I'm always skeptical of appliances that just do one thing. They take up space, rarely get used, and often break easily. The Nostalgia Electrics Soft Pretzel Factory does just one thing, but it's not too big to store, and it seems very durable, so I imagine you could get a lot of use out of it. Will you use it very often though? I think if your family loves hot pretzels, and you like to make treats from scratch, then yes. This is something you can use on weekends, after school or on holidays and have fun with. The recipe book has lots of ideas for different types of pretzels and dips, and you can come up with your own combinations as well. However, pretzels are much more involved to make than cookies or cupcakes or brownies. You have to let the dough rise for at least half an hour, then knead it, then roll it out and cut out the pretzel shapes. The cookie cutters included aren't very sharp, so I also spent time getting the dough out from where the holes should be in the pretzel and reshaping it. It's slow going, although once you've made the dough I *think* you could freeze it or refrigerate it and make pretzels fresh each day until you run out. The manual says you can also use store-bought dough, so I tried a cinnamon roll dough from a can and that worked pretty well and was much faster. Make sure you OIL the molds before using them, and only use wood or plastic to remove the pretzels to avoid scratching it. I just grabbed them with my fingers and they came right out, but the scraper from a George Forman grill works well, too. In the end, the pretzels were very tasty (just using the basic recipe and dipping in melted butter, then sugar and cinnamon or caramel dip). I'm just not sure if I want to put that much time and effort into a snack.
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