22 December 2009

Perfect cinnamon twists

This is a great recipe for beginning bakers. They come out light and fluffy. If I can make them, so can you.

Bring to boil in large saucepan:

  • 1 cup sour cream

Remove from heat. Stir in until well blended:

  • 3 tbsp shortening
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt

Cool to lukewarm. Add:

  • 1 large unbeaten egg
  • 1 package of dry yeast

Stir until yeast is dissolved. (At this point you could also throw in a dash of vanilla, almond, or orange extract, but I didn't and they were great. The sour cream alone gives them plenty of flavor.) Mix in with spoon:

  • 3 cups sifted plain flour

Turn out onto a lightly floured board. Knead slightly a few seconds to form a smooth ball. Cover with a damp cloth and let stand five minutes to firm up. Meanwhile, in a small bowl mix:

  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped nuts (pecans work fine)

Roll dough 1/4 inch thick in a rectangle 6"×24". Spread the entire surface with

  • 2 tbsp soft butter or margarine

Sprinkle half of the dough (the long way) with the sugar-cinnamon mixture. Bring the unsugared half of the dough over the sugared half, pressing the top surface lightly to seal in the sugar mixture. Cut in strips 1/2 to 1 inch.

Grease 2 cookie sheets. Take each strip of dough, give each end a half twist (in opposite directions of course), and place on the cookie sheets about 2" apart, pressing both ends firmly and flatly to the baking sheet. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise at 85° or so until very light, about 1 hour 15 minutes.

Bake 12-15 minutes at 375°. While baking, mix in another bowl:

  • 1-2 tbsp milk
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

to make a fairly thick icing. Drizzle over the twists.

Makes about 2 dozen.

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