Thursday, September 3, 2020

Cinnamon Roll Cookies (GF/Vegan)

Gluten Free and Vegan Cinnamon Roll Cookies! Spicy, sweet and perfectly sized for popping into your mouth.
 

Who doesn't love the gooey, spicy bite of a cinnamon roll? I am in the midst of planning my holiday baking spree right now, and I came across a recipe that I made a few years ago and never got to share! I was first inspired to make my childhood favourite mall treat in a cookie form by one of my yoga instructors, who would comment on the smell coming from the cafe below the gym. She has celiac and associated milk allergy, so for the holidays I knew I had to try and make her something reminiscent of the bakery classics. 

Now, since I was trying to keep the cookies as non-irritating as possible for her digestion, I avoided the top 8 allergens including soy. Instead, I stuck to the original recipe, using coconut oil - a move that, ironically, mad me wear gloves the whole time because it's one of my allergies! That said, the dough, filling and even glaze smelled like heaven and my instructor was so grateful for a treat that was safe for her, making the minor convenience well worth it. The dough is in no way elastic or "rollable" like standard sugar cookie dough, so it did break and make not-so-pretty swirls, but the pockets of cinnamon filling were like little bursts of happiness. In all honesty, I think they are quite pretty in a Jackson Pollock type of way, and if you really don't like it, just heavy-glaze them like that internet famous Krispy Kreme (just kidding, don't do that... an even coating is fine). 

Like shortbreads, these cookies store well and are suitable for boxing, mailing and gifting - ours lasted a max of 3 weeks before everyone got and demolished them, but I'd wager another week would have been fine too. Once baked they don't fall apart, so they work well on a cookie tray as well - something that will make any gluten free people at your holiday party happy! You can also make the dough and freeze it pre-bake for last minute finishing, a bonus if (like me) you plan ahead.

Cinnamon Roll Cookies (GF/Vegan)
Adapted from https://www.godairyfree.org/recipes/gluten-free-cinnamon-roll-sugar-cookies
Makes ~32
1 ½ cups icing (powdered) sugar, sifted
⅓ cup refined coconut oil, melted
⅓ cup warm vanilla non-dairy milk (I used pea milk, soy would also work)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup brown rice flour
½ tbsp guar gum
*note, you can replace the above ingredients with 2 1/3 cups of your preferred flour blend with xanthan / guar gum
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt

Filling
1 tbsp refined coconut oil, melted
1 tsp cinnamon
 
Icing
1 ½ cups icing sugar
2 tbsp warm water
1 tbsp gluten free spiced rum (or more water)
  1. In a bowl, beat together the powdered sugar, coconut oil, non-dairy milk and vanilla until creamy. 
  2. Add the flours, starches, guar gum, baking powder and salt and continue to mix until combined, 1-2 minutes. You may need to add an extra tablespoon or two of water if the dough is too dry.
  3. Shape dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for 1 hour.
  4. Meanwhile, mix together the filling ingredients and set aside.
  5. Roll the dough out between sheets of plastic wrap to a large rectangle and spread with the cinnamon filling.
  6. Gently roll / fold the dough into a log. It won't look perfect, and may break as you go, but just try to get it into a cylinder (the messy cinnamon look still tastes awesome). 
  7. Slice the log in half and wrap each log in plastic wrap, then foil. 
  8. Place in the freezer for 1 hour, or up to 5 months.
  9. When ready to bake, heat your oven to 350ºF and line cookie sheets with parchment.
  10. Using a sharp knife, slice dough into ¼-inch thick slices and carefully transfer to the cookie sheets (they don't spread too much so they can be about 1" apart). 
  11. Bake for 9 minutes, then cool on the cookie sheet for 30 minutes before moving to a cooling rack.
  12. Mix the glaze ingredients together and drizzle over the cooled cookies. Let the glaze set for 3 hours.
  13. Once the icing is set, store cookies in an airtight container.