I am a big fan of cinnamon and nuts, especially when it comes to pastry. However, the idea of having a special pastry every time I crave the flavor combination would be excessive indulgence. So what is a person to do? Looking around for the solution, I landed on the perfect item- a cookie with all the flavor of a cinnamon roll.
This cookie is thick and packed with pecans, brown sugar and cinnamon. Also, the creams cheese icing is a must when it comes to cinnamon rolls and it was not left out of this recipe. The good thing here is that the icing is put on right before serving. However, and even more convenient idea is to serve the cookies on a plate with the icing in a bowl for dipping.
Please allow plenty of advance time to make these, the dough does require a lot of chilling time. The first session is for 1 hour but the second states 1 hour or overnight, noting that overnight is preferred. Also, leave your cookie sheet in the cabinet, these are actually baked in muffin pans. The recipe makes 2 dz cookies.
Cinnamon Roll Cookies
adapted from The Cravory in San Diego via nymag.com
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup or 2 sticks butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 cups plus 1 tsp flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup brown sugar packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup chopped toasted pecans
1 tbs cinnamon
1/4 cup or 1/2 stick of butter
1/4 cup light brown sugar
Ingredients/ Icing Drizzle
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
3 tbs milk
2 oz softened cream cheese
2 oz softened butter
1 vanilla bean (scraped)
Zest of 1/2 orange (optional)
To make the dough, cream together the butter and the three types of sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer. Once smooth, add one egg and beat for about 30 seconds. Continue with the process on the rest of the eggs, adding each one by one. Then beat in the vanilla extract. Set aside.
In a large bowl, sift together the cornstarch, flour, cinnamon, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
Add 1/3 of the sifted ingredients to the egg batter and mix on low speed until no streaks remain. Add the additional flour in two increments, blending after each addition. Form dough into a ball and cover with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
While that is chilling, you can prepare the filling. Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and stir in the brown sugar and cinnamon. Lastly, mix in the pecans until evenly distributed.
After an hour, remove the dough from the fridge and roll it out on a lightly floured surface to form a 10X10 square. Spread the filling over the dough evenly. Then roll it up and wrap with plastic wrap and chill again at least one hour or overnight, preferably overnight.
Once the chilling time has completed, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease the cavities of 2 one dozen muffin tins. Remove the dough roll from the refrigerator and slice evenly into 24 pieces. Place each piece into one of the muffin cavities.
Put pans in oven and bake until lightly golden, which should take about 15 minutes. At the 7.5 minute mark, rotate pans for even baking. Remove the muffin tins and place on rack to cool. Cool cookies completely in pan before removing.
Once you are ready to serve these, prepare the icing by beating together the cream cheese and the butter until smooth. Then beat in the powdered sugar in 3 increments, scraping down bowl after each time. Then beat in the vanilla bean and the orange zest (optional). Lastly whisk in the milk until the icing reaches a smooth consistency. Drizzle the icing on top and enjoy.
**LAST YEAR: Coconut Apple Walnut Bread***