Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Cinnamon Roll Cookies: Relentless obsession, channeled deliciously

"Will he call me?"

I plunked the words into the Google search bar -- the one at the top right of my browser that I never even knew existed until a week ago when Ashley pointed it out to me.

We were drinking wine, my new Trader Joe's obsession, Goats in Village Chenin Blanc Viognier, and had somehow stumbled onto the subject of Channing Tatum, who I always want to call "Tatum Channing." This wine-fueled wandering naturally led into a discussion about his -- Channing Tatum's/Tatum Channing's -- former profession as a stripper, and, by extension, the trailer to his stripper movie, Magic Mike.

That clearly we needed to watch immediately.

(We were on glass #2 by this point.)

"Why don't you just type it in there?" She asked, impatiently jutting her finger at my laptop screen.

And just like that a whole new world of Googling opened up for me. And, by "Googling," I really mean "stalking." The type of thing I do when it's a Thursday night and I'm sitting cross-legged on my couch with my shirt tucked into my sweatpants. (Usually I'm on cup #2 of rooibos tea at this point.)

On this particular night, incapable of employing my usual methods of Internet stalkage via social media (Twitter, Facebook and, in the best case stalking scenario, a personal blog), I deemed it completely rational to instead plug my burning questions into the Google search bar. Because that's what logical people who tuck their shirt into their sweatpants do when there's nothing on the DVR aside from old episodes of "Glee."

"Will he call me?" I typed as though Google was a Magic 8 Ball capable of telling me whether the guy was or wasn't still into me.

I waited with bated breath for the nanosecond it took Google to come up with the Harvard baseball team's "Call Me Maybe" Youtube video that I may have watched a dozen times that week. You know, in between views of the Magic Mike trailer. Channing Tatum. Tatum Channing.

Clearly I wasn't getting anywhere.

So I continued my completely normal, shirt-tucking-in behavior and consulted the stars. Naturally.

"Astrology Zone Virgo June," I typed into the search bar, proud of how efficient I was being with my new found stalking/Googling tool. In between gulps of tea, I spent the next half hour reading and shrieking over my June forecast and then over that past May's, analyzing every single date and word until I'd convinced myself it was all true.

The bits about my profession and career path. My trip to Palm Springs. My concerns over money and boys and family and life in general.

"How does she know?!" I screeched into the stagnant air of my apartment.

This is what happens when a neurotic, determined mind gets a hold of a Google search bar.

And cinnamon roll cookies are what happen when that same mind gets a hold of a somewhat tedious, multiple-step, must-make-now recipe.

Relentless obsession. Channeled deliciously.  


Cinnamon Roll Cookies
Barely Adapted from The Cravory via Noelle Carter at the LA Times

Notes: My only noteworthy change to this recipe was to use vanilla extract rather than vanilla bean seeds in the glaze. Keep a careful eye on the cookies when they are baking -- though they are a girthy good, because you are using a muffin tin they will bake faster than you think!

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 eggs, brought to room temperature
3 cups + 1 teaspoon all purpose, unbleached flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup pecan pieces, toasted
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon cinnamon

2 ounces cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons 2% or whole milk

Using a stand mixer outfitted with the paddle attachment (a hand mixer is also perfectly acceptable), cream together the softened butter, sugar, brown sugar, and powdered sugar. Add the vanilla, letting it briefly mix in so the butter absorbs the flavor, and then add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

In a separate large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until well-combined.

Turn the mixer to the lowest speed and slowly add the flour mixture a bit at a time, until just combined, taking caution not to overmix. Remove the dough and wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour or so -- should be thoroughly chilled so it is easier to work with.

Before removing dough from the refrigerator, prepare the filling by tossing the pecans, brown sugar and cinnamon together in a medium bowl. Pour the melted butter over the nuts and stir until evenly coated.

Roll out the dough on a floured surface into a 10 by 10 inch square. Spread the filling evenly across the dough then carefully roll the dough into a tight log. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight (if time allows).

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Grease 2 (12-cup) muffin tins with butter or grease of choice. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and slice into half-inch-thick slices. Place one slice in each muffin cup.

Bake for 14-16 minutes or until tops are slightly browned, rotating the tins halfway through to ensure even baking.

Remove the cookies and cool, still nestled in the muffin tins so they can firm up, on a wire rack. After they've had 30 or so minutes to set, carefully run a knife around the edges and pop out. 

While the cookies continue to cool, prepare the glaze. Using an electric hand mixer (or a stand mixer with the whisk attachment if it's your preference), combine the cream cheese and butter. Slowly add the powdered sugar, then the vanilla (or scraped vanilla seeds from 1 bean if available). Finally, add the milk and continue beating until the glaze is smooth and thick.

Using a fork, generously drizzle the glaze the cooled cookies. The glaze will be thick so it's advised to use a quick flick of the wrist to ensure an unglobby presentation. (Though if you are like me and can eat spoonfuls of frosting at a time, it's worth noting that the globbier the presentation, the more delicious glaze you'll get to consume.)


Ashley said...

Magic Mike: The Citizen Kane of stripper movies.

You don't need to ask google how good it's going to be, cause I'll tell you.


Gastronomer said...

I bookmarked the same recipe! It'll be a special treat for my cinnamon-loving husband once I recover from this Euro trip ;-)

Diana said...

Ashley - Can we please go again???? Or maybe just order 21 Jump Street on OnDemand. Thoughts?

Cathy - Oh yes, the Astronomer will go nuts for this one... it's super cinnamony!