Cinna Stix

OKAY, OKAY I’M BACK. Sorry that took so long. I’ve still been cooking, I just haven’t had time to blog anything in months. But now that my favorite cooking season is right around the corner I’ll try to be better about sharing what I’m up to in the kitchen.

This hurrr is an extremely easy and satisfying recipe for something we all know and love whether we admit it or not: Domino’s Cinna Stix. Because sometimes you don’t want to order a pizza you’re not craving just to have these bad boys delivered curbside.

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These cinnamon coated dough pillows (#metaphor) come together in just about 20 minutes and require very little prep and cleanup. So, perfect for satiating last minute sweet tooth demands.

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This recipe is adapted from food.com.

INGREDIENTS:

1 bag store bought pizza dough – – Trader Joe’s has a great one that’s only $1.29

1/4 cup margarine minus a tsp or so, melted

1/3 cup sugar

1 3/4 tsp cinnamon

8 oz. confectioners sugar

2-3 tbsp milk + more if needed

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp butter, melted

DIRECTIONS:

For the cinna stix:

Preheat the oven to the suggested baking temp for your store bought dough. (I use Trader Joe’s and their temp is 425 F).

Grease a baking sheet and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and sugar. Use a whisk to eradicate any lumps!

Stretch the dough into a large rectangle. It should be thin but not translucent. Brush with the melted margarine, then sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar mixture. Slice vertically and then 8 times horizontally so that you’re left with roughly 16 sticks. Bake according to the instructions that came with the dough. (I baked mine for 14 minutes). The cinnastix should be golden brown on the edges and the sugar should no longer look raw. Be cautious when removing from the oven since the sugar will be extremely hot.

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For the icing:

While the dough is baking, place the confectioners sugar in a bowl, then add the butter, milk, and vanilla. If the icing is too thick, add more milk by the half tablespoon.

Once cool enough to eat, dip the cinnastix in the frosting and enjoy!

Cinnastix are best when eaten the day of, so either invite friends over or gorge yourself on hot cinnamon sugar bread.

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Cheeseburger Cupcakes

Who doesn’t love dessert that looks like meat? Sausage shaped jello, cake that looks like honey glazed ham, cookies that open and close like clams… I’m into it all. While these cupcakes are a little more on the normal side of your dessert meats, they’re equally exciting in presentation.

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Since cheeseburgers are an American classic, these little guys are perfect for a Memorial Day BBQ or the like. But one of my friends was having a “Burgers ‘n Booze” birthday party this weekend, so OBVIOUSLY I had to make them for her. (Side note, this friend has an awesome burger blog that you should take a look at: http://projectgutenburger.tumblr.com). The girl likes burgahs!

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They’re very easy to make, but are somewhat time consuming because you have to bake two batches of cupcakes. The time went by especially slowly since I was anticipating eating the leftover cupcake bottoms while watching “Total Divas” on demand: a valiant goal that I have since accomplished. This is an adapted version of a recipe from Duncan Hines.

Original Recipe: http://www.duncanhines.com/recipes/cupcakes/cabaker77/hamburger-cupcakes/

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INGREDIENTS:

1 box Devil’s Food chocolate cake mix + called for ingredients

1 box golden cake mix + called for ingredients

2 cans vanilla frosting

Yellow OR red food dye

Green food dye

Coconut (optional)

Sesame seeds

Honey (optional)

Toothpicks

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DIRECTIONS:

Bake both boxes of cupcakes according to package instructions. Do not line cupcake tins; spray heavily with non-stick spray. If you use the same tins for both flavors of cupcakes, make sure you wash them in between.

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While the cupcakes bake, mix yellow (cheese/mustard) OR red food dye (ketchup) into one can of frosting, and green into the other. If you prefer, you can add a couple of drops of green food dye to a Ziploc bag of coconut. Shake it a few times, and you have your lettuce! Since I didn’t know if everyone liked coconut, I opted for using green frosting and a special lettuce-looking piping tip to create the same effect. Set aside.

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Once your cupcakes are finished baking and have cooled, cut the golden cupcakes in half horizontally. Cut off the cupcake tops of the chocolate cupcakes. You may discard the bottoms of the chocolate cupcakes, or eat them, as I did. (Waste not, want not).

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Put a small dollop of frosting on the top side of the bottom half of the golden cupcake. Adhere a chocolate top to it. Using a knife, spread on some yellow frosting. Use enough that it can be seen form under the bun, but not so much that you can’t see the chocolate cupcake (the hamburger meat). Once you have completed these steps on each cupcake, you can add your lettuce. Then, put the top halves of each golden cupcake onto the burgers. Lightly wet each top bun with your fingertips, then sprinkle a few sesame seeds on top. If you want to add an extra sweet element (though BELIEVE ME, ’tis not necessary), use a dab of honey rather than water. Skewer each burger with a toothpick.

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Enjoy!

Leslie

Breakfast Cinnamon Buns

One of the most comforting scents of fall is that of cinnamon baking, especially when it’s accompanied by butter and sugar. It’s a unique spice in that’s familiar and exotic at the same time. Cinnamon buns, though excellent, take a pretty long time when you make them the standard way, which involves yeast. In contrast, this yeast-free recipe takes a measly 45 minutes including prep time, which makes it perfect for breakfast. Because they lack yeast, these breakfast buns are more biscuit-like than regular cinnamon buns, which err on the lusciously gooey side of things (eat at Cinnabon for reference). Normally I’d be all about lusciously gooey cinnamon buns, but in the morning I like to keep it pretty low key, which is why I recommend these delicious delights. If you don’t have time to make the dough and bake them in the same morning, simply prepare the dough and filling the night before, and bake the next day. Cinnamon buns are always best warm, so try to eat them as soon as possible after baking them (it won’t be hard).

This is a slightly modified version of a recipe I found on epicurious.com. Based on suggestions from other bakers, I doubled the filling. If you like a lot of icing, I recommend doubling the icing amounts as well since what’s listed below is only enough to drizzle sparsely on top.

Original recipe: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Shortcut-Cinnamon-Buns-101437

INGREDIENTS:

FILLING:

4 tbsp granulated sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

DOUGH:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tbsp granulated sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

2 tbsp cold unsalted butter

1 large egg

scant 1/4 cup milk (I used fat free since it’s what I have, but whole milk is usually best for baking)

ICING:

3 1/2 tbsp confectioners’ sugar

1 tsp water

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

FILLING:

In a small bowl stir together 2 tablespoons granulated sugar and cinnamon.

ICING:

In another small bowl stir together confectioners’ sugar and water until smooth.

DOUGH:

Into a large bowl sift together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut butter into small pieces and with your fingertips or a pastry blender blend into flour mixture until mixture resembles coarse meal. In another small bowl whisk together egg and 3 tablespoons milk and add to flour mixture, stirring until just combined.

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Transfer mixture to a lightly floured surface and gently knead, 3 or 4 times, until it forms a dough. Pat dough into a 10- by 6-inch rectangle. It doesn’t have to be exact, so no need to pull out the ruler!

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ASSEMBLY:

Brush dough with some remaining milk and sprinkle evenly with cinnamon sugar.

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Beginning with a short side, roll up rectangle to form a 6-inch log and cut crosswise into 4 pieces.

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Arrange pieces on the center of a baking sheet, cut sides up, with seams touching.

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Bake buns in middle of oven until pale golden and cooked through, about 16 minutes.

Drizzle icing over warm buns.

 

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Enjoy!
 
Leslie