Cinnamon Raisin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting: The Dessert That Came to Me in a Dream

About two weeks ago, a girl in my summer course told us that she had a dream full of muffins and raspberries and white chocolate, and she knew that she had to create this combination. I thought it was a little strange that she would have a dream in which she envisioned a new recipe, but was inwardly jealous that her brain would be that innovative and downright useful during a R.E.M. cycle. My dreams are usually nonsensical romps through places I've never been, interacting with intrinsically familiar people I've never actually seen before. I usually wake up utterly confused.

Then, about one week ago, I had a dream - a fully-sensical, fully useful dream full of cinnamon and raisins and cookies, and I just knew that I had to create this combination. It was like my brain was capable all this time of dreams that I would wake up inspired by as opposed to completely boggled by, and all it needed was a little reminder that it knew how to do this. The dream was really about how cinnamon raisin bagels smeared with a little cream cheese is one of my "treat" breakfasts. You see, I'm stubborn about what I eat for breakfast. I think it's really important to start your day off well, so I usually go for whole grains, low fat dairy, and fruit in some format (cereal, oatmeal, yogurt parfaits, etc.), or eggs with lots of veggies and maybe a little whole grain toast. Comparatively, cinnamon raisin (non-whole grain) bagels and cream cheese are pretty devoid of nutritional value. So, it's one of my treat breakfasts...and why not turn a treat breakfast into the ultimate treat, dessert?

I started with a base recipe for oatmeal raisin cookies, and for this I went over to Smitten Kitchen, because really, why the heck not? And then I changed the recipe, just a smidge. And turned it into a cookie sandwich with a cream cheese filling. And then I nervously watched as people tried this crazy concoction.

The verdict: "delicious," and "perfect." These are direct quotes, people. To be fair, I also got, "I'm not really a big fan of cream cheese," and "They're very sweet," and there are definitely modifications to be made. However, for a first crazy attempt spawned by a dream, I have to say, I'm pretty satisfied.

Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Cookies, with (or without, if you please) Cream Cheese Frosting, inspired by ma tete and aided immensely by Smitten Kitchen and Baking Bites
Yield: Theoretically? 2-3 dozen small cookies. Actually? 19 large-ish cookies (maybe 2 1/2" in diameter - perfect for stand alones but a little daunting for sandwiches)
The Ingredients - The Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Cookie
1/2 C butter, softened
2/3 C light brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 C all-purpose flour
1/2 sp baking soda
1/2 tsp + 1/2 tsp, rounded, ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt (omit if using salted butter; I can't vouch for unsalted)
1 1/2 C rolled oats
3/4 C raisins

The Ingredients - The Cream Cheese Frosting
4oz. cream cheese (I used 1/3 fat)
2 Tbsp. butter, room temperature
1/2 C confectioner's sugar (add more to taste)
1/2 tsp. vanilla

The Method
1. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, 1/2 tsp. of the cinnamon, and salt (if using) together. Stir this into the butter/sugar mixture. Stir in the oats, raisins and walnuts (if using), and add the remaining cinnamon.
3. Scoop the dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets 2in. apart. I used a not-quite-full ice cream scoop and wound up with way bigger cookies than I intended; if you're going for the sandwiches, I would use a regular tablespoon.
4. Either bake them right away or, as I would recommend, chill in the fridge or freezer for an undetermined amount of time.*
5. Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, taking them out when golden at the edges but still a little undercooked-looking on top. Let them sit on the hot baking sheet for five minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool.

6. Once, cool, move onto the frosting: cream together the butter and cream cheese until well blended. Add the sugar a little bit at a time until you reach the consistency and level of cream cheesy/powdered sugary contrast you desire.** Finally, add the vanilla and stir to combine.
7. Spoon into a pastry bag fitted with a relatively small tip - I've never used one, so I really couldn't say which number would be appropriate - or, as I did, a ziplock bag and cut a small piece off of the corner.
8. Pipe onto the center of half of the cookies, and sandwich another one on top, pressing very gently around the center to push the filling out to the edges without breaking the cookies (something I did only mildly successfully).
9. Chill in an airtight container if not serving immediately.

*Note: I did it for maybe 10 minutes and am unsatisfied with the result (in the freezer, too!) so I'm going to go for a full half hour next time, maybe in the fridge to maintain a little caution. This is supposed to thicken the cookie more, and mine still wound up with holes in them and some of them broke apart easily.
**Note: I wanted the filling to taste much more like cream cheese than an actual icing, since the cookie was already so sweet and the whole goal was to get as close to a cinnamon raisin bagel with cream cheese as possible. Feel free to add more powdered sugar, though.

Here's what I'm going to change next time, and maybe you can try out if you decide to make these:
1. Chill the dough for longer.
2. Scale back the sugar: this will both stop some of the spreading, since sugar melts, but it should also cut back on the sweetness that several people noted.
3. Spoon out the dough into smaller portions.
4. Consider adding nutmeg or allspice, as I had intended but forgot all about when it came time to make them.

These are by far no patriotic-themed dessert, as I'm sure you've seen plenty of this weekend, but they are undoubtedly enjoyable. Yes, they are sweet, but they are also chewy, soft, and very reminiscent of my treat breakfasts - if only I could nail that cinnamon swirl that those bagels and breads get! I highly recommend trying these out, as well as going for any crazy idea that comes to you in a dream. Your subconscious could be telling you about something unforgettable, or at the very least, non-regrettable.

I hope everyone who celebrated had a great Independence Day, and anyone who didn't celebrate had a happy July 4th!

  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • RSS


Post a Comment