Rafu Craft Editor

Ahh . . . the aroma of cinnamon and sugar! Who can resist that fragrance and the thought of enjoying a cinnamon roll fresh from the oven?

Exactly my thought when this recipe caught my attention. I love homemade cookies and when it sounds easy enough with basic ingredients in my kitchen, I’m there.

Tempting, we were impressed with the flakiness and texture of this cookie that is so like the real deal, but not.

Make this batch in advance! It’s a refrigerator cookie, so you can prep the dough today, then pull it from the freezer to bake when you’re ready to please your palate or share with your BFF.

Credit the Sweet Pea’s Kitchen blog, adapted from “King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion,” and my tweaks. Count on this recipe to make more than two dozen.

Cinnamon Roll Cookies

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1-1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 lg egg white
1 T water

1/4 cup powdered sugar
1-2 tsp milk

1) In a mixer bowl, cream butter, add sugar, salt and vanilla. Add flour, mix on low until dough starts to come together.
2) Transfer dough to a piece of parchment paper marked out to a 9×12″ rectangle. Using a second paper placed atop dough, roll to size. Whisk egg white and water until foamy, brush completely on surface of rolled dough.
3) In small bowl, mix sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle evenly over dough. Starting with long end, roll dough into a log, sealing edge with egg white. Wrap in plastic wrap, freeze until firm.
4) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
5) Remove dough from freezer, unwrap. Using a sharp knife, gently cut into 1/4 to 3/8 inch slices. Place on baking sheets.
6) Bake 12 to 15 minutes until a light golden brown. Remove and cool on wire racks.
7) For icing, mix powdered sugar and milk until smooth and desired consistency. Drizzle over cooled cookies.

Pack those cookies up for a road trip this weekend. A bunch of our SoCal artisans are off to San Jose to participate in Japantown’s 35th annual Nikkei Matsuri cultural arts festival.

What goes “don kara don don kara don don don . . . “?

The beating of the drums! Get there bright and early to hear the roars of San Jose Taiko as they kick off this one-day Sunday celebration.

Kristi Yamaguchi, Olympic figure skater, will be on hand to personally sign her latest book, “It’s A Big World, Little Pig,” from noon to 1:30 p.m. Her message to young readers via Poppy the pig is that “it takes only a smile to start a friendship.”

Chow down on the usual suspects of teri-burgers and chicken, tempura, yakisoba, fried ika—and try a Nikkei Dog, a JA version of the haute dog.

Fanciful sushi soaps from Nancy Funk of Emeryville will be the conversation piece when guests take a break. (Photos courtesy of N. Funk Ceramics)

Then hit the pavement on Fifth and Jackson with recycle bags in hand to shop at the farmer’s market and Asian arts and crafts booths. Clay artist Nancy Funk’s whimsical sculptural objects are not to be missed.

Amazingly UNreal glycerine soaps look like sushi, sumo, koi, maneki neko and dragons. First sculpted from clay, she prepares silicone rubber molds for the soap casting process. Think gifts — Mom, Dad, grad!

With a hand fetish offset by an intriguing sense of humor, it’s reason enough why her own hands have become decorative, functional design elements for ceramic bathroom fixtures, office accessories, bud vases, even salt and pepper shakers.

On most days, Funk spends time at her Berkeley studio along with her partner, sculptor Richard Vertz. This is where it all began in 1976. Currently, she teaches art and ceramics at a local middle school.

“In the next five years, I will still be traveling and designing objects, possibly adding glass to my materials list. I can’t imagine leaving the creative pleasure of studio life,” she said.

A brilliant green dragon sculpted soap on a ceramic dish looks way too cool to be practical!

Sunday, April 29, 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
Nikkei Matsuri
5th & Jackson, San Jose
(408) 241-0900, Warren Hayashi

Sunday, May 6, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
A Time for Sharing Spring Boutique
Elks Lodge
1735 W. 162nd St., Gardena
(310) 329-5874, Stephanie Nakayama

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