Quick Hazelnut Twists

QuickNutTwist_16Pastries are always a good start to a brunch.
And, on their own, they make a great breakfast.

Making the actual pastry for pastries however is a rather lengthy process that I tend to cheat on by buying ready-made pastry, as I did for these quick and easy to make Hazelnut Twists. 

If you want to make them from scratch you might want to go with a yeast based dough (such as the one I used for my Apple and Marzipan Swirls) instead of puff pastry. But if you want the quick option, try this receipe.

For eight twists you’ll need:

  • 1 cup finely chopped, toasted, hazelnuts
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped, toasted, walnuts or pecans
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 sheets of ready-bake puff pastry
  • a little flour 

Preheat the oven to gas mark 7 and line two baking trays with baking paper. 

Stir about two-thirds of the nuts, the brown sugar, and the cinnamon together in a small bowl and set aside.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat, then stir the honey in and set aside.

Dust your working surface with a little flour and unroll one of the puff pastry sheets on to it. Brush it with a layer of the honey butter and sprinkle half the nut and sugar mix over the whole pastry sheet.

Top with the second puff pastry sheet and pour the remaining nut and sugar mix on top.
With a rolling pin, gently roll over the the nut and sugar on the top sheet. The idea is to press the nut and sugar mix into the dough and make it stick, not to roll out the dough!

Cut the dough into 8 strips, length-wise. Then cut them vertically in the middle, so you end up with 16 long rectangles.
Pinch two rectangles together at one short end, holding them closed with the thumb and index finger of one hand. With the other hand, twist the ends of the two rectangles around a few times and fold a circle with the twisted pieces, pinching the two pieces together at the other end. 

Place the folded twists onto the baking sheet and sprinkle any fallen off nuts over them.
Bake for 10 minutes, then rotate the baking trays as the twists brown quickly. Bake for another 10 minutes, then turn down the heat to gas mark 4 and bake for another 10 minutes, possibly covering the twists loosely with some aluminium foil to prevent any burning.

Remove the twists from the oven and transfer them to a wire rack, set over a dish towel (to catch any of the honey butter you are about to glaze them with). Re-heat the remaining honey butter and brush the twists with it liberally, then sprinkle with the nuts you set aside at the beginning.

Let them cool down for 5 minutes and then enjoy them warm!

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