Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sunny's Cinna-nilla Cookies

When my friend Sunny discovered my blog she wanted to know why I hadn't made her anything. Of course, I looked at this as an opportunity to try out a new cookie creation and to create my own recipe. Needing a starting place and a little bit of inspiration, she gave me three flavors she enjoyed: cinnamon, vanilla and chocolate (insert creativity here).

After a few hours spent online researching baking websites (including Fahrenheit 350 blog)I figured out what I needed to do to start creating my own recipes for cookies and cakes. There is actually a lot of science that goes into baking; making sure you have the right ratios and correct proportions of ingredients. Alton Brown's book "food+mixing+heat=baking, I'm Just Here for More Food" is actually a great start if you're interested in a simple breakdown of the science behind baking.

Back to Sunny's cookies! I thought and thought about how I could combine all her requested flavors into one cookie and came up with Cinna-nilla Cookies complete with a white chocolate drizzle. These cookies are actually made by using two doughs and then twisting them together.

Being my first attempt at an original recipe, I definitely have some kinks to work out :) Now let me first say that these cookies definitely taste great (almost like a cinnamon roll in a cookie form). However, there are a few changes that need to be made to the recipe for the presentation to work.... OOPS! :)

Cinna-nilla Cookies
A swEEts Original
Bake: 350 Time: 12 minutes

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

Cream butter, sugar and egg until just blended. Separate mixture into two different bowls.

Bowl #1: Vanilla
Add 1/4 white sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 TBS vanilla pudding mix
1/2 cup flour
-Combine with hand mixer

Bowl #2: Cinnamon
Add 1/4 brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup flour
-Combine with hand mixer

1/2 cup white chocolate morsels
-Melt morsels in the microwave for 1 minute, mix until smooth

Make dough into 2 individual balls, cover with saran wrap and place in refrigerator to chill for 45 minutes. Once the dough is chilled, use floured hands and a floured surface to roll each ball of dough into two long strands. *I found it easier to break it into smaller pieces and work with dough rolled out to about a foot long strand* Once you have two strands combine the top and braid/twist together (as shown in the the picture).

Then cut these strands into 4 smaller cookies, place on parchment paper lined baking tray, cover with saran wrap and place back in the freezer*. After 20 minutes, immediate place in the preheated oven for 12 minutes. Let the cookies cool and drizzle with melted white chocolate.

*This is where I made a mistake.. I didn't place the cookies back in the freezer before baking, which ended in the blobbed mess of cookie that I got. If you don't want cookies to spread it is important to freeze or chill them first so they will maintain their shape better.
* You could also try chilling the dough and making the cookies more like a cinnamon roll. Start with the vanilla dough- with a floured rolling pin (on a floured surface) flatten the dough into a long rectangle. Do the same thing with the cinnamon dough. Once those are flattened take the cinnamon dough and place it on top of the vanilla dough. Start on the edge and roll up making a log. Cover the log with saran wrap and place in the freezer to chill for 20 minutes. Once chilled you can slice the log (just like you would with slice-n-bake cookies).

Happy Baking!