Isn’t it amazing how a certain aroma can trigger favorite experiences and memories? For many people, the scent of cinnamon especially has that effect.
Isn’t it amazing how a certain aroma can trigger favorite experiences and memories?
For many people, the scent of cinnamon especially has that effect.
Maybe it is because the spice is most used in baking, and few among us can resist sweet smells wafting from a warm oven.
This time of year, cinnamon frequently makes its way onto our dinner and dessert plates and also into our mugs.
In addition to being used in side dishes and confections, cinnamon is used in beverages such as chai, a spiced milk drink perfect for cold weather. Cinnamon can also make its way to our holiday trees, in the form of cinnamon ornaments. This easy craft is a great way to bring the heady scent into your home.
When buying cinnamon, be sure to look at the label. Inexpensive cinnamon is suitable for crafts and garnishing, but when purchasing cinnamon for recipes, get the good stuff.
Sri Lankan cinnamon is regarded as a true cinnamon and the best cinnamon. It is also known as Ceylon cinnamon or canela. Indonesian cinnamon has a similar taste, but has larger quills and is considered a step below the Sri Lankan spice. Much of the cinnamon sold in the United States actually is a combination of cinnamon and cassia, a similar spice. Be sure to look for pure cinnamon in the spice aisle or in specialty food stores.
What is cinnamon?
Cinnamon comes from the inner bark of a tropical evergreen tree native to Sri Lanka. The bark is harvested during the rainy season when it is pliable, and then it dries into curls. Cinnamon is sold as sticks or ground into a powder.
With its warm sweet flavor and endless versatility, cinnamon has been called the workhorse of the spice rack. It is most widely used in baking, but also in savory dishes as well, such as sauces, stews and chili.
Reach Repository Food Writer Jennifer Mastroianni at (330) 580-8304 or e-mail email@example.com
ROASTED SWEET POTATOES WITH CINNAMON PECAN CRUNCH
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar, divided
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 cup dried cranberries
6 tablespoons butter, cut up, divided
1/2 cup flour
1 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix 1/4 cup of the brown sugar, orange juice, vanilla, 1/2 teaspoon each of the cinnamon and ginger, and salt in large bowl. Add sweet potatoes; toss to coat well. Spoon into 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with cranberries. Dot with 2 tablespoons of the butter. Cover with foil. Bake 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix flour, remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar and remaining 1 teaspoon each cinnamon and ginger in medium bowl. Cut in remaining 4 tablespoons butter with a fork until coarse crumbs form. Stir in pecans. Remove sweet potatoes from oven and stir gently. Sprinkle evenly with pecan topping.
Bake, uncovered, 25 to 30 minutes longer or until sweet potatoes are tender and topping is lightly browned. Makes 8 servings.
Nutritional Information per serving: Calories: 439; fat: 19 g.; carbohydrates: 63 g.; cholesterol: 23 mg.; sodium: 257 mg.; fiber: 6 g.; protein: 4 g.
GINGERBREAD BARS WITH CREAM CHEESE ICING
1 1/4 cups flour
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
1/3 cup molasses
3 tablespoons water
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 13-by-9-inch baking pan with foil. Spray foil with no stick cooking spray. Mix flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Set aside.
Beat butter and 3/4 cup of the sugar in large bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in egg until well blended. Gradually beat in flour mixture until well mixed. Stir in molasses and water just until blended.
Spread evenly in prepared pan.
Beat cream cheese in large bowl with electric mixer until smooth. Beat in remaining 1/2 cup sugar and vanilla until smooth. Reserve 1/2 cup of the icing; refrigerate remaining icing. Spoon dollops (about 1 teaspoon each) of the reserved icing over batter in pan. With knife or spatula, swirl icing through batter to marbleize.
Bake 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 15 minutes. Lift out of pan using foil. Cool completely on wire rack.
Invert and peel off foil. Spread refrigerated icing over top. Cut into bars. Store in refrigerator. Makes 27 (1 bar) servings.
Nutritional Information per serving: Calories: 131; fat: 7 g.; carbohydrates: 16 g/; cholesterol: 28 mg.; sodium: 117 mg.; fiber: 0 g.; protein: 1 g.
3/4 cup applesauce
1 bottle (4.12 ounces) McCormick Ground Cinnamon
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Mix applesauce and cinnamon with hands in small bowl until smooth ball of dough is formed. Using about 1/4 of the dough at a time, roll dough to 1/4-inch to 1/3-inch thickness between two sheets of plastic wrap. Peel off top sheet of plastic wrap; cut dough into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Make a hole in top of ornament with drinking straw. Place ornaments on baking sheet.
Bake for 2 1/2 hours. Cool ornaments on wire rack. (Or, to dry ornaments at room temperature, carefully place them on wire rack. Let stand for 1 to 2 days or until thoroughly dry, turning occasionally).
Insert ribbon through holes and tie to hang. If desired, may be decorated with glitter, sequins, paint and more.
If a different size bottle of cinnamon is used, measure 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cinnamon. Makes 12-15 ornaments
Prep Time: 30 minutes. Cook Time: 2 1/2 hours, or 1 to 2 days drying time.
2 cups water
2 individual tea bags
1 cinnamon stick
6 cardamom seeds, crushed
1 whole clove
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
2 1/2 cups milk
1/3 cup sugar
Sweetened whipped cream
Ground Cinnamon sticks
In a small saucepan, combine first six ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in milk. Return to boil for 1 minute, then remove tea bags and strain.
Stir in sugar until dissolved. Pour into mugs. To each serving with whipped cream, cinnamon and a cinnamon stick. Four servings.
Taste of Home