Thursday, February 14, 2013

Cinnamon, Cinnamon, or Cinnamon?

My daughter Kirsten gave me some Saigon cinnamon last fall. Recently a friend gave me some Ceylon cinnamon. So I thought I would see how they compare to my "regular" cinnamon.

There are lots of things that are flavored by cinnamon: apple pie, apple crisp, apple cake, baked apples, cinnamon rolls, cinnamon-raisin bread, zucchini bread, bread pudding, spice cake, snickerdoodles, and I could keep going.

I settled on snickerdoodles because cinnamon is the predominant flavor.

As you probably know, when you make snickerdoodles, you roll balls of cookie dough in a cinnamon-sugar mixture. Here are the three mixtures:

First, we have McCormick-brand cinnamon. It isn't identified as any particular kind, so it is probably either Chinese cinnamon or Indonesian cinnamon (see Cinnamomum Cassia in Wikipedia). Next, is Costco's Kirkland-brand Saigon cinnamon. Finally, we have Ceylon cinnamon, packaged locally by a company called Hey Rose (315-730-7498).

I baked the cookies--a pan of each kind of cinnamon-sugar mixture. After they cooled, we tasted them.

Snickerdoodles with Ceylon Cinnamon
We thought the Ceylon cinnamon was smooth and mild.

Snickerdoodles with Saigon Cinnamon
We thought the Saigon cinnamon was sharp and robust.

Snickerdoodles with McCormick Cinnamon: Chinese or Indonesian
We thought the McCormick Cinnamon was coarse yet flavorful.

Our taste-testing group was small. The toddlers happily ate all the cookies they could get their hands on without comment. The adults were pretty evenly split about which of the three types they preferred. They, too, happily ate all the cookies they could get their hands on.

In conclusion, the cinnamons have definite differences. Which you choose may be determined by your own preferences and by your intended use.

I have unanswered questions that will require further testing, which I am happy to do!


1½ C sugar
½ C butter, softened
½ C shortening
2 eggs
2¾ C (11.7 oz.) flour*
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
3 T sugar
3 tsp. ground cinnamon

Heat oven to 400°F. Mix 1½ C sugar, butter, shortening, and eggs in a large bowl. Stir in flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Shape dough by rounded teaspoonfuls into balls.

Mix 3 T sugar and the cinnamon; roll balls in mixture. Place about 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake until set, 8 to 10 minutes. Immediately remove from cookie sheet.

Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

*I used 100% whole-wheat flour, ground from hard white wheat. The flavor and consistency were great!

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