Cinnamon Sugar Cookies

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Cinnamon is to me during the holidays, as pumpkin spice is too many people at Thanksgiving. It’s one of those spices I could put into almost every recipe. Not only did I make star cookies with the dough, I also made a cookie wreath. With a few adjustments, the wreath can be decorated and hung in your home.

Instead of royal icing, I went with cream cheese frosting infused with homemade cinnamon syrup. You can sprinkle cinnamon directly into the frosting but you will have brown specks throughout. That’s fine if I’m making gingerbread cupcakes, but in order to get a whiter frosting, infusing it with a syrup gives better results.

On the star cookies, I used Wilton icing tips #7, #18 and #225 and an Ateco #27 Closed Star Tip to pipe the cream cheese frosting. I like to layer frosting designs so this was a fun experiment with various tips.

Before these went into clear cookie bags for family and friends, I let them set in the refrigerator for about an hour. If they are still a little soft, leave them in longer. It won’t hurt the taste of the cookie.

To make the wreath, I switched gears to layer the cookie cut-outs and use royal icing. Using various size cookie cutters, the wreath can be made any size. Make a medium size with thinner dough to paint and hang inside your home, or make mini wreaths to box and give as gifts.

To make my wreath, I stacked the stars two layers deep starting with the large stars on the bottom then adding a few medium and smaller ones on top. There is no need to press them down or connect them in any way, baking will do that. I allowed the bottom stars to brown longer in order to make sure the upper layer was baked through.

I used royal icing, sprinkles and sanding sugar to decorate various areas of the wreath. My wreath is for eating, not hanging. However, if I were making this as a gift, I would still add ribbon to dress it up before putting it into the gift box. Check out my favorite Royal Icing recipe from Bridget at Bake at 350 which adds a small amount of light corn syrup to make it nice and glossy. I added 1/2 teaspoon to my batch. She lays out the process step-by-step. You can find meringue powder at Michaels, Joann’s, Amazon and various restaurant supply stores online.

TO MAKE A HANGING WREATH….

Instead of rolling out the dough to a 1/4-inch thickness, roll it thinner at 1/8-inch. The wreath needs to be lighter in order to hang and not fall apart. No royal icing is needed. Try painting the cookie with acrylic paint, brushing with glue then sprinkling with glitter…use your holiday creativity. Finish the wreath with a colorful ribbon. REMEMBER to adjust your oven time, start lower, since the stars are thinner. It’s okay to over brown them since they will be covered in paint and glitter. Careful not to over bake as the thinner cookies can become more brittle.

The cookies were soft inside with a slight crunch and filled with cinnamon flavor!

Cinnamon Sugar Cookies

A delicious cinnamon sugar cookie with cinnamon infused cream cheese frosting! Perfect for any season!
Servings 18 cookies
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Chill 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr 2 mins

Equipment

  • Parchment paper
  • Baking sheet
  • KitchenAid® Professional 600 Series Mixer
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Sifter
  • Rolling pin
  • Rubber spatula
  • Cookie cutters
  • Cooling rack

Ingredients

CINNAMON SUGAR COOKIES

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup cinnamon sugar (see recipe below)
  • 1 egg

CINNAMON SUGAR

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

CINNAMON SIMPLE SYRUP

  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 cinnamon sticks (3-inches long)

CINNAMON CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

  • 8 ounces full-fat cream cheese room temperature
  • ½ cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon bourbon-vanilla extract (regular is fine) Use clear for whiter frosting.
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon simple syrup (add more to taste)

Instructions

CINNAMON SUGAR COOKIES

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a medium or large bowl, combine sifted flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • Using a stand-up or hand mixer, cream the butter, sugar and cinnamon sugar, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the egg. Mix untl combined. Add 1 cup of the flour mixture at a time. Mix on low until all flour mixture is just combined. Divide dough into 2 disks, wrap in plastic and chill for 20 minutes.
  • Flour a work surface and roll dough to ¼-inch thickness using a rolling pin. Use cookie cutters to cut shapes, place onto prepared baking sheets and freeze for 10 minutes before baking to prevent spreading. I like to bake one sheet at a time so while one is baking, another is freezing.
  • Bake 9 to 12 minutes. Allow to cool for 1 minute then transfer to a cooling rack. Wait until cookies are completely cool before decorating.

CINNAMON SUGAR

  • Combine granulated sugar and ground cinnamon. Store in an airtight container. This recipe may be doubled for Snickerdoodle cookies, French toast, coffee cake and other recipes.

CINNAMON SIMPLE SYRUP

  • Place all ingredients in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occassionaly. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
  • If you would like a thicker syrup to use for cocktails and other drinks, simmer an extra 10 minutes or more. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 1 hour.
  • Pour syrup through a mesh strainer to remove excess bits. Store in a jar in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 month.

CINNAMON CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

  • Using a stand-up or electric mixer, cream together the cream cheese and butter.
  • Mix in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, until fully incorporated.
  • Add in the vanilla and salt. Mix until combined.
  • Add 2 teaspoons of Cinnamon Simple Syrup to start. Add more to taste. Add a little more powdered sugar if needed for consistancy. I used 1 tablespoon of syrup in my batch.
  • Refrigerate frosting within 2 hours. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month. Bring to room temperature and re-whip with an electric mixer before using again.

Notes

What do you do with leftover Cinnamon Simple Syrup? 
Use in coffees, hot tea, hot cider, iced tea, apple juice, cocktails, sangria, oatmeal yogurt, smoothies, milk shakes, drizzle on pancakes, waffles and ice cream. And of course, there are many great baking recipes out there!
The listed prep and cooking times are for baking the cookies only. You will need extra time to make the Cinnamon Simple Syrup and Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting.
Course: Dessert
Keyword: Cinnamon, Cookie, Cream Cheese, Frosting, Royal Icing, Wreath

Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment on Facebook or Instagram and tag with @morganskitchn and #morganskitchn.

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