Category Archives: cinnamon



Snickerdoodles are simple cookies with a funny sounding name.  There is really nothing fancy or exotic about this dessert but whether I make them for bake sales, cookie swaps, or dessert tables, they are snapped up in just a few minutes.  Snickerdoodles are a New England staple and I can always spot the New Englader in the crowd since they are the first ones to pounce on the cookie tray.  This recipe is courtesy of America’s Test Kitchen (another New England tradition) and comes together almost as fast as the cookies get eaten.


1 3/4 cups white sugar

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

2 1/2 cups flour

2 teaspoons cream of tarter

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup vegetable shortening

2 eggs

  • Pre-heat the oven to 375.
  • Place 1/4 cup of the sugar and all of the cinnamon in a small shallow dish.  (A pie plate works well).  Combine with a whisk and set aside.
  • In a large bowl combine the flour, cream of tarter, baking soda, and salt.  Whisk together and set aside.
  • Place the remaining sugar in a separate large bowl.  Add the butter and vegetable shortening.
  • Using an electric mixer set on medium speed, beat the ingredients together until they are combined and the entire mixture is light and fluffy, 3 to 6 minutes.
  • Beat in the eggs one at a time and beat until combined.
  • Reduce the speed to low and add the flour.  Beat until just combined and no flour streaks remain.
  • Place two tablespoons (use 1 for smaller, bite sized cookies) dough in your hands and roll into a small ball.
  • Roll each ball in the sugar and cinnamon mixture then place on a cookie sheet.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes (8-10 for smaller cookies).  The cookies will be soft and puffy when done.
  • Remove the cookies from the oven and allow the cookie sheet to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing the cookies and allowing to cool completely.

Mexican Dark Chocolate Sugar Cookies


You can celebrate your valentines any day of the year and my favorite way to do that is with my heart shaped cookie cutter and these intensely chocolate sugar cookies adapted from

On the surface these cookies appear to be simple sugar cookies but all it takes is one bite to realize that you are in for something special. The addition of ground cinnamon, nutmeg and a touch of fiery cayenne pepper adds a surprising burst of flavor in every bite. These spices pair so nicely with the dark chocolate. And while these cookies do contain a very generous amount of sugar they are anything but sweet. Rather they are complex and flavorful making them the perfect sugar cookie.

So go ahead and grab your rolling pin and your favorite cookie cutters and bake this treat today. You won’t be disappointed.


6 cups all-purpose flour, sifted

1-1/4 cups dark cocoa powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 cups  unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup light brown sugar

3 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • In large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne pepper and salt. Set aside.
  • Fit your stand mixer with a paddle attachment. To the mixer’s bowl, add the butter and sugars and beat until fluffy and pale, about 5 minutes.
  • Beat in eggs, one at a time, until just combined.
  • Add flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix on low speed until thoroughly combined.
  • Add vanilla and blend.
  • Remove 1/2 of dough from bowl, make a ball, and place on a large piece of plastic wrap on counter.Wrap the sides of wrap over the ball, then press down with the palm of your hand and make a disc about 2″ thick. Finish wrapping the disc with the plastic wrap. Repeat with 2nd half of dough. Chill both discs of dough for about 45 minutes.
  • Remove one disc and remove plastic wrap. Place the dough on a piece of parchment paper or a silicone rolling mat and roll the dough until it is 1/4 inch thick.
  • Repeat with the remaining ball of dough.
  • Slide your parchment paper and dough onto a board, then place in refrigerator for about 15 minutes.
  • Preheat your oven to 325° F.
  • Remove the dough from fridge, and cut your shapes using the cutters of your choice, placing them on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  •  Place the sheet with the cookies into freezer for 15 minutes before baking.
  • Bake until cookie edges are just crisp, about 16 minutes.
  • Cool sheets on wire racks for 10 minutes, then gently remove cookies and place on wire racks to finish cooling.

Yields: 3 dozen cookies

Cinnamon Bun Muffins


I love cinnamon buns but sometimes there simply isn’t enough time in the morning for the mixing, rising, rolling, sitting and baking that is required of the dough. But not to fear; when the craving strikes but time is of the essence I make these cinnamon bun inspired muffins that are adapted from King Arthur Flour. They are truly the best of both worlds. You get the tender crumb of a buttermilk muffin filled with all of the cinnamon and brown sugar goodness you find in your favorite cinnamon bun. Cinnamon comes in three forms in these muffins. A generous amount of cinnamon chips fill the dough while there is a layer of cinnamon infused brown sugar in the center of each muffin. If that isn’t enough, more cinnamon is sprinkled over the tops before they are baked.

If you love cinnamon these are definitely the muffins for you. They are so delicious that my son has declared them to be “the best muffins ever”.


For the filling:

3 tablespoons melted butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

  • Melt the butter in a small microwave proof dish.
  • Stir in the brown sugar and cinnamon until combined.
  • Set aside.
For the topping:
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
  • Set aside.

For the batter:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

3/4 cup lukewarm buttermilk

2 large eggs

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons cornstarch

3/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 cups cinnamon chips

  • Preheat your oven to 400°F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake papers and set aside.
  •  In a small bowl whisk together the melted butter, buttermilk, and eggs. 
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients, including the chips. 
  • Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients, stirring just until combined. 
  • Divide half the batter evenly among the muffin cups.
  • Dollop 2 teaspoons cinnamon filling onto each muffin. 
  • Top with the remaining batter. 
  • Sprinkle generously with the cinnamon-sugar topping.
  • Bake the muffins for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they’re golden brown.
  • Remove the muffins from the oven, and wait 5 minutes before transferring them from the pan to a rack to cool. 

Yields: 12 muffins

Pork Belly Carnitas


Slow food is some of the best food and along those lines, good things come to those who wait. This is exactly the situation with these flavorful, melt in your mouth pork belly carnitas from Food 52. These carnitas require some pre-planning but I’m sure you’ll agree that the time and effort is so worth it.

These carnitas are one of my favorite lazy weekend cooking projects. The day before I plan on serving them I marinate them in a tangy combination of pineapple juice and spices. The next day the slow cooking begins. The meat cooks in its own juices then its own rendered fat ensuring that the results are fork tender and oh so delicious.

You can serve them as is to enjoy their flavor of top them with your favorite toppings. In my house we like a zippy salsa and guacamole. It is simply oh so good.


cups pineapple juicetablespoons garlic powder

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 1/2 tablespoons cumin

bay leaves

tablespoons dried oregano leaves

2 1/2pounds pork belly, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes

tablespoon salt 

cups unsalted chicken stock

  • In a container or large freezer bag, combine the apple or pineapple juice, garlic powder, cinnamon, cumin, bay leaves, and oregano.
  • Add the pork belly and refrigerate while it marinates for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
  • Remove the pork belly from the fridge an hour before cooking.
  • Preheat the oven to 350° F. Tip the marinade into a large Dutch oven and spread the pork belly pieces in a single layer in the pan. Pour over your stock. Add salt if you’re using unsalted stock. Cook for 2 hours with a lid on.
  • After 2 hours, remove the lid and cook the pork belly for another hour. This will cook off the remaining liquid and finish rendering the pork fat.
  • Remove the pork belly from the oven. Transfer the pork pieces to a large, flat-bottomed skillet. Spoon off as much of the fat as you can from the Dutch oven and add it to the skillet with the pork belly pieces. Avoid any solids from the bottom of the pan, as these will burn!
  • Over medium heat, continue to cook the pork belly in its own rendered fat. The pan should be bubbling but not spitting. Flip the pork belly pieces so that they brown evenly on all sides. This should take about 30 minutes.
  • When all sides are brown and a little crispy, remove the pork belly from the pan and drain on some paper towels.
  • Shred the meat with two forks and serve on top of soft tortillas with your favorite toppings.

Serves 4

Cinnamon Buns w/ Cream Cheese Icing


There’s nothing like waking up to a house filled with the aroma of warm cinnamon. Well, it isn’t a scent this cook wakes up to herself but her family does. And then I get to enjoy it alongside my lucky family. If you love cinnamon, and specifically cinnamon buns, then this recipe from King Arthur Flour is for you. It is rich, spicy and with a smear of cream cheese icing on top, decadent but the perfect weekend morning treat.

If you have night owl tendencies the way I do, even with the two separate dough risings, you can have these warm buns on the table by the time the rest of the family wakes up. Some mornings I do this but on others I prepare the rolls to the point of the second rising the night before. I then cover the buns and let them rise overnight before popping them in the oven in the morning. I also let the icing ingredients set out too; this ensures that they are soft and ready to go when the buns are. So however or whenever you prepare them, enjoy. They are just so yummy.


For the dough:
1 cup lukewarm milk
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast

For the filling:
1/3 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup brown sugar, packed
3 tablespoons ground cinnamon

For the icing:
3 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup  unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer combine combine the milk, eggs, butter, flour, salt, sugar and yeast. Use a wooden spoon and stir until the mixture becomes cohesive. 
  • Using a dough hook, mix for 4 to 7 minutes at medium speed until the dough is well combined and smooth. 
  • Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turn to grease all sides, cover the bowl with a proof cover or plastic wrap, and let it rise for 60 minutes, till it’s nearly doubled in bulk.
  • Transfer the dough to a lightly greased work surface, and roll it into a 16 x 21-inch rectangle.
  • Spread the dough with the 1/3 cup butter.
  • Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl then sprinkle it evenly over the dough.
  • Starting with a short end, roll the dough into a log, and cut it into 12 slices.
  • Place the buns in a lightly greased 9 x 13-inch pan or two 9 inch round pans.
  • Cover the pan with a proof cover or plastic wrap, and let the buns rise until they’re nearly doubled, about 30 minutes.
  • Bake the buns in a preheated 400°F oven until they’re golden brown, about 15 minutes. While the buns are baking, make the icing.
  • To make the icing: In a small bowl, beat together the cream cheese, butter, sugar, and vanilla.
  • Spread the icing on the buns while they’re warm. 

Yields: 12 large buns


Bolognese Hot Chocolate


Does the cold, gray post holiday weather have you down? Are you dreaming of warmer and sunnier days? I know I am but in the meantime I’m keeping myself warm with this rich and spicy hot chocolate adapted from my all time favorite food podcast, The Splendid Table.

The combination of cinnamon, vanilla and orange zest bring a warming comfort to this drink and the chocolate makes it simply rich and divine. I like to use a combination of Belgian chocolates in my drink. And to make this drink that much more decadent, I’d added a splash of heavy cream to this otherwise dairy free drink. You don’t have to but go ahead and do it. It is sure to cheer you up during this post holiday slump!


 4 4-inch cinnamon sticks, crushed

2 to 4 8-inch long vanilla beans, split 

zest of one small orange

pinch of salt

1 cup sugar

2 quarts (8 cups) water

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped

1-1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate, chopped

3 teaspoons vanilla extract 

1/4 cup heavy cream

  • Combine all ingredients except chocolate, vanilla extract and heavy cream in a 4-quart pot.
  • Bring the mixture to a simmer, cover, and cook 5 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat, leave the spot covered, and let steep 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Strain the mixture into an 8-quart pot.
  • Return the pot to the stove setting it over medium heat.
  • Add the chocolate to the mixture and stir until the chocolate has completely melted and the mixture is smooth.
  • Whisk until just below the boil then stir in the vanilla and the cream.
  • Serve immediately.

Serves 8

Cinnamon-Apple Dutch Baby


Breakfast is undoubtedly my favorite meal of the day yet it is one that I am more apt to skip than not simply because I’m not a fan of cooking before I’ve had my morning dose of coffee. On weekends I love lounging around and sipping my coffee while I catch up on the news and plan my day ahead. By the time I am ready to get moving the breakfast hour has passed or what I want to make simply takes too long to get from bowl to table. But when I am really craving breakfast a Dutch baby is my go-to dish.

A Dutch baby is essentially a giant popover and it comes together and cooks up so quickly that it is silly not to make one. The key to a puffy Dutch baby is a very hot oven and eating it the minute it comes out of the oven. To achieve the hot oven I turn mine on before I start any of my other preparations. I cook the apples in the same cast iron skillet that I will bake in then pop the pan in the oven the minute my apples are done. It truly is fast; you can have go from bowl to table in twenty minutes. Why that’s just enough time to enjoy a second cup of coffee.


4 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 semi-tart apples, peeled, cored and sliced (I like Pink Lady)

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 cup 2% reduced-fat milk

2 large eggs

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

  • Preheat oven to 450°.
  • Melt the butter in a 9 inch cast iron skillet set over medium high heat.
  • Add the sliced apples and sprinkle with the brown sugar and cinnamon.
  • Stirring occasionally, sautee the apples until they are soft and the sugar begins to caramelize, about 5 minutes.
  • In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, flour, sugar and salt.
  • Add the batter to the apples and immediately place the skillet in the oven.
  • Bake for 10 minutes or until puffed and browned.
  • Serve immediately.

Pumpkin Biscotti


Christmas is tomorrow  and what better way is there to countdown to the big event than to feature a cookie recipe each day? Think of it as a cookie recipe advent calendar. And to fill that advent calendar I’m featuring twenty five of my favorite holiday cookie recipes that are sure to fill your holidays with cheer. Bake them to fill your cookie trays, bring them to a cookie swap or eat them yourself; they are guaranteed to bring about holiday joy. And if you love baking as much as I do, making them is a fun filled gift unto itself. Enjoy!

What is fast to bake and delicious to eat? Biscotti. I love all kinds of biscotti but this pumpkin version from King Arthur Flour has fast become one of my favorite holiday treats. (OK, I seem to love all holiday treats but this one is right up there on the top of my list). Try them for yourself and I’m sure you’ll agree.


4 tablespoons softened butter, salted or unsalted2/3 cup granulated sugar

1 1/4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 large egg

1/2 cup pumpkin purée

2 cups all purpose flour

Colored sugar for sprinkling (optional)

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, beat the softened butter, sugar, spices, baking powder, and salt until the mixture is smooth and creamy. 
  • Beat in the egg and pumpkin purée.
  • At low speed of your mixer, add the flour, stirring until smooth; the dough will be sticky.
  • Scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheet.
  • Divide it in half, and shape it into two 10″ x 2 1/2″ logs. Pat the logs into long rectangles, and smooth their tops and sides.
  • Sprinkle with the decorative sugar if desired, pressing it in gently.
  • Bake the dough for 25 minutes. Remove it from the oven.
  •  Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F. 
  • Wait 5 minutes, then use a sharp chef’s knife or serrated knife to cut the log crosswise into 1/2″ to 3/4″ slices. Or cut the biscotti on the diagonal, for fewer, longer biscotti. 
  • Set the biscotti on edge on the prepared baking sheet. Return the biscotti to the oven, and bake them for 40 to 45 minutes, until they’re starting to turn golden brown around the edges. Turn off the oven, crack the door open a couple of inches, and let the biscotti cool right in the oven.
  • Remove the biscotti from the oven when they’re completely cool. Store airtight at room temperature for several days.

Yield: 30 to 40 biscotti

Twenty Five Days of Cookies: Cinnamon Bun Pin Wheels


Christmas is just three days (gulp) away and what better way is there to countdown to the big event than to feature a cookie recipe each day? Think of it as a cookie recipe advent calendar. And to fill that advent calendar I’m featuring twenty five of my favorite holiday cookie recipes that are sure to fill your holidays with cheer. Bake them to fill your cookie trays, bring them to a cookie swap or eat them yourself; they are guaranteed to bring about holiday joy. And if you love baking as much as I do, making them is a fun filled gift unto itself. Enjoy!

Warm cinnamon buns bursting with brown sugar, cinnamon and pecans are the perfect morning treat. But who says these flavors have to be saved for breakfast? Not King Arthur Flour; these cinnamon bun inspired cookies are the ultimate holiday indulgence. They are the perfect compliment to your holiday baking and they taste pretty darn good when served slightly warm.

I’ve even been known to keep a roll of the dough in the freezer so I can bake up a fresh batch when the mood strikes. And why not? It is the holiday season after all!



½ cup confectioners’ sugar

¾ cup (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter

½ teaspoon salt, extra-fine preferred

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

1 ½ cups all purpose flour


¼ cup dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons honey

½ teaspoon salt, extra-fine preferred

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

¾ cup (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

½ cup chopped pecans, toasted

1 ½ cups all purpose flour


To make the vanilla dough:

  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl cream together the sugar, butter, salt, and vanilla. 
  • Add the flour, stirring to make a cohesive dough.
  • Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic, and refrigerate until ready to use — at least 1 hour.

To make the cinnamon dough:

  • In a saucepan combine the sugar, honey, salt, vanilla, butter, and cinnamon.
  • Heat over medium heat until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved.
  • Remove from the heat and allow to cool briefly. 
  • Transfer the cinnamon mixture and the toasted pecans to a food processor, and process until smooth.
  • In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the pecan mixture and flour to make a cohesive dough.
  • Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic, and refrigerate until ready to use — at least 1 hour.

To shape the cookies:

  • Place parchment or waxed paper on your work surface and dust it lightly with flour.
  • Lay the vanilla dough on the parchment and roll it into an 18″ x 12″ rectangle. Set it aside.
  • Using more parchment paper or waxed paper, roll the cinnamon dough slightly smaller than the first, into a 17 ½” x 11 ½” rectangle.
  • Place the smaller piece of dough on top of the larger piece of dough, using the parchment to transport.
  • Starting with a long edge, use the parchment to help you gently roll the stacked dough into a tight log, with no gaps.
  • Press the edge to seal, then wrap the log in plastic wrap or parchment, and freeze for 1 hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Remove the dough from the freezer, unwrap it, and place it on a clean work surface. Let it thaw for 15 minutes, or until it’s soft enough to cut. 
  • Use a sharp knife to gently cut the log into ¼” slices. If the dough becomes too soft to handle, place it back in the freezer briefly. Transfer the cookies to the prepared baking sheets.
  • Bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes, or until they feel firm. Remove them from the oven and transfer to a rack to cool.
  • When cool, store airtight, at room temperature; freeze for longer storage.
  • Yield: 4 dozen cookies.

Twenty-Five Days of Cookies: Spiced Molasses Cookies


Christmas is just ten days (gulp) away and what better way is there to countdown to the big event than to feature a cookie recipe each day? Think of it as a cookie recipe advent calendar. And to fill that advent calendar I’m featuring twenty five of my favorite holiday cookie recipes that are sure to fill your holidays with cheer. Bake them to fill your cookie trays, bring them to a cookie swap or eat them yourself; they are guaranteed to bring about holiday joy. And if you love baking as much as I do, making them is a fun filled gift unto itself. Enjoy!

No other flavor profile says winter to me more than the warm and fragrant combination of cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg. And when you add in molasses you are just adding rich complexity to an already delicious and comforting flavor combination. There is just something about this spice blend that invokes images of snowy days spent around a crackling fire. So what could be better than combining all of these flavors into a single cookie?

This recipe is from Williams Sonoma and brings together everything a cookie should be. The flavors are reminiscent of a rich gingerbread while the cookies are crisp on the outside and chewier than a traditional gingerbread cookie. And because the dough is rolled into balls rather than cut out with cookie cutters, they come together in a snap.They really couldn’t be easier. I love to eat these warm and I’m sure you will too.


2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon salt

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 egg, at room temperature

1/4 cup molasses

4 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cloves and salt. Set aside.
  • In a separate larger bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together the butter and brown sugar until fluffy.
  • Beat in the egg and the molasses.
  • Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture, beating until well blended.
  • Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly coat two baking sheets with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Place the sugar on a shallow plate.
  • Using your hands, roll the dough into 1 1/2 inch balls then roll the balls in the sugar.
  • Place the dough balls on the baking sheet, setting them 2 inches apart.
  • Using the tines of a fork, press the fork into each cookie, pushing down to create a decorative top.
  • Bake until just set and lightly browned, 9-11 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing them from the baking sheets.

Yields: 45 cookies

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