The Joy of Cooking Milhouse

“Bart Gets Famous,” Season 5, episode 12

It’s a tough call, but “Bart Gets Famous” is in the running for my favorite Simpsons episode. Luckily, it features a tasty food that makes frequent appearances throughout the episode. If you refuse to start the day without a danish, then read on.

The episode starts with Bart whistling a jaunty tune, excited to be going on a class field trip… until he finds out it’s to the box factory. Not the nearby fireworks factory or the slide factory, just the extremely exciting box factory. The kids spot Krustyland Studios out the window and Bart makes a break for it. Ms. Krabappel calls Homer at work to report Bart missing (“you’ll have to speak up, I’m wearing a towel”).

Meanwhile, Bart is having a great time at the studio stealing Kent Brockman’s danish to give to Krusty. He’s hired as Krusty’s new assistant and Kent refuses to do the news until he gets his danish. (More danish business coming up.)

Homer finds his lucky red hat and brings a box home assuming Bart’s been turned into a, uh, box. Before he can break the news to the family, Bart turns up and tells everyone about his new job. Surprisingly, the glamorous job of personal assistant turns out to be not so glamorous, and he can’t even prove to his friends that he works on the show.

Until! Krusty asks Bart to be in a sketch. He promptly knocks down all of the set and proclaims “I didn’t do it,” and the audience eats it up. He becomes a popular fixture on the show and the phrase quickly becomes part of popular culture. Bart has hit records, a phone line (manned by Barney), an autobiography, merchandise, and generally saturates the market.

Bart appears on The Conan O’Brien Show and is forced to watch him dance. He’s sick of only being known for his catchphrase and refuses to go on the next Krusty show. Marge talks him down, but, despite an enthusiastic performance, the audience is clearly over it. Just like that, his moment in the spotlight is over.

We see danishes multiple times in the episode, but they look suspiciously like cinnamon buns. Danishes are not an easy or quick thing to make, but this shortcut cinnamon-sugar danish looks the part and is very delicious. All you need is some puff pastry, butter, and cinnamon sugar. Now, that’s a danish!

Kent Brockman’s Danish
Makes 16 pastries

5 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
1 (20-ounce) box puff pastry (2 sheets), thawed on the counter for 30 minutes
6 tablespoons butter, softened

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line a large  rimmed metal baking sheet with parchment and butter it generously with some of the softened butter.
  2. Combine the sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl and mix.
  3. Sprinkle a clean work surface with about 1 ½ teaspoons of the sugar mixture and unfold one sheet of puff pastry on top. Place the other thawed puff pastry sheet in the fridge while you work. Roll the dough out to a 9×12 rectangle. Brush with 2 heaping tablespoons of softened butter and sprinkle with about 6 teaspoons of the sugar mixture.
  4. Starting with the shorter end, roll the puff pastry into a tight log. Add a little more butter if needed to seal the edge. Roll the log back and forth a few times to seal. Slice into 8 equal pinwheels.
  5. Sprinkle the work surface with the sugar mixture and repeat the process with the remaining puff pastry.  Press both sides of the cut pinwheels into the remaining sugar mixture on the board, flattening them just a bit. You will have a little butter and sugar mixture leftover.
  6. Place the pinwheels cut-side down in the greased pan, leaving them evenly spaced and with the sealed ends turned inward towards each other. Brush with the remaining butter and sprinkle with the remaining sugar mixture.
  7. Bake for about 30 in the center of the oven, or until puffed and deep golden brown.
  8. Let cool for a few minutes. Enjoy warm or freshly baked at room temperature.
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