Cinnabun Glazed Cookies

It's that time of the year again, ladies and gentlemen: annual cookie swaps and white elephant parties...and I LOVE it.

Me, I'm participating in two cookie swaps this year: one big one, which will be revealed next week (Eeek!) and one on Thursday, with my Bible study group. I think I'm making mini gingerbread houses and classic pizelles -- my grandmother's recipe. I promise to upload pictures to Instagram!

Let me tell you about today's recipe: these Cinnamon Bun Cookies (Cinnabun!) smell like heaven -- big whiffs of cinnamon, people. Second, without the icing, they have a slight crunch. If you're into that. However, if you add some cinnamon glaze on top, the glaze soaks in and makes them the ultimate chewy cinnamon cookie. I'm a big fan of snickerdoodles, but these cinnamon cookies may put all snickerdoodles to shame. Just sayin'.

One thing I always seem to find myself saying: "Oh, this recipe is so easy!" Well...this recipe is not the simplest one out there, but you can do it! The rolling takes a little time and finesse. And the final product is to die for! 

If you're looking for a simple and different recipe for a cookie swap, might I recommend:
Peanut Butter Print Cookies {GF}
Stout Chocolate Chip Cookies  
Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles With Bourbon
Copycat Iced Animals Cookies With Pink Glaze
Chocolate & Salted Peanut Beer Brittle
Pistachio Chocolate Truffles {GF} An all-time favorite! No bake!

When you can manage it, homemade is always best!

For the Cookies
Lightly adapted from Quinoa & Cookies

1 c. organic non-hydrogenated shortening, like Spectrum 
3/4 c. organic cane sugar
2 T. vanilla-infused bourbon (learn more about making your own extracts!)
1 T. flax seed, ground
3 T. water
2 1/4 c. organic flour*
pinch of sea salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder, aluminum-free

For the Filling
Adapted from Wanna Come With?

5 T. + 2 tsp. organic non-hydrogenated shortening or vegan butter
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 1/2 T. pure maple syrup
1 T. cinnamon
2 T. flour*
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla-infused bourbon (learn more about making your own extracts!)

*You can use a gluten-free flour blend (with xanthan gum) in this recipe. The cookies' texture will change slightly, but do what you have to do for your health!

Although it may seem counter-intuitive, mix up the filling first: in a small bowl, combine the filling's seven ingredients and cream them together. Boom. Done.

In a small cup, combine the flax and water.  Stir and allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes, until thickened.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the shortening, vanilla, and sugar.  Add in the flax mixture.  Be sure to scrape the sides as needed.  Slowly add in the flour, salt, and baking powder.  Make sure everything is incorporated. If your dough is not coming together, add a tablespoon of water as needed.

Between two pieces of floured parchment paper, roll out the cookie dough -- all those dark specks you see are the flax seed! It should be about a 1/4 of an inch in thickness and (sort of) the shape of a rectangle.

Using an angled spatula, spread your cinnamon filling, without getting too close to the sides of the dough.

As you tightly -- and slowly -- roll up the cinnamon log, use the parchment paper as leverage and use it to shape your roll. Once it is tightly wound up, place it in the fridge for 15 to 20 minutes. Give it time to bond and rest.

Preheat the oven to 375°.  Have two cookie sheets ready to go. Use each of the pieces of parchment (that you used for rolling out) as your liners for your cookie sheets.

Once the log is chilled, slice and bake! Cut the log into about 1/2 inch slices. Gently lay them down face first on the lined cookie sheet; again, gently press your fingers down to flatten them, just a little. These cookies will spread a little, so arrange them accordingly.

Bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes. Mine took closer to 14 minutes. Allow them to cool on the tray for 5 to 10 minutes and then transfer them to a cooling rack. If you have cookies that are waiting for the oven, store the cookie tray in the fridge if you can -- you want that dough cool!

For the cinnamon glaze: If you want to ice the cookies, mix powdered sugar (about a cup) and a teaspoon of cinnamon with a little bit of water until the consistency resembles thick Elmer's Glue. Slather the icing over the cookies, if desired. Allow the glaze to dry until it is hard to the touch. (If it doesn't get hard, you didn't add enough powdered sugar.)  I let mine sit out overnight loosely covered, just to get the icing hardened.

I'm not gonna lie...they taste AH-MAZING with the glaze on them!

Enjoy these cookies -- I know your family and friends will love them :-)