Cookies and Cream Cinnamon Rolls: In Partnership with Vermont Creamery

Cookies and Cream Cinnamon Buns with Vermont Creamery

I add too much milk to my coffee, but it keeps me warm. I fall back asleep while I wait for it to cool a bit; I wake up and it's ice-cold. My mother got me an electric blanket for my birthday, I opened it after Paris. I fixed it on my bed this week but I don't think it gets warm enough. I still wear a ripped up cardigan to sleep in, its sleeves hanging loosely around my stomach and I hold myself to sleep.

It's always like this when you stay long enough in Pennsylvania to experience its winter. It's one you feel in your body rather than through your environments. A part of your mind you forget about for the other three-quarters of the year. As unexplainable as the starbursts that flash in your cornea when you rub the sleep away. It's there, but only for a second, and only so deep down in your instincts you can't remember if you dreamed it or not. That's winter in Pennsylvania, a period of ups-and-downs and a lot of feeling involved.

So sometimes you have to combat it, the cold that's inside and out. I keep the oven on, heat the house up. This recipe started as a simple cookie and grew to what it is today: Cookies and Cream Cinnamon Rolls. And with the help of Vermont Creamery's rich, full-flavored products, it didn't just enhance the flavors and quality, but also the experience of baking itself. Recipe is below.

Cookies and Cream Cinnamon Rolls

Cookies and Cream Cinnamon Buns with Vermont Creamery

This is my favorite dough recipe to use (adapted from here), as it is so forgiving but light and airy. You can stop at Step 17 and refrigerate overnight if you want to bake these off in the morning. Further, this recipe has twice as much cookie dough than what you will need for the rolls, but I included it for just some extra cookies to have on hand!

Ingredients for Cookie Dough and Cookies:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon flaked sea salt
  • 1 ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • 8 tablespoons of room temperature butter (I used Vermont Creamery’s cultured butter for a little bit of an edge to these cookies)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces roughly chopped quality chocolate, like Ghirardelli’s

Ingredients for Cinnamon Rolls:

  • 1 cup half ‘n half
  • ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon white sugar, divided
  • 1¼ cup dark brown sugar + a little more for sprinkling
  • ½ stick of unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water, warm to the touch
  • 5 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 5-6 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
  • 8 ounces roughly chopped chocolate
  • Half of your cookie dough (reserved from above recipe)

Ingredients for Crème Fraîche Icing and Assembly:

Directions for Cookie Dough and Cookies:

  1. Preheat oven to 375*F and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. In a mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and salt
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together sugar, shortening, and butter until light
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, then vanilla
  5. With mixer on low (or use a wooden spoon), slowly add flour mixture into butter mixture until a dough begins to form
  6. Using floured hands, knead cookie dough to come together
  7. Add chocolate and knead a couple times more
  8. Now, divide dough in half: one half goes into plastic wrap and will be used for the cinnamon rolls, the other half can be baked now
  9. Using your hands, roll dough into 2 tablespoon balls and space them out a bit on your prepared sheet. Repeat with remaining dough; you should have 12 to 15 cookies
  10. Bake for 12 minutes, remove, and allow to cool

Directions for Cinnamon Rolls:

  1. In a small saucepan, combine half ‘n half, ¼ brown sugar, ¼ cup of white sugar, butter, and 1 teaspoon salt
  2. Stir and heat on medium until butter is melted, remove and allow to cool
  3. While mixture is cooling, combine water, yeast, and remaining sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment
  4. Allow to stand for five minutes or until yeast begins to foam
  5. Now, turn mixer on its lowest speed and add eggs, one at a time, and vanilla
  6. Keep mixer on and begin to gradually add flour, one cup at a time, wetting intermittently with your half ‘n half mixture
  7. When you have a wet, sticky dough, turn mixer off and change to the dough hook attachment
  8. Turn mixer on medium and allow to knead for a good five minutes or until dough pulls away from sides of your bowl (add a little flour at the beginning if dough is extremely sticky)
  9. Once dough begins to pull away from the sides of your bowl, turn out onto a floured work surface and knead by hand five or six times
  10. Shape into a ball and allow to rest in an oiled bowl, covered with a tea towel, for one hour
  11. When dough is done resting, it should be double in size
  12. Turn back out onto your work surface and punch down, divide into two, putting one half aside
  13. Now, roll your dough half into a rectangle that is roughly 12” by 9”
  14. Sprinkle with ½ a cup of brown sugar, 3 ounces of chocolate, and half of your remaining cookie dough
  15. Take one edge of your dough and roll into itself, tucking the corners as you go, jelly-roll style
  16. Slice into 9-12 rolls. Place these in a parchment-lined cake pan or greased skillet (any baking vessel works here, really) and cover with a tea towel to rise for 30 minutes
  17. Repeat with remaining dough, sugar, 3 ounces chocolate, and cookie dough
  18. While rolls are resting, preheat oven to 350*F
  19. When resting period is complete, top with remaining chocolate and a sprinkle of brown sugar, bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown and puffed. Depending on your oven, you may want to rotate your pans at the 20 minute mark
  20. Remove from oven, allow to cool slightly before topping with your crème fraîche icing

Directions for Icing and Assembly:

  1. In a mixing cup, whisk all ingredients together, add a little milk to the mixture if you find it is not pourable enough to your liking
  2. Pour immediately over warmed cinnamon rolls, then top with a few crumbled cookies!

Cookies and Cream Cinnamon Buns with Vermont Creamery
Cookies and Cream Cinnamon Buns with Vermont Creamery
Cookies and Cream Cinnamon Buns with Vermont Creamery
Cookies and Cream Cinnamon Buns with Vermont Creamery
Cookies and Cream Cinnamon Buns with Vermont Creamery
Cookies and Cream Cinnamon Buns with Vermont Creamery
Cookies and Cream Cinnamon Buns with Vermont Creamery

This post was inspired by Vermont Creamery, who excel at making quality dairy products. In this recipe I used their cultured butter (which I had previously used here and here) and their crème fraîche, which if a thick, cultured cream that will add depth and flavor to any recipe as a substitute for sour cream (but is way more flavorful than sour cream!). Check out their websiteInstagramFacebook, or Twitter for more information. Thank you!