Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Buttery homemade cinnamon sticks...

Have you ever seen or tried those crisp cinnamon twists at the market? We used to buy them years ago, but they got pretty expensive and we stopped buying them. Those were the first thing that popped into our minds when we took a bite of these Cinnamon Sticks I made for the Weekly Wednesday Treat Day.

With an ultra buttery, yet not too sweet dough, these twists took some time to prepare, but the reward was more than worth it! Much like a pie dough, this has the addition of a tablespoon of sugar along with a whole egg and a splash of milk for tenderness. Keep the mixing down to a minimum - just work the dough long enough to barely hold together and give it plenty of time to rest in the refrigerator before working with it.

Once I rolled half of the rich dough out, we brushed a portion of it with milk and dotted the same portion with fragrant cinnamon chips. The plain half is folded over, the top is given another brushing of milk and the whole slab is doused with cinnamon sugar. Can't find those elusive cinnamon chips? Just use cinnamon sugar instead! Two to three tablespoons, instead of the chips, should be sufficient. For the cinnamon sugar, I use a ratio of 1/4 cup granulated sugar to 1 tablespoon of our favorite Vietnamese cinnamon, which is quite pungent, so you may need to add another teaspoon or so if your cinnamon is not as potent.

I needed to then work on the other slab of dough - after I quickly assembled that one, we rolled a handy pizza wheel down each to create sticks. Each cinnamon-laced stick is then twisted a couple times and baked until golden. Not quite as flaky as you would get with an ingredient like puff pastry, the buttery layers were still there and the texture was pleasantly light. Crisp, yet not dry, these just-sweet-enough twisted treats packed quite punch of cinnamon that had us going back for more! In fact, Jeff is already threatening to hide the sticks and not take them into the office tomorrow!

I have another fairly speedy recipe to share with you that I made for dinner tonight. I did need to poach a few chicken breasts to make these Open-Faced Chicken and Muenster Sandwiches with Apricot-Dijon Spread, but I did that late last night and stashed them in the refrigerator until I was ready to shred them. If you don't want to bother, you could certainly shred up a rotisserie chicken from the market!

The recipe didn't call for this next step, but before I started piling on the ingredients, I toasted the hearty whole-wheat slices of bread first. We just like the bread to be toasted in these types of sandwiches as it adds texture and flavor, along with making it a bit more sturdy. A tangy spread is smeared on top, consistently simply of grainy Dijon mustard and sweet apricot preserves. Next came a layer of onions and thin slices of a Fuji apple that we heated in a skillet until they began to soften. A couple cups of tender baby spinach are also added and allowed just enough heat to begin to wilt.

Onces those are placed on the toasted bread, a mound of the shredded chicken breast is added and the sandwich is topped off with a slice of Muenster cheese. If you've never had Muenster before, it is very mild, smooth and melts extremely well - also good to pair with a sharper cheese for a gooey grilled cheese sandwich! Although, if you happen to come across a traditional Muenster cheese made in France, that version is much more pungent in flavor and aroma than what we typically find here. This open-faced sandwich was simple, quick to make and tasty - I can see us making this again as a fast lunch anytime as it was filling, but didn't leave you with a heavy feeling afterwards!


  1. OMG OMG OMG OMG. I have GOT to make these. Now.

  2. Whenever I run into a Cinnabon, I'd rather get those sticks than a big roll. I love those, buttery, crunchy, oh-so-bad-for-me cinnamon sticks. I've tried finding a copycat recipe before, but haven't liked any so far. Definitely have to print this one. Thanks!

  3. I am making these for dinner tonight. I'll let you know how they go over.


  4. Lucky co-workers!! That sandwich looks amazing! I love apple/chicken/cheese combos!

  5. Lisa - Let us know how they turn out!

    Katrina - I've never had them from Cinnabon before, but I'll have to do so next time we come across one to compare!

    Sam - I hope you like!

    Gigi - I didn't know if I would like the apple/cheese combination, but I thought it was great!

  6. I ran across your blog looking for something to make that had cinnamon in it. Thanks for the recipe, I'm going to try it. And that sandwich makes me hungry, think I'll try it,too!