Ultimate Hot Baltimore Crab Dip with Soft Pretzel Sticks


for the dip:


1 cup blue crab claw meat
1 cup lump blue crab meat
1 cup cream cheese, at room temperature
3⁄4 cup sour cream
1⁄4 cup Frank’s® RedHot® Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce
2 1⁄2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 1⁄2 tablespoons Chesapeake Bay seasoning (Old Bay)
1⁄2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1⁄4 teaspoon garlic powder
1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 shallot, minced
3⁄4 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese


Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a medium bowl, stir together both crab meat, cream cheese, sour cream, Frank’s® RedHot® Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce, mayonnaise, Chesapeake Bay seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, black pepper, and shallot until smooth.

Spread the mixture into an 8 x 8-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with the cheese in an even layer. Bake uncovered until the cheese is melted and the dip is warmed through, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately with crackers, chips, bread, or Soft Pretzel Sticks.

Makes about 18 servings

for the pretzel sticks:

1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 1⁄2 teaspoons sugar
1 1⁄3 cups lukewarm water
4 1⁄3 cups flour
3⁄4 cup baking soda
1 egg, beaten
3 tablespoons pretzel salt (or sesame seeds)
canola oil for greasing bowl


In a large bowl, stir together the yeast, sugar, and warm water; let stand 3 minutes. Add the flour; mix with a stand or electric mixer with a dough hook attachment until the dough forms a smooth, elastic ball. Grease a large bowl with canola oil; place the dough in a bowl. Place in a cold oven for 50 minutes or until doubled in size.

Remove the bowl from the oven. Preheat oven to 425°F.

Gently push your fist into the dough to deflate; divide the dough into 12 pieces. Using your hands, on a floured surface, roll each piece of dough into 1-inch-thick, 10-inch-long ropes.

Pour baking soda into a 6- to 8-quart Dutch oven or stockpot; fill it with water to within 3 inches of the top. Stir with a whisk until the baking soda is dissolved. Heat to boiling.

Line a large cookie sheet with cooking parchment paper. Using tongs, dip each rope into the boiling baking soda–water mixture for 30 seconds. Place on the cookie sheet. Brush the dough with egg; sprinkle with salt (or sesame seeds). Bake 12 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Yield: about 12 sticks.

Make It Even More Awesome

In Baltimore, there is a popular appetizer called the crab pretzel. It is a huge soft pretzel heaped with crab dip and tons of oozing cheese. To make it at home, make the Ultimate Hot Baltimore Crab Dip omitting the cheese topping. Then make the pretzel dough, but instead of making it into sticks, form it into one giant pretzel. Bake as called for, then remove from the oven and spread the crab dip liberally over the top of the pretzel. Sprinkle with shredded Cheddar cheese. Return to the oven for 5 minutes to melt the cheese. Serve immediately. (I also have another version of crab pretzels here)

My thoughts:

I hear there is a big game this weekend and it reminded me that I never posted this version of crab dip here! It appears in my cookbook, Cooking with Frank’s RedHot Cayenne Pepper Sauce: Delicious Recipes That Bring the Heat along with more recipes using hot sauce than you’d know what to do with! It’s a spicy version of the classic Baltimore crab dip that you find at every party here. The pretzels are really good with it but you can also just serve it with crackers,  bread, crudités or sturdy chips if pretzels are more of a commitment you’re interested in making.

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