Cinnamon Roll Cookies –
Can you guess what inspired these Cinnamon Roll Shortbread Cookies just by looking at them? I bet it would take you at least a few tries…that is unless maybe you have a preschooler in the house.
Play-Doh inspired these cookies! To be more specific it was bright green Play-Doh with some mashed in electric blue smears. I know, it doesn’t sound appetizing at all but you never know what will preheat your creativity.
My son, CJ, loves to roll Play-Doh into logs then twist the logs into swirls. He sees snails. I see cinnamon rolls. Or are they called cinnamon buns? Either way, it’s clear I always have baking on the brain!
Cinnamon Roll Shortbread Recipe
You start with a basic shortbread dough. Cream together 1 stick of unsalted butter, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, and 1/8 teaspoon of salt.
Stir in 1 and 1/3 cups flour until just combined. It will look a little grainy, that’s OK. Mix in 1 tablespoon of milk to bring it all together. You want the mixture to look like Play-Doh. If it’s a dry day, you may need to add a little bit more milk.
Scoop your dough into tablespoon-sized portions.
Now for the part CJ loves! Roll each portion into a log about 9-inches long.
Twist each log into a spiral shape then place it onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
I originally tried making these like real cinnamon rolls where you put the filling on a flat sheet of dough, then roll it all up at once. That made a mess…an ugly mess. #BakingFail
Here we add my favorite part, the cinnamon-sugar. Just mix 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon in a small bowl. Then, sprinkle the mixture over the cookies.
Bake in a 350-degree oven for 10-12 minutes, just until they’re set.
Cool on the pan for two minutes then move the cookies to a wire rack. I love my Wilton Cookie Spatula for this.
While your cookies cool, you can make the vanilla frosting drizzle. Beat two tablespoons of soft unsalted butter with 1/2 cup powdered sugar, two teaspoons of milk, 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla, and a pinch of salt.
Drizzle frosting onto each cookie. I popped a Wilton round #2 tip into a plastic sandwich bag then filled the bag with frosting to pipe precise lines. You could drizzle it on with a fork or spoon if you prefer.
Doesn’t that look hypnotizing? I can almost hear it calling, “Look into my swirls, come closer, you can’t resist me.”
These are just so pretty. You can pack them in a cute box to make a sweet gift.
And there you have cookies inspired by Play-Doh! What’s the strangest thing that has ever inspired you in the kitchen? You can let me know in the comment section below the recipe.
I originally created this recipe for Parade’s Community Table.
- 4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 ⅓ cups flour
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons milk
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla
- pinch salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In large bowl, beat butter, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in flour until just combined. Add milk. Mix until dough resembles play dough. If it is a dry day, you may need to add more milk.
- Measure dough into tablespoon-sized portions. Roll into logs about 9 inches long. Twist the logs into spiral shapes.
- In small bowl, mix sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle over cookies.
- Place cookies two inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 350-degrees for 10-12 minutes until set. Cool on pans for two minutes. Place on wire rack to cool.
- In small bowl, combine softened butter, powdered sugar, milk, vanilla, and salt. Beat until smooth. Spoon or pipe frosting over cooled cookies.
- Store tightly covered for up to three days.