When I put up my last post about Heather and margarita ice cream sandwiches, I sent her a message apologising for the haste in which I had written it, but that summer wouldn't last here much longer, and posting about margaritas and ice cream sandwiches while wearing a hoodie and leg warmers and wrist warmers and drinking hot tea seemed silly. Yes, I do wear all those things. It's medical. It seemed, even to me, that I must be exaggerating the abrupt change in seasons here.
And then the calendar ticked over to October, and flip flops went away and boots immediately filled my hall closet again. My toes turned blue, and I begged anyone I knew who could knit to make me warm snuggly things.
I don't do well with autumn. Autumn and I, we are not friends. Everyone I know is glorying in the cool weather, the changing leaves, the lower sun. Not me. I love summer. I love winter. But I just can't get comfortable with fall.
What I do do well with is big dinners, and at least fall brings me Thanksgiving and an opportunity to extend my table and dress it up nicely and cook every single thing I've pinned on Pinterest. Actually, my Thanksgiving weekend this year is largely booked with photo shoots - for which I'm thankful - so while there will be a turkey, and roasted root vegetables and some scrumptious gravy, it won't exactly be an all-out feast. How far I push the culinary boat out will depend on how much time I have, but I might just make another of these if I'm pressed for time.
Not bad, huh? I whipped that up last night at 8pm when I discovered relatives from Holland might stop by for coffee today and I realised I had no cookies in the house. One cannot serve coffee to Dutch guests without a cookie, and I believe we've already established that I am not reasonable enough to just run to the store and buy some cookies.
It looks complicated, but I promise it's not. I've adapted the recipe to suit my own tastes, but I will link here for a really clear photo tutorial on the braiding.
For the dough:
¾ cup of lukewarm milk
1 envelope of dry active yeast
1 tablespoon of sugar
2 cups of all purpose flour
½ teaspoon of salt
⅛ cup melted butter
1 egg yolk
For the filling:
¼ cup of butter
½ cup icing sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon of granulated sugar for sprinkling
In a warmed mixing bowl, combine the yeast and sugar with the lukewarm milk and let it sit for a few minutes until the yeast bubbles and foams up. Using a mixer fitted with a dough hook, add the egg yolk, the melted butter, the flour and the salt. Mix until the dough leaves the side of the bowl and clings to the hook.
Place the dough in a large, greased bowl, then cover and place in a warm space and let rise until doubled in size (about 1 hour).
While your dough is rising, melt the butter for the filling in a heavy pan. Heat until butter is completely melted, and starts to brown just slightly, and smell heavenly. Once lightly brown, whisk the icing sugar in with the butter to form a thin icing.
Once the dough has risen, preheat your oven to 350F. Dust your work surface with flour, and roll the dough out to a thickness of 1 centimetre.
Spread the brown butter icing across all of the dough, then sprinkle with the cinnamon.
Roll up the dough, and using a knife, cut the log in half length-wise.
Twist the two halves together, keeping the open layers exposed as described in the photo tutorial linked to above. Carefully transfer to a lightly buttered cookie sheet. Brush lightly with any remaining brown butter icing and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is golden brown.