Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Cinnamon Twists

This past Sunday I was into baking again. I've undertaken a new personal weekly challenge so I can bake new things on a regular basis, so this was today's contribution. Another recipe from the Culinary Mystery Series by Josi Kilpack. I have seen other recipes for cinnamon twists that have turned out as a crispy pastry. Don't expect that from these. Instead, think of a cinnamon roll that wasn't rolled up in the traditional fashion. 

I didn't check the pantry before I started and didn't realize until I was into it that I didn't have brown sugar, so I substituted raw sugar. 

Cinnamon Twists
4 cups flour, divided
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon instant yeast
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
11/4 cups warm milk
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 egg

1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/3 cup butter, softened
For the dough, mix 2 cups of flour with the remaining dry ingredients. Stir to combine. Add all liquid ingredients and mix well. Add remaining flour until dough is tacky to the touch, but not sticky. Knead 6 to 8 minutes or until dough is smooth. Grease a bowl and let dough raise, covered, until double (about 40 minutes). 
For filling, mix together brown sugar and spices. Set aside.
Sprinkle flour on the countertop and roll out dough into a 16x12-inch rectangle. Spread with 1/3 cup soft butter. Sprinkle butter with sugar-spice topping all the way to the edges. Let dough sit for 10 minutes. 
Use a pizza cutter to cut dough lengthwise into four 3x16 inch strips. Then cut every inch vertically so that you have sixteen 1x3-inch strips. Lift each strip from the counter and twist 360 degrees before placing it on a greased cookie sheet. (Twists should look like a bow tie with the spice mixture facing up at both ends.) Place twists about 3/4-inch apart. Cover shaped dough and let raise until double (about 30 minutes). Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown.
Makes 4 dozen twists.

Optional Icing*
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup evaporated milk (regular milk works too)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Mix softened cream cheese until smooth. Add powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Add evaporated milk and vanilla; mix until smooth. Add more milk or powdered sugar until icing is slightly runny.
*Pretty much any leftover frosting could also work as the icing. Simply warm frosting to room temperature and add milk until “dippable.”

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