This week’s Tuesdays with Dorie recipe, Cinnamon Squares, was selected by Tracey of Tracey’s Culinary Adventures. Check out Tracey’s blog for the complete recipe. At first I thought that this was a bar cookie, but it is actually a coffee cake. The batter is heavily flavored with cinnamon and has a ribbon of chocolate in the middle of the cake. The cake is topped with chocolate frosting, which I chose to omit. I just made the cake and dusted it with powdered sugar. Sometimes it is best to keep things simple.
This recipe calls for a huge amount of cinnamon, nearly two tablespoons! I thought that would be way too much, but it actually didn’t seem to be too much after everything came together. Some of the cinnamon goes into the cake batter; the rest of it is combined with sugar and espresso powder to create a super-charged cinnamon sugar.
This is a hand mixed batter, with you combining all of the dry ingredients, then adding milk, eggs, and vanilla, and then folding in melted butter. The recipe called for 10 tablespoons of melted butter, which was a lot considering there is less than 2 cups of flour. It took a little work to fold in all of the butter. I kept folding and still had a little pool of butter floating on top of the batter. I eventually got everything mixed in. It baked nicely, although mine got quite browned around the edges. I had to bake it the maximum time recommended (maybe a couple minutes longer), as the center was still quite liquid.
This has a great cinnamon flavor, and the chocolate really adds a complexity that I liked a lot. I think the chocolate frosting would have been too rich for such a simple cake. Plus, we’re having a bit of a heat wave in the Seattle area and it would have taken an eternity for the frosting to come to room temperature. My husband thinks that it is a little dry, but I didn’t think it was that dry. I suppose it will dry out more quickly without the frosting, but I don’t think that it will last that long! Overall, this was a quick and easy recipe that I enjoyed very much.
Recipe from Baking from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, pages 210 and 211.