Cinnamon Roll Cookies
Makes 15 Cookies
To be sure, a cookie that mimics another popular dessert is *always* a good idea. The excitement of smooshing a fist-sized cinnamon roll into a cookie (not what we do but it's what it feels like we do) is unmistakable. The crunchy bottoms and gooey middles of these flat behemoths (a flat behemoth would be a wildly inappropriate thing to call a human woman wouldn't it) is a cookie combo I love.
My journey with the humble cinnamon roll - which I actually don't think is so humble, since the greedy bugger has to rise like 60 times (okay 2) - is a bumpy one. I spent the better part of my childhood (practically my entire childhood) in South East Asia. My exposure to good cinnamon rolls? Already thin. Shockingly pale. Not a dessert my mother ever bothered to bake. We start off with the packeted 2-bite cinnamon rolls; decidedly delicious, but hardly a cinnamon roll. Then the unthinkable happens, Jakarta opens up a cinnabon. The heavenly-scented stall wafted cinnamon sugar and cream cheese vapor up into my nostrils. I'm sure it was my father who tugged on mum's arm, pleading to get a box of cinnamon rolls. There we are, nose deep in white icing, and I was having my first religious experience. For an atheist child, the odd prayer to god wasn't unusual, after all, I was only just starting to build cynicism towards faith, I had yet to have time to solidify a belief - and Santa was still a huge question. I'd put money on me having sat on my obnoxiously pink barbie duvet that night, hands clasped together, praying to a god I didn't believe in, to make sure I got some more of those cinnamon rolls.
Fast forward to many disappointing cinnamon rolls later - truly, stop trying to make these flaky, sticky rolls that turn crusty within 0.5 seconds, I don't want it - and I move to London. When I say I jumped, I mean I jumped, when I saw a Cinnabon. London's one and only Cinnabon, tucked into the side of Piccadilly Circus - head-on as you exit the tube. And what a love affair we had. If you're from London, you know where this is going. Three years into our sugary, cinnamony sojourn, he gets shut down. The only thing to drag me from that cinnamon-roll-absent hole was Ole & Steen's cinnamon social slice coming to a street corner near you. I mean genuinely, they had yet to open and were handing out bite-sized pieces of the stuff. I think I blacked out and profusely thanked the woman who shoved it in my face as I was shuffling on by. I didn't but wouldn't that have been nice of me? Anyways, now I live in New Zealand, and I have to start all over again.
I probably should've saved the cinnamon-roll-journey story (what a riveting rollercoaster) for an actual cinnamon roll recipe. I'll just recycle it as a voiceover. I'm sure it will *kill*.
Cinnamon Butter Filling
1/2 a cup of brown sugar (light or dark)
3 tablespoons of butter, softened
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
1/4 cup of flour
1 cup of butter, softened
1 and a 1/4 cup of brown sugar
1/3 cup of sugar
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon of vanilla
2 cups of flour
1 teaspoon of salt
3/4 of a teaspoon of baking soda
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves
150 grams of cream cheese
1/2 cup + 4 tablespoons of icing sugar
1/2 a teaspoon of vanilla (or vanilla bean paste)
1-2 tablespoons of milk/almond milk (if icing is too thick)
Cinnamon Butter Filling
Cream together the butter and sugar, then mix in the flour and cinnamon.
On a piece of baking paper, press out the the mixture to about 1 cm thick.
Place the baking paper in the freezer and leave for 15-20 minutes.
Beat together all of the ingredients until thick and creamy. If the mixture is too thick to pipe add a tablespoon of milk or almond milk.
Set the mixture aside.
Cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs and cream together for 1-2 minutes.
Fold in the dry ingredients until the mixture comes together into a cookie dough.
Remove the cinnamon filling from the freezer and slice it into little squares.
Fold the filling squares into the cookie batter and roll the batter into 15 even balls. Place them in the fridge to cool for 20 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 160C (fan bake) or 180C (bake).
Place about 6 balls on a lined baking tray (keep the rest in the fridge) and keep them spread apart.
Bake for 8-9 minutes. Then remove the cookies from the oven and bang the pan about 8-10 times on a flat surface. I would recommend placing a tea-towel down so that you don't risk damaging your kitchen bench.
Immediately remove the cookies from the tray (so they don't burn on the bottom) and place them on a cooling rack. Bake the rest of the cookies.
Once the cookies have cooled, pipe the icing on top.
Keep them stored in the fridge in a container or covered.