was, he insisted.

After a bit of research, we discovered New Year's Pretzels were not actually very common. In fact, the tradition of the New Year's Pretzel is unique to his hometown of Sandusky, Ohio. It dates from the turn of the 20th century. Sandusky became home to a very large German population that brought the holiday tradition to the community. (Read more here). Though a New Year's Pretzel is usually eaten...wait for it...on New Year's day, we enjoy it on Christmas morning, when all the kids are home together with us. Here's a demonstration of how to make a New Year's Pretzel.



Here's a recipe to make your own New Year's Pretzel.

2 cups milk
1/2 cup butter
2 packages active dry yeast
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup sugar
7 cups flour, divided
2 large eggs
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon water
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
1/4 cup almonds or walnuts, chopped


Heat milk and butter until very warm, 120-130 degrees F. Mix yeast, salt, sugar, and 1 cup flour. Mix warm milk into yeast mixture. Beat for 2 minutes.

Add eggs and 1 more cup of flour. Beat 2 minutes. Add enough of the remaining flour to form a soft dough. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.

Place dough in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Punch down and let rise again until doubled, another 1 hour. Divide dough in half.

Roll one piece of dough into a rope (apprx.30" long and 1 1/2" in diameter). Form a pretzel shape by forming a loop, crossing the length of dough and tucking the loose ends onto the large loop. Alternately, twist or braid the dough. Repeat with remaining dough.

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

Mix powdered sugar, water and vanilla to form a thin icing. Spread on pretzels and sprinkle with chopped nuts.


If you've had a New Year's pretzel or would like to, let me know in the comments!

The next stop on the indieBRAG Christmas Blog Hop is Monday, December 21 with Joe Perrone Jr.  


If you enjoyed this post you might also enjoy:

A Jane Austen Christmas

The Darcys' First Christmas

Twelfth Night at Longbourn


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  1. I learn that pretzel originates from Germany that it’s no surprise that Germans brought their traditions over to US. I have not New Year’s Pretzel but would like to try it.

    • Susan S on December 20, 2015 at 8:41 am
    • Reply

    Yes, my grandparents lived in a German neighborhood in Philadelphia
    and we had New Year pretzels on January 1st!

    • Beverlee on December 20, 2015 at 9:30 am
    • Reply

    Oooh, more food history. Always so tasty! This might make it into my oven over the holidays. I love finding new kinds of bread.

    • Linda A. on December 20, 2015 at 9:53 am
    • Reply

    I had never heard of New Year’s Pretzels, but then, my family were Germans from the Volga region of Russia when they came to the US. They had been away from Germany for 100 years already.

    My boyfriend’s family is from a fishing village in Italy. Their tradition is to eat fish at midnight on New Year’s Eve to have a prosperous new year.

    • Geri on December 20, 2015 at 11:01 am
    • Reply

    I never heard of a New Years Pretzel! One of the things I have enjoyed the most on this amazing holiday blog hop is learning about so many different and fun traditions. I grew up in Philadelphia where pretzels are a big thing. During the Christmas shopping trips we always stopped at one of the street carts for a hot pretzel. I haven’t been back in many years but your story brought back wonderful memories – even if they weren’t of New Years Pretzels!

  2. Yum!! Can’t say that I’ve heard of it, but I wanna try it! Thanks for a great Christmas idea and MERRY CHRISTMAS!

    • Sheila L. M. on December 20, 2015 at 1:33 pm
    • Reply

    I make a Finnish Vipiiri Twist which uses about the same amount of flour but adds nutmeg and cardamom among other ingredients. It makes 3 loaves which are twisted into a pretzel shape but on the second rising all sides come together. It is a family favorite for all holidays and birthdays. It is great sliced and toasted the next day. My 2.5 year old granddaughter ate 3 slices last week when I sent some to her house.

    • Nancy Moors on December 20, 2015 at 4:04 pm
    • Reply

    Thank you for the recipe. I really enjoyed your post.

  3. Very enjoyable! Pretzels for Christmas–who knew?

  4. Yummy. I’ll have to try this. And I too have never heard of a Christmas pretzel either.

  5. What a charmer you husband must be! Thanks for the recipe.

    • Eva Edmonds on December 22, 2015 at 7:35 pm
    • Reply

    Yum, I want one! Thank you for this information and recipe.

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