Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Cream Cheese Cinnamon Roll Cookies #CreativeCookieExchange

Cream cheese cookie dough is filled with cinnamon and brown sugar, rolled up, sliced and baked till golden then drizzled with sweet cream cheese glaze.

Is there anything that smells better than a kitchen with something cinnamon baking in the oven? I’m pretty sure there isn’t! I have a quite a few recipes, sweet and savory, that call for cinnamon and it’s not uncommon for me to increase the amounts, especially in a sweet dish.

One of our first overseas posting after marriage was in Balikpapan, Indonesia where fragrant cinnamon sticks were cheap and easy to find. When we moved on to Paris, I made sure to pack loads of spices needed for curries and the like, pretty sure that they wouldn’t be as available. And so began my on-again-off-again quest for spices, especially quills of cinnamon bark, from the markets of southeast Asia to South America, to northern Africa and the Middle East, even in a little out-of-the-way Mom and Pop shop called Flores’ Spice Co. in Houston, Texas. It’s been sort of a personal mission and I am please to say that our current home, Dubai, has a fabulous spice souk too, just near the far bank of the Dubai Creek. Do put it on your list if you ever come to visit.

This month my Creative Cookie Exchange group is baking with cinnamon. These cinnamon roll cookies are great for when you’d like the flavors of a cinnamon roll without waiting for the dough to rise. That said, the rolled, filled dough keeps for several days well wrapped in the refrigerator or for a few weeks in the freezer. Just thaw, slice and bake when you are ready.

Make sure you scroll down to see the other great cinnamon recipes our fearless leader, Laura of The Spiced Life and the rest of the group have for you this month. Special thanks to Renee from Magnolia Days for handling the technical details and creating our link list.

This recipe was adapted from one on A Spicy Perspective.

Ingredients for 2 dozen cookies
For the cookie dough:
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon dry active yeast
3/4 cup or 170g unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 oz or 57g cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup or 100g sugar
2 cups or 250g all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the filling:
1/4 cup or 50g dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
Pinch fine sea salt

For the cream cheese glaze:
1 1/4 oz or 35g cream cheese, at room temperature
1-2 tablespoons whole milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup or 125g powdered sugar

Hydrate your dry yeast by mixing it with the teaspoon of vanilla extract. Without any warmth, it doesn't really activate but the slight yeasty flavor is still there.

Cream your butter and cream cheese with the sugar and vanilla/yeast until light and fluffy using handheld electric beaters or in the bowl of your stand mixer.

With the mixer on low, add in the salt and then the flour, a little at a time. Scrape down the bowl occasionally and mix until everything is well combined.

Flatten the dough and wrap it in cling film. Refrigerate at least half an hour.

Preheat your oven to 375°F or 190°C and line your baking sheet with baking parchment or a silicone mat.

Mix your brown sugar, cinnamon and the pinch of salt together, making sure to press out any lumps in the brown sugar.

Lightly flour a piece of wax paper and roll the dough into a 7x18 in or 18x46cm rectangle that is approximately 1/4 in or a little more than 1/2cm thick. I marked my lengths on the underside of my waxed paper with a permanent marker for easier measuring. Tidy the edges up a little by pushing inwards with the side of a blunt knife.

Sprinkle on the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture covering the dough completely on three sides but leaving the one long side farthest from you bare about 1 1/2 in or 3cm from the edge.

Starting on the long side closest to you, begin rolling the dough up tightly.

Use the waxed paper to make sure you get it rolling evenly all the way along.

Once you get to the other side, bring the waxed paper up from that edge and fold the naked dough over to form a seal with the dough roll.

Now roll the whole thing up in the waxed paper. Cut off the uneven end of the roll and discard. (Read: Eat raw.) Then cut the roll into 1/2 in or 1cm slices. (I sliced half and saved the other half for later, wrapping it tightly in cling film around the waxed paper and freezing.)

Remove the waxed paper from each slice and put them on your prepared baking sheet. Bake in your preheated oven for 12-15 minutes or until the edges start to brown .

Allow to cool completely before glazing.

To make the glaze
Use a fork to loosen the cream cheese by mixing it with one tablespoon milk and the vanilla extract.

Add in the powdered sugar a little at a time and stir well to combine. Add in a little more milk if you want a thinner glaze.

Once the cookies are completely cool, drizzle on the glaze or spread it on with a knife.


Check out all the other fragrant cinnamon cookies we have for you today!

The Creative Cookie Exchange gets together once a month to bake cookies with a chosen theme or ingredient. We post on the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month.

You can also use us as a great resource for cookie recipes. Be sure to check out our Pinterest Board as well as our monthly posts, collected for you on The Spiced Life.


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