Philly Soft Pretzels

I grew up nomming on Philly Soft Pretzels. This occurred way too frequently, but it was a staple of my upbringing and eating several pretzels a week was normal to me! To my dismay, Philly pretzels are nearly impossible to find outside of PA. I was lucky to find some in Indiannapolis at Pat's Philly Pretzels (see bottom pic) on a road trip last year, but otherwise the market is flooded with Superpretzels. While I like a Superpretzel...they aren't the same as my beloved chewy yet crispy and doughy Philly pretzels.

I followed this recipe and veganized it by using Earth Balance. I didn't make my own lye solution because I found a pre-made bottle from the Phillipines in HMart. The lye is supposed to create the chewy, brown exterior. But maybe the pre-made solution wasn't the right concentration because as you can see in the picture below, the color was a pale tan. The taste was spot on however, (I'd rate it a 7.5/10), but the texture and color was not authentic at all.