Cinnamon Roll Cookies

2013 12 17_3141I saw this recipe on the Star Tribune where it was runner up in their cookie contest. They are cute little cookies that look and taste just like mini cinnamon rolls. They are a bit of a pain to make, but they sure are delicious.

There was a time when Ryan couldn’t step foot in a mall without having a Cinnabon, so I knew these would go over well if they honestly tasted like cinnamon rolls. And they do. They are made just like cinnamon rolls too. You roll out the dough, cover in cinnamon, roll into logs, cut into cookies, bake, and then ice. Like I said, they are a bit of a pain. Not difficult, just time consuming, but they are worth it.

You start by preparing the dough in a stand mixer. You probably can’t tell from this picture, but I followed the recipe exactly as written and ended up with dough far too dry and crumbly to roll out. 
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After a bit of googling I decided the recipe did not have enough butter and I added another stick. It originally called for 1/2 cup of butter for a recipe that makes 5 dozen cookies. In retrospect that doesn’t even sound right, there is a whole cup of butter in a batch of tollhouse cookies. Once I added the additional butter, the dough was exactly as I expected it to be. I was nervous about how the cookies would taste, but they came out perfectly. I’ve decided the original recipe had a typo, it needs 1 cup of butter, not 1 stick.

2013 12 16_3166 2013 12 16_3167Then while the dough cools in the fridge, you make up the cinnamon filling. With this much brown sugar and cinnamon, how could anything taste bad.

Rolling out the dough into a perfect rectangle wasn’t easy, but you can trim the dough and move the trimmings around to patch together a rectangle. It wasn’t the prettiest, but I eventually got it. You roll the dough out between two sheets of wax paper to prevent it from sticking.

2013 12 16_3170 2013 12 16_3172Next you smear the cinnamon sugar filling all over the dough. I found it easiest to spoon the filling on in dollops, then smooth it out with the back of a spoon.

2013 12 16_3173 2013 12 16_3174Then you roll the dough into a log, pulling off the bottom sheet of wax paper as you go.

2013 12 16_3175 2013 12 16_3176Then cut the long log in half and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, slice the dough log into 1/2 slices and bake them at 375 for about 9 minutes. You don’t want them to get too brown. While the cookies are baking, mix up the icing.

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2013 12 17_3135Ice the cookies while there are still hot. I started by trying to smear on the icing with a butter knife, but it wasn’t very pretty. Then I switched to a makeshift pastry bag made out of a ziplock bag to pipe the icing on, that looked better. Either way the cookies are delicious. 

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Cinnamon Roll Cookies
Cookies that look and taste like mini cinnamon rolls.
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For dough
  1. • 3 c. flour
  2. • 1 tsp. baking powder
  3. • 1 tsp. baking soda
  4. • 1/2 tsp. salt
  5. • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  6. • 2 tbsp. (1 oz.) cream cheese, at room temperature
  7. • 1 c. powdered sugar
  8. • 1 egg
  9. • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
For filling
  1. • 6 tbsp. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  2. • 3/4 c. dark brown sugar, packed
  3. • 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
  4. • 1/8 tsp. salt
For icing
  1. • 6 tbsp. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  2. • 1/4 c. (2 oz.) cream cheese, at room temperature
  3. • Pinch of salt
  4. • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  5. • 1/4 tsp. almond extract
  6. • 2 c. powdered sugar
To prepare dough
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and reserve.
  2. In a bowl of an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and cream cheese until creamy, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to low, add powdered sugar and mix until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla extract, and mix until thoroughly incorporated. Gradually add flour mixture, mixing just until a smooth dough is formed. Divide dough into 2 equal pieces and flatten into disks, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate while preparing filling.
To prepare filling
  1. In a bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt until smooth.
  2. Remove 1 dough disk and place between 2 large pieces of parchment or wax paper. Roll dough to a 9- by 12-inch rectangle (lifting top piece of paper and piecing/re-rolling dough as necessary) then remove top paper. Dot teaspoon-size pieces of filling over half of dough (using half of filling) and use the back of a spoon to evenly spread filling across top of dough. Beginning with 1 long edge, gently roll up dough, peeling away bottom layer of parchment or wax paper and taking care not to allow cracks in dough to appear.
  3. Place dough seam-side down (and gently stretch from center outward to form a 12-inch long roll, if necessary). Using a sharp knife, cut roll in half. Wrap dough logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight. Repeat with remaining dough and filling (dough may be covered well and frozen; thaw in refrigerator before baking).
  4. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Unwrap dough logs and, using a sharp knife, trim off uneven ends. Cut dough into 1/2-inch slices and place cookies 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake until cookies are just set and edges barely begin to brown, about 8 to 9 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 2 minutes before transferring cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
To prepare icing
  1. Meanwhile, while cookies are in the oven, combine butter, cream cheese, salt, vanilla extract and almond extract in the bowl of an electric mixer on medium-high speed. Beat until creamy, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to low, add powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
  2. When cookies are still warm, top each cookie with about 1 1/2 teaspoons icing, and gently spread icing across top of cookie (or fill a pastry bag fitted with a small tip and pipe icing over cookies). Cool cookies completely, then refrigerate until icing sets. Store cookies in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator, and serve at room temperature.
  1. Makes approximately 4 dozen cookies. Remember to get butter and cream cheese to room temperature and to leave time to chill the dough before baking.
Adapted from The Star Tribune
Adapted from The Star Tribune
Crafty Cori Strikes Again






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