Cinnamon Pretzels (Zimtbrezeln) 64.000

Dixie D. Vereen for The Washington Post

Holiday Cookies 2016 Dec 1, 2016

These crisp cookies, a German specialty, are great for dunking in hot chocolate.

For some of the ingredients used here, you will find different weight equivalents for cups and grams in various online sources; we used the amounts in grams listed (per the King Arthur chart).

Make Ahead: The dough needs to be refrigerated for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days. The baked cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

64 - 70 cookies

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 64-70 cookies

  • 9 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon high-fat, European-style unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups (248 grams) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 cups (480 grams) flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder


Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, cooking until it starts to brown and smell fragrantly nutty; don't let the solids burn. Pour into the bowl of a stand mixer or handheld electric mixer, taking care to scrape out as much of the solids as possible. Add the sugar, cinnamon and salt; beat on low speed until well combined.

Add 3 of the eggs one at a time (on low speed), making sure each one is well blended before adding the next. Add the flour and baking powder, beating to form a soft dough. Divide the dough in half; wrap each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (and up to 2 days).

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.

Unwrap one half of the chilled dough. (It should be hard and crumbly at first, but as it warms, it will become easier to roll and work with.) Divide into 32 to 35 equal portions, then use your clean hands to roll out each one on the work surface to a length of 10 inches. Form into pretzels directly on the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 1 inch between the pretzels; you may need to re-refrigerate some of that portioned dough if it gets too soft.

To form a pretzel, lay out one length of dough so it is parallel with the edge of your work surface. Curve the right and left ends upward to form a slightly relaxed U shape. Twist the ends around each other once, then bring each end down on the opposite side, anchoring them at the 8 o'clock position on the left side and 4 o'clock on the right side.

Whisk the remaining egg in a small bowl until slightly frothy. Use a pastry brush to lightly coat each cinnamon pretzel with the egg. Bake one sheet at a time (middle rack) for 12 to 15 minutes or until the pretzels are lightly browned and puffed. Transfer the pretzels directly to a wire rack to cool. Repeat with the remaining dough.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "Classic German Baking: The Very Best Recipes for Traditional Favorites, from Pfeffernüsse to Streuselkuchen," by Luisa Weiss (Ten Speed Press, 2016).

Tested by Jessica Weissman.

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