3/24/12

Text-based baking adventures

I'm just going to blame my lack of updates on the Republicans. And the Democrats, so as not to leave anybody out.

And this webcomic.

But I have been baking, and though I have been woefully unable to acquire any photographs of my efforts, I will attempt to placate all both of my readers who have been waiting, breath bated, for an update.

So I give you the text-only version of two of my most recent recipes: Cinnamon Roll Cookies and Kate's Phe-nom-nom-nom-enal Key Lime Pie.

Cinnamon Roll Cookies

Unlike most of my other recipes, I didn't deviate very much from the original (found here). The main thing I changed is, of course, the sugars. And some proportions here and there.

For the dough:  
2 ½ sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter, softened 
4 oz softened cream cheese 
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. dry active yeast  
3/4 cup granulated sugar 
1/4 cup honey 

3 ¾ cups all-purpose flour  
½ tsp. salt 

For the filling:  
½ cup brown sugar  
2 tbsp. cinnamon


For the glaze:  
3 Tb. soymilk (because we didn't have dairy milk)
1 cup powdered sugar
dash cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
The process:  
Mix 2 tsp. cool/room temperature vanilla extract with 1 tsp. of dry active yeast. You don't want it to be warm because we're not trying to activate the yeast. You just want that yeasty flavor that makes cinnamon rolls so yummy; you don't want these cookies to puff up like them.  

Cream the butter, cream cheese, vanilla with yeast, and granulated sugar until smooth. You can do it with an electric mixer for about 2 minutes or with a fork like me because you're a BAMF. Add the salt, then slowly add the flour. Mix until combined. You'll end up with a nice malleable dough. Dump it out onto a clean flat surface and press it into a flat disk. Wrap the dough well so it doesn't dry out and pop it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375*. Mix 1/2 cup brown sugar and 2 tbsp cinnamon together in a small bowl. Pull your dough out of the fridge and cut it in half. Leave one half in the fridge while you work with the other half. Flour a clean workspace (or a piece of wax paper) and roll the dough into an 8-by-18-inch rectangle (1/4 inch thick). Cut the dough in half. Sprinkle half the filling mixture over each half of the dough, leaving an inch bare along one of the long edges. Starting with the long edge covered by the mixture, carefully roll the dough toward the bare edge. Press the seam firmly. Repeat this process with the half of the dough you left in the fridge. You should end up with four logs of cookie.

These will, if wrapped well, keep in the fridge for days or in the freezer for weeks. But why would you do that?

Cut the roll into half-inch slices and gently place the slices on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper (or greased with butter; not Pam). Bake for 10-12 minutes, depending on your oven.

While these are baking, whisk the powdered sugar, (soy)milk, vanilla and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Once your cookies are completely cool, dip the top of each cookie into the glaze and place them on a rack to set.

Kate's Phe-nom-nom-nom-enal Key Lime Pie

This recipe is a bit more original than the previous, and several times simpler.

For the crust:
1 inner sleeve of (cinnamon) graham crackers (about 1.5-2 cups)
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
1/8 cup water
some vanilla
some cinnamon

For the filling:
2 cans sweetened condensed milk
1 cup lime juice
zest and juice of one lime
1/2 cup sour cream
some vanilla

Make the crust! First, crush the graham crackers. The quickest way is to crush them in a food processor, but the fun way is to toss them into a gallon-size plastic bag and go to town on them with a rolling pin until they're ground to a coarse powder. Melt the butter and mix it with the crushed graham crackers in a bowl. Toss in the water, vanilla and cinnamon and stir until the crust is sticky but not difficult to stir. If 1.5 cups of grahams makes the crust too wet, add more grahams a half-cracker at a time. If the crust gets too crumbly and won't stick to itself, add a slash of water. Stir well. Press the crust into a well-greased 9-inch round pie dish. It won't be perfect; that's kind of the point.

Next, make the filling. Zest the lime, then cut it in half. Chuck the condensed milk, sour cream, lime juice, zest and vanilla into a bowl. Squeeze the zested lime into the bowl; it's okay if a bit of pulp gets in there. Gives it character. Stir until well-blended and smooth. Pour that limey b*stard into the prepared pie dish and bake for 7-10 minutes or until small pinhole bubbles pop on the surface of the pie. Do not brown the crust. Let the pie cool for 20-30 minutes before placing it in the fridge to chill for another 2-3 hours. Serve this piece of heaven with freshly whipped cream. Nom nom nom nom.


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