These cinnamon sugar twists are purely the result of whimsical food cravings. The other day, while driving home from work I was suddenly hit with an intense craving for an order of Taco Bell’s Cinnamon Twists. I thought of stopping since I was going to drive right by Taco Bell but then had a stroke of culinary genius…why not just make them at home instead of shelling out the all of $.99 an order would have cost me? And then, cinnamon twists were born.
Taco Bell’s Twists are full of deep fried goodness and I almost went that route when creating this recipe. But then I remembered the Quick and Easy puff pastry recipe I stumbled across and thought eating copious amounts of butter would be much more enjoyable than deep fried dough. The quick puff pastry is great because it goes together in about 10 minutes but it’s really more of a cross between flaky pie crust and puff pastry. Nonetheless, it was still really tasty in this recipe.
This cinnamon twist recipe produces a light and flaky pastry which complements the cinnamon and sugar filling nicely. I actually think the dough would also make a nice baklava but that’s a different recipe for a different day.So, as we sit back and enjoy the $.99 saved by making our own cinnamon twists I ask you this my friends…what restaurant foods have you craved but later decided to try making them yourself instead?
Puff Pastry Cinnamon Twist Recipe
Prep Time: About 40 minutes
Bake Time: 25-35 minutes minutes
Yield: 18 Cinnamon Twists
Recipe inspired by: Cravings for Taco Bell’s Cinnamon Twists
Quick and Easy Puff Pastry Dough
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons (1 3/8 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon very cold water
Cinnamon Sugar Filling
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
Cinnamon Twist Glaze
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon milk
Directions for Puff Pastry Cinnamon Twists:
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Place the cubed butter onto a clean, unfloured counter. Then, pour the flour mixture over the top of the butter.
Use a bench scraper or chef’s knife to cut the butter into the flour. This is very similar to cutting butter and flour when making pie crust. Continue cutting the butter and flour until the mixture is coarse and crumbly. Pile up the butter crumbles and make a well in the center. Pour about half the water into the well. Use the bench scrape to cut together the water and dough. Once combined, add the rest of the water and continue mixing just until it comes together.
Shape the rough mess into a rectangle. It will look too dry but resist the urge to add more water. It will eventually come together. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 1/2-inch thick rectangle. Use the bench scrape to fold the dough in thirds toward the middle; this is similar to folding a letter. Do not worry if it breaks. Just stick any broken pieces on top of the dough.
Turn the dough 90-degrees so it runs vertically away from you. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a rectangle that is 1/2-inch thick. Be sure to only roll along the long side (away from you) and not across the dough. Continue rolling, folding and turning the dough until it comes together and looks smooth. It will take 4-5 turns before the dough is ready. When finished, wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at-least 30 minutes.
While the dough is chilling, prepare the filling by combining the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
When you’re ready to bake, remove dough from the refrigerator and transfer to a lightly floured counter. Give the dough two more folds and turns. It’s now ready to use.
Spray a large cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. Lightly flour the counter and roll the dough into a large rectangle that is about 1/4-inch thick. Brush the dough with melted butter.
Pour the cinnamon sugar filling over the dough and smooth it out with your hand. Working with the long side of the rectangle, fold the dough in half. Use a bench scrape or knife to cut the dough into 1/2-inch wide strips. Working with one piece at a time, gently twist the dough to form a loose spiral.
Place twisted dough on the prepared cookie sheet. Bake cinnamon twists for 25-35 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow twists to cool on the pan for at least 15 minutes before drizzling on the glaze.
While cinnamon twists are cooling, prepare the glaze. In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, vanilla and milk to form a smooth glaze. Drizzle glaze over the baked cinnamon twists.