My lovely friend Jennifer and I had a date this past Saturday to do some holiday baking. It was a much-needed fun adventure in the midst of the whirlwind holiday season. Do you all feel a bit like a hamster in a wheel, or is it just me? This is the time of year replete with Christmas parties, family gatherings, and various other occasions that call for packing freshly baked goodies into a satchel and carting them all over town. Festive, but exhausting!
I was therefore glad to do some "relaxing baking" with Jennifer. We set out to make cheese straws first, followed by a batch of Cinnamon Roll Cookies. We were sure we'd knock the cheese straws out quicker than a cat knockin' ornaments outta the Christmas tree. But . . . well, it turns out that, "This recipe looks easy!" are famous last words.
A moment we weren't sure would ever happen:
pulling the cheese straws out of the oven!
One smoking, dead mixer motor; one spontaneous shopping trip; and one battery-acid-filled cookie press later, we were bemoaning our smug pronouncement. Okay, okay, cheese straws can get a little complicated! They were at least delicious for all the trouble -- they were cheesy, dense, and came out of the oven smelling just like macaroni and cheese. I devoured my portion in two days flat. So much for sharing! (Well, Mike did get a few. And somehow escaped with his fingers.)
You can understand why, after being bested by a recipe that only had 5 ingredients, I approached the Cinnamon Roll Cookies with some trepidation. Thankfully, the sweet little cookies we made next are as simple can be. Originally called Iced Cinnamon Chip Cookies, these chewy treats have such a buttery cinnamon flavor and such a lovely white swish of glaze that I couldn't help changing their name a bit. They remind me of the warm pan of cinnamon rolls my mom makes on Christmas morning, so I've dubbed them Cinnamon Roll Cookies.
The warmth of the cinnamon with the sweet edge of icing was the perfect Christmassy treat, particularly since whipping up a batch was so easy. If you're about to run your little hamster wheel right off its fulcrum, I hope you'll give this relaxing and rewarding recipe a try.
Cinnamon Roll Cookies
Recipe by: Taste of Home
Yields: about 39 cookies
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 package (10 ounces) cinnamon baking chips
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup shortening
1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon milk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Fold in cinnamon chips.
Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool.
In a small bowl, combine icing ingredients; beat on high speed for 1-2 minutes or until fluffy. Spread over cooled cookies.
The impossibly thick cheese straw batter (with the now departed mixer in the background!), followed by Jennifer piping the finished mixture out to bake.
Cookies just getting started, and then in the oven.
Cookies cooling and then all frosted.