Sunday, October 12, 2014

Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake? Roll? Swirl?...Unicorn Squares?

Have you ever realized how much you can really learn about yourself when you hear a friend talking about someone she or he knows?  How much you can and can't relate to the person they are describing.  I have been continuing to try to think about who I am, how others may view me, and to try and think about things from other peoples perspective over the past few weeks.  Now there are a few good people in my life who can really put things into perspective for me.  Who help me get out of my head and see things through a different set of eyes.  Do you have those people in your life?  Those who can help straighten things out, turn your thought process enough just so you can get out of your head for a second?  

I don't know what it is about the fall, but its the time of year when I get more stuck with my own thoughts and start thinking about the past more than normal.  Maybe because the fall can be so routine.  Growing up there was always the start of school, the anxiety of starting new classes and then knowing a month in their would be endless amounts of homework.  Now, I know that the fall is endless meetings, and just trying to stay ahead of the game as I count down the number of meeting weeks left, even as we start to plan for the spring.  But I have Charles to thank for trying/forcing me to enjoy the now, "getting me out of my head" and not just thinking okay what's later this week, what's next weekend and the following weekend and so on.  To think more along the lines of what can we do that's fun today or tonight that we haven't been planing for all week.  Let's be spontaneous, because sometimes the best memories come from unplanned adventures.  This week I decided it was time to be spontaneous with baking too, with some early morning baking, before the meetings and the meeting planning.  Something delicious just to make Tuesday a little better.  

Sometimes, mid-long run, when I really shouldn't stop, I just have to, to capture the shot.  Sadly this is about as spontaneous as I get some days...Taking a new route down a different road.

Down to the good stuff:  So I wasn't really sure what to call these.  They are the texture of a cinnamon roll and yeast based, but yet they are not a roll.  I asked for suggestion on Instagram, someone said to call them a fall fritter, someone said send them to NC, but the best might have been Unicorn Squares.  What would you have said I call them?

Either way, they were definitely delicious and next time I might have to throw in some walnuts or pecans too.  They are a breakfast swirl that can make any morning a little better, because what morning can't be made a little better with butter and cinnamon?  They are super easy and pretty much fail proof so give them a try!

The light in my kitchen sucks...especially when its not even light outside, but I wanted you to see this before it went into the oven.

Up close and personal...was so pumped to be bringing these into the office for a treat.

Cinnamon Swirl Breakfast Treat
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 envelopes rapid rise yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted  butter, melted
1 egg
2/3 cup milk (very warm 120-130°F)

Cinnamon topping
3 tablespoons unsalted butter,  softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch pieces

1 cup powdered sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon unsalted butter melted
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1.  Spray a 9x9 inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.

2.  In a large bowl mix together, flour, yeast, sugar and salt.  Then start to mix in the melted butter and egg.  Then heat 2/3 cup milk until very warm in the microwave (about 45 - 50 seconds), and whisk it into the mixture.  Using a spatula, gently transfer the dough into the prepared baking pan. Cover with saran wrap and let rest for 10 minutes in a warm place.

3.  While the dough is resting, prepare the cinnamon topping.  In a medium bowl, mix together all of the ingredients.  Once the dough has finished rise cover the top with the cinnamon topping and using your fingers, poke the topping into the dough.

4.  Place the pan in a cold oven and set to 350 degrees F.  Bake 25-30 minutes, until lightly browned and firm in the center.  Cool 10 minutes.  While it is cooling, mix all of the icing ingredients in a medium sized bowl, then drizzle over the swirl.  Serve immediately or at room temperature and Enjoy!

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