Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Chili Cook-Off

My company is having yet again another fun cooking/dessert contest, and this time it is a team competition!  I wrangled a team together to celebrate the Houston Rodeo with our company's Annual Chili Cook-Off.  We had a chili dish in mind but we needed a good dessert to go along with the chili, but what kind of dessert goes with chili?!? We spent the first couple weeks preparing for the cook-off with our focus on chili, we had several chili samples come through over the two weeks leading up to the cook-off and with only a few days to spare, we took a vote and collaborating to get the best of all the chili samples that were brought in.  But with only a few days for the cook-off, we still needed a dessert.  It had been decided that I must make the dessert for the contest, but I still had no ideas of what to make.  I did some google searches for dessert compliments to chili and somebody mentioned cinnamon..... so then I thought snickerdoodles but I had already done that for the bake sale and figured I needed something different that was simple enough to be made on a Wednesday night after work.

Cinnamon Roll Cookies!

Cookies adapted from All Recipes
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
5 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Cinnamon Sugar Filling adapted from Picky Palate
12 tablespoons softened butter
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 tsp. cardamom

Frosting adapted from Picky Palate
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2-4 tablespoons milk or water
1 teaspoon vanilla

(1) Preheat oven to 350˚F.  In a large bowl, cream the sugar and butter until light and fluffy.  Add eggs and vanilla, beat until well combined.  Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt.

(2) Separate the dough into 3 or 4 sections, and place in plastic wrap in a disc shape.  Chill for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator.

(3) Once chilled, cut each disc in half and roll out dough into an oval shape about 1/4 inch thick.  Spread each rolled piece of dough with the softened butter, and cinnamon sugar mixture.

(4) Start rolling up the dough from the long end closest to you; rolling into a log shape.  At this point, I would wrap the log back into the plastic wrap and put in freezer until all logs are made.  Continue to roll out the dough and layer in the butter and cinnamon sugar mixture until all "logs" are made.  Remember to keep all logs in the freezer until ready to slice and bake.

(5) Once all the cinnamon roll "logs" have been prepared, taking one log out of the freezer at a time and slice into 1/4-1/2 inch cookies, placing onto your lined cookie sheet.  Bake for 8-10 minutes.

(6) To prepare the frosting, beat the cream cheese until softened and smooth, slowly add the powdered sugar and vanilla.  Add milk or water until you have reached your desired consistency.  Drizzle or frost the cookies and they are ready to eat!

If you frost and eat the cookies while still warm, they are like bite-sized little cinnamon rolls, so delicious!!! These turned out fantastic and are a great mid-week cookie because I was able to prepare the dough and roll them up into logs on the weekend.  Then when Wednesday night came, all I had to do was pull them out of the freezer, slice, bake and glaze!  As long as you have a very sharp knife, you should have no problem slicing the cookies straight out of the freezer, and they begin to soften very very quickly.  I found that slicing frozen logs left me with a "cleaner" cut and look because they held their shape better than if you tried to slice a room temperature dough.

Our team ended up placing third, which we were all happy with, but of course we will be back next year to win the gold! :)

1 comment:

Janet said...

Hey Michelle! I just found your blog :) I'm so glad you posted this recipe. I'm not a baker but I am STILL talking about how much I loved this cookies so I'll have to attempt them!! Hope you are loving life :)

- Janet

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