Showing posts with label cinnamon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cinnamon. Show all posts

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Warm Gingerbread Syrup

Warm gingerbread syrup is spicy and sweet, made with both fresh and powdered ginger. Put a little zip in your drinks and desserts this holiday season.

Here the warm refers to the spiciness that the fresh and ground ginger add to this gingerbread syrup, although you can certainly warm it to serve as well. Pour it over ice cream, drizzle it on a Victoria sponge cake, add some to your hot cocoa, tea or warm apple juice. A tablespoon or two of gingerbread syrup is also delightful poured in a Champagne flute and topped up with bubbly.

As a person who makes jams and chutneys and syrups, I know the work that goes into them. That’s why I am always grateful to receive a homemade food gift. Heck, who am I kidding? I am always happy to receive a food gift if it is special, even if it’s store bought.

This week my Sunday Supper group is sharing recipes for homemade food gifts. I’ve got to tell you that I am thrilled with how this warm gingerbread syrup turned out and I am having a hard time parting with it. We love spicy food at our house but I tend to think of chilies bringing the heat. I forget how spicy and warming ginger can be! This stuff would be wonderful simply added to some hot water on a chilly night. It’ll warm you up from the inside.

2 3/4 cups or 615g golden caster sugar
1 tablespoon ground ginger (make sure it’s fresh – old spices lose their flavor and potency)
2 thick slices of fresh ginger
1 cinnamon stick

Note: Golden caster sugar is fine, free flowing dry sugar that is unrefined so it adds color and a bit of a buttery flavor to this syrup. If you can’t find it where you live, you can use regular fine white sugar but replace a tablespoon or two with brown sugar to get the same effect. This is the brand I used, available on Amazon. Unfortunately, the shipping makes it a pretty expensive option though.

Put the sugar, ground ginger and fresh ginger into a pot with the cinnamon stick. Pour in 1 2/3 cups or 385ml water. Bring to a low boil. Stir occasionally to help the sugar dissolve.  Boil gently for about 8-10 minutes or until the syrup has reduce a little.

Strain the syrup through some cheesecloth set in a fine strainer over quart- or liter-sized measuring cup. The above ingredients yielded 2 1/2 cups or 600ml of warm gingerbread syrup.

Pour into sterilized bottles and decorate with fabric or ribbons.


If you are looking for some homemade food gift recipes to make for your loved ones this year, Sunday Supper has got you covered. Check out this major list of options. Many thanks to our host this week, Christie of A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures and our event manager Cricket from Cricket's Confections.

Baked Goods



Jams, Syrups, Drinks

Mixes and Spices


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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Cinnamon Pumpkin Quick Bread #BreadBakers

Cinnamon Pumpkin Quick Bread is made with the muffin-method. Bowl of wet ingredients mixed quickly with the bowl of dry. The texture is light yet moist with just the right amount of sweetness. 

This month my Bread Baker group is doing one of two things. Jumping the gun, if you aren’t ready for pumpkin recipes yet. Or fulfilling your what-the-heck-took-so-long needs for pumpkin bread, if you’ve been waiting.

If you are in the former group, hey, pin them for later. If you are in the latter, you are most welcome. Either way, you are going to love this creative group of recipes. Many thanks to our host this month, Kylee of Kylee Cooks. Kylee is a fellow expat in reverse. She was born and raised in New Zealand but lives in the US now. I can completely relate to her regrets that her boys don't get to spend as much time with their grandmother as she did with hers. There are pluses and minuses to this expat life and missing family is a big downside.

You know what helps ease the pain though? Sweet pumpkin bread with cinnamon. This recipe has been adapted from one on the King Arthur website. I have no idea why they complicated their lives by using beaters for quick bread but my way is much easier and completely delicious.

1 3/4 cups or 220g flour
1/2 cup or 100g granulated sugar
1/2 cup, firmly packed, or 100g dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup or 200g canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 cup or 120ml vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1/3 cup or 80ml water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To decorate:
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon sugar mixed with 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare your loaf pan by rubbing the inside with a little oil or by lining it with baking parchment.

Use a large bowl to mix together your flour, sugars, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and baking soda. My brown sugar tends to get lumpy. If you have the same problem, use the tines of a fork or even your hands to get rid of the lumps.

In another smaller mixing bowl, whisk together the canned pumpkin, oil, eggs, water and vanilla extract.

Pour your wet ingredients into your dry.

Fold until they are just mixed. There may still be a little flour showing.

Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle on the pumpkin seeds, then top them with the cinnamon sugar.

Bake in your preheated oven for about 60-70 minutes or until a wooden skewer comes out clean. For the last 20 minutes or so, cover the top loosely with foil.

Allow to cool completely in the pan before slicing.


Check out all the lovely pumpkin or pumpkin spice breads we have for you today.

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

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Thursday, February 18, 2016

Cinnamon Crown Bundt with Biscoff Pecan Filling #BundtBakers

This delicious Bundt is baked with what is essentially one vanilla butter cake batter and one filling made with spicy Biscoff cookie spread, pecans, oats and cinnamon. Here’s the twist: half of the filling is added to half of the batter, creating several layers of flavor.

Ah, cinnamon. It’s one of my favorite spices. It can be used in sweet recipes or even savory meat dishes, especially in this part of the world. As much as I enjoy the challenge of unusual ingredients for our Bundt Baker themes, I loved that our February host, Lauren from Sew You Think You Can Cook chose something so normal as cinnamon this month. Who doesn’t love cinnamon!

This cinnamon Bundt cake recipe is adapted from the cookbook Bundt Classics, which is published by Nordic Ware. The book was a gift from my sister when she came out to visit me here in Dubai and is full of fabulous recipes created especially for Bundt pans. I baked the Bundt in a beautiful new pan (Nordic Ware’s Blossom) that I received from friends for my birthday. So with the oven on in my chilly kitchen and the smell of cinnamon wafting through the air, I was feeling very cozy and pretty special.

For the filling:
2/3 cup or 80g chopped pecans
2/3 cup or 70g jumbo oats
2/3 cup or 190g Biscoff Cookie Spread
2 teaspoons cinnamon

For the batter:
2 1/2 cups or 315g or all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups or 300g sugar
3/4 cup or 85g unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup or 180ml milk
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

To serve: powdered or confectioner’s sugar.

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C degrees. Prepare your 10-cup Bundt pan by generously greasing it with butter and coating with flour or use  nonstick spray meant for baking.

In a small bowl, thoroughly mix together all the ingredients for the filling. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, butter, milk, eggs, vanilla, baking powder and salt.

Mix with a hand mixer or stand mixer at medium speed for 3-4 minutes. Spoon half of the batter into your prepared pan.

Divide the filling in half and sprinkle one portion onto the batter in your baking pan.

Tip the other half of the filling into the big mixing bowl and beat for another minute or two, or until everything is well combined.

Spoon over filling in the pan.

Bake for about 50-55 minutes, or until the cake is golden at the edges and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar to serve.


Check out all the cinnamon loveliness we have for you this month:


#BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving Bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all of our lovely Bundts by following our Pinterest Board. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme or ingredient.

Updated links for all of our past events and more information about BundtBakers can be found on our homepage.


Sunday, November 29, 2015

Moroccan-style Lentil Chickpea Stew

This dish is traditionally made with ground or minced lamb and is a favorite in Moroccan cuisine and in our house too. But, if I’m honest, I prefer my version substituting lentils for the lamb. The onions, lime and all the spices make this a bright and deliciously warming stew to serve over rice or couscous.

This week my Sunday Supper family is sharing veggie main dishes, making vegetables the star attraction of our supper table. This is the perfect time to share my adaption of a favorite recipe, this lentil and chickpea stew. Just take a look at that list of ingredients! There's so much flavor that you will not miss the meat, I can assure you. Do give it a try! If you are looking to add more veggie-centric meals to your family menu, make sure to scroll down to the check out the link list of our 30 delicious dishes.

This is adapted from a recipe on My Recipes.

1 cup or 210g green (preferably French Puy) lentils
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra drizzle for serving
2 large onions, peeled (13 3/4 oz or 390g)
1 large carrot, peeled (5 oz or 140g by weight)
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne or to taste (I added a whole teaspoon.)
2 cups vegetable stock from cubes or homemade if you are so inclined
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 tablespoons lime zest
1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste (This is going to depend on the saltiness of your stock.)
1 (15 1/2-ounce can) chickpeas
Small bunch cilantro plus extra for garnish, if desired
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Note: I’ve given the weights of my onions and carrot to give you an idea of size. Don’t get too hung up on this. A little more carrot or a little less onion and it’s all going to be just fine.

Cook 1 cup or 210g green lentils in a small pot with ample water to cover, until tender. This only takes about 20 minutes so keep an eye on the pot and add more water if necessary. Drain and set aside.

Make up vegetable broth, set aside. Drain and rinse the can of chickpeas. Zest your lime and then juice it.

Cut your carrot up on the diagonal and slice your onions vertically into strips rather than rings. Measure out all your spices. Chop the cilantro.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat then add the olive oil to the pan. Add onion and carrot to pan; sauté for a few minutes.

Add cumin, cinnamon, coriander, and pepper; sauté 30 seconds, stirring constantly.

Add cooked lentils, tomato paste, grated lemon rind, 1/4 teaspoon salt and chickpeas, then pour in the vegetable stock.

Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until mixture thickens.

Remove from heat and give the pan a little drizzle of olive oil, then stir in cilantro and lime juice.

(If you aren’t serving right away, wait to reheat then add the cilantro and lime juice just before serving.)

Sprinkle on a little extra cilantro for color, if desired.

This dish is perfect served with couscous or rice.


Many thanks to our Sunday Supper hosts this week, D.B. from Crazy Foodie Stunts. I know this meant he had to work through the holiday weekend so let me just say, you rock, D.B.! Hope your Thanksgiving was fabulous!

Veggie Mains

Veggie Snacks and Sweets


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Cream Cheese Cinnamon Roll Cookies #CreativeCookieExchange

Cream cheese cookie dough is filled with cinnamon and brown sugar, rolled up, sliced and baked till golden then drizzled with sweet cream cheese glaze.

Is there anything that smells better than a kitchen with something cinnamon baking in the oven? I’m pretty sure there isn’t! I have a quite a few recipes, sweet and savory, that call for cinnamon and it’s not uncommon for me to increase the amounts, especially in a sweet dish.

One of our first overseas posting after marriage was in Balikpapan, Indonesia where fragrant cinnamon sticks were cheap and easy to find. When we moved on to Paris, I made sure to pack loads of spices needed for curries and the like, pretty sure that they wouldn’t be as available. And so began my on-again-off-again quest for spices, especially quills of cinnamon bark, from the markets of southeast Asia to South America, to northern Africa and the Middle East, even in a little out-of-the-way Mom and Pop shop called Flores’ Spice Co. in Houston, Texas. It’s been sort of a personal mission and I am please to say that our current home, Dubai, has a fabulous spice souk too, just near the far bank of the Dubai Creek. Do put it on your list if you ever come to visit.

This month my Creative Cookie Exchange group is baking with cinnamon. These cinnamon roll cookies are great for when you’d like the flavors of a cinnamon roll without waiting for the dough to rise. That said, the rolled, filled dough keeps for several days well wrapped in the refrigerator or for a few weeks in the freezer. Just thaw, slice and bake when you are ready.

Make sure you scroll down to see the other great cinnamon recipes our fearless leader, Laura of The Spiced Life and the rest of the group have for you this month. Special thanks to Renee from Magnolia Days for handling the technical details and creating our link list.

This recipe was adapted from one on A Spicy Perspective.

Ingredients for 2 dozen cookies
For the cookie dough:
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon dry active yeast
3/4 cup or 170g unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 oz or 57g cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup or 100g sugar
2 cups or 250g all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the filling:
1/4 cup or 50g dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
Pinch fine sea salt

For the cream cheese glaze:
1 1/4 oz or 35g cream cheese, at room temperature
1-2 tablespoons whole milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup or 125g powdered sugar

Hydrate your dry yeast by mixing it with the teaspoon of vanilla extract. Without any warmth, it doesn't really activate but the slight yeasty flavor is still there.

Cream your butter and cream cheese with the sugar and vanilla/yeast until light and fluffy using handheld electric beaters or in the bowl of your stand mixer.

With the mixer on low, add in the salt and then the flour, a little at a time. Scrape down the bowl occasionally and mix until everything is well combined.

Flatten the dough and wrap it in cling film. Refrigerate at least half an hour.

Preheat your oven to 375°F or 190°C and line your baking sheet with baking parchment or a silicone mat.

Mix your brown sugar, cinnamon and the pinch of salt together, making sure to press out any lumps in the brown sugar.

Lightly flour a piece of wax paper and roll the dough into a 7x18 in or 18x46cm rectangle that is approximately 1/4 in or a little more than 1/2cm thick. I marked my lengths on the underside of my waxed paper with a permanent marker for easier measuring. Tidy the edges up a little by pushing inwards with the side of a blunt knife.

Sprinkle on the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture covering the dough completely on three sides but leaving the one long side farthest from you bare about 1 1/2 in or 3cm from the edge.

Starting on the long side closest to you, begin rolling the dough up tightly.

Use the waxed paper to make sure you get it rolling evenly all the way along.

Once you get to the other side, bring the waxed paper up from that edge and fold the naked dough over to form a seal with the dough roll.

Now roll the whole thing up in the waxed paper. Cut off the uneven end of the roll and discard. (Read: Eat raw.) Then cut the roll into 1/2 in or 1cm slices. (I sliced half and saved the other half for later, wrapping it tightly in cling film around the waxed paper and freezing.)

Remove the waxed paper from each slice and put them on your prepared baking sheet. Bake in your preheated oven for 12-15 minutes or until the edges start to brown .

Allow to cool completely before glazing.

To make the glaze
Use a fork to loosen the cream cheese by mixing it with one tablespoon milk and the vanilla extract.

Add in the powdered sugar a little at a time and stir well to combine. Add in a little more milk if you want a thinner glaze.

Once the cookies are completely cool, drizzle on the glaze or spread it on with a knife.


Check out all the other fragrant cinnamon cookies we have for you today!

The Creative Cookie Exchange gets together once a month to bake cookies with a chosen theme or ingredient. We post on the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month.

You can also use us as a great resource for cookie recipes. Be sure to check out our Pinterest Board as well as our monthly posts, collected for you on The Spiced Life.