Cinnamon-buns…sort of…not really

Following a recent social protest in Tel Aviv (during which we marched, chanted, and eventually stood while a rally commenced), we did what all good justice fighters do…we indulged.  Tired of marching for a cause, we instead marched ourselves to the brand new Cinnabon storefront on the corner of Rabin Square and ordered a couple of the gooey treats. Actually I sent couple of friends inside to battle the lines while I held the fort at a quickly crowding table.

The thing is I never thought much of Cinnabon growing up, but knowing that this place existed here, in Israel, made me feel like I had to join in the masses.  Plus, someone needed to taste them to make sure they maintained that essential mall/food court/nj flavor.  And let me tell you — my diligence as a good taste testing citizen paid off… these things are insane! Warm doughy cinnamonsugar smeared rings that pull apart dragging creamy frosting with each piece you tear off of the mainland. It’s a particularly sticky experience, and not one I think should be repeated very often, but a nostalgic one nonetheless. I think it is the junk food side of my culinary aesthetic that will always find things like this both desirable and revolting. Its that kind of ‘tension’ that I can really appreciate.  Ok, ok, this is bullshit.  I have a thing for sweets!

and butter!

and dough!

and beer! although there was no beer in this recipe, i was using the empty bottle as a rolling pin. but i do really like beer.

and swirly things!

So when I came across a recipe for cinnamon bun cookies that offered the experience without the wait time, I jumped up to make them. Literally, as in I jumped off the couch, grabbed some money and went to the store to buy the ingredients I was missing.  These are not the traditional yeast based buns, they are more like a biscuit that gets sprinkled and rolled in the fashion of a cinnamon bun.  I like to think these are a compromise, because this version is not nearly as over the top and luxurious as those big yeasty doughy cinnamon buns –BUT you don’t have to wait long to eat them.

Cinnamon Bun-ish Treats
* makes 12 or so ‘cookies’

1 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons  cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons butter softened

Preheat oven to 400F

Combing the dry ingredients , make a well in the center of the bowl and add the cream. Fold until incorporated, this dough is not totally smooth so I stopped stirring when the cream was absorbed. Let the dough rest 5 minutes or so.

Mix the brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl. Using a rolling pin (or any glass bottle if you are working in my kitchen), roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface. You want it to be roughly one foot by half a foot.  I did my best to make it a nice even rectangle, even cutting off bits that were jutting out and mushing them into places that looked like they needed it.  Do your best here.

Spread the sheet of dough evenly with softened butter, sprinkle with salt and then cover with your sugar mixture.  Her comes the fun part!…roll the dough along the long edge and cut even slices.  I managed to get exactly twelve.  Now, the recipe I was following said to place them individually in a muffin tin – which led me to believe that they would rise quite a bit and this might help contain them in some way. In retrospect I think they would turn out about the same on a cookie sheet. Do whatever floats your boat.

Bake for 12 or until lightly golden. Turn out onto a plate so the sugar doesn’t adhere to your pan.  While they were baking I made my own little cream cheese frosting, butter, cream cheese, milk, icing sugar, vanilla, you get the idea. This way when the little buggers were fresh out of the oven I could overdose them in cream and gorge myself.  I suggest YOU do the same.


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