Many years ago, my mum-in-law and her dear husband decided to join the ranks of the Canadian snowbirds; making their way to Florida every November to escape the harsh winter weather.
Knowing that my husband would be without his mum for Christmas, I had a rummage through her recipe collection in search of her Cinnamon Roll Cookie instructions as this seemed to be the family favourite. Tradition is so very important at this time of year and I was keen to make sure that my husband would still be able to enjoy his much loved family recipes.
Time has marched on and I have been making these Cinnamon Roll Cookies for over 15 years now. They are always the first ones to be requested when I start my Christmas baking, and they are certainly the first ones to be eaten. The cookie is more of a baking powder biscuit and the filling is a hat trick of butter, brown sugar and cinnamon that meld together and caramelize during baking. It is little wonder that I usually have to make three to four batches to ensure that they last throughout the season.
Here we go:
Preheat your oven to 400F/200C and place your oven rack in the centre position. Line your baking sheets with parchment or grease/spray them.
Have your ingredients ready, including a few little dishes containing:
- Melted butter
- Brown sugar and cinnamon mixed together
- A lightly beaten egg
These very quickly come together using a food processor, but you can also easily make the dough using a mixing bowl and pastry blender. I have done both over the years with equal success.
Making the dough
**As with any pastry, start with cold ingredients for best results**
In the processor with the blade attachment, add the flour and baking powder. Give the mix a quick pulse to combine.
Add to this the shortening.
Pulse to cut the shortening into the flour until the mixture is crumbly and is the size of small peas.
Add to this a pinch of salt and drizzle the beaten egg over the top.
Through the feed tube, while pulsing, begin to stream the milk and water mixture until the dough comes together. Do not overmix at this point or the dough will get tough and make rolling difficult.
The dough should be soft and slightly sticky.
Turn it out onto a floured work surface and give it a couple of light kneads to reduce the surface stickiness and to make it easier to roll. Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a rectangle, taking care to lightly sprinkle the surface and underside with flour, as needed. The rectangle should be approximately 10″ x 15″ and about a 1/4″ thick.
Filling and Rolling
Generously brush the dough with the melted butter.
Spread the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture over the buttered dough, taking care to leave about an inch on one long side uncovered. This piece should get an extra brush of butter as it will be the outer edge of your pinwheel when you roll up the cookie. The butter will act as glue, holding the roll together. In the picture below, you will see that this is the left side of the dough.
Starting on the long side that has the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture covering, begin to roll the dough to make a long log. Again, using the picture above as a guide, this means you would start the roll from the right hand side.
The roll should look like this:
Using a sharp knife (serrated is best) slice the log into pieces that are about a finger width in size.
Place the cookies, pinwheel side up on your baking sheets.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through the baking time to make sure that they brown evenly.
Cool and enjoy!