Mexican Chocolate Chocolate Cupcakes

Sorry for not writing something sooner. I don’t know how many people actually visit to check for updates versus subscribing/following the blog. I don’t get a ton of comments, so it’s tough to tell. In any case, I’m back with something a little different. Shout out to my co-worker May who I was talking to about some other thing and led me to this idea. This will span two posts, as I will post the frosting separately. This recipe is stolen from My Baking Addiction’s – Chocolate Chocolate Cupcakes only I passed on the chocolate frosting and decided to go with an horchata frosting instead. The idea stemmed from a summer party I had last year when I made my Mexican chocolate chunk cookies and horchata ice cream. That was a huge hit and when I was thinking of something to bake this week and I thought of Mexican chocolate chocolate cupcakes, but got stuck with what to top them with. I first thought of marshmallow icing, but that’s not how hot chocolate is drank south of the border. I sat on the idea for a day before I wondered if horchata icing existed. Turns out someone created it, so off I went to the store to pick up the necessary ingredients, namely horchata, but at the store I decided to just go ahead and make my own. Anyway, that’s the other recipe which you will find here: Horchata Icing.

Mexican chocolate chocolate cupcakes with horchata icing

Ok, without anymore unnecessary here’s a recipe that I hope you will enjoy: Mexican chocolate chocolate cupcakes.

MEXICAN CHOCOLATE CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES

Makes about 2 dozen cupcakes

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 cup of oil or 1/2 cup of applesauce 1/2 cup of oil
  • 2 cups of hot water
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (4 pucks) of Mexican chocolate broken up (See here how to do so)

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

2. Combine all ingredients into large mixing bowl and mix well.

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3. Fill cupcake cups 2/3 of the way with batter. The easiest way to do this evenly  is to scoop from the bottom where the chocolate chunks are and then a little from the top, so that you don’t get a dozen chocolate cupcakes and another dozen with chocolate chunks and not much else.

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4. Bake for 10-15 minutes or something like that, you know the drill, shove a toothpick inside and when it comes out clean they’re ready. Allow to cool before frosting.

Mexican chocolate chocolate cupcakes

5. Eat’em up!

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I ran into a couple of issues with these cupcakes, but I’m not sure which step is at fault, maybe someone out there with more experience could tell me. My cake stuck to the paper more than usual. I’m not sure if it was the Mexican chocolate, the half cup of oil, the cheap baking cups, or even a combination of all of those or none of those.

Mexican chocolate chocolate cupcakes with horchata icing

In any case, I hope you enjoy them with the horchata icing as I would recommend, but do with them what you will. They’re probably pretty good without icing, I wouldn’t know, but I’ll let you tell me below. Until next time, I stole the baking.

Fat Elvis Cookies or Banana & Peanut Butter Chip Cookies With Bacon Bits

I thought I had come up with this concept all on my own a couple of weeks ago, I hadn’t looked into it until yesterday, but I did not see this combination, so this is completely original and true to the King himself. A cookie comprised of mashed banana, peanut butter chips (which for some reason I invariably end up calling peanut butter chocolate chips, which does exist and is a swirly version of chocolate and peanut butter chips), and bacon bits. 20130121_190154[1]

I wouldn’t consider myself an Elvis fan, nor have I ever tried his signature peanut butter, banana, and bacon between two pieces of bread, which is then fried a la a grilled cheese sammy. So, the fact that this cookie even occurred to me is a little weird, but the truth is that these cookies are very nummy and if you tried them it would probably be a safe assumption that you’d grab more than one.

Enough about the origins of the idea that led to this cookie and on to the recipe itself, this stolen recipe comes from How Sweet It Is, which is ‘adapted’ from the recipe of someone else, which is pretty much how all blogs work at this point, right? Here’s what you’re going to need:

Fat Elvis Cookies

  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 8 tablespoons of butter, melted (1/2 cup or 1 stick of butter) then cooled
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 ripened bananas, mashed (Note: I didn’t use the ones pictured above, my were very ripe)
  • 1 2/3 cups of Peanut Butter chips (1 bag of Reese’s peanut butter chips)
  • 1/2 cup of bacon bits

1. Melt your butter in the microwave, then place in the refrigerator to cool.

2. Mash bananas.

3. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

4. Mix flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.

5. In another bowl, mix cooled butter and sugars until combined.

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6. Add vanilla extract and egg and mix thoroughly.

7. Add in mashed bananas and continue to mix.

8. Slowly add in flour mixture.

9. Fold in peanut butter chips and bacon bits.

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10. Spoon onto cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, until edges are brown.

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11. Eat up, but try not to eat them all lest you turn into a Fat Elvis, and I’m not talking about the cookies.

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So, aesthetically I don’t necessarily find these cookies visually appealing. The cookie and the peanut butter chips all blend in and mine didn’t look as great as they tasted. The cookies were delicious, though, so who cares. For a little bit of color and variation I added in a little bit of chocolate chips to the final batch:

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All in all, I’d call this recipe a success, but if I think a couple of minor tweaks are probably in order, notably I might have put too much banana, I used half a banana more than called for. The flour might have been a little less than needed because of this and the dough wasn’t very firm because of this, also because I didn’t use peanut butter in the dough as was called for in the original recipe. If I perfect this I’ll make adjustments and edit the recipe, or if you’ve got an idea to make this better, I am all ears. Just drop a comment below. Until next time, I stole this baking, and it was worth the calories.

Peanut Butter Cookies With Chocolate Chips (And Nutella)

I got it in my head a couple of days ago that I really wanted some peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips like the kind you find at Mrs. Fields, so I decided to try my hand at them. Then I looked at some recipes and decided against that and went with peanut butter and oatmeal with chocolate chips, but as I am prone to do I had to step it up for something a little different, so I substituted a bit of the peanut butter with Nutella (or rather the JIF equivalent, it’s just easier to say Nutella than hazelnut spread especially when your title is already long enough) and the cookies came out pretty good. Dare I say delicious. Definitely a nice little twist on a classic. Next time, I’ve got to figure out what to do with that almond butter sitting in the fridge.

Anyway, this recipe comes from AllRecipes.com and is by user ‘RUGGLES’, the reason I chose it is because it has over 200 user reviews and currently maintains a 4.5 star rating. Plus, they just looked good in their picture. So, off I went into the pantry and gathered up my ingredients and got to baking.

Peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies (and nutella)(Sorry for the unfocused image, it’s nearly midnight, forgive me.)

Okay, so here’s what you’re going to need and what you’re going to need to do to make you some delicious cookies:

Peanut Butter Cookies With Chocolate Chips (and Nutella or Hazelnut Spread)

  • 1/2 cup of butter, softened (or butter flavored shortening)
  • 3/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of white sugar (original calls for 3/4, I think they’re sweet enough once everything else is thrown in)
  • 2/3 cup of peanut butter (I prefer chunky/crunchy for texture, but these were made with the creamy variety)
  • 1/4 cup of Nutella or hazelnut spread
  • 1 egg (2 if they’re on the small side)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of all purpose flour (or 3/4 cup all-purpose flour plus 1/4 cup of wheat flour. I went with the single cup, not as wholesome, but still tasty)
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of rolled oats (this is not the same as quick oats, this is usually sold in the organic section of your grocer, or at least that’s where I find it, it isn’t next to the oatmeal stuff)
  • 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

2. Cream your butter and sugars. Add in your peanut butter and continue mixing.

3. Beat in your egg and vanilla extract.

4. In a small bowl combine flour(s), baking soda, and salt. Add into butter mixture and keep on mixing.

5. Now mix in rolled oats and chocolate chips.

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6. Drop your cookies onto a cookie sheet, flatten them some, (which I did not do in the picture below) and toss’em into the oven for about 8-10 minutes.IMG_0006

Depending on your taste in a peanut butter cookie you’ll want to adjust the baking time. If you like them a little crispy leave them longer, if you like them chewy undercook them, they will continue to cook as they cool. Also, keep in mind that you may want to remove them from the cookie sheet as soon as possible so that they do not burn or overcook.

Peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies (and nutella)

Look at those cookies. Probably should’ve been flattened a little more, but doesn’t matter because they were, as we say in Northern California, ‘Hella good!’ The hazelnut spread really gave it a different twist and you can taste it. I think you’ll like them if you try them. Give them a go and let me know what you think. Until next time, I stole this baking and made it my own.

Pumpkin Brownies With Pecans and Chocolate Chips

Forgive me once again, I’ve not updated in a couple of weeks, but I’m doing what I can. I’ve been fighting off a cold for a week or so and no one wants anything you’ve cooked when you’ve been coughing all over it. People are weird like that, who knew? Anyway, it’s Pumpkin Brownies this week, just in time for National Brownie Day, which is December 8th.

pumpkin pecan brownies

This recipe came from AllRecipes.com, by one CroqueMadame and it’s pretty much a straight reproduction this time. But do what you want, that’s the cool part about baking, substitute what you’ve got on hand if it works great, if it doesn’t, well that’s another story. I’m sure we’ve all got some half-baked failures hiding in our pantry. Hopefully, you dig what I’m writing about.

Anyway, I’ll just get on with the recipe.

Pumpkin Brownies With Pecans and Chocolate Chips

  • 3/4 of a cup of flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 3/4 cup of butter, melted (I chose not to melt mine)
  • 1 1/4 cup of white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 of a cup of cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup of chocolate chips your choice (I went with the mini semi-sweet variety)
  • 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree (I used the canned variety)
  • 1/2 cup of chopped pecans (I put mine in a tablespoon or so of butter, tossed it into a ramekin and put it into the oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes) *The original recipe calls for walnuts, but as I’ve stated a few times the lady of the house is allergic, so this is my go to variety of nuts. Pick walnuts if you prefer, whatever sails your boat.
  • 3/4 of a teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease up an 8 inch square pan, or maybe you have one of those fancy brownie pans that snakes around so that it’s all edges. You’re fancy. For the record, unless it’s a good brownie I’m not into the edges.

2. Combine your flour, baking powder and salt in a medium sized bowl. (You’ll use this later with half of the batter)

3. Using another bowl (or your stand mixer bowl) mix up your butter, vanilla and sugar. Beat those eggs in one at a time.

4. Add in flour mixture. Mix well. Divide your mixture in half. Place half into that bowl we dirtied in step two.

5. In one bowl drop in the chocolate chips and cocoa powder and stir well.

6. In the second bowl, stir in the pumpkin, cinnamon, ground cloves, and ground nutmeg.

7. Now, take half of the chocolatey batter and spread it on the bottom of the brownie pan.

8. Back to the other bowl, spread half of the pumpkin mixture over the chocolate.20121206_215931[1]

9. Back to the chocolate batter, spread on top of pumpkin batter.

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10. Last layer of pumpkin goes on top.

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11. Bake for 40-45 minutes or so, or until a toothpick, cake tester, or knife comes out clean.

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12. Enjoy your brownies! Contrary to what Will Ferrell’s Anchorman character Ron Burgundy said, milk is a good choice with brownies.

I’ve been wanting to try out some brownies for a little while and I picked up some pumpkin and I think this was a good use. A veritable win/win situation. The only real problem with brownies, especially if you plan to share is that they go really fast if they’re any good. You may want to consider making a pan for yourself and one to share with the friends and family.

That’s all I have for you for this recipe. Until next time, I stole this baking.

Oatmeal Pecan Cookies With White Chocolate Chips

This is the second part of the two oatmeal cookie recipes I posted today, the first one was the more creative one and involves chocolate covered pomegranate seeds, which you can find here. I’ve been away for a couple of weeks because of a number of reasons, so I’m back with two cookie recipes variations of the same basic recipe. I split the recipe in half at some point to make the two different batches of cookies, but what you will see is the entire recipe for a batch of roughly 24-30 cookies.

The basic recipe was taken from Sweet Pea’s Kitchen, which had a version with cranberries and white chocolate. (Sweet Pea’s recipe was adapted from a Bon Apetitrecipe, so we’re essentially playing the telephone game using recipes) This is the more straight forward recipe, though I tried to turn it on it’s head just a little bit by adding peanut butter, even though I’m not sure I could taste it that much.

In any case, I’ll get on with the recipe.

Oatmeal Pecan Cookies With White Chocolate Chips

Makes about two dozen cookies

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 of a teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 1/4 of a stick of unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of rolled oats or old-fashioned oats (I chose the former)
  • 1/3 of a cup of chopped pecans
  • 1/2 of a cup of white chocolate chips
  • Optional 1/2 cup of additional chocolate chips of your choice
  • Optional 1/2 cup of peanut butter

1. Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Ready two cookie sheets.

2. In a separate bowl mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

3. In a stand mixer cream the butter and sugars until smooth. Add vanilla and egg and mix up well.

4. Add oatmeal to creamed butter. Add flour mixture in two parts and mix well.IMG_0338

5. Add white chocolate chips and pecans along with optional chocolate chips. Mix it all up.

6. Scoop or spoon dough onto cookie sheets a couple of inches apart. Bake cookies one sheet at a time for 14-16 minutes each.

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7. Let cool for about five minutes and remove from cookie sheet to cool further. Enjoy with your favorite beverage that goes along with cookies, I’m a fan of the milk. (I heard The Milk is on tour right now opening for Pearl Jam…What?)Oatmeal Pecan Cookies With White Chocolate Chips

To be honest, I couldn’t really taste the peanut butter, but I know it was in there. Not sure if it was needed or not. I need to have another cookie or two before I decide. Winking smile  I was also out of plain chocolate chips to throw into the mixture because I got one cookie that didn’t have any white chocolate chips at all which I found oddly random.

So, there you have a couple of options for oatmeal cookies. Let me know which one you enjoyed more. As always thanks for reading and share this with your friends. Do what you gotta do to come back with the whole following deal, bookmark, subscribe to the email, blah, blah, blah. See you next time.

Oatmeal Pecan Cookies With Dark Chocolate Covered Pomegranate Seeds

Okay, what kind of cookies? I’ve been away for a couple of weeks because of a number of reasons, so I’m back with two cookie recipes variations of the same basic recipe. I split the recipe in half at some point to make the two different batches of cookies, but what you will see is the entire recipe for a batch of roughly 24-30 cookies.

The basic recipe was taken from Sweet Pea’s Kitchen, which had a version with cranberries and white chocolate. (Sweet Pea’s recipe was adapted from a Bon Apetit recipe, so we’re essentially playing the telephone game using recipes) Since I had this little package of dark chocolate covered pomegranate seeds hanging out in the pantry that I picked up from Trader Joe’s and I always like doing something a little different, I thought this would be perfect.

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Of course not knowing how they would taste or what would happen to a pomegranate seed when baked was a huge question mark, but I decided the risk would probably be worth the reward. Guess what? I think I was right, and so did the two ladies of the house.

By the way, if you’re interested in the other recipe for Oatmeal Pecan and White Chocolate Chip cookies just check out this post.

Anyway, on to the tasty goodness of the cookies…

Oatmeal Pecan With Dark Chocolate Covered Pomegranate Seed Cookies

Makes about two dozen cookies

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 of a teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 1/4 of a stick of unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of rolled oats or old-fashioned oats (I chose the former)
  • 1/3 of a cup of chopped pecans
  • 1/2 of a cup of dark chocolate covered pomegranate seeds (Alternately, you could  use pomegranate seeds and chocolate chips, if you do let me know how it works out for you)
  • Optional 1/2 cup of chocolate chips of your choice

1. Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Ready two cookie sheets.

2. In a separate bowl mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

3. In a stand mixer cream the butter and sugars until smooth. Add vanilla and egg and mix up well.

4. Add oatmeal to creamed butter. Add flour mixture in two parts and mix well.

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5. Add chocolate covered pomegranate seeds and pecans along with optional chocolate chips. Mix it all up.

6. Scoop or spoon dough onto cookie sheets a couple of inches apart. Bake cookies one sheet at a time for 14-16 minutes each.IMG_0341IMG_0343

7. Let cool for about five minutes and remove from cookie sheet to cool further. Enjoy with your favorite beverage that goes along with cookies, I’m a big milk fan.

Oatmeal Pecan & Dark Chocolate Covered Pomegranate Seed Cookies

Oatmeal Pecan & Dark Chocolate Covered Pomegranate Seed Cookies

So, give these cookies a go and I’d really be interested in what you think of them. If you like them let me know and if you don’t then maybe you’d prefer the other recipe instead? Or tell me what you’d do instead. Either way, I’m all ears.

Pecan Cinnamon Rolls (Pecanbons!)

Ok, first a story about why I didn’t try and do my usual update last week. Two days off, two kids, two different activities to pull me away from the kitchen. That’s pretty much the long and short of it really.

Now on the story behind the cinnamon rolls. (This will encompass a couple of days)…This past Friday I got a sudden craving for Cinnabon or at least cinnamon rolls. I might be pregnant, except that’s not humanly possible, the only thing I’m ‘pregnant’ with are, pardon the pun, half-baked ideas. So, Friday, I’m willing to stay up a little late to make cinnamon rolls, but I get home late from work, blah, blah, blah, and anyway, I can’t do it. Saturday rolls around (again, pardon the pun) and I happen across this recipe on Yahoo for cinnamon rolls as close to Cinnabon as it gets, by Devin Alexander. If that’s not a sign, I don’t know what is. So, I get home and begin working on some homemade Cinnabon, except to jazz it up I’m going to make the Pecanbon, which is just a cinnamon roll with pecans on top, maybe inside, I can’t remember it’s been so long since I last had one. Either way, this one I tried to follow close with the exception of throwing in some pecans. For the record, this is not a terribly difficult recipe to follow, but it’s a little time consuming with a couple of resting periods for the dough to rise, etc. So, without further ado, peep my homemade Pecanbons!:

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Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

 

Note: The original recipe calls for light/low-fat versions of whichever ingredients offer them in such variety, substitute as you see fit. (Or fat, hah!)

Cinnamon Roll Frosting:

  • 1 1/2 cups of confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar)
  • 3 tablespoons of Neufchâtel
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon fat-free milk
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

For the Cinnamon Rolls:

  • Butter flavored cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 cup fat-free milk
  • 1/3 of a cup sugar
  • 1/4 of a cup fat-free vanilla yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 packet of active dry yeast .25 ounces (one packet is 2 1/4 teaspoons, in case you’re not using the packets like myself)
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more if/as needed
  • 1 teaspoon, plus 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 3 tablespoons of corn syrup
  • 3 tablespoons of packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of chopped pecans (for added flavor, toast pecans with one tablespoon of butter at 350 degrees for 5-10 minutes)

1. Making the frosting – In your stand mixers bowl, combine sugar, Neufchâtel, milk, vanilla, and butter. Combine for about a minute, switch to high for about 30 seconds. Let it set for about 10 minutes then place in airtight container, can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Stir before serving.

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2. Making the cinnamon rolls – Use non-stick spray on mixing bowl. Set aside one tablespoon of butter. (Note: If you plan on letting the dough sit all night to double, skip the butter part)

3. In microwaveable bowl combine sugar, milk, and one tablespoon of butter. Microwave for two minutes, until milk heats to 130 degrees. Add yogurt and whisk until sugar dissolves. Add egg and egg white. Continue to whisk. Lastly, add yeast and keep whisking until dissolved.

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4. In your stand mixer bowl add two cups of flour, one teaspoon of cinnamon, and salt. Add milk mixture from step three above. With dough hook attached, mix on medium speed, add remaining flour and mix until dough is formed, roughly five minutes or so.

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Dough should be soft, but not sticky, so add small amounts of flour if needed. Then knead dough further. IMG_0324

Place dough in bowl from step two. IMG_0325

Cover with plastic wrap and allow dough to double in size. This should be an hour if not longer. I left mine overnight, so that I awoke to a dough that looked like this:

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5. Cinnamon filler – In another, small bowl, place corn syrup, brown sugar, remainder of cinnamon, and vanilla extract. Stir well.IMG_0326

6. Once dough has doubled in size, punch it down and place on lightly floured work area. Knead for a minute or so. Dust lightly with more flour. Cover again and let rest for 10 minutes.

7. Spray 11×17 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Roll out 12×18 inch dough into a rectangle using the baking dish as a size template. IMG_0328

8. Spread your softened butter over dough using knife/spreader/spatula. Drizzle the cinnamon filling over the dough and spread to outer edges. (If adding pecans, now is the time to put them in) Roll lengthwise into tube. Like so:

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9. Cut into eight equal size pieces. Try measuring first. Score dough to approximate the slices prior to cutting. Place rolls into baking dish, spiraled side up. Top with pecans.

10. Place in warm and dry spot, cover with damp kitchen (or paper) towel. Let rolls rise for another half hour.

11. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Once heated, place rolls in oven 22-28 minutes. Bake until lightly browned and doughy in the center.

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12. Remove cinnamon roll and spread frosting over top and sides. If cold, you can microwave for 10-15 seconds to melt frosting, if that’s how you like it.

13. Enjoy! I did.

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I’ll say this about the cinnamon rolls, they were tasty. They weren’t Cinnabon quality, but they were good. I think I’ve made better, but I’ll say this about the frosting: delicious. Previously, I’ve used the stuff in a can, but this I would definitely use going forward. The pecans were great, but buttered and toasted they would be so much better.

The only complaint I heard was about the density of the bread. It was pretty thick, not light and fluffy like the real Cinnabon. Either way, I think (and my daughter agrees) that they were pretty tasty. One last pseudo-complaint would be the artificial flavoring from the light/fat-free ingredients. If you’re one of those people who has the palate sensitive enough to taste them you may find them inside this recipe, so it’s give and take. Do you want the full flavor, calories and all or would you prefer to spare your waistline, but sacrifice a little flavor in the process? That’s the choice you need to make, but either way, make yourself some cinnamon rolls in the process, they’re delicious.