German Twists Recipe -
German Twists Recipe
  • READY IN ABOUT 4 hrs

German Twists

Recipe by  

"This rich and tender sour cream and yeast cookie is delicious and so lovely with its many delicate layers and twists. It is a classic and historic recipe for which many variations can be found. This updated version uses all butter and a food processor for wonderful flavor and ease of mixing. The rich yeast dough actually contains no sugar, but the sweetness and the layering results from well sugaring the dough and work surface, while rolling and folding it several times prior to cutting and shaping the cookies."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 2 dozen cookies Change Servings
  • PREP

    1 hr
  • COOK

    15 mins

    3 hrs 45 mins


  1. Sprinkle yeast over warm water in a bowl and let activate while you complete remaining steps.
  2. Place flour and salt into a food processor and pulse once or twice to combine. Scatter butter slices over flour and process until butter is thoroughly mixed into the flour, about 1 minute.
  3. Whisk yeast mixture, sour cream, egg, egg yolks, and vanilla extract together in a bowl; pour mixture into food processor. Pulse several times, just until the dough starts to hold together and clean the sides of the bowl (do not overmix). Remove dough from food processor and divide in half; form each half into a thick disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 2 hours. For best texture, refrigerate overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line several baking sheets with parchment paper.
  5. Sprinkle a work surface generously with sugar and roll out one of the dough disks into an 8x16-inch rectangle. Sprinkle dough with a generous amount of sugar. Fold the dough over in thirds, letter-style, and roll out again; fold as before and roll out and fold a third time, sprinkling dough with sugar each time. Finally, roll dough into a 4x14-inch rectangle, about 1/4 inch thick. Repeat process with second dough disk.
  6. Cut strips from the short side of the dough rectangles, making them 1/2 to 3/4 inch wide. Place strips onto the parchment-lined baking sheets, twisting and slightly stretching them. If preferred, form into horseshoe shapes.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven until lightly golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Cookies will puff up a bit to reveal delicate layers. Let cookies cool for about 5 minutes on sheets before transferring to wire cooling racks.
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Reviews More Reviews

Sep 20, 2012

Sounds great, but I have a tip. When you are going to roll dough into a rectangle, don't shape it into a disk shape, make it a small rectangle before you wrap it to chill. Why start with a shape that will not roll easily into the desired finished shape? Makes it SO much easier.

Oct 03, 2012

These have been a Christmas tradition in our family for three generations. We love to eat them while opening presents Christmas morning. We call them Angel Twists. We make vanilla sugar to use when rolling them out. Instead of my food processor, I use the dough hook on my mixer. I have also mixed these by hand. Works no matter which method I use.


13 Ratings

Nov 08, 2012

We like this recipe. It was very easy to put together and I did refrigerate it overnight as the recipe called for. The twists were tender and delicious, not too sweet. It really didn't puff up all that much for a yeast cookie, but maybe that was because this recipe called for no raising of the dough-just put it right in the oven. tip; we used a ruler and a pizza cutter to cut the strips into even 1 inch wide strips and it worked well to keep them a consistent size for even baking. Thank you for a great recipe-we plan to make it again for the holidays.

Aug 15, 2012

Delicious! These goodies taste like a yummy yeast donut. . .except better. . .because the texture is delicious! My food processor was too small to mix everything in, so I just split the ingredients. But, it worked out fine. The cookies are time-intensive, but Roth every minute! Would be great for a special breakfast.

Nov 14, 2012

Very delicious and a special recipe. It is a bit time consuming but worth the trouble for an elegant and festive cookie. Chilling the dough in the 2 wrapped disks worked out just fine fine for me. The first roll-out does not have to be a perfect rectangle, as the first folding of the dough into thirds takes care of the shape.

Dec 22, 2013

This was a little challenging and time consuming, but magically delicious. Out of all the cookie recipes I did this year, this one was by far the most loved.

Dec 14, 2014

I received this recipe over 40 years ago from my lifelong friend's mom who is now 85 years old. It came from her mom, who brought it with her from Sweden. It is spectacular and is part of Christmas for me. Her version split the butter into half butter/half shortening (I think because in the 1970s butter was very expensive). I will think of her everytime I make these at Christmas, as will my children.

Nov 26, 2014

Recipe Group Selection for 11/15/2014 - These are phenomenal. My food processor was a little too small for this recipe, but I just finished it on my pastry board. I love that you can make them as sweet as you want by the amount of sugar you add to the layers. Thanks for sharing!


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  • Calories
  • 191 kcal
  • 10%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 22.8 g
  • 7%
  • Cholesterol
  • 48 mg
  • 16%
  • Fat
  • 9.9 g
  • 15%
  • Fiber
  • 0.6 g
  • 2%
  • Protein
  • 2.8 g
  • 6%
  • Sodium
  • 159 mg
  • 6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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