Friday, June 3, 2011

A Tale of Two Cinnamons

I came home from work the other day and I just wanted to bake. Now this shouldn’t be surprising, but I really wanted to make something homey, something comforting. I didn’t want to try the latest cookie that I’d spotted online or a cookie inspired by something I’d seen elsewhere. So I turned to the cookbook I used growing up: the 1969 Betty Crocker cookbook and I turned to the well-worn, splattered page for snickerdoodles.

I don’t like to make things more than once for my blog, but I decided to try an experiment. When I was at Penzey’s Spices recently, I had picked up two different types of cinnamon. I wanted to make snickerdoodles with the different cinnamons and do a comparison. Half of these cookies used Vietnamese cinnamon and the other half used Ceylon cinnamon. As it turns out, I got a Penzey’s Spices catalog in the mail and I noticed they had a few more varieties of cinnamon. I could only test two this time around.

Ceylon cinnamon is quite a bit different from the cinnamon you typically buy at the grocery store. It’s not as sweet and has just a bit of a bite to it. The aroma is woody and that flavor came through in the snickerdoodles. The flavor was subtle, but the Ceylon cinnamon added a bit of a bite. The Vietnamese cinnamon was similar to an extra aromatic version of grocery store cinnamon. For the snickerdoodles, I preferred the Vietnamese cinnamon. It was a bit darker though, which made my snickerdoodles look different. I would use the Ceylon cinnamon in a savory stew or soup, since it had a more complex flavor. It was interesting to try different cinnamons with this tried and true recipe.

½ cup butter, softened
½ cup shortening
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2-3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon soda
¼ teaspoon salt

Cinnamon Sugar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats.

In a large mixer bowl, mix butter, shortening, sugar and eggs. Stir in flour, cream of tartar, soda and salt. Shape dough by rounded teaspoonfuls into balls.

Roll balls in cinnamon sugar. Place on prepared cookie sheets and bake for 8-10 minutes. Immediately remove from cookies sheets to cool.

Recipe from the Betty Crocker Cookbook (1969 edition)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's great that you did a cinnamon comparison! I was at Penzey's not long ago and I sniffed all of the varieties and read the descriptions. And now I can't remember which one I bought, but I didn't think of buying more than one and doing a taste-test.