Brown Butter Cinnamon Bun Sandwich Cookies

published Nov 27, 2022
Brown Butter Cinnamon Roll Sandwich Cookies Recipe

The iconic cinnamon bun like you've never seen it before: as a a bize-sized sandwich cookie.

Serves14

Makes14 (2-inch) cookies

Prep40 minutes

Cook20 minutes

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Cinnabon sandwich cookies on a square plate
Credit: Photo: Christopher Testani; Food Styling; Jesse Szewczyk; Prop Styling: Sarah Smart

This recipe is a part of Secret Family Cookies — a dozen recipes from our favorite bakers, inspired by the people who make them feel at home. Get all the amazing cookies here.

Despite everyone in my family having slightly different palates, we all unanimously love cinnamon buns. The iconic spiral of warming cinnamon paired with a slathering of tangy cream cheese frosting just tastes like happiness. We always eat them fresh out of the oven, pulling them apart to enjoy together.

For this holiday season, I’ve turned my family’s favourite treat into little individual cookies. I found that a sandwich cookie is the perfect vessel for this: With two cinnamon-roll biscuits and a cream cheese frosting filling, you get all the flavours in every bite. This recipe calls for browning the butter for the cinnamon-sugar swirl and the cream cheese frosting. It’s an extra step that creates a lovely, nutty undertone that really amplifies the flavour of the cookies.

Credit: Photo: Christopher Testani; Food Styling; Jesse Szewczyk; Prop Styling: Sarah Smart

Any time I make a batch, I can never eat one alone. Instead, I take out the biscuit tray, put them on the table and, with our cups of tea, we all dig in together. My sisters and I just love tucking into a cookie that’s so reminiscent of our favourite bakery bun. And whilst my parents didn’t grow up eating cinnamon rolls, they love the novelty of these.

Brown Butter Cinnamon Roll Sandwich Cookies Recipe

The iconic cinnamon bun like you've never seen it before: as a a bize-sized sandwich cookie.

Prep time 40 minutes

Cook time 20 minutes

Makes 14 (2-inch) cookies

Serves 14

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

For the cinnamon roll cookies:

  • 7 tablespoons

    unsalted butter

  • 1/2 cup

    granulated sugar

  • 2 tablespoons

    vanilla bean paste

  • 1

    large egg

  • 1 3/4 cups

    all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/4 cup

    demerara sugar

  • 1 teaspoon

    ground cinnamon

For the cinnamon sugar and cream cheese frosting:

  • 9 tablespoons

    unsalted butter, divided

  • 6 ounces

    cream cheese

  • 1/4 cup

    granulated sugar

  • 4 teaspoons

    ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 cup

    powdered sugar

  • 2 teaspoons

    vanilla bean paste

  • 2 teaspoons

    honey

  • 1 pinch

    kosher salt

Instructions

Prepare the butter and cream cheese:

  1. Place 7 tablespoons unsalted butter for the cookies in the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl if using an electric hand mixer). Place 1 tablespoon of the unsalted butter and 6 ounces cream cheese for the cinnamon sugar and frosting on the counter. Let everything sit at room temperature until softened.

  2. Brown the remaining 8 tablespoons unsalted butter for the frosting and cinnamon sugar: Melt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Continue to cook, swirling the pan occasionally, until foam forms at the top and the solids at the bottom brown, about 5 minutes. Immediately scrape the butter, including the solids, into a small heatproof bowl. Let sit until room temperature. Meanwhile, make the cookie dough.

Make the cookie dough:

  1. Add 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons vanilla bean paste to the bowl with the 7 tablespoons unsalted butter. Beat on medium speed with the paddle attachment until combined, about 1 minute. Add 1 large egg and beat until combined, about 1 minute.

  2. Place 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt in a medium bowl and whisk to combine. With the mixer on the lowest speed, add to the butter mixture gradually and beat until just combined.

  3. Transfer the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and shape into a disc. Wrap the disc up in the plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firmed up slightly, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, wash and dry the stand mixer and attachment. Make the cinnamon sugar.

Make the cinnamon sugar:

  1. Transfer 2 tablespoons of the room temperature browned butter to a small bowl. Add 1/4 cup granulated sugar and 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon to the remaining browned butter and stir together until it looks like wet sand.

Roll out and bake the cookies:

  1. Unwrap and place the dough on a lightly floured work surface. Roll out into a 7x12-inch rectangle about 1/4-inch thick with a longer side closer to you. Spread the cinnamon sugar evenly over the dough. Starting at the bottom, slowly roll up into a tight log. Wrap the log up in plastic wrap and tighten and twist the ends of the plastic to keep the log compact and intact.

  2. Freeze the log for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, arrange 2 racks to divide the oven into thirds and heat the oven to 350ºF. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

  3. Unwrap the log and brush all over with the remaining room temperature browned butter. Sprinkle all over with 1/4 cup demerara sugar. Place on a cutting board and cut crosswise into 28 to 30 (1/3-inch thick) rounds. Place all the rounds on the baking sheets, spacing them evenly apart.

  4. Bake for 8 minutes. Rotate the baking sheets between racks and from front to back. Bake until firm on the edges but still slightly soft in the middle (this works well for a sandwich cookie so the filling doesn’t ooze out), about 7 minutes more. (If you want a crunchy cookie, bake for 5 minutes more.)

  5. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes. Transfer to wire racks and let cool completely. Meanwhile, make the cream cheese filling.

Make the cream cheese filling:

  1. Place the remaining browned butter and the 1 tablespoon softened unsalted butter in the bowl of the stand mixer (or medium bowl if using an electric hand mixer). Beat with the paddle attachment on medium speed until combined, about 1 minute.

  2. Add 1/2 cup powdered sugar and beat on high speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste, 2 teaspoons honey, and 1 pinch kosher salt. Beat on medium speed until combined, about 1 minute. Transfer the mixture to another bowl.

  3. Place the cream cheese in the now-empty bowl and beat on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the butter mixture to the cream cheese in 3 additions, beating on medium speed after each addition until combined. Transfer to a piping bag or plastic zip-top bag.

Assemble the sandwich cookies:

  1. Flip half of the cookies over. Cut the tip off the piping bag or a bottom corner of a zip-top bag. Pipe about 1 heaping tablespoon of the filling onto each upside-down cookie. Top with the remaining cookies right-side up to make the sandwich cookies.

Recipe Notes

Vanilla bean paste substitution: Vanilla extract can be substituted for the vanilla bean paste.

Storage: The cookies can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.