Pretzels add a crunchy kick to baked goods and are a great substitute for breadcrumbs. 

Milk-Chocolate Tart with Pretzel Crust
This dessert from pastry chef Colleen Grapes, a tribute to the chocolate-covered pretzel, hits just the right salty-sweet note. Grapes mixes crushed pretzels with flour, butter, sugar and egg to make a crunchy crust, pours in a luxurious milk-chocolate filling, then sprinkles on more crushed pretzels as a garnish.
| Credit: © Con Poulos

I enjoy snacking on a pretzel—salty and crunchy or warm and chewy—as much as the next person. But pretzels are so much more than a snack food. They're also versatile ingredients that can transform baked goods and create the perfect crust for chicken. Here are ten of our favorite uses for pretzels, beyond eating them straight from the bag.

1. The crunchy crust on this chocolate tart is made with crushed pretzels.

2. For a clever way to use up leftover soft pretzels, make dumplings. They're good right after they're boiled but even better when sauteed in butter, too.

3. These chocolate chip bars get their crunchy texture and salty kick from coarsely chopped pretzels.

4. Use in place of bread crumbs to bind and crust chunky crab cakes.

5. This recipe for Guinness ice cream and homemade chocolate-covered pretzels hits my three major food groups: beer, pretzels and chocolate.

6. The crispy crust on this chicken is inspired by the classic NYC street-vendor combo: pretzels and mustard.

7. These superfudgy bars are a pretzel lover's dream. Plus, they're a great way to use the broken pieces left in the bottom of a bag.

8. This snack mix has a little maple syrup for sweetness and Thai curry paste for heat.

9. These M&M cookies were created by an 11-year-old who knows how to nail the salty-sweet mix.

10. Cheese master Laura Werlin's cumin-spiced Gouda fondue is the perfect dip for soft, warm pretzels.