Challenging Times – Part 2

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Challenging Times – Part 2

With angel food cake checked off of my list, it was on to the next challenge: grasshopper cupcakes to celebrate the upcoming birthdays of my husband and one of our dear friends.  The idea came from a Betty Crocker calendar that had a grasshopper cake–mint cake with a layer of hot fudge sauce, Cool Whip frosting, and chopped Andes mints on top.  My husband, never shy to place a culinary challenge before me, suggested grasshopper cupcakes.  That recipe seemed too messy for cupcakes, so instead I made a mint chocolate chip cake and topped it with leftover chocolate frosting from the angel food (waste not, want not!) and homemade mint frosting–oh, and a homemade mint-chocolate candy.  🙂  Success!

Yesterday afternoon as a new recipe sat brewing in the crockpot (Cappuccino Pot Roast from Better Homes & Gardens — http://www.bhg.com/recipe/beef/cappuccino-pot-roast/), I turned my attention to the empty cookie jar.  And because it’s my husband’s birthday this week, I asked if he had any requests.  The challenge flag was tossed again. 

Remember those cinnamon rolls?  The challenge was to make cookies that were a thin version of a soft cinnamon roll.  That one took some thinking.  I took what ingredients I’ve learned help make a chewy cookie and employed them into an oatmeal-brown sugar dough rolled up with brown sugar and cinnamon.  Rolling was tough, as it’s a sticky dough.  Even with refrigeration, the slicing didn’t always work.  When the dough crumbled, I simply balled it up and placed it on the sheet to bake.  When they were out of the oven, I slathered them with a touch of homemade vanilla frosting–same as a cinnamon roll.  The result wasn’t exactly what he was thinking (he really does want a thin, soft cinnamon roll), but it was delicious!  Kind of like a soft, homemade version of the iced oatmeal or animal cookies you find at the grocery store.  I think I’m going with the name Iced Cinnamon Swirlies.  🙂

And before you think that things don’t run in the family–my sister-in-law has challenged me to recreating a cheese-stuffed mushroom and pasta dish she recently had at a restaurant.  The fun never ends!  🙂

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Iced Cinnamon Swirlies

  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon

Cream butter, shortening, and sugars until well mixed and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.  Add egg, egg yolk, and vanilla.  Mix until well blended.  Add flour, oats, baking powder, and salt.  Spoon half of dough onto 12-inch length of wax paper.  Top with more wax paper, and carefully roll into rectangle about 1/4 – 1/2″ thick.  Remove top piece of wax paper.  Sprinkle with 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1 tsp. cinnamon.  Carefully roll up into a log and wrap in the wax paper.  Repeat with remaining dough.  Refrigerate logs at least an hour. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  Remove dough from refrigerator; unwrap and carefully slice into 1/2 – 3/4″ slices (If they fall apart, simply roll into ball).  Place on baking sheet.  Bake one sheet at a time on rack in center of oven for 12-15 minutes, or until edges are golden brown and top is set.  Leaving cookies on the sheet, let cool for 5 minutes.  Spread with vanilla frosting (recipe below).

Vanilla Frosting

  • 1 Tbsp. butter or margarine, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 – 4 Tbsp. milk

Mix butter, sugar, and vanilla in small bowl.  Add milk 1 Tbsp at a time until a thick spreadable consistency (if too runny, add more sugar).  Spread on warm cookies.

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