Saturday, 14 May 2011

Cinnamon Splendor

My name is Nancy, and I have a sweet tooth. There, I said it. Am I cured? Do I still need a 12 step program? I thought maybe I'd outgrow my sweet tooth as I got older, but no such luck. I love chocolate and candy in all of its forms, except for Skittles. I can pass on those, so I guess that means I'm not a total addict.

There is nothing more comforting - or forbidden, these days - than sprinkling cinnamon/sugar on toasted, buttered white bread. If you have no candy or chocolate in the house, cinnamon toast is a great substitute. But you must use butter and white bread, otherwise, what's the point? Keep a shaker of cinnamon sugar handy to sprinkle on oatmeal, Chai lattes, rice pudding, etc. Or just sprinkle it on your tongue, for a quick fix.

I have never been a fabulous baker, although I used to dabble with it. These days life seems so busy that even dabbling is out. Is it me, or have the bakeries in the local groceries stores learned to make really good pies and cakes? I mean, why bother with all that fuss if somebody else can do it better than you can?

However, once in a while a recipe comes along that is so super easy, even I can have success with it. Your family and friends will think you slaved for hours when you didn't.

I included this famous family recipe in my first novel, Buried Secrets.

The main character Callie's sister Doreen is a caterer, and in one scene (below) Doreen is baking these famous Cinnamon Pinwheels in the kitchen:

Two excruciatingly long hours later, Callie arrived home crammed full of beef, salad and too much wine, which she’d guzzled to take the edge off of spending far too much time with Byron Dumbrell.
She did a double take as she passed the kitchen. Doreen stood at the counter, pounding her fist into a large ball of dough.
“What are you making?”
“Cinnamon pinwheels. The Miller baby shower.”
Doreen slammed the dough into the granite and kneaded it with so much force, she was panting.
“You look a little stressed,” Callie said. “You want to talk about it?”
“There’s nothing to talk about.”
“How’s Tom?”
Doreen grabbed a large cleaver and split the dough into two pieces with a thunk. “Tom who?”

Warning: No kneading or splitting with cleavers is required for this recipe. That was included for dramatic effect.

So for those who love sweet cinnamon and hate hard recipes, this one is for you.

Cinnamon Pinwheels:

3 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup vegetable shortening, softened
1 cup milk
Brown sugar

Cream shortening in large bowl. Add sugar and mix well. In separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt together. Add to sugar/shortening mixture, along with milk. Stir, then knead gently into a ball.

Roll dough out onto floured board with floured rolling pin into a rectangular shape, approx. 9x 13", to approx. 1 1/2 " thickness. Spread with soft butter or margarine. Sprinkle with brown sugar (approx. 1/2 cup) and cinnamon to taste.

Starting at the shorter side of the rectangle, roll dough into a log, then slice crosswise into circles approx. 1 1/4" thick. Place each slice on a greased cookie sheet. Bake in 350 oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. Enjoy!


  1. Another great blog! But seriously, sprinkling cinnamon into your mouth? I would have pegged you for the downing cocoa powder or sucking back chocolate syrup type of gal. LOL

    Gonna try the recipe.


  2. Have you ever tried those iced cookies they sell in supermarkets. I swear there is something addictive in one of the 120 ingredients in the icing. They do seem to help my wordcount though.

    Great blog, Nancy.

  3. Cindy -

    Haven't tried those yet, but they sound intriguing. I'll put them on my TBE (to be eaten) list.


  4. Selena -

    I have been known to chug chocolate syrup. How did you know?