Okay, I’m not crazy. I’m really not crazy. Caramelized onions and squash in a cookie totally makes sense. And when you add the sweet flavors of a cinnamon bun to the mix, all is well in cookie land! Wondering where I got my inspiration for this sweet and savory cookie? ACH Food Companies, Inc. recently released to the market cinnamon sugar sprinkle topping and cinnamon roll flavored syrup so that we can all enjoy the flavors of a melt-in-your-mouth Cinnabon cinnamon bun in our own kitchens. I have to note that the sprinkle topping is not kosher but the syrup is kosher and non-dairy!!! That’s good enough for me since one staple I always have in my fridge is maple syrup and now I can change it up with cinnamon bun syrup.
I was challenged by Cinnabon to share my own Cinnabon Creation with the syrup and/or sprinkles as part of an exciting sweepstakes! I could potentially win a prize pack including: a one-year supply of both the Cinnabon Sprinkle Topping and Cinnabon Syrup, a one-year supply of the topping and syrup for one of my readers (so exciting, right?!?), recognition on the Cinnabon Creations Facebook page and an American Express gift card! So with the challenge in mind, I knew I had to come up with a unique recipe that would truly feature the cinnamon bun flavor of the Cinnabon syrup. With cinnamon bun caramelized onions as a base for this recipe, I decided that a sweet and savory cookie could be a new and fun challenge for me. Boy did it come out good! And it never hurts to top a cookie with cinnamon bun icing! I definitely stepped outside of the box on this one.
Cinnabon Caramelized Onion and Squash Cookie
makes around 40 cookies
1 1/2 cup mashed squash (1 small butternut squash)
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup dried cranberries
1-2 cups cinnamon bun caramelized onions (recipe below)
Cinnamon Bun Caramelized Onions
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 large onions, chopped
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup Cinnabon Cinnamon Bun Flavored Syrup
Cinnamon Bun Flavored Icing
2 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup Cinnabon Cinnamon Bun Flavored Syrup
1 cup confectioners sugar
I began with the caramelized onions since this aspect of the recipe takes the longest. It seems that a lot of people think caramelizing onions means sauteing them on high until soft and brown, but that is seriously not the best way to caramelize an onion! If you want that slow-cooked, sticky and sweet onion to put on your burgers or, in this case, in a cookie, you have to be patient and take your time! Trust me, it’s totally worth it. I heated the olive oil in a large pan on medium heat then added the sliced onions and water. Then I let the onions sit. Every once in a while, I came back to stir the onions and if the water was all gone, I added a little bit so the onions wouldn’t burn.
After 40 minutes, I added the syrup, stirred and let it sit for another 10 minutes. Continue caramelizing the onions until your desired color is reached. I went for dark and sticky onions with tons of sweetness from the syrup.
To make the cookies, I roasted butternut squash pieces in a 400 degree F oven for 30 minutes, until soft and easy to smash. If you are using a whole squash, you can just cut it in half, remove the seeds and cook face down on parchment paper for 30 minutes. I let the squash cool slightly.
In an electric mixer, I creamed the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. I added the eggs and mixed again. I added the squash to the butter mixture and mixed to combine.
In a separate bowl, I whisked together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt. I added this mixture to the squash mixture and stirred until well blended. I folded the dried cranberries in to the batter, then added the caramelized onions.
I spooned the cookie dough on to a parchment lined baking sheet, leaving a few inches between each since they will flatten out a bit while baking.
I baked at 375 degrees F for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown.
For the cookie icing, I melted the butter and cinnamon bun syrup in a small saucepan then added the confectioners sugar and whisked until smooth. Once the cookies were completely cool, I drizzled the icing over the tops.
When my friend, Gina, tasted this fluffy, almost cake-like cookie, I didn’t tell her what surprise she would find inside. On her first bite, she said “Yum!” Her second bite brought on “what is in these cookies? I know that flavor. What is that flavor?” She was so shocked when I told her she was eating a caramelized onion cookie and she went back for a second one. I couldn’t be more pleased. You always want people to enjoy your cooking and baking but I know that I am sometimes a little out there with my concoctions and this combination of sweet and savory was a success! You could even serve these cookies as a side dish, almost like a muffin. The cinnamon bun flavor is pronounced in the onions and the cinnamon and nutmeg in the cookie batter can only enhance the sweetness. And hey, if you don’t like caramelized onions, just leave them out of the recipe. No problem. The icing will still give you that cinnamon bun love!
Here’s hoping the people at Cinnabon love my recipe using the Cinnamon Bun Flavored syrup. Don’t forget to head on over and ‘like’ their Facebook page for more detailed product information! Maybe you’ll be seeing a feature of my recipe soon.
I received the Cinnabon® products used and was entered for a chance to win a Cinnabon Creations prize package in exchange for this post. No monetary exchange took place. All opinions are my own.
makes around 40 cookies