After meandering through Central’s halls long enough, any student has experienced it: the knee-wobbling, smile-inducing, nostalgia-bringing aromas wafting from the cooking hall, assaulting the senses. The sweet, homey scents can make any student stop, sniff, and smile before being shoved forward to keep the jungle-like hallways moving.
While only a handful of students actually get the pleasure of making and—as the others daydream of—eating the variety of foods made in class, these foods don’t have to be limited to cooking students alone. If you wondered what that Cinnabon smell was recently, wish granted. With the recipe Creative Cooking 2 students used, the steps to get these yummy treats are broken down. “For the more advanced cook or one who wants a challenge, this recipe from Creative Cooking 2 is what smelled so good in the hallways last week!” said Ms. Dawn Oler, cooking teacher.
1 pkg active dry yeast
¼ c. warm water
½ c. buttermilk
2 3/4 c. flour
¼ c. sugar
½ tsp. salt
¼ c. margarine softened
3 T. margarine or butter, softened
5 T. sugar or firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup powdered sugar
¼ c. margarine softened
1 T. milk
1. Dissolve yeast in warm water 110-120 degrees, let stand.
2. Measure 2 3/4 c. flour into glass bowl (this is the maximum amount of flour to be used for dough).
3. In large mixer bowl with flat beater bar, combine 1 1/4 cup flour (from flour measured), sugar and salt.
4. Add warm yeast/liquid mixture, buttermilk and softened margarine and egg to flour mixture. Blend at low speed until moistened; continue mixing another 2 minutes. Stir in additional 1 cup flour mix until dough pulls away from sides of bowl.
5. Change to dough hook, add remaining flour, and knead by machine for 5 minutes OR
6. On clean surface, knead in remaining 1/2 cup dough by hand until dough is smooth and elastic, approx. 3 -5 minutes.
7. Place dough in oiled bowl, cover with waxed paper and moist towel. Let rise in warm place until light and doubled in size, 45-60 minutes. Then continue below –OR- refrigerate dough overnight by placing in an oiled gallon sized plastic bag, leave room for dough to expand.
DAY 2 or after risen to double in bulk.
8. Cut parchment paper to fit 13×9 inch pan. Turn dough onto lightly oiled surface; roll dough into 12 x 9 inch rectangle, spread with softened margarine or butter.
9. In small bowl combine sugar and cinnamon, blend well, sprinkle over dough.
10. Starting at 12 inch side, roll up tightly, pressing edges to seal. Cut into 12 slices by using a thread to cut dough place in greased pan.
11. Cover, let rise in warm place until light and doubled in size, about 35-45 minutes -or- force rise by placing on top of preheating oven near air vent, placing clean towel over dough in pan and draping over vent. Rise 15 minutes.
12. Bake rolls at 375 degrees 20 minutes or until golden brown.
13. Immediately remove from pans, place on wire racks or paper plates.
14. In small bowl blend powdered sugar and milk until drizzling consistency. Drizzle over warm rolls. Serve warm. Yield 12 rolls.
And voila, cinnamon rolls.
For the more cooking-impaired and for those who want to stick to an easier dish, tomatillo salsa is a good option. “It is part of our vegetables unit and is very healthy,” Oler said.
The ingredients consist of a pound of tomatillos and three Serrano chilies, roughly chopped, ¾ of a cup of fresh cilantro leaves, two tablespoons of lime juice, and a teaspoon for sugar and salt. The instructions are also pretty straight-forward: simply remove the tomatillo husks, wash the produce, cut and seed—keep the seeds for an extra spice—the chilies while using gloves, puree in a blender, and refrigerate overnight.
And fortunately, this tasty dip has other benefits besides avoiding the stove and oven and making any bag of bland tortilla chips instantly flavorful. “It is also gluten free and introduces students to tomatillos while working on the knife skills,” Oler said.
Trying these cooking inspirations out at home can give you that immediate satisfaction afterwards of being able to take a huge bite right after cooking. And, of course, the benefit of that sweet, all-natural air freshener comes even sooner. That’s an even simpler recipe: just stop, sniff, and smile. Bon appétit.