In the mood for Cinnamon!

10 reasons to eat cinnamon

(according to the website, Healthdiaries.com)

 
1.  It can help lower cholesterol
2.  It can help regulate blood sugar
3.  It can relieve arthritis
4.  It is a natural food preservative
5.  It can boost cognitive function and memory
6.  It has an anti clotting effect.
7.  It can cure yeast infections.
8.  It can fight e coli infection.
9.  It has been shown to fight leukemia and lymphoma cancer cells.
10.  It is a good source of manganese, fiber, iron and calcium.
OK OK, I know that in the recipes below, I have mixed this miracle spice with a lot of other ingredients that may counteract some of these benefits but I prefer to focus on the positive and eat cinnamon as much as possible.
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Cinnamon Baked Fruit

This brilliant dessert is a bit like a cobbler. 
The ginger cookies not only made it quick and easy, they, along with the cinnamon, give it an amazing aroma and flavor.  Use the thick crunchy ginger cookies, not the super thin type.  Any fruit that bakes well would work in this recipe.  It was inspired by one published in the UK magazine, Delicious.
3 ripe peaches, roughly chopped
1 banana, roughly chopped
1 cup fresh cherries, pitted and quartered
3/4 cup coarsely broken ginger cookies, plus 2-3 more cookies finely crushed for garnish
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
butter for coating the baking dishes
 
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place the fruit, ginger cookies, cinnamon and sugar in a bowl and mix together gently.  Butter 4 shallow baking dishes lightly, divide the fruit mixture among them and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until fruit is bubbling around the edges.  Cool slightly and serve warm with vanilla ice cream, dusted with cinnamon and a sprinkle of finely crushed ginger cookies.  
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Cinnamon Scones

This is probably my most requested recipe and yet I hesitate to post it.  Not because it is a closely guarded secret but rather because the cinnamon chips have recently become so darned hard to find.  I use the Hershey’s Cinnamon Chips and in the last year or two they have disappeared from the shelves.  You can order them online, of course, or there is a similar product available on the King Arthur Baking website.  Otherwise, keep yours eyes open…I found them this week at Sunset Foods in Lake Forest, IL.  
 
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 1/2 cups cinnamon chips
1 cup heavy cream
 
For glaze:  whisk together 1 cup powdered sugar with a light sprinkle of cinnamon and just enough milk (it will only take a tablespoon or two) to get a consistency that you can drizzle with a fork. 


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Cut in the cutter with a pastry knife until mixture looks like coarse crumbs.  (alternately, you can mix the butter into the dry ingredients with your fingers)  Stir in the cinnamon chips and make a well in the center.  Stir in the heavy cream just until dry ingredients are moistened.  Take care not to overwork the dough and resist the urge to add more cream…it is OK if the dough is crumbly.  On a lightly floured surface, gently pat the dough into a rectangle about 12 by 3 inches.  Cut the rectangle in half, then cut those pieces in half again, which will give you 4 squares.  Cut each square twice diagonally to get 4 triangles from each.  Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or so, until edges are just turning golden.  Cool on a wire rack and use a table fork to glaze with confectioners sugar glaze.  Let glaze dry and serve.
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Snickerdoodles



One of my children once said, “It’s hard to be in a bad mood when there are Snickerdoodles in the house!” Like the best sugar cookie but with so much more personality.  I don’t usually like to cook with shortening but I make an exception for these cookies…it’s for the texture…crisp yet chewy.  This is a recipe from Baking Illustrated.  Hints for getting the best results: use parchment paper, try to make the cookies uniform in size, bake until just starting to brown around the edged and no more… the centers will be soft and puffy but will collapse back down and set as they are cooling.

2¼ cups (11¼ ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened but still cool
¼ cup vegetable shortening
1½ cups (10½ ounces) granulated sugar, plus 3 tablespoons for rolling dough
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, for rolling dough
Adjust oven racks to upper- and lower-middle positions.  Preheat the oven to 400ºF.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt; set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, shortening and 1½ cups sugar on medium speed until well combined, 1 to 1½ minutes.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the eggs, and beat again until combined, about 30 seconds.  Add in the dry ingredients and beat at low speed until just combined, about 20 seconds.
In a small, shallow bowl, combine the 3 tablespoons sugar and the cinnamon for rolling the dough.  Stir well to combine.  Working with a heaping tablespoon of dough each time, roll the dough into 1 inch balls  Roll the balls in the cinnamon sugar mixture and place them on the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.
Bake until the edges of the cookies are beginning to set and the center are soft and puffy, 9-11 minutes, rotating the baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through the baking time.  Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets 2-3 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

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