McDonald’s Cinnamon Melts
1 package active dry yeast (¼ ounce) 1/3 cup margarine, melted
½ cup warm water (105 to 110 degrees F.) 2 eggs
½ cup granulated sugar 1 teaspoon salt
½ cup whole milk 4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup packed dark brown sugar 2/3 cup margarine, melted
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
¼ cup (½ stick) margarine, softened 1 tablespoon whole milk
½ cup (4 ounces) cream cheese, softened ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups powdered sugar
-To make the dough, dissolve the yeast in the warm water in a small bowl or measuring cup and let it sit for 5 minutes.
Use an electric mixer to combine the sugar with the milk and melted margarine in a large bowl. Mix in the eggs and salt. Mix in 1 cup of the flour. When the flour is combined, mix in 1 more cup of flour. --Mix in the yeast solution, and then stir in the remaining 2 cups of flour with a wooden spoon. Use your hands to form the dough into a ball, and then put the dough back into the bowl, cover it, and store it in a warm place for about 1 ½ hours.
-Mix the filling ingredients together in a medium bowl, and then cover it until needed.
-Roll the dough out on a floured surface until about ½ inch thick. Use a pizza slicer to slice the dough into approximately ½ -inch wide strips, and then slice those strips into 3/4 -inch- to 1-inch-long chunks of dough.
-Use softened margarine to grease the cups of two large (Texas-size) 6-cup muffin tins. Drop 6 chunks of dough into the bottom of each cup. Spoon 1 to 1 ½ teaspoons of cinnamon filling over the dough. Drop 7 more pieces of dough onto the filling in each cup, and then spoon 2 teaspoons of filling over the top of the dough. Cover the muffin tin with plastic wrap and let the dough sit in a warm spot for 30 minutes so that it rises a little more.
-Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
-Bake the cinnamon melts for 17 to 20 minutes, or until the dough turns light brown.
-As the cinnamon melts cool, make the icing by mixing the margarine and cream cheese together with an electric mixer on high speed. Add the powdered sugar and mix slowly until all of the powdered sugar is incorporated. Add the milk and vanilla, then mix again on high speed until smooth and fluffy.
-Spoon about 1 tablespoon of icing over the top of each cinnamon melt. Serve right away, or cool completely, then cover the melts with plastic and freeze. To prepare a frozen melt, remove one from the pan and microwave it on high for 35 to 45 seconds, or until warm.
McDonald’s Vanilla Iced Coffee
¼ cup Torani vanilla syrup 1 cup cold coffee
¼ cup half-and-half
-Fill a 16-ounce cup with ice.
-Pour the vanilla syrup over the ice, followed by the half-and-half and cold coffee. Serve with a straw.
-Makes one 16-ounce serving.
-You can find Torani vanilla syrup in many grocery stores near the coffee, or at well-stocked liquor and bar supply stores.
Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bar
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) butter, softened ½ teaspoon salt
1 ¼ cups packed light brown sugar 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
3 eggs ½ teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons minced crystallized ginger 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
¾ cup chopped sweetened dried cranberries
4 ounces white chocolate, cut into chunks
4-ounces cream cheese, softened 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar 4 teaspoons lemon juice
¼ cup chopped sweetened dried cranberries
½ cup powdered sugar 2 teaspoons vegetable shortening
1 tablespoon milk
-Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
-Make cake by beating the butter and brown sugar together with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the eggs, ginger, vanilla, and salt and beat well. Gradually mix in the flour and baking powder until smooth. Mix the chopped dried cranberries and white chocolate chunks into the batter by hand. Pour the batter into a buttered 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Use a spatula to spread the batter evenly across the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the cake is lightly browned on top. Allow the cake to cool.
-Make the frosting by combining the softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. When the cake has cooled, use a spatula to spread the frosting over the top of the cake.
-Sprinkle 1/4 cup of chopped dried cranberries over the frosting on the cake.\
-Make the drizzled icing by whisking together powdered sugar, milk, and shortening. Drizzle this icing over the cranberries in a sweeping motion with a squirt bottle or fill a small plastic storage bag with the icing and cut off the tip of one corner.
-Cover the cake and let it chill out in the fridge for a couple hours, then slice the cake lengthwise (the long way) through the middle. Slice the cake across the width three times, making a total of eight rectangular slices. Slice each of those rectangles diagonally creating 16 triangular slices.
-Makes 16 bars.