February 21, 2013

A new twist on the traditional Snickerdoodle; Snickerdoodle Swirl Cookies

My post yesterday about old fashioned sugar cookies made me even more determined to bake that afternoon.  However, while I thought I was going into the kitchen to make a sugar cookie - and even thought I'd probably use Xylitol or Erythritol to make a sugar free version - in the end I made a full sugar version and it wasn't a sugar cookie.

My daughter had an extra package of a sugar cookie mix in the pantry, leftover from last week when she made Valentine Cookies to take to school.  I saw the store bought cookie mix and then thought about making the dough into a Snickerdoodle, a favorite of our family's.  The thing is;  I hate making little balls and rolling them in cinnamon and sugar.  I know it's easy.  I didn't say it was hard.  I said I don't like it.  I find it monotonous and boring and it's just one those things I don't like doing when it comes to baking.

That's when I decided to do a cinnamon swirl through the cookie instead of rolling them.  And then, my mind went one step further.  Instead of just plain boring cinnamon and sugar, why not use a streusel filling to swirl in the center? And that is how this cookie was born.  It's probably more work than rolling little round balls would be, but I don't care since it was more interesting to do than mindlessly rolling little balls.

First I'd like to offer a sugar free version of snickerdoodles for those who have been following my blog for the last 2 months we've been doing our regular 'sugar free detox' -  SUGAR FREE VERSION HERE
Here is a regular snickerdoodle cookie starting with a cake mix - CAKE MIX SNICKERDOODLE HERE
And another one starting with a cake mix - for those that don't mind rolling the little balls in sugar and cinnamon: HERE
Lastly;  I got my idea to make a streusel filling instead of cinnamon/sugar from my favorite coffee cake here.

Snickerdoodle Swirl Cookies

1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) sugar cookie mix
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 T butter, softened or melted
1/2 t vanilla extract
1 egg

2 Tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar
3/4 t ground cinnamon
5 T butter, melted

In large bowl, stir cookie mix, flour, butter, vanilla and egg until dough forms.  Chill while you make the streusel.  Mix the streusel ingredients together with your fingers or a wooden spoon until blended.  Roll out dough to a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick, between sheets of parchment paper.  Sprinkle as much of the streusel mix as you wish to use on 3/4 of the cookie dough, leaving about an inch at the top.  Starting at the bottom, use the bottom parchment paper to roll the cookie up into a log shape.  This is just like rolling homemade cinnamon rolls.  The top edge of the dough without filling is to press into your dough to seal the 'log' of cookie dough.  At this point it's best to refrigerate the dough to make it easier to cut into rounds.  Slice the dough into equal pieces, about 1/3" wide.  Carefully lay them down on an ungreased or parchment lined baking sheet.  Use your hands to form them into a circle if they've lost their shape while slicing and transferring.  Now use your flat hand to press them down a little bit (flatten them) so the gaps in the streusel are filled in and the cookie is a nice round circle of dough.  Bake about 12 minutes or until the centers are set. Cool 2 minutes. Remove from cookie sheets. Cool completely.

Adding the streusel.  I brought the crumb mixture all the way to the bottom after I snapped the photo

Use the parchment to roll the dough up tightly into a log

I didn't chill my dough - I didn't want to wait! So they lost shape a bit in slicing

Form them into a nice circle and gently press with a flat palm to form

Freshly baked Snickerdoodle Swirls - straight from the oven!

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