The theme for BBD #23, hosted by Imafoodblog, is “Something You’ve Never Made Before.”
Hmmm. That leaves the field wide open.
How about sour cream cinnamon yeast twists?
Their Arnhem Cookies (or Arhemse Meisjes, or Arnhem Girls) are very thin yeast raised butter cookies. There is no sugar in the dough. Instead, the dough is rolled in gravel-like coarse sugar crystals. They are thin, crisp, and (they say)super delicious. They describe this unsual treat as “The World’s Best Cookie Recipe.” Who can resist that?
I googled the recipe and saw that Almost Vegetarian made these cookies not that long ago, and was quite pleased. Even better, King Arthur Flour both sells the necessary sugar, has an online recipe, AND has a blow by blow photo essay.
Of course, thinking about these cookies made me think about another yeast-raised cookie recipe, where there is no sugar in the dough, and the dough is rolled in sugar. My grandmother gave me a recipe for sour cream twists a long time ago (eight to twelve years ago?), and I always meant to make them, but never got around to it before now. (Unless I made them and forgot, which actually is entirely possible).
Anyway, I noticed that the recipes for the sour cream twists and the Arnhem cookies were somewhat similar, except that the sour cream twists have eggs and sour cream instead of milk in the dough, and of course, the sour cream twists are twisted and not rolled nearly as thin as the Arnhem cookies.
I meant to make both recipes, but it just did not work out. I ended up making the sour cream twist recipe twice. In making the first recipe, I decided to swap out the sour cream with soy milk, and then thought better of it. For the second batch, I used Tofutti Sour Supreme for the sour cream (I wanted to make them dairy-free). I used the first batch to make prune danishes (and chocolate rolls and cinnamon raisin apricot rolls).
I had thought that the soy milk would not be fatty enough to make the cookies properly crisp. I realized that the sour cream twist recipe was basically a sour cream rugelach recipe with some yeast added in. Sour cream rugelach bake up very much like puff pastry, so I thought that the yeast version would be the same.
Actually (and I don’t know if this is due to the use of dairy-free substitutes), the cookies ended up being fairly soft. The taste of the sour cream twists (the dairy-free version, anyway) is surprisingly similar to Barry’s Bakery’s French Twists. Well, denser and not as crisp. But, very similar taste.
My husband took one bite and exclaimed that they tasted just like something his bubby used to make. My grandmother gave me a recipe from a Fleischmann’s Yeast booklet (circa 1961), but the recipe appears in Jewish cookbooks, and I think is a traditional Eastern European pastry.
(Brief digression: Fleischmann’s BreadWorld site has a similar recipe, but there is no cinnamon and they added in a glaze and sliced almonds.)
Sour Cream Twists
Fleischmann’s Yeast Booklet (1961)
These cookies are yeast risen and given turns like puff pastry, only cinnamon sugar is sprinkled over the dough instead of spreading it with butter.
Makes 4-5 dozen
Dissolve 1 pkg. yeast (2 1/4 tsp.) in 1/4 warm water
Combine the following ingredients to make a dough, then mix in the dissolved yeast, and beat the batter until it is smooth:
4 C. sifted flour
1 C. margarine (I cut the margarine into the flour, but you can melt it also. Butter works here, too.)
1 C. sour cream (I used Tofutti Sour Supreme)
1 tsp. salt (I left this out because I was using the Earth Balance margarine, which is heavily salted)
1 tsp. vanilla
Cover dough and let rise in fridge for 2 hours to 2 days.
Mix together 1 C. sugar and 1 tsp. cinnamon and sprinkle some over counter or pastry board.
Roll dough over cinnamon sugar into 15″x18″ rectangle. Turn over to coat both sides in sugar. Fold into thirds, like a letter. Roll 1/4″ thick, using rest of sugar. Cut into 1″x4″ strips. Twist and place on greased sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.
Note: for the prune danishes, roll out the dough to 16″x12″ and cut into 4″ squares. Fill with a spoonful of prune lekvar. Pull the four corners of the dough to the center and pinch to seal. Bake 25 minutes or until browned.