The Unofficial Disney Parks Cookbook: From Delicious Dole Whip to taste Mickey Pretzels, 100 Magical Disney-Inspired Recipes

Love the food served at the Disney Parks? While we can’t take home the rides or just the feeling of being there, we can cook some of the dishes that make eating there so enjoyable. For that we have Ashley Craft, author of The Unofficial Disney Parks Cookbook: From Delicious Dole Whip to taste Mickey Pretzels, 100 Magical Disney-Inspired Recipes to thank.

From the book: “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.

Ashley Craft from Ashleycrafted.

Craft grew up so close to Disney World that she fell asleep each night listening to the music coming from the park. She later worked there and about three years ago started her blog https://ashleycrafted.com/

Organized by parks, Craft’s recipes include dishes from Disneyland, Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney California Adventure. She opens each of her chapters with the park intro, the types of dishes you’ll find and a map so that you can actually located them.

A bestseller on both The Wall Street Journal Bestseller​ and USA TODAY Bestseller lists, the book is published by Adams Media ($14.99 Amazon price).

The following recipes are excerpted from The Unofficial Disney Parks Cookbook by Ashley Craft. Copyright © 2020 by Simon & Schuster, Inc. Used with permission of the publisher, Adams Media, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. All rights reserved.

Photography by Harper Point Photography.

Mickey Pretzels

Serves 4

1.5 cups warm water (110°F)

1 (1⁄4-ounce) envelope active dry yeast

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

1 teaspoon plus 2 tablespoons salt, divided

4 cups all-purpose flour

4 cups plus 1 tablespoon room-temperature water, divided

1⁄4 cup baking soda

1 large egg

4 teaspoons Kosher salt

‌In the bowl of a stand mixer, add warm water and sprinkle yeast on top. Let sit 10 minutes.

‌Add brown sugar and 1 teaspoon salt. Using the flat beater attachment, beat on low speed to combine. Mix in flour. Switch to dough hook attachment and knead 5 minutes. Dough should be smooth and elastic.

‌Remove dough and spray bowl with nonstick cooking spray. Return dough to bowl. Cover with a cloth and let rise in a warm place 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a large ungreased baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large pot over high heat, bring 4 cups water to a boil.

‌Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Cut dough into eight equal pieces. Working with one piece at a time, roll dough into a rough heart shape. Using a sharp knife, lightly score or scrape the Mickey shape into the dough. Once you’ve achieved your desired shape, cut all the way through the dough.

‌Add baking soda to pot of boiling water. Working with one Mickey at a time, use a big, flat spatula to carefully lift a dough Mickey into baking-soda bath, and poach 15 seconds. Remove to prepared baking sheet.

‌In a small bowl, mix together egg and remaining 1 tablespoon water. Brush onto Mickeys. Sprinkle remaining salt over pretzels.

‌Bake until deep golden brown, about 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

Photography by Harper Point Photography.

Gaston’s Giant Cinnamon Rolls

Fantasyland, Magic Kingdom

Disney Parks have sold cinnamon rolls for a long time—regular, boring-sized cinnamon rolls. But in 2012, they upped their cinnamon roll game when they introduced the Warm Cinnamon Roll to their line-up. It is about 8″ square in size and is smothered in frosting and butterscotch topping. It is perfectly made for the man who eats five dozen eggs each day—or your whole family!

SERVES 8

For Dough

3⁄4 cup salted butter, melted, divided

1 1⁄2 cups whole milk

6 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour, divided

2 (1⁄4-ounce) packets active dry yeast

1⁄2 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1⁄2 cup room-temperature water

2 large eggs

‌Grease a 9″×13″ pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.To make the Dough: In a medium bowl, combine 1⁄2 cup melted butter and milk.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add 2 1⁄2 cups flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. Add water, eggs, and butter mixture. Using the flat beater attachment, mix until well combined. Add remaining flour 1⁄2 cup at a time while mixing until Dough starts to form a ball.

‌Switch to the dough hook attachment and knead Dough on low speed 5 minutes.

‌Remove Dough from bowl, sprinkle some flour in bowl, and place Dough back in the same bowl. Let rise 10 minutes in a warm place.

For Filling

2 cups light brown sugar

2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

1 cup salted butter, softened

To make Filling: In a medium bowl, mix brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter together. Set aside.‌

Roll out Dough into a long rectangle, about 3′ × 2′. Spread Filling evenly across the whole surface of the Dough. Starting at short end, roll Dough like a jelly roll. Make a cut in the center of the roll, and then cut about 6″ from the center on either side to make 2 giant rolls.

Place both rolls swirl-edge down in prepared pan.

Drizzle remaining 1⁄4 cup melted butter over rolls. Allow rolls to rise at room temperature 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375˚F. Bake rolls 20 minutes, then cover loosely with foil and bake another 10 minutes.

For Cream Cheese Frosting

8 ounces cream cheese

1⁄4 cup salted butter, softened

2 cups confectioners’sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons heavy cream

‌To make Cream Cheese Frosting: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add cream cheese and butter. Combine and heat until melted, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in confectioners’ sugar. Add vanilla, cream, and salt. Stir, then set aside.

For Butterscotch Topping

1⁄2 cup light brown sugar

4 tablespoons salted butter, softened

1⁄2 cup heavy cream

1⁄4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To make Butterscotch Topping: In a separate medium saucepan over medium heat, add brown sugar, butter, and cream. Bring to a boil and boil 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Add salt and vanilla. Set aside.

‌To serve, place each giant roll on a large plate. Drizzle cream cheese frosting in one direction along each roll’s swirl, then drizzle with butterscotch in the other direction.

COOKING TIP

The dough leftover on either end of the giant rolls need not be wasted! Make cuts about 1–2 inches along the extra roll. Lay swirl-side down in a glass 9x 13baking dish greased with cooking spray and bake about 20 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.

Photography by Harper Point Photography.

Mangonada Smoothies

Hollywood Land, Disney California Adventure

This delicious and refreshing Mexican treat sure helps beat the heat on a California summer day. The mix of salty, spicy, and sweet is so satisfying. Actually, a recent study found that adding salt to a sweet treat helps release the sugar flavors and brings out even more of the sweetness!

SERVES 2

1⁄2 cup pineapple juice

1⁄2 cup guava juice

1 cup frozen mango chunks

1⁄2 cup frozen peach chunks

1 whole fresh banana, peeled

4 teaspoons chamoy sauce, divided

1⁄2 cup fresh chopped mango

1⁄2 teaspoon chili-lime seasoning

‌Combine pineapple juice, guava juice, frozen mango chunks, frozen peach chunks, and banana in a blender and blend until smooth.

‌Drizzle 1 teaspoon chamoy sauce each inside walls of 2 drinking glasses. Divide smoothie mixture into glasses, add 1⁄4 cup fresh mango to each cup, drizzle another 1 teaspoon chamoy sauce in each glass, and sprinkle 1⁄4 teaspoon chili-lime seasoning on each.

The Unofficial Disney Parks Cookbook is s one of nine in a series of unofficial cookbooks that includes The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook and The Unofficial Game of Thrones Cookbook, all published by Adams Media.

Best Cookbooks for Last Minute Holiday Giving

The Unofficial Disney Parks Cookbook: From Delicious Dole Whip to taste Mickey Pretzels, 100 Magical Disney-Inspired Recipes.

Ashley Craft

Adams Media $14.99 Amazon price

Mickey Pretzels

Serves 4

1⁄2 cup warm water (110°F)

1 (1⁄4-ounce) envelope active dry yeast

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

1 teaspoon plus 2 tablespoons salt, divided

4 cups all-purpose flour

4 cups plus 1 tablespoon room-temperature water, divided

1⁄4 cup baking soda

1 large egg

4 teaspoons Kosher salt

‌In the bowl of a stand mixer, add warm water and sprinkle yeast on top. Let sit 10 minutes.

‌Add brown sugar and 1 teaspoon salt. Using the flat beater attachment, beat on low speed to combine. Mix in flour. Switch to dough hook attachment and knead 5 minutes. Dough should be smooth and elastic.

‌Remove dough and spray bowl with nonstick cooking spray. Return dough to bowl. Cover with a cloth and let rise in a warm place 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a large ungreased baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large pot over high heat, bring 4 cups water to a boil.

‌Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Cut dough into eight equal pieces. Working with one piece at a time, roll dough into a rough heart shape. Using a sharp knife, lightly score or scrape the Mickey shape into the dough. Once you’ve achieved your desired shape, cut all the way through the dough.

‌Add baking soda to pot of boiling water. Working with one Mickey at a time, use a big, flat spatula to carefully lift a dough Mickey into baking-soda bath, and poach 15 seconds. Remove to prepared baking sheet.

‌In a small bowl, mix together egg and remaining 1 tablespoon water. Brush onto Mickeys. Sprinkle remaining salt over pretzels.

‌Bake until deep golden brown, about 10 minutes. Serve immediately.


The Nutella Ring from Pizza: History, recipes, stories, people, places, love. Photo by Dave Brown.

Pizza: History, recipes, stories, people, places, love

Thom Elliott & James Elliott

Quadrille Publishing $29.99

An amazing book totally about pizza from recipes for such stunning varieties like Mortadella & Pistachio pie to city guides on where to get the best pizza when in Rome, Naples, Paris, and Chicago as well as a chapter on great pizza pop cultural moments. And that’s just for starters.

The Nutella Ring

4 ½ ounces Neapolitan pizza dough (see recipe below)

1 ½ ounces ricotta

3 ½ ounces Nutella

Sea salt

Ice cream, to serve

Preheat your oven as hot as it will go.

Using your fingertips, stretch out the dough into a long rectangle about 35cm/14in long and 12cm/5in wide.

Using a spoon, spread the ricotta over the dough lengthways in a long line. Then spoon as much Nutella as you can onto the dough in a long line down the middle of the ricotta. Sprinkle with sea salt.

Fold the dough over itself lengthways so you have a long Nutella parcel, then, using a closed fist, hammer the long edge to ensure a really strong seal on the dough.

Bring the ends of the parcel around to create a ring (with the seam on the inside) and press the two ends of dough together, using your fist again to make a strong seal.

Bake until the ring has inflated, and the crust is golden. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Making Neapolitan Pizza Dough

Tip: Weigh out all your ingredients before you start.

35 ounces ‘00’ flour—the authors recommend Caputo ‘blue’ which can be purchased on Amazon or your can substitute semolina flour

⅔ teaspoon fresh yeast

 21 fluid ounces tepid water

1 ounce fine sea salt

Make a mountain of flour in the middle of the table. Using your fist, make a deep well in the middle of the flour, exposing the surface of the table (turning your mountain into a moon crater).

Crumble the yeast into the tepid water. Use your good hand to mash up the yeast in the water until it has dissolved. Fill your crater of flour with a third of the yeast/water mix. Using your fingertips, start making very small circular motions to combine the flour and water.

Start dragging in some more flour to the mix, by ‘undercutting’ the walls of the crater with your fingertips. As you do this the mixture in the middle will become thicker. Once it reaches the consistency of porridge you need to add a bit more water. Don’t let it get too thick; if it starts to form a dough too soon it becomes difficult to incorporate the rest of the water. Keep dragging in a little flour to thicken the mix, then pouring a little bit more water in to loosen it, until you have all the water used up.

Sprinkle the sea salt over the mixture while it’s still very wet to ensure it dissolves and disperses evenly throughout the dough. Now use both hands to push the remaining flour from the outside into the middle. Fold and press the mix until all the flour is absorbed, and a dough comes together. If you have a dough scraper it really helps get everything off the table, but you can improvise with a paint scraper, spatula, or knife.

Work the gluten by kneading the dough. Use the heel of your hand to stretch out the dough and roll it back up, while the other hand acts like an anchor. You’ll be able to see the strands of gluten stretching, breaking, being put back together, and becoming stronger. Continue this for about 8 minutes until the dough becomes smooth and glossy. It should also feel tighter and elastic.

Let the dough have a 10-minute rest to relax the gluten. Cover the dough with a damp cloth or some plastic wrap to keep the air from drying it out. Then divide your bulk of dough into individual portions. Ensure your dough balls are neatly shaped – pinched at the bottom and tight on the top – then place them in a tray or container 1-inch apart. Cover with a tight lid or plastic wrap.

Leave the dough at room temperature for approximately 6 hours until it expands to almost double its size, then store in the fridge overnight. The next day remove the dough from the fridge for 1–2 hours and bring it back to room temperature before making your pizzas.

Cod en Papillote with Spinach, Olives and Mediterranean Herbs

Dinner’s in the Bag: 60 Easy Oven Recipes All Wrapped Up

by Louise Kenney

Quadrille Publishing ($5.71 current Amazon price)

It doesn’t have to be a bag, you could instead use foil, baking parchment or oven-proof plastic and silicone bags, but the concept is the same with all these recipes—easy, quick, and little to clean up afterwards. Recipes include Roasted rhubarb with vanilla, orange and cinnamon and Pineapple en papillote with honey, thyme, and rum.

Cod en Papillote with Spinach, Olives and Mediterranean Herbs

Serves 2

½ cup pitted black olives

2 anchovy fillets in oil

4 thyme stalks, leaves picked

4 oregano stalks, leaves picked

1 small bunch of flat leaf parsley

1 lemon

olive oil

14-ounce can butter beans, drained and rinsed

4 ¼ ounces baby leaf spinach, washed

2 cod loins (approx. 5 ½ ounces each)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve

6 radishes, sliced

a handful of pea shoots

Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Line a baking dish with a large piece of parchment or foil, or an oven bag.

Finely chop the olives, anchovy fillets and herbs together. Mix together with juice from half of the lemon in a bowl, season with salt and pepper and add a little glug of olive oil.

In a separate bowl, combine the butter beans with the spinach leaves and two-thirds of the olive and herb mixture. Drizzle in a little more olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Tip into the lined baking dish and spread everything out evenly.

Slice the remaining lemon half into 4–6 slices and lay these on top of the spinach and beans. Place the cod loins on top of the lemon slices, season with salt and pepper and spread the remaining herby olive mixture over the fish. Close up the parcel and bake in the oven for 15–20 minutes. (If using an oven bag, snip a few slits in the top to allow steam to escape.)

When cooked, unwrap and serve with the radish slices and pea shoots scattered over the top.

Buttermilk & Bourbon: New Orleans Recipes with a Modern Flair

Jason Santos

Page Street Publishing $15.29 Amazon price

Santos, who owns a Louisiana-centric restaurant in Boston, offers up some great recipes such as Deviled Egg Toast with Country Ham and Hot Pepper Salad, Cast Iron-Baked Brie, and Flamin’ Hot Cheeto Mac & Cheese, the most popular dish at his restaurant. 

Flamin’ Hot Cheeto Mac & Cheese

Serves 4

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

1 cup  meat scraps, diced (bacon, andouille, pork belly, ham, etc.)

½ cup  diced celery

¾ cup diced shallots

1 tablespoon  minced garlic

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 cup white wine

2 bay leaves

1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped

8 ounces cream cheese

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup half & half

½ cup  grated Parmesan cheese

½ cup shredded fontina

½ cup shredded yellow cheddar

½ cup shredded gouda

½ pound  campanelle pasta, cooked (can substitute fusilli, penne, rigatoni, macaroni, or rotini

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 cup spicy cheese puffs (I like Flamin’ Hot Cheetos), slightly crushed

¼ cup minced chives

½ cup spicy cheese puffs, whole

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. In a heavy-bottomed pot, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter and sauté the meat scraps until lightly browned, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the meat, reserving the fat. Then add the celery, shallots and garlic and cook until soft, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for another 3 minutes to incorporate. Deglaze with the wine and reduce by half, about 10 minutes. Add the bay leaves, thyme, cream cheese, heavy cream, and half & half. Bring to a simmer for 10 minutes. Add the Parmesan, fontina, cheddar and gouda and simmer for 10 more minutes. Remove the bay leaves and puree the entire mixture with a stick blender (or in batches using a regular blender/food processor). Add the meat scraps back to the pot.

Combine the sauce with pasta and season with salt and pepper.

Divide the mixture into 4 casserole dishes. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and combine with the crushed Cheetos, and scatter on top of the pasta mixture. Bake for about 7 minutes or until bubbly. Garnish with chives and the whole Cheetos.