Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Cinnamon Whatnots

I recently co-hosted our book club. We read The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. We tried to re-create some of the look and foods from the circus. I had fun creating these Whatnots from the brief description given.

"Have you tried the cinnamon things?" Poppet asks. "They're rather new. What are they called, Widge?"
"Fantastically delicious cinnamon things?" Widge says, shrugging. "I don't think all of the new things have names yet."
"I haven't, but they sound good," Bailey says.
"They are good," Widget says. "Layers of pastry and cinnamon and sugar all rolled into a twist and covered in icing."           
(The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, pg. 195)

Cinnamon Whatnots

1 package (2 sheet) puff pastry, thawed (usually found in the frozen desserts section)
2 tsp cinnamon
8 tsp sugar
melted or spray butter, optional

Icing (this icing is also perfect for regular cinnamon rolls!)
2 oz cream cheese
4 Tbsp butter or margarine
2 Tbsp milk
1/4 tsp orange extract*
1/4 tsp almond extract*
1 1/2 c powdered sugar
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 400'F and line baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small bowl, mix cinnamon and sugar together. If you have an empty salt shaker to put the cinnamon-sugar mix in, it makes the next step super fast.

Unfold and roll one sheet of the puff pastry into a large rectangle about 1/8" thick. (Spread butter over, if desired, but it works just fine without.) Sprinkle half of the cinnamon-sugar mixture evenly over the rolled pastry.

Using a pizza cutter, slice the rectangle in half lengthwise, then slice into 1-inch strips. Twist each strip a couple of time and place on the cookie sheet. You may have to mash down the ends a little to get them to stay.

Bake at 400'F approximately 7 minutes or until puffed and golden. Move to wire racks to cool. Repeat with the other sheet of pastry.

Icing: Cream butter and cream cheese together. Mix in milk and flavorings. (*You can exchange 1/2 tsp vanilla for the orange/almond extract if you prefer.) Add salt and powdered sugar and mix until smooth.

Spoon into a resealable ziplock bag, clip a small corner off the bag and pipe icing onto the whatnots.
Yield: about 36


Gabby said...


The book club I go to is doing Night Circus this month -- I and a friend are hosting. Of course. Since it's just about my favorite book (just about).

Funny. I always thought of the cinnamon things as cinnamon rolls. I wonder when those were invented. But I think your take on it looks just as yummy!

Laney said...

WOW!! The recipe sounds good but the tented livingroom ia Amazing!!!!! I wish I could've seen the entire set up. The hallway sounded so pretty.

Becky said...

Wow! I'm with Laney on the amazing decor!

And now I have a new book to look for at the library :)