I love cinnamon. Seriously, if there’s something with cinnamon on a menu, I’ll probably go for it. If I’m making a fruit crumble, I’ll add cinnamon. I even drink tea with cinnamon in (Twinings Cherry and cinnamon – beautiful fruity tea). So when I came across some cinnamon swirl biscuits on Pinterest, http://www.bakedperfection.com/2011/12/cinnamon-roll-cookies.html I had to try them.
I had some sugar cookie dough in the freezer (when I have an extra egg that needs using up I’ll often make a batch of cookie dough and freeze it, that way when the cookie urge strikes I don’t have to bother making the dough) which I took out and defrosted. The recipe instructed me to roll out half of the dough, and then spread the cinnamon mix (cinnamon, sugar, melted butter) on top. This was where I encountered the first problem.
I don’t know what happened to my mix – perhaps there wasn’t enough butter, perhaps there was too much sugar (I don’t believe that it could have been that there was too much cinnamon – that would be ridiculous) but spreading it was hard. I felt like I was stretching out the dough underneath everytime I spread the sugary mixture over the top. Because I had a pretty large quantity of dough, I’d split it into 3, but I’d used half of the sugar mix on the first lot of dough. I figured that I could just make some more mix for my final batch if I ran out, but more on that shortly.
After finally spreading half of my mixture onto a third of my dough, I rolled it up. This is where how you get the lovely ‘swirl’ into the cookie. Once that was done, I had a ‘log’ of swirly cookie. As I am just a little bit impatient I decided to ignore the suggestion to freeze the tube of cookie, and instead started cutting my tube into cookie slices. Problem number two – the dough was quite soft, and stuck to the knife. This led to a few slightly squashed cookies. These cookies were placed onto the baking mat and thrown (not literally!) into the oven to bake while I got on with batch two.
Batch two went relatively smoothly – I knew what I was doing, I used the remainder of my sugar mix for the centre and rolled up the cookies smoother than the first attempt. Even cutting them into slices seemed easier, butthis may have been because I was cutting them larger! Once batch one was out of the oven and taste tested (for quality control purposes, of course) batch two went in. The smell of the cookies cooking was heavenly by the way, and they tasted pretty good too.
Then it was the turn of batch three. As mentioned, I’d used up all of the sugar mix by this point. I decided that rather than go to the effort of melting some butter, which involved getting a clean dish and making it dirty, I’d improvise. Instead of butter, I used honey. I added the sugar and the cinnamon, and mixed it all together. Everything looked fine, and it spread across the dough nicely. Batch two was out of the oven at this point, and had been quality control tested. Batch three was sliced, put on the mat and went into the oven.
I tidied up while batch three was cooking, and there was a lovely smell. Once they were done, I took the cookies out… to find a mess all over the baking mat. Turns out that honey is not a good substitute for melted butter in this mix.
Batch three was still salvageable – and very, very tasty. I have it on good authority from my partner that the third batch was much nicer than the first two, even if it looked the worst. Much testing was done to reach this conclusion, just in case you were wondering. The cookies were taken into work and were devoured in record time, always a good sign!
Would I do anything differently next time? I’d probably cut the cookies thicker, and perhaps make the sugar mixture more spreadable and use more of it so that the swirl is more visible. Oh yeah – I also wouldn’t use honey to hold them together!