I love cinnamon buns; the chewy dough, the gooey cinnamon filling, and the creamy glaze make it the perfect indulgence. What I don’t like is making them. I get very impatient waiting for the dough to rise, rolling it out, spreading on the filling, etc. etc. And when they’re done I find they’re only good fresh from the oven; one day later and they have started to dry out, and my teeth don’t sink into them the same way. I’ve tried quick bread pinwheels, but they dry out quickly too, and I miss the doughy texture of a yeast bread; and I’ve seen recipes for cinnamon swirl cookies, but they’re all crunchy. I want something that bakes up and stays soft. I got thinking about how much I loved the black and white cookies I learned to make in Sarah Copeland‘s class a few months ago, and how soft and cake-like the base of those cookies were, and I thought ‘that would be the perfect base for a cinnamon cookie.’ Obviously a cake-like cookie dough would be too sticky to roll, so I decided to make a cinnamon paste to fold into the dough just before scooping it onto the baking sheet, giving the cookies a swirl of cinnamon throughout. I find that these cookies freeze well, unfrosted (frosting can be frozen separately), and I take them out as I want them, defrost some frosting to spread on, and it’s almost like they’re fresh from the oven every time I indulge.
It’s not a true gooey bun, but it’s a pretty good substitute when you want some cinnamon goodness in hurry!
- Blend together 2 Tbsp liquid honey and 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon.
- 1/2 c unsalted butter
- 3/4 c granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 c buttermilk
- 2 c unbleached all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- pinch salt
- cinnamon paste (amount listed above)
- Preheat oven to 350F, line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy; add egg and vanilla, beat to incorporate.
- In a separate bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and soda, and salt. Gently stir one third of dry ingredients into batter, then half of the buttermilk, then another third of dry, followed by the second half of the buttermilk, and finally the rest of the dry, and mix until smooth.
- Drizzle cinnamon paste on top of the mixture and gently fold into the batter, being careful not to fully incorporate the paste into the batter.
- Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop portions of dough onto prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between each cookie. Gently press tops of cookies with watered fingers to flatten very slightly (you still want them to be about an inch high).
- Bake until they are puffed in the centre and spring back lightly when touched, about 12-15 mintues. Remove from oven and cool a few minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely. This recipe makes 12 cookies.
Vanilla Bean Frosting:
- 1/2 c unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 c icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- dash salt
- Beat together all ingredients to a smooth, fluffy icing. Spread over cooled cookies.