Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Cinnamon Roll Cookies: Breakfast and Dessert

What do you do if there's no chocolate in the house and you want to bake cookies?
  1. Go out and buy chocolate chips.
  2. Ask your neighbors for some chocolate.
  3. Go buy cookies at the store.
  4. Find a recipe with the ingredients you have and try it out.
For once, I actually choose number four even though I really kind of wanted chocolatey cookies. It was kind of easy though when I found this recipe from Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice on Pinterest. So take a deep breath and find a new solution to chocolate-less cookies that's worth the time and the effort.

Cinnamon Roll Cookies
From Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice Cinnamon Bun Cookies
  • Dough:
    • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
    • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Filling:
    • 1 large egg white
    • 1 tablespoon water
    • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Icing:
    • 1 cup powdered sugar
    • 1/4 cup milk (or heavy cream)
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. In a medium-sized bowl beat together the sugar, butter, salt, and vanilla for the dough until light and fluffy. Add the flour and stir until the dough comes together.
  2. Flatten into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap or wax paper and refrigerate for about an hour.
  3. Flour wax paper or a piece of parchment and roll out the dough into a rectangle. About the size of a cookie sheet.
  4. In a bowl whisk together the egg white and the water for the filling until foamy.
  5. In another bowl mix the sugar and cinnamon together.
  6. Brush the egg white mixture over the dough and evenly sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the top.
  7. Starting with the long edge roll the dough carefully into a log. Seal the edge with any leftover egg white.
  8. Wrap this log in wax paper, plastic wrap, or parchment and freeze until firm. You can leave it for a few minutes in the freezer and/or the fridge.
  9. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease your cookie sheet.
  10. Use a sharp knife to cut the log into about 1/2-inch slices and transfer them to the baking sheets.
  11. Bake for 12-15 minutes until lightly golden.
  12. Cool cookies before icing.
  13. Sift the powdered sugar into a bowl and whisk in the milk and vanilla until smooth. Drizzle over the cookies.
My cookies weren't exactly perfect because I used milk rather than heavy cream for the icing. I prefer to use milk though because while it may not be as thick, it's something that you'll probably have around the house and it'll be less fattening. If you want the nice, thick frosting that looks very much like a cinnamon roll then go for the heavy cream. My icing was just a nice layer to give it a little extra sweetness, but you can't really see it as much.

I also learned that wax paper is your friend when making any type of rolled cookie. While this one isn't as dramatic than others I've made, since there aren't multiple layers of dough, it's not as necessary, but it worked well for me for both keeping the dough in the freezer and rolling it out. Just be sure to use plenty of flour on the wax paper and on your hands while rolling it out. I also didn't keep the dough completely in the freezer for the bit that says to "freeze until firm." I added the bit about a few minutes in the freezer and/or the fridge, because that was a good solution for me. Tossed it into the freezer for a bit and then finished it's solidifying in the fridge. The whole time in the freezer might just live you with an impossible-to-cut log.

While it was originally my treat that I could bake without any chocolate, my boyfriend and I devoured these cookies faster than we thought. I couldn't resist them in the morning since they resembled my mom's cinnamon rolls that I loved as a kid. They're sweet, but not too sweet, so it's a great thing to share at parties that most people will enjoy.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Is it a Cookie or a Fry?

In what was a tumultuous few weeks at work, I was comforted and given energy by a strange little treat that came to our office. The cookie fries arrived in a package with a cute little note at our office. Of course being the sweet-toothed fiend that I am, I was given the little package to try them out.

And honestly, how could you say no to a cute, little retro package like this one? I had never heard of a cookie fry before, but with hamburger cakes and cupcakes on the web, I shouldn't have been surprised. With the addition of the red and white diner checkered wrapping, it was an all too intriguing gift.

The cookie itself is a light, shortbread cookie. Not too strong in flavor and the crispy color makes it a great choice for the cookie fry. Unfortunately, the cookie was a little crumbly so it made it a little hard to take a bite out of the fry without making a mess at my desk. Luckily we had lots of paper towels.

The real kicker to this combination wasn't the cookie though, it was the dipping sauce. It came in a little container like you would take home ketchup or other sauces from a fast-food joint. We had both caramel and peanut butter dipping sauces.

The caramel was sweet and classic, at first I thought it would be my favorite since it was the sweeter option. It was thick enough to feel like a real dipping sauce and gave a classic caramel dipped touch. But the real winner was the peanut butter. Typically peanut butter is only my choice with chocolate desserts, but this time it was just what I needed. Something about the crunchy, crumbly cookie fries in the smooth peanut butter made me feel like I was a four year old who will not touch anything unless it has peanut butter on it.

While it wasn't anything that made me race to the store to pick some up for my friends or family, it was a fun invention. They're made by The Cookie Joint if you want to check them out. The cookie fries come in original shortbread, chocolate chip, double chocolate chip, cinnamon spice, and chocolate toffee crunch. I'd love to try the double chocolate chip with peanut butter. But even better, there's more dipping sauces: salted caramel, marshmallow, hazelnut, peanut butter, chocolate, raspberry, and lemon.

It may not be something to grab for an after-dinner treat, but this would be a really fun addition to any retro styled party. They even have deep fryer baskets full of them. So even though they don't have me searching the bottom of the bag for any more fries, they're a fun treat that may or may not have acted as my lunch on a certain day of work.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Glazed and Infused Fall Menu Party

One day I was invited to an event on Facebook. Not a strange occurrence, but it was different this time. Glazed and Infused invited me to their Fall Menu Party. If there are two things I love in life, it's sweets and fall. So of course I was excited about it from that moment until I invited my friends to join me. Even better, their reaction was to make a night of it.

Photo via Glazed and Infused website
The event page didn't say much except for tasting the new Fall flavors before their launch on October 1. I figured a few samples, purchase a few, and just enjoy the beginning of Fall. Instead, we decided it was going to be an extended birthday celebration (since my birthday was on September 22).

Enter Glazed and Infused West Loop location. Add a selection of small sample doughnuts, a not-over-crowded space, and some of the friendliest staff members excited to tell us all about the flavors they have. If that wasn't good enough, a man then came up and gave us a free box to take home. Yes, free. Six of the doughnuts from their new fall collection.

If I wasn't in heaven already, the taste of the doughnuts sealed the deal. While my excitement did make me miss the coveted Chocolate4 and Red Velvet doughnuts, it was okay. It gives me another reason to come back.

Now on to the doughnuts, my top pick was the Pumpkin Chocolate Chip. It's a pumpkin cake doughnut with a vanilla bean glaze and cream cheese frosting topped with chocolate shavings. It says pumpkin without being pumpkin pie and gives you the right addition of sweet and smooth from the glaze and frosting. This little guy lit up my whole night alone.

While Glazed and Infused always has a fruit fritter, I was a huge fan of the peach fritter on their fall menu. I had tasted the bacon-pineapple before, but it felt like it was hard to find the actual bits of fruit on that one. The peach was integrated into a lot more of this fritter, giving it an extra burst of fruity flavor that I, for one, enjoyed.

I like to not think about Christmas until closer to Thanksgiving, so I was a little torn about the Gingerbread Old Fashioned they released. I always love Old Fashioned and it did remind me of Christmas. Most gingerbread cookies are too hard and crumby for my liking and this doughnut was spiced and moist with a nice touch of cinnamon-sugar to keep it sweet.

The Crunchy PB&J is a great touch on a classic for all ages. I mean, when you're stressed who doesn't love a good peanut butter and jelly? This is a Bismark filled with raspberry jam and topped with a crunchy peanut butter glaze. Not too peanut buttery, doesn't stick to your mouth, and has that great crunch. If you're a creamy person, it might be a little different, but give it a chance.

I'm still working through our box now, but it won't last long. I'll update with more reviews on other fall flavors, but until then check out Glazed and Infused fall menu.
From my friend ashdash113's Instagram

  • Chocolate4: Chocolate cake with chocolate glaze and milk chocolate shavings
  • Apple Caramel: Apple cake with chunks of granny smith apples, a cinnamon glaze, and peanuts
  • Red Velvet: Cocoa buttermilk cake with cream cheese glaze, and red velvet crumbles
  • Pumpkin Chocolate Chip: Pumpkin cake with vanilla bean glaze, cream cheese frosting, and chocolate shavings
  • Gingerbread Old Fashioned: Classic spiced buttermilk gingerbread cake with cinnamon sugar.
  • Crunchy PB&J: A homemade raspberry jam-filled Bismark with a crunchy peanut butter glaze
  • Fruit Fritter: Changes everyday, but the Peach is the newest