Outside, late fall is in the air in the form of fog in the mountains, drizzly rain in the mornings, and the occasional snowflake in the afternoon reminding us that winter is not too far off. With days like today, when even with all the windows open, it still seems dark, I’m most in need of a little pick-me-up. Enter these fluffy, buttery “love knots,” a recipe I’ve made and loved for years. I prefer them hot right out of the oven with a cup of cocoa myself, but they also keep for a few days in an airtight container (just make sure you put them in the microwave or in the oven for a brief spell to warm them up again).
Note: If you don’t feel like making up the full amount (understandable, as then you would be tempted to EAT up the whole amount, and quick), you can successfully freeze the dough after the first rise and then thaw them out a different day and continue as directed.
Cinnamon Love Knots
(adapted slightly from Taste of Home’s Prize Winning Recipes 2007)
2 packages (1/4 oz each) active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup warm milk
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp salt
4-1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tbs ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons butter, melted
In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Let stand for five minutes. Add milk, butter, sugar, eggs, and salt. Stir in enough flour to form a stiff dough.
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.
Punch dough down; divide into three portions. Cover two with plastic wrap. Shape one portion into 12 balls. Roll each ball into 8-in. rope. Combine sugar and cinnamon. Dip rope in melted butter, then coat with cinnamon sugar. Tie into a knot (make sure to tie the knot after dipping in the butter and cinnamon-sugar mix–trust me, it’s better!). Tuck and pinch ends under and place on ungreased baking sheets. Repeat with remaining dough. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
Bake at 375 degrees for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown.
Yield: 3 dozen.