Sunday, February 12, 2012
Cinnamon Love Knots
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...In the late Middle ages it was customary for couples to wear love knots on St. Valentine's Day. These were pins knotted to form the symbol for infinity, ∞, suggesting a love so strong that it was eternal and could not end. The knots were made of gold, a metal chosen because it never tarnished or lost its perfection, and they were given to one's sweetheart on St. Valentine's Day. It was a lovely custom that, sadly, is now practiced only in the breach, but just thinking of it brought this recipe to mind. I thought it would a lovely treat for those of you who would like to celebrate the day with something other that chocolate or lemon. This is a recipe for edible love knots, a sweet pretzel-like twist guaranteed to make your breakfast or brunch an occasion to remember. I've seen the recipe in many places, but the two sources I think should be credited with it are Taste of Home Magazine and the website The Baking Pan. I loved working with this dough. It is velvety and light and quite easy to knead. The rolls take some time to form but they are so attractive that I chalked it up to time well-spent. I did make a few changes to the recipe that I want to share with you. The ingredient list calls for 3/4 cup of butter to coat the ropes prior to knotting. I cut that amount significantly and used just 1/4 cup to coat mine. I also used a mix of granulated and light brown sugar to add more flavor to the coating. It is important not to overbake these, so keep an eye on them and don't exceed the time suggested in the recipe. If they bake too long they will lose their pillowy softness. I know those of you who try these will be pleased and I know the folks at your table will be delighted. Here's the recipe.
Cinnamon Love Knots...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Taste of Home and The Baking Pan
2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup warm milk
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon salt
4-1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
Cinnamon Sugar Topping
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
3/4 cup butter, melted
1) In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Let stand for 5 minutes. Add milk, butter, sugar, eggs and salt. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough flour to form a soft dough.
2) Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1-1/2 hours.
3) Punch dough down; divide into three portions. Cover two portions with plastic wrap. Shape one portion into 12 balls. Roll each ball into an 8-in. rope. Combine sugar and cinnamon. Dip rope into melted butter, then coat with cinnamon-sugar. Tie into a knot. Tuck and pinch ends under and place on parchment lined baking sheets. Repeat with remaining dough. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
4) Meanwhile preheat oven to 375 degrees F. When ready to proceed, for bake 12-14 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack. Yield: 3 dozen.
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