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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Penne A La Vodka Pizza

Growing up, my family always ordered from the same pizza place. And for a while, we always ordered the same thing: one plain pizza, or one half plain-half black olive pizza. And then, on some glorious day that I do not remember, we threw caution to the wind and ordered penne a la vodka slices alongside the plain. Or maybe, one day we threw caution to the wind and excitedly tried a slice of penne a la vodka while sitting in the plastic booths in the pizza parlor. Like I said, I don’t remember. But the bottom line is, penne a la vodka pizza became a part of my childhood. I usually don’t order it now because honestly I don’t enjoy it as much as a good slice of plain, or plain with pepperoni and mushrooms, but it still has a place in my pie-sized heart.

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    IMG_0014                 ^This is my best friend Lauren. She was pissed that the pizza was taking so long because I was taking pictures. She eventually got her pizza.

The other day while I was working, I was ruminating about how much I love pizza. Truth be told I spend a lot of time thinking about ‘za; if it’s any indication, my phone case is pepperoni-patterned. On a piece of scrap paper, I feverishly wrote a list of all the types of pizza that I could feasibly make myself. Hopefully over the next few months, I’ll be able to share some of the better concepts with you (I already crossed “breakfast pizza” off of the list- I couldn’t get past the notion of eating scrambled eggs over pizza dough).

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Though I try to cook from scratch as often as possible, I wanted to make this recipe busy-person friendly, so I used store bought dough and vodka sauce. It took me about 2 hours to make, but it’ll probably take you about 30 minutes since you won’t be taking step by step photos or stopping to eat the bacon (jk, yes you will). I didn’t use precise measurements when making this, so feel free to be a daredevil and eyeball it.

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INGREDIENTS:

1 bag store bought pizza dough (I used Trader Joe’s)

1 1/2 cups vodka sauce

1/2 lb. mozzarella cheese, shredded (I always use part skim unless it’s fresh mozzarella)

7-8 fresh basil leaves

1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated

About 1/4 lb. cooked penne (al dente)

3 strips cooked bacon, cut into small pieces (I prefer it crispy, so it stands out against the pasta and dough)

Garlic powder

Salt and pepper to taste

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Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees, or to the suggested cooking heat on the dough package.

Place a piece of parchment paper on a rimless cookie sheet, and lightly dust with flour. Roll out dough into a 12 inch circle/square/oval/you did your best. Pour 1/4 cup of vodka sauce on the dough, leaving a one inch margin of blank crust. Set aside.

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Mix the remaining sauce with the pasta. Stir in the bacon bits. Salt to taste. Pour this mixture over the crust, leaving the one inch margin in tact. Lightly season the untouched crust with salt and garlic powder. Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella over the pasta, then follow with the parmesan. If some parmesan gets on the crust, no worries; parmesan crusts are delicious. I learned that from Domino’s.

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Place the whole basil leaves on top of the cheese in desired arrangement. Some people prefer to add the basil once the pizza is cooked, so go ahead and do that if you’d like.

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Bake the pizza according to the dough package instructions. Using the Trader Joe’s dough, I cooked mine for about 10-12 minutes even though the package said 6-8 minutes. Everyone’s oven is a little different, so take it out once the cheese is melted and the crust is golden and pops back if you touch it.

Once the pizza is out of the oven, let it cool for about 5 minutes before digging in.

Enjoy!

Leslie