This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FinalFourPack #CollectiveBias. Coca-Cola is a corporate champion of the NCAA. Read on for a tasty basketball party appetizer recipe and free basketball player printables for your next basketball party. And, be sure to enter to WIN over $1,000 in prizes and NCAA® Final Four tickets. Details below.
Are you a school teacher or parent with kids who enjoy basketball? Maybe your spouse is a huge fan of the game? Or maybe you love to play, and are hosting an NCAA® March Madness Basketball Party?
If you enjoy basketball, you will love this post. Here I’ll share my Stuffed Pretzel Basketballs Recipe. These delicious party appetizers not only create an awesome talking piece for your next basketball party, they are filling. I stuffed ours with sausage and cheese, but you could easily stuff them with ground beef, turkey, diced ham, or bacon bits and shredded cheese. I’ve also included free downloadable basketball printables in this post – scroll down for more.
You can serve these vanilla-flavored Stuffed Pretzel Basketballs with spicy brown mustard sauce, BBQ sauce, or ranch dressing to name a few. The pretzel shell is dense and chewy, while the center is oozing with cheese and meat. Make these once and I promise you’ll be trying to find a way to make them party appetizers for years to come!
My Stuffed Pretzel Basketballs Recipe Inspiration
Coca-Cola and the NCAA® have teamed up to offer Coca-Cola NCAA® Final Four Packs available at Walmart. If you have basketball fans in your home like we do, you’ll be joining with millions of other fans to celebrate the NCAA® March Madness basketball playoff games. While supplies last, you can purchase 4 Coca-Cola NCAA® Final Four Packs (16 cans) for $5 or 2 packs for $3 at participating Walmart stores. I purchased 4 – 12 packs for our NCAA® March Madness party and used the Coca-Cola Vanilla for my Stuffed Pretzel Basketball recipe.
The Vanilla Coca-Cola lends a mildly sweet flavor to this recipe. It makes the pretzel balls smell yummy. Feel free to substitute your favorite Coca-Cola flavor in place of the flavor I used in the recipe list below and make this recipe your own!
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Ingredients for my Stuffed Pretzel Basketballs Recipe
- 4 & 1/2 Cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 & 1/2 Cups of Vanilla Coca-Cola
- 1 Tablespoon Sugar
- 1 Package of Active Dry Yeast
- 2 Tablespoons Kosher Salt
- 4 Tablespoons of melted butter
- Spray Oil
- 12 Ozs. of Sausage
- 1 Cup of finely shredded cheese.
- 2 Cans of orange spray food coloring
- 1 Soft-tipped candy marker in black (I thought I would be able to use the brown licorice to create stripes on the basketballs but wound up using a black candy marker instead)
Directions for Stuffed Pretzel Basketballs Recipe
Part I – Mixing the pretzel dough.
Step 1 – Setup ingredients and measure each one.
Step 2 – Combine the Coca-Cola (your favorite – I used Vanilla), sugar, and kosher salt in a large mixing bowl. Once combined, sprinkle the dry yeast on top.
Step 3 – Allow the dry yeast to sit on top of the mix for 5 minutes or until the mixture starts to foam.
Step 4 – Add the flour and butter and mix everything together using a hand held or stand mixer on low speed until combined.
Step 5 – Increase the speed on the mixer to medium and keep mixing until the dough separates from the sides of the bowl. This will take about five minutes.
Step 6 – Remove the dough from the bowl and smooth the dough with your hands and set aside. Clean the bowl. Once clean, spray the bowl with spray oil to coat the inside of the bowl.
Step 7 – Return the pretzel dough to the bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. The dough will need to sit for one hour in a warm location in order to double in size.
Step 8 – While you are waiting for the dough to rise, cook your sausage meat as directed by the sausage packaging. I pan fried 12 ozs. of sausage but only used six ounces for this recipe. Also, measure out about a cup of shredded cheese.
Part II – Once the dough has sat out for about an hour, you’re ready to stuff the pretzel balls.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Step 1 – Put a lump of pretzel dough into your left hand and using your right hand create an indentation, like a small cup, into your lump of dough.
Step 2 – Use a teaspoon to shovel in at least one to two teaspoons of the cooked sausage and shredded cheese in to your dough “cup”.
Step 3 – Use your hands to pull another piece of dough from the mix and massage it into a “lid” for your dough cup.
Step 4 – Pinch the “lid” onto the stuffed dough cup and seal the stuffing inside. Use your hands to smooth out the entire surface of the pretzel ball. Any cracks may separate during baking.
Step 5 – Repeat the process until you’ve used all the dough. This recipe yields approximately nine pretzel balls. If you are expecing a larger crowd you may need to double or triple the recipe.
Step 6 – Place the pretzel balls on a lined cookie sheet and put them in the oven. Depending upon your oven and the thickness of your pretzel balls, you’ll need to bake the pretzel balls for somewhere between 12 and 15 minutes. The pretzel balls pictured here were baked for 15 minutes due to their size and thickness.
Directions for Stuffed Pretzel Basketballs Recipe Decorating
Part III. Once the pretzel balls are baked, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool.
Step 1 – Open up the side of a cardboard box to make it easy to paint the pretzel balls. Line the box with parchment paper and place the pretzel balls inside.
Step 2 – Shake your can of orange food coloring paint and remove the lid. Point the spray can nozzle toward the Stuffed Pretzel Basketballs and spray the surfaces of the cooked pretzel balls. Coat the surface evenly and make sure to get every side. I recruited my little man to help with some of the spray painting.
Step 3 – Wait until the paint is completely dry (30 minutes to an hour) before applying the baskeball stripes to the Stuffed Pretzel Basketballs with the black candy marker.
These Stuffed Pretzel Basketballs can be eaten cold or you can heat them just before serving. Placing these in the oven on warm will not discolor the painted decoration. To set the scene for these basketball-shaped party appetizers, I decorated my cutting board to look like a basketball court, complete with toy basket ball hoops suction-cupped to cans of Coca-Cola. The basketball court and players are included in the free printable package included with this post.
FREE Basketball Printables
To make it easy to recreate this appetizer tray at home, I’ve included some fun, free basketball-themed printables with this post. click the blue “Download Now” button to download your copy.
Where you can find the Ingredients
You can find official Coca-Cola NCAA® Final Four Packs of Cherry Coke, Vanilla Coke and Coke Zero at Walmart. I also found all of the ingredients for this Stuffed Pretzel Basketballs recipe at Walmart including all of the baking ingredients.
Have a favorite Party Appetizer?
Do you have a favorite party appetizer? Is your family planning to enjoy watching NCAA® March Madness basketball playoff games? Please leave a comment below and join the conversation. I love hearing from my readers!