Friday, January 6, 2012

Cinnamon Roll Cookies? I'll Take It!

I can still remember my very first cook book. In fact, I still have it. My mom gave it to me to help persuade my budding love of cooking. It's really cute. There are 26 recipes, one for every letter of the alphabet, with some craft recipes in the back of the book. For example, I learned how to make my own play-doh and paper mâché, as well as learn to paint with cornstarch and food coloring.

 It's a great motivator for kids, and it's in their language: pictures.  

Yeah, even the measurements are in illustrated form! My kids will definitely be cooking with this adorable cook book!

My very first cooking fiasco came from this book, consisting of yours truly substituting baking SODA for baking POWDER in a lemon bars recipe, since I didn't understand the difference between the two. I was 9, and Home Ec wasn't around in elementary school. I'm sure they would have been fantastic had it not been for my error, but it traumatized me. I still have yet to bake these babies because of that one experience, so I'm adding them to my "2012 To Bake List".

However, there are tons of recipes in the book I did try, with more success. My husband loved the honey cookies I made from the book, and the very first time I made chocolate chip cookies, the recipe I used was the one from this little book. But the one that always stole the show was the recipe for Elephant Ears, which are basically cinnamon rolls in the form of cookies. Heaven in every bite, even when baked for you by a 10-year-old! Drizzle them with a powdered sugar glaze, and mmm... tasty treat!

Elephant Ears

1/4 cup margarine or butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons sugar, plus more for garnish
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Grease your cookie sheet.

Heat your butter in the microwave until melted. (15 second intervals seems to work best for me. Less explosions in the microwave.)

Stir together the flour, 2 tablespoons of the sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Add in the milk and 3 tablespoons of melted butter; stir it until it forms dough.

Sprinkle your prep surface lightly with flour. (When I was a kid, I liked drawing pictures in the flour before we started rolling dough. :) ) Knead the dough approximately 10 times. Roll the dough with a rolling pin, shaping it into a 9 by 5 rectangle, or however close you can manage.

Brush the dough with the remaining melted margarine, using a pastry brush. Sprinkle with a mixture of 3 tablespoons sugar and the cinnamon.

Roll the dough up tightly, beginning at narrow end. Pinch the edges of dough into roll to seal. Cut 4 equal pieces with a sharp knife. (But seriously, who wants only 4 cookies?? Cut them thinner for more enjoyment.) Place the slices cut side up on the cookie sheet, and pat them into circles. Sprinkle with more sugar.

Bake them until golden brown, so about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove them right away from the cookie sheet and let them cool on a wire rack.

The glaze from the Cherry Cheese Coffee Cake is so good on top of these sweet cookies. If you decide to make these babies, leave a comment and tell me how yours turned out! (That goes for any of my recipes. And I'd love to see your pictures, if you have any!)

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