Cinnamon Crunch Cookies

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There is a mythical, magical place called Panera, home to flaky chocolate croissants, steaming hot, rich bread bowls of clam chowder, and the most amazing bagels in the world: Cinnamon Crunch Bagels.

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What is a Cinnamon Crunch Bagel? I’m almost inclined to say that this deliciousness cannot be so easily defined. But, I suppose I would describe it as bagel with crunchy cinnamon topping, hidden pockets of sweet cinnamon goodness, and a perfect melding with cream cheese. Yeah, I’ve eaten a lot of these bagels.

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Since leaving Kansas, though (with a Panera 5 minutes away from my high school!), I’ve barely glimpsed, let alone eaten at a Panera. So when I learned of a Panera close to my Dallas abode, I raced there in a tizzy. Okay, actually, that is a complete exaggeration. I went last night for dinner, which was a terrible mistake….because I felt the need to eat dinner food, aka NOT bagels. Continue reading

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Baked Pumpkin Donut Holes with Pumpkin Glaze or Cinnamon Sugar

My love of fried dough started with a church and a box of Dunkin’ Donuts. When I was younger, I would always drop by my parent’s Sunday school class before heading to my own. Of course, as a dutiful daughter, I wanted to say goodbye to my parents. As a bonus, I also managed to nab a donut out of the boxes of Dunkin’ Donuts virtually guaranteed to be sitting on the back table.

I don’t know why we never had Dunkin’ in my second grade Sunday school (perhaps something about children and massive amounts of sugar?). I guess it doesn’t matter, because I was lucky enough to find another pathway to donut bliss.

But although I had access to plenty of donut flavors, none enticed me so much as the Chocolate Kreme Filled Donut: A powdered sugar donut filled to the brim with delicious chocolate creme (actually, filled past the brim – look at the little rosettes on each donut due to too much filling ahhhhhh). Hang on, let me wipe the drool from my keyboard.  Sorry. But I have not eaten one for years.

Unfortunately, the Dunkin’ in my town closed down, which I despair over to this day (A little courtesy notice, please? I would’ve pitched in my allowance!). The years between the closing of Dunkin’ and my leaving for college were filled with the opening of Krispy Kreme (fine, their glazed donuts are friggin’ delicious just out of the fryer, but do people really need to line up at 3am for the opening?!) and LaMar’s (chocolate glazed is pretty dec).

When I got to college in Houston, though, I found Shipley’s. Ohhhh Shipley’s. Did you know that the one on Kirby used to open at like…5am (before they closed down…like all the great donut shops of my life)?? And that the one on Richmond is open until 10pm? I did.

Unfortunately, upon being tossed from that great blanket of security and fun known as college, I have yet to find a donut love in Dallas. Probably because I am still too traumatized from the Dunkin’ Debacle of 1999. So when I started seeing a plethora of donut recipes pop up (check out this ridiculous milkshake), I knew it was time to make some of my own. And, I found this amazing baked recipe! Plus I replaced almost half the oil with applesauce. So. healthy. Also, I tried out two different topping options. Because when is one (donut) ever enough? Enjoy! Continue reading