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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Thursday, August 18

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Recipe Thu Sep 24 2015

The Perfect Autumn Dessert: Cinnamon Rolls

rsz_cinnamon_rolls_drizzled_with_glaze_3_april_2009.jpgCinnamon rolls are truly the ugliest desserts. A tray of these pastries resembles baked pig flesh matted with dark sand, covered with the gonadular remnants.

But damn, are they a delicious thing. In the spirit of autumn, I tried my hand at these pastries, and while I wasn't completely successful from an aesthetic standpoint, I'd reckon they were tasty enough to earn me a stand at a farmer's market.

-3/4 cup milk
-1/4 cup margarine, softened
-3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
-1 (.25 ounce) package instant yeast
-1/4 cup white sugar
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/4 cup water
-1 large egg
-1 cup brown sugar, packed
-1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
-1/2 cup butter, softened

1. Scald milk until it bubbles, then mix in butter. Let mixture cool. (Don't skip this step like me--scalding the milk will help the yeast rise later.)
2. Combine 2 1/4 cup flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a mixer. Add water, egg, and the milk mixture from Step 1. Mix until well-combined.
3.Slowly add the remaining flour, making sure you don't dump it in all at once. Knead until dough is springy and smooth, about five minutes.
4. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let rise for about 30 minutes.
5. In the meantime, mix brown sugar, cinnamon, and softened butter.
6. Pat down dough, and using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 12 x 10 inch rectangle.
7. Spread dough with butter and sugar mixture from Step 5. (It will seem like a lot of butter and sugar, but don't' listen to your shrieking arteries. Keep going. Persevere.) You can also add in chocolate chips, raisins, or nuts onto the dough.
8. Roll up the dough starting from the long-edge, then pinched the ends to seal the log. Cut into 12-14 equal-sized rolls.
9. Lay out your rolls (cut-side up, so you can see those fantastic swirls) in a larger rectangular pan, spacing them about an inch apart so they can rise.
10. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30-60 minutes.
11. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
12. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, until browned.
13. Jump in joy if they look even slightly amazing.

rsz_img_0358.jpgSince these rolls haven't yet surpassed the daily recommended level of sugar, do drizzle your buns with additional frosting:

-3 tablespoons softened butter
-2 cups powdered sugar
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-A splash of rum (or in my case, a prolonged pour)

Mix everything until your frosting is thick. Add milk to dilute if necessary. You can also top your creation with lemon or orange zest.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

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