Use sugar cookie dough to make Cinnamon Roll Cookies, then get creative by customizing the filling and icing to your liking. Make it your own way!
If cookie sheets are the stage in the baking world, then sugar cookie dough is a star player (to paraphrase Shakespeare, rather badly). It's a shape-shifter, morphing freely between being cut-out, to stamped, to being spritzed from a cookie press.
Sugar cookie dough can also be used as a stand-in for yeast doughs to create a cookie from a beloved breakfast item. Behold…I give you Cinnamon Roll cookies. [ Ta da!! ]
Alright, I don’t give you these cookies. It's from Sally's Baking Addiction's Cinnamon Roll Cookies. But I made them my way. You'll see how...
What’s special about Cinnamon Roll Cookies?
Well, they’re made just like a recipe for Cinnamon Rolls. For those, you make a yeasted dough and wait several hours (or overnight) to let it rise. Then you press it into a rectangle, brush it with melted butter, and sprinkle it with cinnamon sugar. Roll it up, cut it up, and bake. Easy peasy.
The difference here is that you're using sugar cookie dough instead of yeasted dough, so the process is much faster. You don't have to wait for dough to rise overnight.
I like the less-waiting part.
How to make Cinnamon Roll Cookies
Making sugar cookie dough is just as you'd suspect. Cream together sugar and butter, add eggs and flavorings, then mix in the flour. It's a similar process to making Hamantaschen (jam-filled butter cookies), or any other type of roll-out cookies.
The difference, of course, is that they're rolled out, layered with a filling, then rolled right back up again (yes, like a cinnamon roll...we get it).
It's with the filling and icing where you can get creative.
Make these cookies your way
For the filling, choose any mix of sugar and spices (with or without chopped nuts) that you'd like. Use a ratio of 3 parts sugar to 1 part spice (that's about ¼ cup sugar to 1 Tbsp spice).
Try maple sugar with a cinnamon and cloves combo. Or brown sugar with cardamon and nutmeg. Finely chop up some walnuts or almonds, or even use almond meal. Ready made sprinkle mixes work well here.
For the icing, complement the flavor of your filling by replacing some of the milk with a liqueur of your choice. Since I was using a Mocha Hazelnut Sprinkle, I added 1 Tbsp of Kahlua for some of the milk. Spread your wings and let your creativity soar!
My version took on a darker, almost spookier tone than they would normally have…perfect for a Halloween party, or just to munch with coffee (or a wee dram of scotch).
I guess technically mine shouldn't be called Cinnamon Roll Cookies. More like Mocha Hazelnut cookies with Kahlua icing, but that's a mouthful.
The point is make these Cinnamon Roll Cookies your way. I know I will!
Slainté! L’chaim! Cheers!
Cinnamon Roll Cookies
- 2¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- ¼ cup granulated sugar, or brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp spice and/or nut mix of your choice, see Recipe Notes
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 3 Tbsp milk, see Recipe Notes
- ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- Make the dough: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate small bowl, make the sugar spice mix by whisking the ¼ cup of sugar with your 1 tablespoon of spices. Set both bowls aside.
- Using a stand mixer with paddle attachment or hand mixer, beat the butter until creamy. Add in the granulated sugar and beat until completely creamed and smooth, about two minutes. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat until combined, stopping to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low speed until the dough comes together. If the dough seems too soft to roll out, add additional flour in 1 tablespoon increments until it's a bit firmer (but don't overdo it). Bring the dough into a ball, divide in half, then form two portions.
- Shape the dough: Lightly flour a Silpat silicone mat or parchment paper. Roll each dough portion into a rectangle, roughly 7- x 9-inches and about ¼-inch thick. Have the long side facing you.
- Spread one tablespoon of melted butter onto each portion, then sprinkle the cinnamon sugar evenly.
- Working slowly from the long side, tightly roll up each rectangle into a 9-inch log. You can smooth out any cracks in the dough with your fingers, but don't fret...some cracking is fine.
- Transfer the logs to a cutting board and loosely cover with plastic wrap. Chill the logs of dough for at least 2 hours, and up to 2 days.
- Remove the chilled dough logs from the refrigerator. Using a sharp knife, slice into ½-inch rounds. Place the slices onto the baking pan about 2-inches apart.
- Bake the cookies for 10 to 11 minutes, until lightly browned on the sides. Remove from the oven, allow to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before icing.
- Make the icing: Whisk all of the icing ingredients together and drizzle over the cooled cookies. Let the icing set for a few minutes, then serve and enjoy!