Cinnamon-Sugar Twist Cookies celebrate the 1 year blogiversary of The Monday Box. I published the first Monday Box post on May 10, 2012, though I didn’t get my blogging act together and start posting weekly until October 2012. I am painfully aware of how much more I want to learn about baking, blogging, and food photography, but I am so excited about how much I have learned this year.
There are many approaches to learning. I learn from doing. Take the photos outside with the flash turned off and the macro setting turned on. When you don’t, the overall yellow tinge of your photographs is not at all appetizing. I learn from mistakes both small and epic. Make sure the mixing bowl full of ingredients is well seated in the mixing stand before turning on the mixer. When you don’t, a putty knife works well to get chocolate off the ceiling. I learn from googling all of my novice questions. How do you insert a page break? To be honest I googled, “How do you insert a continue reading?” I didn’t know it was called a page break. I have learned the most, however, from other bloggers.
The friendliness, helpfulness, and caring of other bloggers never fails to amaze me. Bloggers actually spend time and effort to write posts teaching others how to blog better. Well established and successful bloggers still visit the sites of newbies and leave comments. They are profuse in their compliments and encouragement. I am grateful.
The focus of The Monday Box is specifically recipes for care packages. (Of course, I want the recipes to appeal to those who are not sending care packages as well.) Many baked goods can’t be stored for longer periods of time without becoming dental hazards.
My biggest care package learning curve was for military care packages. When I started the Monday Box I had the general idea that it might be a resource for military families but I had more questions than answers about care packages for deployed military. I am still searching and learning, but thanks to the generous sharing spirits of Gina and Suzie, I have a better understanding.
A heart felt thank you to all of my readers for stopping by from all over the world. People from 83 countries have viewed Monday Box pages! I am continually amazed that in the vastness of the internet, I have a tiny corner that readers choose to visit. I appreciate each and every visitor and hope you find something delicious here.
Despite the millions of recipes available online, cookbook addicts still exist. I appear to be one of them. I attended the Greater St. Louis Book Fair recently, solely for the purpose of checking out the used cookbook section. There were thousands of used cookbooks, most for one dollar! I came away with a pile of books. Not surprisingly, the majority have the word “cookie” in the title. I have begun baking my way through them, starting with (for no particular reason other than it was on top of the pile) The Joy of Cookies by Sharon Tyler Herbst. I was particularly excited that this cookbook includes storage time information and that most of the recipes are for cookies that can be stored for 1 week or longer, a Monday Box treasure trove.
I adapted these Cinnamon-Sugar Twists from a Joy of Cookies recipe for Greek Easter Cookies (Koulourakia). They are a firm cookie that is only mildly sweet but full of buttery flavor. Traditionally enjoyed with coffee, I found Cinnamon-Sugar Twists to be the perfect munch-by-the-dozen type of cookie all on their own. The flavors are even better several days after baking. The original recipe calls for sprinkling the cookies with sesame seeds. I added the cinnamon inside and the cinnamon-sugar outside. There is a very delicate orange taste from the orange juice. If you are looking for a more pronounced orange flavor, add 1 teaspoon of orange zest.
Though Cinnamon-Sugar Twists are very cute twisted cookies, I realize that they don’t make a major color splash in a care package. I wrapped my Cinnamon-Sugar Twists in plastic wrap and then packaged them in colorful plastic party bags tied with ribbons. Color splash issue resolved.
Cinnamon-Sugar Twists can be baked with excellent results using desert-safe ingredients. Please note the desert-safe adaptations at the bottom of the recipe. The adaptations include substituting vegetable shortening for the butter and water for the orange juice.
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ cup butter**, room temperature
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons orange juice**
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Glaze: 1 egg yolk mixed, 1 tablespoon milk or water
- Cinnamon-Sugar: 4 tablespoon sugar (I used turbanado for large crystals and brown color),
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. and live a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Lower mixer speed and add egg, orange juice, and vanilla extract, mixing thoroughly between additions.
- Slowly add dry ingredients until combined.
- Using small scoop ( 1 tablespoon size) or tablespoon, scoop dough and place balls on a plate. Refrigerate about 10-15 minutes until easy to handle.
- To form cookie: Mush a ball a few times in your hand to make dough smooth, then roll out on counter to look like a 6” long pencil. (Channel your playdough snake making days.) Gently fold dough snake into an upside down “u”. Working from the right side each time, twist the right dough over the left three times, pressing the ends together after the final twist.
- Gently move formed twists onto prepared baking sheet, placing 1” apart.
- Mix together egg and milk/water glaze. Brush onto cookies.
- Mix together cinnamon-sugar and sprinkle over egg glaze.
- Bake for 11-13 minutes until cookie (not just glaze) is golden brown. Cool on wire racks.
- When completely cool, store at room temperature in airtight container or ziplock bag for 2-3 weeks.
- **Desert-safe adaptations: Use vegetable shortening instead of butter. Substitute water for orange juice. If you want orange flavor, instead of the 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, use ½ teaspoon orange flavoring (essence) and 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract.
Find more cinnamon-sugar deliciousness right here! Click on the photo for the recipe!