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German Twists

Rated as 4.58 out of 5 Stars

"This rich and tender sour cream and yeast cookie is delicious and so lovely with its many delicate layers and twists. It is a classic and historic recipe for which many variations can be found. This updated version uses all butter and a food processor for wonderful flavor and ease of mixing. The rich yeast dough actually contains no sugar, but the sweetness and the layering results from well sugaring the dough and work surface, while rolling and folding it several times prior to cutting and shaping the cookies."
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3 h 45 m servings 191
Original recipe yields 24 servings (2 dozen cookies)


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  1. Sprinkle yeast over warm water in a bowl and let activate while you complete remaining steps.
  2. Place flour and salt into a food processor and pulse once or twice to combine. Scatter butter slices over flour and process until butter is thoroughly mixed into the flour, about 1 minute.
  3. Whisk yeast mixture, sour cream, egg, egg yolks, and vanilla extract together in a bowl; pour mixture into food processor. Pulse several times, just until the dough starts to hold together and clean the sides of the bowl (do not overmix). Remove dough from food processor and divide in half; form each half into a thick disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 2 hours. For best texture, refrigerate overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line several baking sheets with parchment paper.
  5. Sprinkle a work surface generously with sugar and roll out one of the dough disks into an 8x16-inch rectangle. Sprinkle dough with a generous amount of sugar. Fold the dough over in thirds, letter-style, and roll out again; fold as before and roll out and fold a third time, sprinkling dough with sugar each time. Finally, roll dough into a 4x14-inch rectangle, about 1/4 inch thick. Repeat process with second dough disk.
  6. Cut strips from the short side of the dough rectangles, making them 1/2 to 3/4 inch wide. Place strips onto the parchment-lined baking sheets, twisting and slightly stretching them. If preferred, form into horseshoe shapes.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven until lightly golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Cookies will puff up a bit to reveal delicate layers. Let cookies cool for about 5 minutes on sheets before transferring to wire cooling racks.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 191 calories; 9.9 22.8 2.8 48 159 Full nutrition

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  1. 19 Ratings

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Most helpful positive review

These have been a Christmas tradition in our family for three generations. We love to eat them while opening presents Christmas morning. We call them Angel Twists. We make vanilla sugar to use w...

Most helpful critical review

Aughh! Total fail i was so disappointed. The recioe is EXACTLY like my grandmother’s. Yes, it has been awhile since I made these, they were a flat, buttery sugar mess on the tray. What did i...

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These have been a Christmas tradition in our family for three generations. We love to eat them while opening presents Christmas morning. We call them Angel Twists. We make vanilla sugar to use w...

We like this recipe. It was very easy to put together and I did refrigerate it overnight as the recipe called for. The twists were tender and delicious, not too sweet. It really didn't puff u...

Delicious! These goodies taste like a yummy yeast donut. . .except better. . .because the texture is delicious! My food processor was too small to mix everything in, so I just split the ingredie...

Very delicious and a special recipe. It is a bit time consuming but worth the trouble for an elegant and festive cookie. Chilling the dough in the 2 wrapped disks worked out just fine fine for m...

This was a little challenging and time consuming, but magically delicious. Out of all the cookie recipes I did this year, this one was by far the most loved.

Oh, my gosh! - Someone else has our "secret family recipe!" ;-) We're in the third generation of making these also. They always disappear first at Christmas. I've never seen this recipe in ...

I received this recipe over 50 years ago from my lifelong friend's mom who is now 85 years old. It came from her mom, who brought it with her from Sweden. It is spectacular and is part of Christ...

I made these for the Recipe Group's selection for this week. I like these much more than my husband does--he doesn't understand subtle yeast flavor. My family members also loved these. I put ...

These were just like my grandmother made....Took me back. So delicious.