Monday, June 17, 2013

It's a Big One

Nope, not a particularly long post today, but it's a BIG occasion: 
Last week, Big D. and I celebrated our Tenth Anniversary! Woo hoo! Some people might call this an accomplishment, I consider myself just plain lucky to have Big D. at my side. I am not going to write a whole long mushy post to my hubsters, because that just ain't my thang, but I will let the food do the talking, because where I come from, we express our love through food.
Sooo, in honor of The Big Ten, instead of celebrating out of the house in some hoity toity restaurant (our absolute favorite: ETC.-check it out one day- they have the best steak, um basically ever.) I decided it made more sense to celebrate where it all went down- right at home. I had a lot of fun planning an elegant dinner, and since it was just the two of us, I was able to really go all out:
Now, I feel kind of dumb showing you these pictures after last week's post, but in my defense, I was starving...hence the snapshot style photography:
And the Pièce de résistance:
That was mid heavenly bite. Here's what it looked like in the beginning:
I am drooling just looking at it. Is that really bad? Like laughing at your own jokes? Eh, if it is, too bad-this dessert is the stuff dreams are made of. And I'm talkin' seriously good dreams. Anyhoo, lucky for you, I shall share the recipe with y'all, so you can share the love as well:

Chocolate Chip Cookie Lava Cakes (Adapted from KevinandAmanda)
Since I wanted to keep this non dairy, all ingredients I used are non-dairy. You can swap out the dark chocolate for milk chocolate, margarine for butter etc. 
1/2 cup margarine, softened  
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup white sugar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1 good quality dark chocolate bar ( I used dark chocolate with praline middle, and yah, it was amaaaaaazing.)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 6 ramekins with non stick cooking spray. Using an electric mixer, beat margarine, brown sugar and white sugar until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and beat for five minutes until creamy. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, salt and baking soda together. Reduce mixer speed to low and add in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Divide dough in half. Divide half the dough between the six ramekins and pat down. Put 2 chocolate squares in the middle of each ramekin. Divide remaining dough between the ramekins on top of the chocolate squares and pat down flat. Bake at 350°F for 18-20 minutes, until the edges are brown. As soon as you take them out of the oven, run a knife around the edges to make it easier to pop them out. Cool slightly, invert onto a dessert plate and serve warm with vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup. 

* I froze the extra ramekins raw and defrosted them a few days later to bake for Friday night dessert- worked perfectly! Usually, with chocolate lava cakes, you cannot reheat them, because the gooey middle is essentially batter. Since this molten part here is pure chocolatey heaven, reheating them worked out perfectly! 

Until next time folks, 
Oh and by the way, notice how I did not wax poetic about the sheer deliciousness of our dinner. Because seriously- words do not do justice. Plus I really don't want to make you jealous. Cuz I'm so thoughtful like that.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Chocolate Bear Claw Ring

I think it's par for the course for every food blogger to self deprecatingly point out their first blog post. I seriously don't get why we do that. I don't show you those embarrassing glasses that I had in third grade, now do I? I see how it's inspiring for bloggers who are starting out  now to see a before and after of your work, but still. Let's keep the dirty laundry in the hamper, shall we? That being said, it happens to be that bear claws were one of my first posts. Well definitely one of my first "hit" posts. And yes, I cringe every time I look at the pictures. But, that's not why I'm bringing this up. For some reason I feel like the recipe wasn't written clearly. It's even hard for me to follow it when I print it out to make it again. I was pretty new to blogging back then, and still standing on wobbly knees. Nowadays, I feel waaaay more confident (a little too confident, some may say) so I thought it would be a great time to bring back this baby and bump it up a notch.

Danish Rings: 
Gorgeous, round yeast dough cakes that dominate Pinterest right around the holiday season.  Every time I see one, I think "Wow, that would be beyond awesome using the bear claw recipe. Like mind blowingly awesome." So who can guess when is the best time to make mind blowingly awesome cake? Hmm? Any takers? When my sister comes to town! She really needs a nickname. I think I shall call her Our Newest Addition. She of the Lost in Brooklyn story. Maybe I should call her Lost in Brooklyn? No, that just sounds like a song. Ok, moving along. Yes, that is the perfect time to give it whirl, and lo and behold, I was correct (as usual.) Seriously, this stuff is crazy. There is a reason why I make bear claws once every two years- I EAT ALL OF THEM. And I'm really not embarrassed to tell you that. It's that good.
Chocolate Bear Claw Ring
This recipe does have a few steps, but don't let it scare you. I actually find it easier to make this than cinnamon buns. It can really be divided up over 2 days-you can even freeze the chocolate cake and make the ring two weeks later. It also helps that you can refrigerate the yeast dough overnight and assemble the next day.

Yeast dough
3/4 cup milk, rice or soy work fine
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup margarine or butter, sliced into 1/2'' cubes
1/2 cup warm water
2 packages dry yeast (each package is 2 1/4 teaspoons, so here you would need 4 1/2 teaspoons)
2 eggs
4 3/4 cup flour

Heat milk until bubbles form around the edge, remove from heat. Add sugar, salt and margarine. Stir until margarine melts. Let cool. In a separate large bowl, add warm water and yeast. Let sit until yeast dissolves. Add the milk mixture, eggs and 3 cups flour. Beat with electric mixture for two minutes. Add rest of the flour using a spoon, mix until smooth. Cover the bowl with foil and refrigerate for 2 hours. (Not terrible if you do not have time to refrigerate- it just makes the dough easier to work with because its a very soft dough.) Dough can be kept in the refrigerator up to three days.

Chocolate Filling
One recipe chocolate cake, baked and cooled. I use this one. Not just for this, I use it for everything.
1/2 cup oil
1 1/2 cups milk (again, soy or rice works fine)
1 tablespoon vanilla sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup mini chocolate chips- I actually forgot to put it in this time, and you really could not tell the difference.

Combine all the filling ingredients, except for the chocolate chips, in a food processor fitted with the "s-blade" Process on high until it has a smooth, spreadable, paste-like consistency.

To assemble:
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Divide dough in half. Roll out the first half on floured surface, into an approximate 9''x18'' rectangle. Spread filling over the dough as smoothly as possible. Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips and press down. Now, here you can roll it up a few different ways. I tried one on each ring, and they both came out beautiful. You can either roll it straight like cinnamon buns, just make sure to keep it nice and tight. You can also fold over about 2-3 inches of dough, and continue folding, so the roll is more flat than round. Both looked very nice.  Connect the ends of the roll, and pinch together as much as possible. Transfer to a lined baking sheet. Once it's on the baking sheet, you can fix up the shape to a more round circle. Now for the fun part: Using a sharp, serrated knife, slice "cuts" around the perimeter of the ring. You should cut down all the way to the bottom of the ring, but only about half way to the middle. Does that make sense? Please email me if you need that clarified, or leave a comment. To give the ring a little flare, I twisted each cut, so that the middle part, with the chocolate, is facing up.  Repeat with remaining dough. Bake in preheated oven for about 20 minutes, or until top is golden brown. Allow to cool.

Chocolate Glaze (do not skip this step!)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons margarine
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1 cup mini chocolate chips, for garnish (Yep, I forgot these too.)
Combine the glaze ingredients, except for the mini chocolate chips, in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds, stir, and microwave for another 30 seconds. Stir and transfer to a ziploc bag. Snip off the corner and drizzle over cooled ring. Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips. The rings freeze great, but there is absolutely nothing in the world like a bear claw fresh out of the oven. Well, I'm sure there are other things, but I'm trying not to think about it. I'm on a diet.

Ok, now because you guys are my friends (I hope?) or at least my husband,mother and sister-in-law,  I'd like to point out the difference between these pictures. :
Both pictures were snapped as the cakes were cooling on the counter: No natural light set up or anything, just my camera set on manual. As a matter of fact, the new picture was taken under our dining room light fixture, which is completely yellow, and at night. I think years of taking pictures helped improve my angle and composition, and learning more about white light and light balance has helped me edit the pictures better. Just an FYI for anyone wondering.

Keeping it real,
                   Have a great week!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Musings on a Sunday Night

I just put seven kids (four monkeys, two nieces and one nephew)to bed under the age of eight, and all are asleep before 8:30PM. They are all sleeping, and there was no alcohol involved. I think I deserve a medal of honor. Or a night of guilt free pinteresting. Either one is cool. Although the pinteresting is a little more handy.But then I just end up craving cake or cookies. Speaking of alcohol and pinterest, have you seen these lately?
One of my favorite memes of all time.

 (For all you newcomers,: An 'Internet Meme' is a word, phrase, expression, iconic imagery or recognizable reference popularized amongst online communities such as on forums or in online games. They are annoying and usually carry a vibe of geeky-ness, which rides well with annoying people who are all about nerd culture. The most famous one being "LOL", 'Laugh-out-loud'.)

I happen to think that memes are one of internet's most bizarre byproducts. What exactly are they? Pictures? For what? What do we do with them? Collect them? Stifle a snort and then get back to work? Save for posterity and show to the next generation? (Now there's a scary thought.) Although I can see how the idea of having a random stranger put your exact thoughts onto a picture can be appealing.
Appealing, yet not the most intelligent. But seriously, thought that was just me who has that foot phobia.
Whose baby is this? He is absolutely adorable.
Diet Meme 8
Yep, thats me. 
 If I see another one of these:
I will disown you Pinterest. Disown you, I say.
Except for this one. It's brilliant so I let it stay:
Don't mind me, I'm rambling. And the irony is, I haven't had a stitch of alcohol. (Just a a strawberry banana Luigi's and about 15 chocolate cookies, but that may be TMI.) You may not believe me, but go put seven kids to bed under the age of eight, and get them sleeping before 8:30PM, and then lets see if you can piece together a coherent sentence. Is piece even spelled right? Oh, who knows. On the bright side, if you manage that, you and I both deserve a fat slice of this:

 Moist Chocolate Cake                                                                       adapted from
People tell me all the time "Oh your recipes look good but they are way to complicated." Well then, this one's for you guys.

1¾ cups all purpose flour
2 cups granulated white sugar
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1½ tsp baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk (or substitute by putting 1 tbsp white vinegar in a cup then filling the rest up with soy or rice milk; let stand 5 minutes until thickened)
½ cup butter or margarine, melted
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup hot coffee (or 2 tsp instant coffee in 1 cup boiling water)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9x13 baking pan and set aside.  In the large bowl of a standing mixer, stir together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Add eggs, buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla extract and beat until smooth (about 3 minutes). Remove bowl from mixer and stir in hot coffee with a rubber spatula. Batter will be very runny. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake on middle rack of oven for about 35-45 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean with just a few moist crumbs attached. Allow to cool  in pan completely and then frost. 

Drunk Chocolate Frosting 
1/2 cup margarine or butter
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
 1 1/2 cups powder sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1/4 cup alcohol of your choice ( I used a mixture of rum and Walders Vanilla Vodka)

Cream margarine until smooth. Add remaining ingredients. Beat on high until light and fluffy.  For a creamier frosting, add milk, one tablespoon at a time, until you reach desired consistency. 

Oh, and by the way- I just finished my third load of laundry. 
Actually the fifth for the day-lost track there for a minute..
Ok, I'll stop bragging now and go to sleep. 

Awesome week to you, folks. 
P.S. For the record, I could not have accomplished any of the above mentioned feats (or basically any of my accomplished feats for that matter) without the assistance of this dashing young man:

Except eat the above mentioned slice of cake. I can do that all by myself thankyouveramuch.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Its pretty easy being green...

I have no idea how this happened, but pretty much everything I have made lately is green. I probably shouldn't over analyze that too much, right? It would require way too much brainpower for a Monday morning.....Green is basically my favorite color. Well, almost. Really teal is. Then green. Then purple and orange are tied. But I digress. What I am saying is, it's pretty up there. I wonder what Google has to say about that:

Green Flowers (or ivy, vines) 
Anybody who has endured a long winter will tell you how jazzed they get at the first glimmer of green in spring. The meaning of flower color in green is about renewal, growth, hope, health and youth. Think of luscious emerald lawns, the smell rich with juicy goodness. You can’t help but smile at the thought. Green is also the color of the heart chakra, and so it takes on the meaning of good health. Bright green is the color of Mother Nature at her highest peak. Feel her bounty and embrace her gifts of harvest and health. Express these sentiments by giving a verdant ivy to a friend or loved one today!

Ooh, I am so happy I checked! Such a nice thing to hear after my nightmare last night. I got lost for 45 minutes in downtown 11:30 at night. I promise you I left half my brain cells somewhere between Canal Street and the Jackie Robinson Parkway. Um yeah, so if you see any, just give me a call. You know it's not good when you turn to your passenger and say "You know those neighborhoods that you are not supposed to stop at red lights. I wonder if this is one of them." 

Just sayin...yep. All in a day's work...
Love this macro- doesn't it look like some kind of cool coral reef in the Caribbean or something? 

Speaking of, that's where I want to be right now. 
Now that's my kind of green. Moving on...

This was a really fun cake to make. Remember Big D.'s super cool awesome boss?
Mr. and Mrs. Awesome Boss made a party for Big D.'s co worker who just got married, and you know wherever the CantStopBaking's go, cake goes too. The color scheme was purple and green, my favorite color combination:
My favorite part of the cake: bling!!

Last but definitely not least, a cake for my gorgeous nephew's upsherin:

That's all folks! 
Happy Happy Monday! Hope its a green one-

Monday, April 22, 2013

S-Monkey's Plan and a Frog Birthday Cake

Its absolutely amazing what a new baby will do to the previous youngest of the family. I bet some of you know exactly what I am talking about. As much as I try to focus on showering S-monkey with love and attention, end of the day, he's been kicked off his Youngest throne and landed flat on his adorable rump. Not much fun, I would imagine. Now here is the amazing part: Kids have this inner mechanism that kicks in when they have been dethroned. I'm not sure if it's all kids or just mine, but here is how it goes in his head (and again, I am speculating here):

 Hmmm, everyone is going crazy over Little Monkey (still haven't found a nickname for him that stuck yet)....why is that? He cries all day,so that can't be it. Spits all over the place, so that's not it. I asked Mommy to please bring the baby back because I really wanted a girl monkey and that didn't work...Only clue I've got is that everyone says "Oh, Little Monkey is soooo cute! If I want my throne back, I better be CUTER than him...

And yeah, that's pretty much how it's been for the past few months. S-Monkey's cute meter has shot through the roof. Seriously, the words that come out of his mouth, I just can't stop laughing. So I guess his plan is basically working.  

 Here is the latest birthday cake for S-Monkey, keeping up with his latest Frog obsession. And yes, thats Frog with a capital F.
Adorable or not, S-Monkey, We love you to pieces everyday!

Monday, April 15, 2013

{Hostess} Cream Filled Cookies

I know my appearance around here has been a bit spotty. Good thing no one is taking attendance. I wanted to clarify something this morning. When there are no recipes up on CSB, there is no cake in the CSB household. Just wanted to make sure no one thought I am too busy fressing on cake and cookies to drop in and post something drool worthy for you. 'Cuz I care about you guys, ya know. And if you don't have cake, I won't have cake. And kind of by default, vice versa. Just wanted to make that clear. So in honor of my poor attendance, here's is something mind boggling for you:

Cream Filled Cookies

2 ½ cups all-purpose, unbleached flour
½ cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup margarine
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled

Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder together. Set aside.Cream together the margarine and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the egg and vanilla; beat on high until well combined. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl as necessary. Beat in the melted chocolate. Add the flour mixture in 3 parts, beating on low after each addition. Beat just until the dough comes together.Cover bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes.  Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Roll the dough on a surface lightly coated with a mixture of flour and cocoa to about a ¼" thick. Cut with a 3" round cookie cutter (For jumbo cookies as pictured)  Place the cut-outs on a prepared baking sheet and place in the freezer for 5-10 min. (This will prevent spreading.) Bake the cookies for about 10-12 minutes, or until done. Allow cookies to cool completely. Makes approximately 22 jumbo cookies.

Cream Filling:
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar 
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cold water, or enough to make the filling cohesive
  • Combine ingredients in mixing bowl. Mix on medium speed until combined. You may need to add water- 1 teaspoon at a time. Divide the filling equally between cookies. Roll a ball of filling in your hand and press flat onto the cookie with your palm. 

1 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
3 ½ cups powdered sugar
4 Tbsp light corn syrup
6 Tbsp milk (rice or soy works as well)
In a medium bowl, whisk the cocoa powder and powdered sugar together. Add the corn syrup and milk, whisking until smooth.The glaze will be very thick, but still pourable. Transfer to a piping bag, fitted with a #12 tip, or to a zip-top bag and snip the corner. Pipe the glaze in a circle onto the cookies. The glaze will spread, so don't go too close to the edges. If some spills over the edge, it's ok.Let the cookies dry for at least one hour before adding the white squiggle. You can use this recipe for royal icing for the squiggle. ( It will make WAAY more than needed for 22 squiggles, so you can definitely cut the recipe in half. You can also refrigerate leftover royal icing for a different time.

And a macro:

Happy Monday guys!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Dazzling Cakes and a Crazy Story

Every year around this time, I have a bit of a dilemma.  Basically, everyone I see winks and says, "Hey, when are you getting some Pesach recipes up on your blog?" And that's when I try to extricate myself from the conversation. Reason being: my Pesach recipes start and end with brownies. And there's not much in between. And I am not embarrassed to share this little fact with you. Ahem. So I thought, a nice fair trade would be that while you are busy cleaning, I will dazzle you with some cakes I've been working on lately.

First up on Dazzling Cakes is this lovely number: 

First, a little background. Every once in a while you meet someone, and you say to yourself, "Wow, this person is really special." And sometimes, but not quite as often, you meet someone extraordinarily special. (Quick poll: Do you say extra-ordinary or ex-troar-dinary? Just wonderin') And that my friends, I am lucky to say, is Big D.'s boss. I know, you heard right. His BOSS. And I think you'll tend to agree with me after reading this story. Eh, you might even be banging down his door for an interview. So hang tight, and read on. (Sorry, I don't think they are hiring now but if you are in the market for a mortgage or refinancing, you better run over there quick, and tell them CantStopBaking sent you. You might even catch some of those amazing cookies I sent them this morning. So hurry, before they eat them all!) You know how when it's smack in the middle of the winter, everyone is coughing and sniffling, and either getting or getting over a cold or the flu? Yeah, so that's basically what Big D.'s office looked like at the end of January. Sadly, no amount of cake can cure midwinter me-I've tried. So Big D.'s Boss, Mark, decided that this was ridiculous. We have to cure everyone of their sniffles! So he did what most people would do:
He booked flights for everyone to Florida. 
I kid you not. I could not make this stuff up if I tried. 
And that would be everyone and their spouses
So yep, February found Big D. and I en route to Tampa along with a group of the most awesome people on planet Earth. And I do not use that term lightly.
There is nothing a little surf and sunshine can't cure!
Go Magic!!

And that my friends is where the above cake came in. 
Because when CantStopBaking says a BIG FAT THANK YOU she kinda says it with a big fat cake! And awesome people get awesome cake.
So Mark, a gigantic-

Oh, and I was totally serious about the mortgage thing. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A few lists and some muffins...

I had a revelation this morning, as I was telling someone I had just met about my blog. I'm sure you've all realized that I write the way that I talk.  Whatever pops into my head, gets typed into the post. When I imagine people reading my blog, I have an image in my head of an eager group of close friends who eagerly read every word. But in reality, I probably don't know most of you! Now, generally speaking- it's all cool. But, the problem arises when I start to moan and groan about whatever happens to be going on in my life right then. And whatever poor soul happens across CantStopBakingdom thinks that I have created a blog solely for the purpose of airing my grievances. Which is really very sad if you stop to think about it. Because you all know (and again, I'm speaking to that imaginary group of people...) how I generally like to find the humor in life and milk it for all it's worth. So on that somber note, I'd like to say Hi, everyone. It's me, CantStopBaking. I like to laugh and bake and complain. Not necessarily in that order. But it's a fact of life. And I approve this message.

And now on to the order of the day....
1) It's not Monday. Yes, I know this. Just saying.
2) Yes, I know Purim is, um, like NOW.
3) Yes, I am aware that I have not posted a single bingle thing for Purim.
4)I can continue this list all day if I really think about it.

Ok, so I mentioned that Purim is just about here. And I mentioned that I haven't posted anything Purimish per se. Soooo, in order to keep my loyal and true followers, I'll have to fix that, won't I?
First of all, there is no way in the world I can top last year's post. I love the humor in it,and I am ever so proud of the recipe. So first and foremost,
Now, for this year: I don't have anything earth shattering to share with you, but I do have a muffin recipe. Which in all fairness, you can use for Purim. How, you ask? I shall tell you:
1) You can make these today and freeze them for Purim morning breakfast. I think that delivering mishloach manos on an empty stomach is just one notch less dangerous than playing with a lighter next to a pool of gasoline. Um yeah, so don't ever do that. The gasoline thing or the mishloach manos thing. But really, don't ever do the gasoline thing.
2) You can make a really yummy mishloach manos with muffins and orange juice. Been there, done that.
3) You can just make them today and eat them, because they are really good, and you are feeling very overwhelmed, so the best thing to do when you are overwhelmed is to make muffins and then eat all of them.
What? Who, me? I never said anything about being overwhelmed.
My, my, feeling very listy today. I better just give you the recipe before I go and make another list.

Strawberry Crumb Muffins
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 3/4 cup flour
1 cup chopped strawberries (can use frozen,unsweetened)

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine

    Preheat oven to 375°. Line 12 muffin tins with liners. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, milk and egg. In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, sugars and cinnamon. Toss in strawberries and stir to coat with flour. Pour in milk mixture, and stir just until combined. Divide batter evenly between muffin cups. 
      In a small bowl, mix sugar, flour and cinnamon. Cut in butter of margarine until mixture is like coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over tops of mixture in muffin pan.
        Bake 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Allow to sit 5 minutes before removing muffins from pan. Cool on a wire rack.

        Hope everyone has a happy, happy week!

        Monday, February 11, 2013

        Little Dictators and Cinnamon Bun Cookies

        I have come to accept the fact that the concept of  "time" does not exist for me anymore. No need for a watch or clock in my house, folks. You see, it really doesn't matter what the actual hour is. Nope, once I had kids, the concept of time disintegrated, along with my ........brain's ability to coherently finish a sentence. Oh, don't get me wrong. Time still exists- just not in the form of numbers on a clock. You see, there are these miniature humans, and they are like little dictators. Dictators of Time. No mercy, no compassion, no excuses. Little monkey is hungry? Time To Eat. Oh, you're in the middle of doing laundry. TOO BAD. Little monkey is crying. Time to Stop Cooking Dinner. Little monkey fell asleep....aaaaand go, go go go cook dinner!! While this paragraph  may sound rather choppy to you- can you imagine what it feels like to start, stop, start, stop while dancing to the tune of my Little Monkeys whims. Yeah, I'm pretty sure you can. So thats how life goes nowadays. Oh, the joys of Monkeyhood. So, this recipe is actually what inspired today's rambling. Its kind of a stop and go recipe, which coincidentally is perfect when you have a little monkey in the house: A recipe that is broken up into numerous 5 minute steps. So here we go:
        Cinnamon Bun Cookies                                                                     found on CraftBakeSewCreate
        1 cup butter or margarine
        2 cups sugar
        2 eggs
        1/4 cup milk
        2 teaspoons vanilla 
        4 cups flour
        4 teaspoons baking powder

        1/4 cup sugar
        1/3 cup brown sugar
        1 tablespoon cinnamon

        1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
        3-4 tablespoons milk
        2 teaspoons vanilla

        Cream together the butter and sugar. Add in the eggs and milk and vanilla. Mix in the flour and baking powder. Refrigerate dough for at least 2 hours. Meanwhile, mix together the granulated sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon.  Remove dough from fridge. Divide in half. On a large piece of parchment paper or wax paper, roll the dough out into a 8.5''x15'' rectangle.  Sprinkle with half of the cinnamon sugar mixture. Roll the dough up on the long side. Roll it up using the wax paper, pushing it over with the was paper as you roll. The tighter the dough is rolled up the better. Repeat with the remaining dough. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

        Preheat oven to 350º. Remove the dough from the fridge. Cut into 1/2 inch pieces with a very sharp knife. (I actually used a tape measure to mark 1/2 inch increments. You'd be surprised how thin a 1/2 inch is. Its really worth it, because if the cookies are too thick, they don't bake as well.) Place at least 2 inches apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 9-10 minutes. Let cool for 2 minutes on the pan before transferring to cool completely. 

        Mix the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla together until it reaches a pouring consistency. Drizzle over the cookies.

        Have a great week!
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