Who wants Cinnamon Knots this time?

Frosted cinnamon rolls — these pretty, tender, featherlight butter-rich breadrolls with brown sugar filling and cream cheese frosting are simply irresistible — are so popular with my family and friends that I usually make double batches.    Cinnamon rolls can either be iced or glazed, but popular choice is always the sweet cream frosting.    I’ve been trying to come up with some alternative frostings or spreads, but I guess with the case of cinnamon rolls, the wicked and rich cream cheese frosting is very much preferred.

I still make cinnamon rolls, but lately, my family and friends have been requesting for these cinnamon knots.  They still have this oh-so-satisfying homemade cinnamon aroma sans the frosting  — and that’s the very good news.  I got this recipe from Taste of Home Contest Winning Recipes.    But I made few minor changes.  I add a teaspoon of sugar as food for the yeast.  Also I stir in instant vanilla pudding mix with the dough ingredients.  The 2 cups of sugar for the topping was a lot; I could use the remainder for another batch of cinnamon knots.  So measure only 1 cup of sugar and reduce the ground cinnamon to 1 1/2 tablespoons.   Next, I divide the bread dough only in half instead of dividing into three portions.   And really, you’d want these Cinnamon Knots EVERYTIME.   After the first bite, I’m confident you won’t be craving anymore for frosted cinnamon rolls.   Here’s the recipe:

CINNAMON KNOTS
Consider this a cousin of Cinnamon rolls, so yummy especially when served warm.

Bread:
2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup warm milk
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened (or melted)
1/2 cup sugar (plus 1 teaspoon sugar as food for yeast)
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1 box instant vanilla pudding mix
4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour (with flour allowance)

Topping:
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
3/4 cup butter, melted

In a large mixing bowl, suspend yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in warm water to activate, about 5 minutes.    Add 4 cups all-purpose flour, instant vanilla pudding mix, 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.  Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Divide dough in half.  Slice each dough into 12 portions and form into balls.  Roll each ball into a long strip/rope.  Combine sugar and cinnamon (topping).  Dip strip into melted butter, then generously coat with cinnamon-sugar.  Tie into a simple knot and place on parchment lined ungreased large baking pans, about 2 inches apart.  Repeat with remaining dough.  Cover loosely with kitchen towel and let rise until doubled, about 30 to 45 minutes.

Bake at 375 F for 12 – 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Yield:  2 dozens of marvelous treats

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