Snicker DO doodles

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The cool thing about cooking bloggers is we do the research so you don’t have to, right?

Tonight’s super quick recipe is a homemade batch of snickerdoodles. Butter, shortening,  sugar, flour… The only thing you may need to swing by the store for is Cream of Tartar. But it’s essential! Oh, and you’ll need to log in to a (free!) account to America’s Test Kitchen. The recipe is here, it’s great, and I promise you won’t mess it up. Just one Drunken Cookie tip:

If you have a choice between a regular cookie baking sheet and an insulated sheet, use the regular sheet. You want the crinkle top characteristic of a classic snickerdoodle, and my cookies on the insulated sheet didn’t “fall” as they cooled. (Still delicious, of course.)

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Trust me, this recipe is worth the free registration. Your kitchen will smell amazing, and your friends will think you deserve your own baking blog.

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Quick and Easy Cinnamon “Rolls”

Cinnamon Rolls FinishedI love cinnamon rolls, especially as a breakfast treat. I confess I will buy a Cinnabon or a can of refrigerated cinnamon rolls, but I always feel guilty. What’s in those? (Don’t look at the label!)

This recipe saved me at least a little bit of the guilt that comes along with eating sugar, butter, and flour for breakfast. I think mostly because they’re homemade. They do not require yeast and are baked in a muffin pan, which make these a little bit muffin, and a little bit roll.

Ahhhh, warming a cold Saturday morning with the sweet smell of baking cinnamon.

I found this recipe on Allrecipes. Thanks to Carol, the original submitter of these delicious little muffin/roll hybrid. Her profile doesn’t seem to be on the site, but I thought this was worth a shout out 🙂

Tips

  • I didn’t use raisins or currants… I’m not a fan of raisins in cinnamon rolls, but feel free to add them if you are!
  • I made a cream cheese icing, your basic cream cheese/butter/confectioners sugar/vanilla/milk icing. I’m sure these are equally yummy with the glaze that’s included in the recipe.
  • I thought I may have originally under-baked these, but they set up well, and the middle had the gooey-chewy feel that I like in a cinnamon roll. I feel that over-baking these slightly would dry out the edges too much for my liking, so keep an eye on them.

Here’s a photo collage of the process. Enjoy!

 

The Real “Pumpkin Spice” Cheesecake

Slice of Pumpkin Spice
Slice of Pumpkin Spice

Who says you can’t enjoy pumpkin after thanksgiving?

If it’s cold outside, I’m enjoying pumpkin spice.

I’m sure you’ve heard about Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte not containing actual pumpkin, at least until this year when they decided to add it… well, I’m here to assure you there are plenty of holiday recipes made with real pumpkin and spice.

The beauty of real pumpkin spice recipes is you can adjust the “spice” to your liking. Cloves have a real punch, so many opt to leave it out altogether… I used the full amount in this recipe, only 1/4 teaspoon, and found it plenty adequate. Cinnamon comes in many varieties, so you can alter the flavor of your favorite recipes simply by purchasing a different type of cinnamon. My favorite spice shops are Penzeys and The Spice House, both of which have a variety of fall spices.

This Pumpkin Cheesecake is baked in a water bath, but I’m sure you’re a pro at that by now, if you’ve followed my blog thus far! A few tips:

  • Plan ahead, as this should refrigerate overnight. Still tasty after three days, if kept refrigerated and covered.
  • You’ll need a 10-inch springform pan, which is an inch larger than the seemingly “standard” 9-inch. I have both sizes, but if you only have a 9-inch pan, you’ll need to increase the baking time.

For the Crust

  • Crust Ingredients
    Sweet + Cinnamon
    Crust Crumbs
    Crumbly Perfection

    9 whole graham crackers (about one sleeve in a box, 4 oz)

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Prepare the springform pan by wrapping heavy-duty aluminum foil around the bottom, to keep the water bath from seeping through.

Blend graham crackers, sugar, and cinnamon in a food processor until finely ground. Slowly add melted butter, pulsing until crumbs start to clump. If you don’t have a food processor, place graham crackers in a ziplock bag, crush with a rolling pin (or soup can, or whatever you have… hey, I’ve been there), then mix the remaining ingredients thoroughly until the mixture will clump when pinched with your fingers. Press the mixture into the bottom of the springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes, and allow to cool.

For the Filling

  • Half of the Finished Cheesecake... It Goes Fast!
    Half of the Finished Cheesecake… It Goes Fast!

    4 eight-ounce packages cream cheese, softened/room temp

  • 1 1/2 cups  sugar
  • 1 fifteen (15) ounce can pure pumpkin
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves

(note, spices are in ground form)

  1. Beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs, beating in one at a time.
  2. Add pumpkin, cream, vanilla and spices; beat until incorporated.
  3. Pour filling into prepared crust. Place filled springform pan into large roasting pan (see water bath post for hints!). Fill with enough water to come halfway up the side of the springform pan.
  4. Bake until slightly puffed, golden and softly set, about 1 hour and 30 minutes. Remove springform pan from water bath and set on rack to cool.
  5. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  6. To serve, run a thin plastic knife around the sides of the springform pan, then release the latch to open the pan. Serve as-is or with whipped cream.

2B3C Icing – The Delicious Icing That Needs A New Name

Yellow Cake with CinnaMmm Icing
Yellow Cake with CinnaMmm Icing

I topped that Moist and Mellow Yellow Cake in my previous post with this delicious icing:

Browned Butter Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing

That name is far too long. You can’t tell your co-workers you made “Yellow Cake with Browned Butter Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing”. It simply doesn’t fit on a post-it note.

Better names: CinnaMmmm, CinnaYum!, Breakfast Icing, Cinnatoastfrost…

This icing is simple to make AND it’s posted on the web – originally found in Southern Living magazine.

TIP: I halved this recipe, using just a half stick of butter and 16 oz of powdered sugar, and it was enough to cover my sheet cake just fine. I measured the powdered sugar on a scale, but if you don’t have one, it’s about 3 and 2/3 cups of powdered sugar.

The thing I love about finding new recipes is learning ways to tweak them. I want to make other versions of browned butter frosting/icing because it adds a depth of flavor (think nutty, caramel-ish) I think would work well in other desserts.

Yellow Cake and Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing
Yellow Cake and Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing