The Unofficial Disney Parks Cookbook Review
2020 has undoubtedly been a rough year for us all with the COVID-19 pandemic. This has especially been true for the amusement park industry, with parks across the country shuttering their doors for months, and Disneyland Resort in California having yet to reopen to this day. With Christmas less than a week away, we’d like to give our readers something to help brighten up their holiday season.
Coaster101 was presented with the opportunity to review The Unofficial Disney Parks Cookbook by Ashley Craft. Being a Disney family, I welcomed the opportunity to try out some of the book’s recipes with my son, Bam. I’ll be sharing my experiences with a few of the recipes. The author has also encouraged us to share a few of the recipes with our readers, so be sure to check them out below! With many people not being able to make it to the parks this year, the Unofficial Disney Parks Cookbook serves as the perfect means to give kids and kids at heart a way to bring a bit of that Walt Disney magic into their homes.
Below is an excerpt of the cookbook’s introduction by the author:
The Unofficial Disney Parks Cookbook offers one hundred easy recipes for the best of Disney’s magical cuisine. Whether you’ve been to the parks a hundred times and are craving your favorite Disney dishes, or you’re just looking for something Disney-inspired to make you feel like you’re on vacation, each recipe has been thoroughly tested to ensure a taste worthy of a certain mouse. The recipes are also organized based on the Disney Park where each one is featured, beginning with the first park to open, Disneyland, and ending with the newest park, Disney California Adventure.
The book begins the first chapter with a brief history of the culinary experiences at each of the Disney parks. The next chapter follows up by going over the set of kitchen tools necessary for creating many of the delicious dishes. Many of these are kitchen essentials that you can find in most households, such as baking sheets, food coloring, and a blender and/or mixer. However, some of the recipes call for special tools such as an ice cream machine, a shaved ice maker, and even ramekins. Each recipe details the tools and ingredients needed, so readers can skim through the recipes to make sure they have the tools needed to make their favorite dishes.
My five-year-old son, Bam, is a huge Disney fan, so naturally I asked him which of the recipes we should try first. With his huge sweet tooth, he naturally went for the Mickey Sugar Cookies from Main Street U.S.A. at Magic Kingdom. I immediately put in an Amazon order for a set of Mickey cookie cutters (obviously an essential for anybody who aspires to be a Disney chef). Once they arrived, we were ready to dive in to trying out the recipe!
First, Bam made sure that I had all the ingredients we needed to bake the Mickey sugar cookies.
Next, Bam read out the instructions to me as I combined the ingredients for the dough. This also finally gave me a chance to try out the dough blade and mixing bowl options for my Ninja Mega Kitchen system.
Here, Bam shows off his skills using the Mickey cookie cutters. He made sure we had a variety of cookie sizes.
Here are the unbaked cookies before putting them in the oven. Bam is clearly very proud of his work. My wife is also standing outside of the picture sneaking a taste of some of the cookie dough. She gave her approval, so they were ready to go!
Finally, here is our final product. Not bad, if I do say so myself, but I’m sure many of you aspiring chefs at home will put us to shame.
Next, I wanted to try a recipe that could be done relatively quickly. I ended up going with the haystacks, which are typically found at Zuri’s Sweets Shop in the Africa section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. This recipe only took a bit more than 30 mins to prepare, with no baking involved.
Here’s the final product. Bam is reluctant to try new things, but after drizzling some chocolate syrup on a haystack for him, he couldn’t resist. Another success!
I’d recommend The Unofficial Disney Parks Cookbook to any Disney fans or any foodies in general. The cookbook is currently available at retailers in both digital and print formats. If you’re still undecided on whether or not to buy this, here are three of the cookbook recipes, as promised!
Adventureland, Magic Kingdom
Dole Whip is arguably the number one cult-classic favorite treat of all time at Disney Parks. This fruity-sweet snack began in Hawaii on the Dole Plantation, where parched tourists got to sample the sorbet after a walk around the pineapple bushes. Promoted alongside Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, guests can buy the treat in line for the show and eat it while listening to the “birds sing words and the flowers croon!”
1 cup room-temperature water
1 1⁄2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups chilled pineapple juice
1 tablespoon lime juice
- In a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine water and sugar. Microwave 1 minute, stir, then microwave 1 more minute and stir to create a syrup. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
- Pour pineapple juice into ice cream machine and add 1⁄2 cup chilled syrup. Add lime juice. Follow ice cream machine instructions and run about 20 minutes.
- Serve immediately or transfer to a large plastic container, cover, and freeze overnight for a harder consistency.
DID YOU KNOW?
The “real” Dole Whip at Disneyland is prepared with a premade powder and water mixture. This recipe can be made at home without purchasing the mix and tastes just like the original!
Cookies and Cream Mickey Cupcakes
Main Street, U.S.A., Disneyland
Candy Palace on Main Street, U.S.A., was renovated in 2012 and given a very sweet interior. Many of the features are meant to look edible, such as the chandelier that seems to be dripping ice cream, and the exit sign shaped as a wrapped candy. And among its actually edible creations are delectable, supersweet Cookies and Cream Mickey Cupcakes. Topped with the iconic mouse ears, these popular treats are easy to whip up and sure to please.
YIELDS 24 CUPCAKES
3 tablespoons salted butter, softened
1 1⁄2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1⁄3 cups all-purpose flour
1⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
3⁄4 cup cocoa powder
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
- To make Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two standard muffin tins with cupcake liners and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, add butter and sugar. Using the flat beater attachment, cream together well. Add eggs and vanilla. While mixer is running, add flour, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder, and salt; continue mixing until well combined. Add milk slowly.
- Scoop batter into prepared muffin tins, filling cups just above halfway.
- Bake 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely, about 1 hour, before frosting.
1⁄2 cup salted butter, softened
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons heavy cream
10 chocolate sandwich cookies, crushed
48 mini chocolate sandwich cookies, whole
- To make Frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer, add butter, confectioners’ sugar, cream cheese, and heavy cream. Using the flat beater attachment, whip until light and fluffy. Add crushed cookies and mix until combined.
- Scoop frosting into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip. Swirl a generous amount of frosting on each cupcake, creating a pointed mound. Stand a mini sandwich cookie upright on either side of pointed mount to create Mickey Mouse ears.
MIX IT UP
Frosting swirls are adorable, but if you prefer less frosting on your cupcakes, you can just use a knife to spread a thinner layer of frosting on top of the cupcakes—enough to push in the mouse ears.
Although baklava is served in the Morocco pavilion at Epcot, its roots come from Turkey. In fact, baklava, the ancestor of streusel, migrated to Hungary in the sixteenth century. The Moroccan pavilion is known for its authenticity as it was the only Epcot pavilion to have that country’s government assist in the design. This crispy, gooey, nutty pastry will transport you to the Moroccan pavilion time and again!
3⁄4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 1⁄2 cups whole shelled walnuts
1⁄2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
15 sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed
1⁄2 cup salted butter, melted
1 cup granulated sugar
1⁄2 cup room-temperature water
1⁄4 cup amber honey
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- In a food processor, combine confectioners’ sugar, walnuts, and cinnamon. Process until consistency is like pebbles. Set aside.
- Lay down one sheet of phyllo dough on a clean surface. Brush entire surface of dough with butter. Lay down a second sheet of dough on top of first sheet. Brush entire surface with butter. Lay down a third sheet of dough on top of second sheet. Brush entire surface with butter.
- Sprinkle about one-fifth walnut filling over dough. Roll the dough layers up like a tight jelly-roll and place in an ungreased 9″ × 13″ baking pan. Repeat layering, brushing, and rolling with remaining dough and filling until you have five rolls. Drizzle any leftover butter on top of the rolls.
- Bake rolls until golden brown on top, about 25 minutes.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine granulated sugar and water. Bring to a boil. Allow to boil 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and stir in honey.
- Pour honey mixture over still-hot dough rolls. Allow to set at room temperature at least 1 hour.
- Remove rolls from pan one at a time and slice each roll into three pieces on a diagonal. Baklava will keep up to 3 days when covered tightly and stored in the refrigerator.
Introduction and recipes excerpted from The Unofficial Disney Parks Cookbook by Ashley Craft. Copyright © 2020 by Simon & Schuster, Inc. Photography by Harper Point Photography. Used with permission of the publisher, Adams Media, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. All rights reserved.