…a deep vat of icing that is. What would Christmas be without a delicate dusting of snow all over everything? Now outside, this may not be the greatest thing, what with its horrible associations with slush, ice, general freezing coldness and terrible traffic. There’s a good reason why winter is iconically represented by an old man, because (and admittedly this might be just me here), winter turns everyone into grumpy, crotchety people with dry cracked skin reminiscent of the wrinkles of years future (or exaggerating those of years present), wearing a million layers of clothing to keep warm (fashion be damned and practicality instead winning the day). You find yourself taking baths to ease your aching bones, indulging in more naps and going to bed at the crack of 9pm. And all those people who wax poetic about how winter is their favourite season and all the fun things you can do in the freezing cold? Those crazies force you to start fantasizing about pushing them naked into a snowbank and screaming “where’s your love of winter now jerkface????!!!”. Ahem…sorry about that..clearly the winter season is already messing with my psyche 😉 .
The personification of old man winter and his snowy domain in cookie form however really just means covering everything in a warm, ooey gooey layer of icing 🙂 . Now there’s some snow I can get behind! The snow/icing capped deliciousness for this week is embodied in these cinnamon roll cookies. I’ve had the concept for these in mind for months, I kept intending to make them, but just had too many other things that kept winning out (I know right?!! How can that possibly be??). I figured what better time to sneak these in then when I’m already making a badgillion other cookies? Plus, just thinking about making them makes me imagine a fresh batch of cinnamon rolls warm from the oven, drizzled in a thick layer of icing and it’s all I can do to not start salivating all over myself (acceptable if I’m embracing my old man self however, but I should probably consider putting a bib on first 😉 ).
These were actually shockingly easy to make, and, if you wanted, you could make them in advance, keep the icing separate and then just warm it up on Christmas morning and drizzle/ pile it on and eat them for breakfast (we all know you have no intentions of eating well on Christmas day anyway, so why not start the morning off with cookies? 😉 ). The hardest part about making these was probably waiting for the dough (which is fairly soft) to firm up enough in the fridge so that I could roll it out and slather it in butter, sugar, cinnamon and pumpkin. The smell of cinnamon-y goodness that emanated from the oven as these were baking was almost more than I could handle. Full disclosure, in my impatience to try one of these puppies, I over eagerly reached into the oven at full speed and proceeded to tattoo myself with two long burn lines on my arm. Worth it.
In case you were thinking to yourself that Amber is clearly off her rocker (and should she really have left her rocker without her old man cane to support herself?? I think not 😉 ), I managed to find an article in The Onion which perfectly articulated my feelings on the cinnamon roll – I highly recommend the 2 second read here.
So, to avoid having everyone else steal them, tie a bib on and start shovelling these into your face as fast as you can (and frankly, if a little gets on your clothes, just cover it up by throwing on your winter coat…the hider of many sins 🙂 ).
Yield: 2-3 dozen cookies (depending how thickly you slice them)
- 1/2 cup vegan butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg replacer
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups pastry flour (or just use 3 cups of all purpose if that’s all you have, I just find this makes them a bit more cinnamon roll-like)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon maple extract
- 1/4 cup vegan butter, softened
- 1/4 cup pumpkin butter or pumpkin pie filling (or just pumpkin puree if you want it less sweet)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and butter until fully mixed. Add in egg replacer and continue blending to combine.
- In a medium sized bowl, sift together the flours, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
- Add half the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and blend, then add half the almond milk and blend.
- Repeat step 4 with the other half of the flour and almond milk.
- Blend in vanilla and maple extracts.
- Chill the dough in the refrigerator for an hour (or up to overnight), so that it’s cold enough to roll out.
- Roll dough into a rectangle about an inch thick. Try and do all of this quickly as the dough starts to get sticky and harder to work with if it warms up too much.
- In a small bowl, stir together the butter and pumpkin butter and spread as evenly as possible onto your dough.
- In a small bowl stir together brown sugar and spices and sprinkle evenly over the dough.
- Carefully roll the dough into a log rolling from the long end. Slice into 1 inch cookies and place on prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes. They should be ever so slightly browned and not look raw, but you want them to still be soft looking when you remove from the oven. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet before moving them.
- Top with icing if desired (see recipe below).
- 1 cup icing sugar
- 4-5 teaspoons coconut oil
- 1/2 teaspoon caramel extract (if you have it, alternatively just use vanilla or maple)
- splash of almond milk
- Sift the icing sugar into a small bowl. Add the coconut oil and extract and blend with an electric mixer.
- If the consistency is too thick, add almond milk slowly until spreadable consistency is reached.
- Ice cookies!
- Devour 😉 .