Food & Drink Magazine

Quick Summer Treats – Cinnamon Twists

By Ranjani Raj @ranjaniskitchen
Quick Summer Treats – Cinnamon Twists

Summer is the season for rushing around, whether you're a kid or an adult. There are countless soccer games to get to, events to attend, beach days to schedule. Summer also means spending as much time outside as possible, and therefore, away from your kitchen. It's hard to want to prepare an extensive meal on a gorgeous afternoon. That's why we're also deeming summer the season of snacks.

Sure, snacks are a regular part of a kid's diet - just look at kindergarten, where snack time (and nap time!) are scheduled into the day. But as we grow older, we tend to snack less and less.

There's actually some scientific research indicating that snacking more and eating large meals less might be better for our bodies. Snacking may decrease appetite, keeping you from over-eating at regular "three a day" meals.

Unfortunately, snacking for adults is often associated with bland options - peppers, celery sticks, crackers.

Luckily, with the rise of snacking gaining popularity in America, homemade snacks are becoming more popular and accessible. No more grabbing a box off the shelf at the store and giving the nutritional guide a cursory glance - we've got a snack option that can be made quickly and easily at home to keep you on the move and not tied down to the kitchen!

Cinnamon Twists

Okay, we're offering less healthy option. But who doesn't love a good cinnamon twist? Kids love these treats, easily made in large batches, and they're a great indulgence for adults as well.

Reminiscent of churros or fair fried dough, cinnamon twists are a delicious snack to finish off a meal or satisfy a craving.

They can be found on both high-end restaurant menus as well as fast food menus (check out Taco Bell's prices here for this sweet side), but they're easy to make if you can find the time to give it a shot. We suggest reading the recipe over to make sure you'll be able to work around both your schedule and what the twists require - there is some rising involved, so this recipe is best attempted in the morning or evening, and in a warm setting.


  • 1 package (2 ¼ tsp) active dry yeast
  • ¾ cup water - warm
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 4 cups flour, plus additional for rolling
  • Salt
  • ¼ cup softened butter
  • ½ cup milk (room temp or warmed on the stovetop)
  • 1 egg


We'll be tackling the dough first.

In a bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Add the sugar and stir, letting the mixture sit until it begins to foam a bit.

Add two cups of flour, the salt, milk, butter, and egg. Beat until incorporated; then add the remaining flour. Beat on medium for 3-5 minutes or by hand until a soft dough is formed.

Use an additional handful of flour to cover the surface you'll be kneading on. Place the dough on the floured surface and knead until it's smooth and slightly elastic. Place it in a greased bowl (a bit of oil in a glass or metal bowl works great) and cover, letting it rise in a warm place.

You'll want the dough to double in size - this can take anywhere from a half an hour to an hour.

In the meantime, we'll get started on the filling.


  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • 4tsp cinnamon (ground, or grind some sticks yourself!)
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar

When the dough has finished rising, punch it down and turn onto the surface once more, rolling it out into a long rectangle. Brush the surface of the dough with butter.

Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl, and then sprinkle on top of the butter, letting everything soak in for about 4-5 minutes.

Using a sharp knife or pastry cutter, cut the dough length-wise into long strips. It's up to you how thick you want your twists to be, but keep in mind that the thinner they are, the crunchier they'll end up and the quicker they'll bake.

Cut the strips in half and twist each one, placing it on a baking sheet. Let rise once more - about 10-20 minutes - until doubled in size.

While the twists are rising, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake for about fifteen minutes, until a light golden brown.

Bonus: Cream cheese dip

This dip is easy to make between steps, and a delicious, creamy side for your twists!


  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ milk
  • 1 (8 oz) block cream cheese, softened
  • Vanilla

Begin by beating the cream cheese until softened and smooth. Add half of the amount of powdered sugar and half the amount of milk, continuing to beat until smooth. Add the rest of the sugar and milk along with a teaspoon of vanilla. Mix until incorporated and keep chilled until ready to serve. This is also a great side or topping for other pastries!

Quick Summer Treats – Cinnamon Twists

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