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The Culinary Connoisseur

 

The Culinary Connoisseur

Hi Fellow Foodies,

If you enjoy the kitchen as much as we do at The Peppermill, you'll want to share the latest edition of "The Culinary Connoisseur," our weekly column. You'll enjoy fascinating food facts, delicious recipes that really work and timely tips.

Our current article is featured below. Visit our blog to browse through all previous articles.

Sweet and Savory Cinnamon

Cinnamon is one of the oldest spices known. It is mentioned in the Torah and was used in ancient Egypt not only as a flavoring and medicine, but also as an embalming agent. It was so highly treasured that it was considered more precious than gold. Around the same time, cinnamon also received much attention in China and is mentioned in ancient books of medicine, many of them dated more than 3500 years ago.

Cinnamon's popularity continued throughout history. It became one of the most relied upon spices in Medieval Europe. Due to its demand, cinnamon became one of the first commodities traded regularly between the Near East and Europe.

Cinnamon is available in either stick or powder form. It is the brown bark of the cinnamon tree, which is available in its dried tubular form known as a quill or stick, or as ground powder. While the sticks can be stored for longer, the ground powder has a stronger flavor. If possible, smell the cinnamon to make sure that it has a sweet smell, a characteristic reflecting that it is fresh. Cinnamon comes in two varieties—Ceylon cinnamon or Cassia. Ceylon cinnamon is produced in Sri Lanka, India, Madagascar, Brazil and the Caribbean, while cassia is mainly produced in China, Vietnam and Indonesia. Both Ceylon cinnamon and Chinese cinnamon (cassia) are labeled as cinnamon. Chinese or cassia is more commonly available.

The fragrant, sweet and warm taste of cinnamon makes it the perfect spice to use during the winter months. Want to make your home smell inviting? Simply place a few cinnamon sticks in a pan in a warm oven. The aroma will make everyone think there’s something yummy about to be served!

 

Cinnamon Swirl Muffins

Easy and delicious!

2 cups flour

3/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/3 cup canola oil

1 cup orange juice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

 

Streusel:

1/4 cup flour

1/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons softened margarine

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease or line a 12 cup muffin pan.

In a medium bowl, stir together flour, sugar, and baking powder.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, orange juice, vanilla, and eggs. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and mix until just blended. Some lumps are okay.

Fill the prepared muffin cups halfway with the batter. Combine the brown sugar, and cinnamon; sprinkle about 1/2 teaspoon of the mixture onto each half-full muffin cup. Spoon remaining batter over the cinnamon mixture so that the muffin cups are 2/3 full.

In a small bowl, mix together streusel: flour, sugar, cinnamon, and margarine to make a crumbly mixture. Sprinkle this generously over the tops of the muffin batter.

Bake for 20 to 22 minutes in the preheated oven, until a toothpick inserted into the crown of a muffin, comes out clean. Cool in the pan, over a wire rack.

 

Easiest Cinnamon Buns

Sometimes we all like to cheat a little!

 1 container Donut Mix (available at half price in our store)

2 tablespoons canola oil

4 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

 

Glaze:

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon water

1 tablespoon oil

 

Prepare dough according to directions on the container.  Grease and flour or spray an 8” or 9” square pan. 

Roll out dough to an 18”x12” rectangle.  Spread canola oil on the dough.

Stir together cinnamon and sugar in a bowl and sprinkle over the dough. Roll up dough, beginning on a short side. Slice evenly into 9 slices. 

Place slices, cut side down in prepared pan.  The slices do not need to fill the pan; they will grow together. Let rest 10-15 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Bake buns 30-40 minutes or until golden and puffed.

Stir together glaze ingredients and spread generously over the warm buns. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

 This is our current article. Visit our BLOG to browse through all previous articles

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