An Ardent Collaboration
Cinnamon Toast has a special place in my heart. There is something wonderfully appealing about the way a hot oven melds the sweet warmth of cinnamon and a dusting of sugar on a pallet of buttered bread. The resulting crisp veneer of spicy caramelized sugar has long been a powerful charm for chasing the cold from my winter mornings. It is such a potent memory that I can almost taste the sweetness, feel the warm scent in my nose as it invites a smile to linger on my lips.
Of course the ardent collaboration of cinnamon and sugar has the power to warm more than just a slice of toast on a cold morning. The beauty of this alliance is easily transferred to other delightful applications. Cinnamon is perfect for enlivening a sweet streusel topping, adding mystery to a cup of hot chocolate, or a vivid accent to a fruit medley.
Sweet and Simple
Cinnamon and sugar also makes a fantastic topping for biscotti, that crisp twice-baked cookie often served with coffee or tea. This recipe for biscotti is unique in its initial plainness. It is made from a basic recipe without the common additions of fruit or nuts. It is first baked without adornment, as two mildly sweet loaves on a single baking sheet.
What makes Cinnamon Toast Biscotti special is what’s added as it is baked the second time. After cutting the loaves into thick slices and toasting one side, the biscotti is brushed with a bit of butter and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar, like a slice of Cinnamon Toast. When it goes back in the oven the cinnamon topping is sealed to the cookie as it fully develops that wonderful crunch, lending a sweet touch of cinnamon warmth to every bite.
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup butter
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
1½ teaspoons vanilla
1-2 Tablespoons butter, melted
2 Tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a large baking sheet and set aside.
In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, beat ¼ cup butter until smooth. Add brown and white sugar and continue to beat until very smooth, several minutes.
Add eggs, one at a time, and continue beating. Add vanilla and beat until smooth and well combined.
Stir in dry ingredients, just until combined.
Divide the dough in half and turn onto the prepared baking sheet. Shape each half into a log approximately 2 inches wide, 12 inches long, and 1 inch high. Make sure the logs are at least 2 inches apart on the baking sheet.
Bake at 350F for about 20-25 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack. After a few minutes remove loaves from the pan and allow to cool on the wire rack for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes cut each loaf into ¾ inch thick slices. Place each slice face down on the baking sheet. Return to oven and bake at 350F for 10 minutes. Remove pan to a wire rack.
Combine the 2 Tablespoons sugar and the 2 teaspoons cinnamon.
Flip each cookie over. Brush the side turned up with just a little of the melted butter and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar mixture.
Return to oven and bake 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven and allow cookies to cool.