Monday, December 21, 2009

Day 4 - Cinnamon Twists

12 Days of Cookies - Day 4
This is another of my all time favorites and a staple on the Christmas tray. My mom always took the leftover pie crust and made us cinnamon twists out of it by rolling the dough and then sprinkling with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. She'd give them a twist or two before baking. This cookie uses the same technique and reminds me of those highly anticipated little treats.

It's a tender, not too sweet cream cheese dough that's brushed with an egg wash, then embedded with cinnamon, sugar and finely shopped walnuts...delish!...especially with a fresh, steaming cup of coffee or tea...or a cold glass of milk...or all by themselves!! :-)

Cinnamon Twists
1 pkg. (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened

1 c. butter, softened

2-1/2 c. all purpose flour

3/4 cup walnuts

1 c. sugar

2 t. ground cinnamon

1 large egg, beaten

In large bowl, with mixer at low speed, beat cream cheese and butter until blended. Scrape bowl.

Increase speed to high; beat until light and creamy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low, gradually add 1 c. flour and mix until blended. Mix or stir in remaining 1-1/2 c. flour until smooth.

On lightly floured sheet of plastic wrap, pat dough into a 9" x 9" square. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 hurs or until dough is firm enough to roll.

Fit food processor with knife blade. Finely grind walnuts with 1/4 c. sugar. In small bowl, stir cinnamon and remaining 3/4 c. sugar into walnut mixture until well blended; set aside.

Preheat overn to 400 degrees. On lightly floured sheet of waxed paper, place dough square. Cover with another sheet of waxed paper. Roll with rolling pin into 11" x 11" square. With pastry brush, brush some beaten eggover the top of the dough, making sure to coat the edges. Sprinkle with 1/2 of the walnut mixture. Gently press the mixture into the dough.

Carefully invert the dough onto another sheet of lightly floured waxed paper, nut side down. Brush with beaten egg; sprinkle with remaining walnut mixture and gently press nut mixture into dough.

Cut dough lengthwise into three 3-1/2" pieces (I keep a plastic ruler in my kitchen tool drawer just for baking), then cut the pieces crosswise into (66) 3-1/2" x 1/2" strips in all.

Twist each strip twice then place about 1" apart on parchment or Silpat lined cookie sheets. Bake twists 15-17 minutes or until lightly browned. Gently loosen twists (if using Silpat liners, they will lift right up). Cool on wire racks. Makes 5-1/2 dozen.

Enjoy!!

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