Using an electric mixer, fitted with a dough hook, place the hot water in bowl add 1 Tbs. sugar and let dissolve. Sprinkle the yeast over and let it dissolve. Add the flour and salt slowly until comb ined, about 30 seconds. Continue to beat on medium speed until sides pull away from bowl. If dough is sticky, add more flour. Transfer to floured board and knead 10 times until smooth. Pour oil into bowl and swirl to coat sides. Place dough in the bowl and place in a warm spot and let rise to double its size. Punch dough down and divide into 16 pieces. Roll one piece of dough at a time to 18" strips. Twist into pretzel shape. Fill a large shallow pot with 2" of water and add baking soda. Place pretzels into water and poach one minute. Remove and place onto cookie sheet. Brush pretzels with beaten egg and bake at 450 degrees for 12-15 minutes until golden. To top, spray with water or cooking spray and roll into salt or cinnamon sugar or top with vanilla icing and toasted almond slices.