Christmas Morning Breakfast?

December 25th, 2008

Merry Christmas, if that’s your thing.  Happy halfway-through Hanukkah, if that’s your thing.  I don’t even have a tree, and due to my self-imposed unemployment couldn’t afford presents.  If you’re getting anything from me, I made it myself.  In most cases, this also means you’ll have delicious sugary treats coming…tomorrow.  Due to the weather, we stayed home yesterday and postponed Christmas Eve pizza dinner with my family until tonight.  I did manage to get nearly everything finished and packaged up, though, including these cookies that I baked yesterday morning.


Mmm, swirls.

There was meant to be another type of cookie (pomegranate linzer) but the jelly I made was runny and sickeningly sweet (I’ll be boiling it down with some extra lemon juice in an effort to make it useable).  I definitely have more than enough treats to go around without the linzers, and these are super tasty.  The only thing I would do if I made them again would be to add a little more salt to the dough.  The cookies are soft and cinnamon-y, but more salt would help make the flavors pop even more.

Cinnamon Bun Cookies

Line them up for faster eating!

Line them up for faster eating!

For the cookies:

3/4 cup unsalted butter

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/2-3/4 tsp salt (I used 1/2 but would use 3/4 next time)

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups AP flour

Cream together the butter, sugar, salt and vanilla.  Add the flour and mix until incorporated.  Turn dough out of bowl and form into a disk, then wrap in plastic and refrigerate until ready to use (at least an hour…I made mine the next day).  Once you remove the dough from the refrigerator, use a rolling pin to roll out the dough into approximately 9×12″…the exact dimensions aren’t as important as getting the dough into an even rectangle.  Once mine was rolled out, I pulled scraps off the sides to patch up the corners and any concave areas, then used the rolling pin to smooth it all down again.


1 egg white

1 Tbsp water

1/4 cup white sugar

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg white and water.  In another small bowl, mix the sugar and cinnamon.  Brush the liquid mixture evenly onto the dough, then sprinkle liberally with the cinnamon-sugar.  Roll the dough into a log (making it longer as opposed to thicker…unless you want fewer, bigger cookies), wrap in plastic, and place in the freezer for a couple of hours.  When you want to bake the cookies, remove from the freezer and slice with a large, sharp knife (you can let the dough thaw for a few minutes if you’re worried about it cracking from being too frozen).  Make the cookies as thin or thick as you like…mine were about 1/4″ or so.  Place in an oven preheated to 350 and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until lightly golden around the edges.  Once they are cool enough to move without crumbling, transfer to a wire rack with wax or parchment paper underneath it.  Allow to finish cooling while you prepare the glaze.


1 cup powdered sugar

1-2 Tbsp milk

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Whisk ingredients together gradually, adding more sugar or milk depending on the consistency.  Ultimately you want a glaze that isn’t so thin it will just run off the cookies altogether, but isn’t so thick that you can’t see the cinnamon swirls through it.  Drizzle the glaze over the cookies and allow to harden.  Once dried completely, store in an airtight container.

These cookies make the house smell fantastic and are a lot of fun to make.  They’re also super cute and not too sweet.  The dough itself is very tender and not too sweet, so you’re not overcome with sugar.  They’re also very good without the glaze, but you can’t really have a proper cinnamon bun without glaze, can you?

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