It is officially Autumn in Denmark, and that means shorter days and lower temperatures. However, Autumn also brings beautifully withered trees, bright light, crisp air, and various delicious fruits and vegetables such as ripe red apples. It allows you to bake some delicious pastries and snug up on the coach with a blanket and a nice cup of coffee without feeling guilty. In short, it’s a wonderful season.
Mikkel went to Norway with some friends last Weekend, and it got me thinking of ‘kanelsnurrer’, or ‘cinnamon knots’; a Norwegian bun-like pastry with creamy cinnamon filling that is ‘swirled’ or ‘tied’ in a beautiful knot. Needless to say, not only is it pretty and incredibly delicious, but it’s also a perfect companion for any cup of hot beverage.
Our version of the Norwegian cinnamon knot features a fluffy and moist spelt dough spiced with Autumn apples and cardamom. The filling is made from sweet medjool dates and apples, cinnamon and home-made hazelnut-butter (see recipe below) for extra richness, while topping off the whole shebang with chopped hazelnuts for a bit of crunch.
Norwegian Cinnamon Knots
(Makes 16 knots)
25 g fresh yeast
2 cups / 5 dl almond milk
1 tbsp sea salt
1 tsp cardamom
1 apple, shredded
400 g whole spelt flour
400 g fine spelt flour
200 g dates, pitted (approx. 10 medjool dates)
2 apples, shredded
3 tbsp hazelnut butter (recipe below)
1,5 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla powder
2 tbsp almond milk
A pinch of salt
1 egg for egg wash
1 handful chopped hazelnuts to sprinkle
Add almond milk and yeast to a large bowl and whisk to dissolve the yeast. Add the rest of the ingredients and knead the dough until smooth. This will take about 10 minutes with a stand mixer and 15 minutes by hand (the result will be worth the time!)
Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and leave to rest at room temperature until the dough has doubled in size (approx. 1,5-2 hours).
Go ahead and prepare the filling by blending all the ingredients in a food processor until it turns into a creamy paste.
Turn the risen dough onto a floured surface. Roll out the dough into a 50×40 cm / 20×15 inch square. Spread the filling evenly on the dough. Fold 1/3 of the dough onto the rest and do the same with the other side, leaving you with a 3-layered dough. Roll out the dough into a 50×30 cm / 20×12 inch square. Cut the dough into 16 stripes and twist each dough-strip 4-5 times before gently tying the dough in a knot. Transfer the knots to a baking paper lined baking tray.
Let the cinnamon knots raise for another 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 225 C / 425 F. Give each knot an egg wash and sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts. Then bake the knots for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.
(Makes around 3/4 cup / 200 ml)
400 g hazelnuts
Preheat the oven to 150 C / 300 F.
Place the hazelnuts in a single layer on a baking paper lined baking tray. Bake the hazelnuts for 20-25 minutes or until their skin start to loosen/crack. Make sure they don’t burn.
Remove the hazelnuts from the oven and let cool slightly. Place the hazelnuts on a tea towel and rub to easily remove the skin.
Transfer to a food processor and process until completely smooth. It takes a few minutes and you may have to scrape down a few times. At first the nut butter will start to clump, but after a while the consistency will be oily and smooth.
Keep the hazelnut butter in a glass jar in the fridge.