A perfectly crispy crunchy tea-time cookie that's filled with cinnamon flavor from edge to edge.
There’s something about the idea of teatime that so incredibly appealing to me. Maybe it’s my British heritage, but the idea of basically stopping whatever you’re doing for a spell in the afternoon and enjoying some tea with tiny sandwiches and cakes and cookies. And okay, I’ve never actually enjoyed an English high tea, so if you’re British, please don’t come for me, and please don’t disabuse me of my (probably painfully wrong) ideas about what teatime is.
My maternal grandmother (whose family descends directly for Cornwall) spent the last 20 years of her life in an independent living facility that hosted a Coffee Klatch everyday at 3pm. As an inveterate baker, she was often tasked with providing a cookie or cake to bring to these daily meetings. I’ve spoken before on the blog about the shoebox full of recipes that she left me when she passed away, and how I’m working my way through them. This recipe for Cinnamon Swirl Cookies was in that box, and I’ve since found basically the exact same recipe in my copy of The Perfect Cookie by America’s Test Kitchen, so you know it’s going to be good.
These delicate little crispy crunchy cookies are a perfect teatime treat. After far too many hours watching The Great British Bake Off, I’ve come to learn that the Brits like their cookies (biscuits) crisp, and while I’m far too American to give up my giant, chewy, tender cookies; I can understand why. There’s something fancy about biting into a thin little cookie disc that isn’t overwhelming in its flavor and that has that perfect little snap.
Cinnamon Swirl Cookies
These are a butter cookie all the way. Two sticks of butter are called for in the recipe, and you can tell the second you bite into one. They are buttery and crisp and delicious, with just the right amount of cinnamon.
To make the cookies, you start by mixing up the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl with a stand mixer, and then you add the butter one piece at a time. By the end of the second stick of butter, the dough is starting to come together. Then you add the cream cheese and the vanilla, and it will look even more like cookie dough. You’ll then take the bowl off of the mixer and knead the dough a few times by hand, just until the dough fully comes together.
Cut the dough in half, and form small 5-6 inch squares, then wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about 30 minutes. You want the dough firm, but still workable.
Spread out two large sheets of parchment, and then place one square of the dough between the sheets and roll out to a rectangle about 12x7 inches. This will take a bit of elbow grease on your part – I found this to be the most labor-intensive part of the process, mostly because the parchment was sliding all over. Weighing it down with a cookbook on one end helped.
Once the rectangle is rolled out, sprinkle the dough with the cinnamon sugar mixture, leaving a small border around the edge, spritz it with water to ensure that everything stays where it’s supposed to, and then roll the dough up, jelly roll style, starting with the short end.
Once both sets of dough are rolled up in logs, wrap those tightly in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. I’ve left them overnight and it’s been fine.
Cut the dough logs into ¼ cookie discs and bake for 12-15 minutes.
Make yourself some tea and pretend to be fancy. 😊
If you like cookies, check these out:
4 H & 35 M
Cinnamon Swirl Cookies
- 2 ½ cups all purpouse flour
- ¾ cup superfine sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 16 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon pieces and softened to room temperature
- 2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Using a stand mixer, mix together flour, superfine sugar*, and salt. Add the butter 1 piece at a time, and mix until a crumbly, and slightly wet dough forms. Add the cream cheese and vanilla and mix until dough begins to form large clumps (about 30-45 seconds). Remove the bowl from the mixer, and knead the dough by hand a few times until it forms one large dough ball.
- Transfer the dough to the counter, and divide in half. Form each half into a 5 inch square, wrap tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- In a small bowl, whisk together sugar and cinnamon
- Working with 1 piece of dough at a time, roll the dough out into a rectangle 12 inches by 7 inches. (do this between two pieces of parchment to prevent sticking)
- Sprinkle the dough with half the cinnamon mixture, leaving a quarter inch border around the edges, and spritz the dough with water to dampen.
- With the short side facing you, roll the dough into a tight log. Pat the log to measure 7 inches and smear the seam with a wet fingertip to seal. Repeat this process with the 2nd half of the dough.
- Wrap the logs tightly in plastic and refrigerate 2 hours or up to overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 375 and line a baking sheet with parchment.
- Slice the chilled dough into ¼ inch thick rounds and space 1 inch apart on the baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for 3 minutes then remove to a cooling rack. Repeat with remaining cookies.
*to make superfine sugar, just run regular sugar through a food processor for about 30 seconds.
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