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Historic Baking: Cinnamon Twists

Historic Baking: Cinnamon Twists

Posted in: Historic Baking

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Making Cinnamon Twists
with Kirstin, MAG Marketing Associate

Last week my cousin sent me a photo of Sour Cream Twists he made. My immediate response was to exclaim “whoa!” – I had not eaten (or seen) one of these in over 15 years, since the passing of my late grandmother.

So, imagine my surprise, when just a day or two later I was flipping through one of our cookbooks here at the MAG, only to land on a recipe for Sour Cream (aka Cinnamon) Twists! Of course I had to try them. The cookbook this recipe came from is the Red Deer Christmas Bureau & Red Deer Public Library community cookbook from 1986, "Recipes Done Purely with Love".

Something I’ve noticed with the recipes in these older cookbooks is their vagueness.

I’m no stranger to Pinterest baking, and having the instructions laid out for me in excruciatingly clear detail. And if they aren’t, you can usually pop by the comment section to clarify anything that might not be 110% clear.

Remembering the couple times I had tried to make sponge toffee, and how the baking soda changed the mixture in a matter of seconds, I was suspicious of adding the baking soda to the sour cream and other ingredients while it was on the stove (It's possible I even got that part wrong - maybe it was just the sour cream I was supposed to heat?). So like any modern human, I got to googling in search of a recipe that confirmed that, perhaps, the baking soda should be added after. Upon discovering one recipe (out of 10, maybe) that suggested just that, I opted to add it right after the sour cream/butter/salt/sugar mixture came off the stove. Sure enough – what once was a silky smooth mixture, immediately turned into a light, foamy one.

There are no pictures between adding the baking soda and all the other ingredients, for the simple reason that I panicked.

I didn’t let the sour cream mixture cool down before adding it to the yeast + water (is it going to kill it?) then I added the egg (is the sour cream mixture going to cook it?) followed by frantically adding the flour in an attempt to disperse the heat.

For what it’s worth, this method seemed to work out okay. I had to add maybe ¼ cup extra flour as the dough was quite sticky. The dough needed to have a little rest, so I covered the bowl with a tea towel and cleaned up my workspace.

After the dough had a short nap, I rolled it out to approx ¼ inch thickness, laid down my "filling" (I reverted to cinnamon bun making at this point and free handed my cinnamon and brown sugar), folded the dough in half, and cut into 1 inch wide strips. Then we were on to the twisting.

Upon attempting to twist my first couple twists, I was immediately met with flashbacks of all the birthday parties I have decorated for, and my trying (in vain) to twist streamers into beautiful cascading.. twists.

The. Struggle. Is. Real. The recipe said to twist them once, but I think I twisted most of them twice. By the end of the recipe I had started getting the hang of the twisting technique, so I’ll be sure to bring this forward to any future birthday streamers I might meet.

The recipe called to bake them in a "quick oven" (I don't know what that is), so I baked them at 350°C in my regular oven for about 13 minutes. They came out darker than I was expecting, so I would consider either baking them at a lower temperature, or for a shorter time, in the future. I went with the basic cinnamon/brown sugar “filling” that the recipe called for, but I think these would be great with some finely chopped pecans, or raisins, too. This recipe made about 20 twists. They were a bit dry, but I think with less cooking time/temperature, they would have turned out better. And, while I didn't bother icing these - I think that would have brought them up a level, too.

All and all, not bad for a first attempt!

As much as I love baking, I am not a bring-to-work baker. With two longhaired dogs, two cats, and a longhaired self, I am not comfortable with possibly subjecting my coworkers to pulling one of our hairs from their mouth. Anyone with pets knows that pet hair is the seasoning you can’t escape :) While my coworkers won’t get to try these out, my freezer is gonna love them!

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