Cinnamon and Sugar
I’m having a bit of a cinnamon sugar obsession at the moment. In my search for new, more decadent, breakfast items I keep gravitating to cinnamon sugar things. I’ve tried a few new coffeecake and crumb cake recipes. Sometimes they swap in cardamom (which I love) for the cinnamon, but who are we kidding, it’s basically the same idea.
It is a flavor I have always loved. I have a distinct memory of discovering cinnamon sugar toast. I remember this as being the second time we lived in England, so I would have been seven or eight years old. I recall having a British cookbook for kids and finding a recipe for cinnamon sugar toast. I’m pretty sure they were toast soldiers – this is what the Brits do to toast, cut it into about four vertical slices and call them soldiers. Plain ones get dipped in soft boiled eggs (not for me, I wouldn’t eat eggs a child – I actually only really started eating them in my 40’s). These cinnamon sugar soldiers would have been right up my alley.
As we all know, memory is a very unreliable thing. I have the associated memory of thinking that it seemed crazy to even call this a recipe because it is so simple. I don’t know if I actually thought this or if one parent or another would have said this. It sounds entirely like something my mother would have said. It also seem entirely unlikely that I would have gotten to eight years old and my mother hadn’t made me cinnamon sugar toast. It is also entirely unlikely that my mother would have bought me a ‘kids’ cookbook, so I can’t even imagine where this thing came from. But there it is. I can remember that sunken orange and brown living room, the blue shoes with the off-white waffle sole I had for wearing to school that year and this cookbook with cinnamon sugar toast.
My currant specific cinnamon sugar obsession is getting these pull-apart muffins right. I’m working from a recipe for pull-apart bread and playing from there. The first attempt was pretty perfect – they were delicious and chewy and buttery and almost right. The recipe calls for a lemon glaze, which was nice, but I didn’t think it was quite right. I thought a maple glaze. Or maybe a vanilla glaze. A friend saw a photo of these and asked for them for her birthday breakfast so I happily used her as a guinea pig for attempt number two.
Now, I don’t know exactly what went wrong but they weren’t as dreamy as I had hoped. There were a few things that were different and I’m not sure which caused the issues. The day I made the dough was very hot and humid. It’s a yeast dough and right away I could tell the dough didn’t feel quite right. Was it the humidity? I let it rise once and then refrigerated the dough so I could bake in the morning. Maybe this altered things? I made them slightly smaller than the first batch. Did it go wrong here? They were more baked than I would have liked – that was entirely my fault, forgetting to adjust baking time to the smaller size. The maple glaze was delicious but maybe I thickened it too much? Anyway, the birthday girl says they are delicious. I’m taking all my lessons on board and I’m hoping this week will be the magic, perfection-attaining week.
And I’ve already lined up the next recipe I want to try – cinnamon sugar braided knots. Maybe I’ll swap in cardamom just to mix things up a bit.