I ate some weird stuff as a kid, only I didn’t know the stuff was weird, and I still eat those things. By weird I mean foods that, for whatever reason, were common in my house and uncommon or unheard of in my friends’ homes.
My paternal grandmother was Russian and made a dish we referred to as “macaroni and bread crumbs”. The macaroni part is made with maccheroncelli, which is a long skinny tube, the length of spaghetti. Bread crumbs are seasoned with onion salt, then pan toasted in browned butter. When the bread crumbs are crunchy and browned, the pasta is added to the pan and tossed to coat. Heaven. Bowl after bowl of heaven.
I ate macaroni and bread crumbs throughout my childhood and to this day it is still my very favorite food. Though recently I have seen a few similar recipes on the internet, the most common reaction others have to my favorite food is. “I have never heard of such a thing! Starch on starch?! Yuck.” I remember being amazed that no one else had tried this wonderful concoction.
Another favorite that fills me with childhood memories every time I eat it, is cinnamon toast. Not cinnamon bread with the cinnamon swirl baked in (though I love that too) but plain white/wheat toast, slathered in butter (as a child it was margarine but I have evolved minimally) then sprinkled liberally with a layer of cinnamon sugar. Crunchy, buttery, cinnamony sweet deliciousness. It’s my comfort food.
When I want to bake some comfort it usually involves cinnamon. These Cinnamon Dream Cookies have a buttery sweet cinnamon taste just like cinnamon toast. They have a crunchy-chewy texture for about 4 days, after which they turn to pure crunch. Using butter in the recipe produces a flatter but chewier cookie. Using vegetable shortening (desert safe) produces a thicker but firmer cookie.
This recipe is adapted from my friend Natasha at Butter Baking. Natasha, who not that long ago graduated from culinary school, bakes wonderful treats! Her Chocolate Truffle Swirl Cookies are on my son’s “All-time Top Three Best Cookies on Earth” list.
- 1 ¼ cups quick cook oats
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¾ cup unsalted butter or vegetable shortening, at room temperature***
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup cinnamon chips
- Cinnamon-sugar for coating (about ½ cup)
- (Optional) ICING DRIZZLE ***: 2 tablespoons water
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- ¼ – ½ teaspoon cinnamon, to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Using a food processor or blender, grind the oats into a powdery flour.
- In medium bowl, whisk together flour, ground oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
- In bowl of electric mixer, combine butter(or shortening) and sugar until creamy.
- Add egg and vanilla. Beat about 3 minutes until fluffy.
- Slowly add flour mixture until combined.
- Stir in cinnamon chips.
- If dough is too soft to handle easily for rolling into balls (butter makes a softer dough than vegetable shortening) refrigerate for about 1 hour.
- Scoop 2 tablespoons (golf ball size) of dough. Roll into a ball. Roll to coat in a small bowl of cinnamon-sugar. If the cookies will be drizzled, regular granulated sugar is recommended. If the cookies will not be drizzled either regular granulated or large crystal decorating sugar can be used in the cinnamon-sugar coating.
- Place coated dough balls at least 2” apart on prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes, until edges are golden brown. (Slightly under bake if cookies will be mailed long distance and in hot temperatures.)
- Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for about 5 minutes before moving to a wire rack. The cookies are soft when warm and will fall apart if moved too soon.
- (OPTIONAL) ICING DRIZZLE: Mix icing ingredients in a small bowl until smooth and desired consistency.
- Transfer icing to a small ziplock bag. Cut a tiny bottom corner off the bag and pipe zig zags over cooled cookies. Allow drizzle to harden completely before storing.
- Cookies will remain fresh 10 days or longer when stored at room temperature in an air tight container or zip lock bag. These cookies remain chewy for 3-4 days and then become crunchy.
- ***Desert Safe Adaptations: Use vegetable shortening . Drizzle decoration should be fine in high temperatures, but this cookie tastes just as good without the drizzle. Using large crystal sugar for the cinnamon-sugar coating dresses up the cookie if drizzle will not be used.