I've only made these cookies once, but I already have a love hate relationship with them. I bookmarked this recipe as soon as I saw it here on Nosh and Tell. The original recipe came from Recipe Girl. I couldn't resist the cookies look amazing! Must have been the comments about the smell of them baking that lured me in... The taste definitely lived up to those expectations! These cookies were among the last set of treats that went with my husband to the class that he was teaching in January, and I am told that they did not last long. I have to admit that I kept one to try, and I have to agree - these are pretty darn good!
On the other hand, these cookies are a PAIN to make. The recipe calls for you to chill the dough twice. Once before and after creating the log of dough. I made the dough one morning before heading out to the gym and around town for errands thinking that the longer it chilled, the easier it would be to roll up. WRONG.
When I got home and took the dough out, it was ROCK HARD. I had to leave it out for an hour or so before I could even think about rolling it out. After that, I had to figure out how I was going to effectively roll the dough into a log. See, maybe it was just me, but cookie dough isn't the same as bread dough. That nice stretch that you get from bread dough just wasn't there. All I kept getting in the cookie dough was crack after crack that I tried to patch together. At one point, I told my husband I didn't think there would even be a swirl in these when I was finished. In the end, there was a pseudo-swirl. They looked okay, but you can definitely tell that I had trouble with the dough cracking in the center of the roll.
The second chill time went much better. You definitely need that time to be able to effectively cut the dough into the cookies. However, if I were to make these again, I would definitely shorten that first chill time if I did it at all. In fact, you may be better off adding a little extra flour to prevent the "stickies" and rolling it out right away.
All of that said, after troubleshooting, these cookies really are delicious. If you are up for a little bit of a challenge are aren't a perfectionist in your roll of the dough, I would say these would be worth your time. Keep in mind that this recipe only makes about 2 dozen cookies, so if you are feeding a crowd, you may want to double it. Enjoy!
Cinnamon Bun Cookies
Adapted from Recipe Girl (also on Nosh and Tell)
3/4 c. (1-1/2 sticks) butter
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 large egg white
1 Tbsp. water
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. heavy whipping cream
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
To prepare the dough, in a medium-sized mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla. Add the flour, stirring to make a cohesive dough. Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until you are ready to use it.
Transfer chilled dough to a lightly floured piece of parchment or waxed paper. Let the dough warm until it is a little more pliable. Roll the dough into a 9x12 inch rectangle. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg white and water until foamy. Brush onto rolled out dough. In another small bowl, mix together cinnamon and sugar. Sprinkle it evenly over the dough. Starting with a long edge, carefully roll the dough into a log, sealing the edge. Wrap in plastic wrap or parchment and freeze until firm.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease two cookie sheets. Remove the dough from the freezer and unwrap it. Using a sharp knife, gently cut 1/2-inch slices. Transfer them to the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 12-15 minutes until they are a light, golden brown color. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
To make the icing, whisk the cream into the powdered sugar until the icing is smooth. Add the vanilla and cinnamon. Mix well. Drizzle icing over the cookies.