A vision came to me. It was a cinnamon-bun-meets-cookie vision. To make this vision a reality, I used the dough recipe for “Fig Pinwheels” from Martha Stewart’s Cookies (page 101) and the butter-sugar-cinnamon filling for the cinnamon roll recipe from The Pioneer Woman Cooks (page 37).
This isn’t the type of recipe you can whip up in a snap, not because it’s difficult but because the dough has to chill three separate times: twice for an hour each, once for half an hour. You could definitely make the dough the day before and chill it overnight, but – hold on to your hats – that does mean starting a day earlier (i.e. you have to know you will want cookies tomorrow. Then again…when is that ever not the case?).
Step one is to make the dough – butter, brown sugar, white sugar, flour, baking soda, salt – then split it in half, wrap each half in plastic, and chill for an hour.
Step two is to roll out each ball of dough into a rectangular shape on a floured piece of parchment paper, then chill for a half hour.
Step three, melt the butter for the filling and have the sugar and cinnamon to hand. PW’s cinnamon roll recipe is scaled to feed hungry cowboys, and it’s decadent; for the cookies, I used just 1/2 stick of butter, 1/4 cup of sugar, and 1.5 tsp cinnamon.
Step four, spread melted butter on each rectangle, then sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon over the butter. Roll each rectangle into a log, and chill the logs for another hour, turning occasionally so they don’t flatten on one side. (Then again, this is according to Martha Stewart; not all of us are as keen on perfect appearance. Most of us figure staying out of jail is a good enough appearance. But I digress.)
Not perfect circles, but they came out fine!
Finally, slice the chilled logs and put the cookies on a baking sheet; bake at 350 F for about 15 minutes, rotating the cookie sheets halfway through. Remove to a rack to cool; store in plastic containers with parchment paper between layers of cookies. (Martha says the cookies will keep for three days.)
Appearance-wise, they turned out great; they look like little snails, but unlike real snails, I will eat these. I was worried that the filling wasn’t thick enough (the original recipe calls for a homemade fig spread, or failing that – and yes, failing is the right word, thank you, Martha – a store-bought jam), but it turned out fine. They might be a tiny bit on the bland side, but I bet the butter-sugar-cinnamon filling made them a lot easier to handle; a fig or other jam filling would have been slippery and sticky.
We’re bringing half this batch to a fellow Hampshire alum who has invited us to tour her farm this weekend; I couldn’t go empty-handed. Must remember to pick up some carrots for the horses on the way! (Sudo’s staying home. As much as I’d love to see what would happen if she met a goat face to face…)