Well hello there!
It has been a while, hasn’t it? I’ve been so wrapped up in holiday planning and events that I’ve neglected the ol’ blog. Within the past week, I’ve attended my lovely office Christmas party/dinner, and another work-related festive event, and thrown a wildly successful Christmas party at my house for my 60 closest friends and family, which obviously required 2 full days of cleaning, prepping and baking. I’ve barely had time to do anything productive. I haven’t even watched Bridget Jones’ Diary once yet this Christmas.
Time is zooming by at an alarming pace, it seems, and with less than two weeks left until the 25th I am beginning to panic: I have yet to start my Christmas shopping. I’m not sure which is giving me more anxiety: the fact that I have bought zero gifts at this time, or the fact that my pile of dirty laundry has reached a height nearly equivalent to that of my Christmas tree. I need to get my act together.
I’m excited to shared these cinnamon twists with you. While definitely not health food, they do swap in some healthier ingredients to assuage some of the guilt; plain yogurt keeps the batter soft and moist, and whole wheat flour adds an earthy nuttiness and texture to the dough.
There are admittedly quite a few steps in the process to making these, but I promise that they are all easy. You can even prepare the dough in the evening and pop it in the fridge to rise overnight, then complete the rest of the steps in the morning and have fresh, hot cinnamon twists for breakfast or brunch.
I say this about a lot of recipes, but these really are the best on the first day, hot from the oven if possible. They keep well for a few days, though, so I recommend sticking them in the microwave for 10-15 seconds or so if you’re consuming them after a day or two. Enjoy!
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 2 and ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 and ¼ to 2 cups whole wheat flour (as needed)
- 1 cup unsalted butter, cubed
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- ¼ cup water
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons coarse sugar, such as turbinado, for sprinkling (optional)
- In a large bowl, combine yeast, salt and 2 and ½ cups all-purpose flour. In a small saucepan, combine butter, yogurt and water and heat on low to 120-130 degrees F. Add butter mixture to dry ingredients and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
- Add the eggs, vanilla and ½ cup of the whole wheat flour and beat 2 more minutes. Stir in enough of the remaining whole wheat flour, ½ a cup at a time, to form a stiff dough. Do not knead. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
- Combine white sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.
- Punch down dough. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 12-inch x 9-inch rectangle. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of the cinnamon-sugar mixture evenly overtop. Fold dough rectangle into thirds; give dough a quarter turn, then repeat rolling, sugaring and folding three more times.
- Roll into a 12-inch x 6-inch rectangle. Cut into twenty (20) ½-inch strips and twist each strip. Sprinkle with coarse sugar (optional). Place on greased baking sheets, cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool. Best served warm.
Source: Adapted from Taste of Home