10 things to do with cinamon

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Of course cinnamon is tasty - but did you know it's also known to lower cholesterol, stabilize blood sugars, boost memory, provide headache relief and fight bacteria? Once you read these 10 creative ways to use cinnamon, you'll be going out to buy the spice in bulk.

1. For a sweet treat on your toast, whip up some cinnamon honey butter: Combine 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1/2 cup honey and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, then beat until light and fluffy.

2. Another way to use cinnamon butter is in crescent rolls. We like this recipe from The Hungry Housewife -- you'll need a tube of eight crescent rolls, 5 tablespoons butter, 1/4 cup sugar and 2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. First, preheat the oven to 375 degrees, unroll and separate the rolls and place them on an ungreased cookie sheet with sides. In a small bowl, mix the butter, sugar and cinnamon, then spread it over the crescent rolls. Roll them up and place tip-side down on the cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. These are tasty enough, but you can also try a glaze on top: Mix 2 tablespoons butter, 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, then drizzle over the cinnamon rolls.

3. Serve pumpkin pancakes for breakfast, with help from this Martha Stewart recipe: Whisk 1 1/4 cups flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg and a pinch of ground cloves. In a separate bowl, stir together 1 cup milk, 6 tablespoons canned pumpkin puree, 2 tablespoons melted butter and 1 egg. Fold mixture into dry ingredients. Melt some butter in a skillet over medium heat; pour in 1/4 cup batter for each pancake. Cook pancakes about 3 minutes per side; serve with butter and syrup.

4. Sprinkle cinnamon over French toast, hot cereal, eggnog, grapefruit, bananas, hot chocolate, coffee or whatever else sounds good. It's also an unexpected treat on ham, pork, sweet potatoes, carrots or beets.

5. Cinnamon has a number of household uses. Make a stovetop potpourri by simmering a pot of water with a couple tablespoons of ground cinnamon. To get rid of strong odors, sprinkle a lot of ground cinnamon on a baking sheet and bake for an hour at 250 degrees. A blogger at apartmenttherapy.com tried this after her dog got "skunked," and the smell was gone after a couple days.

6. To freshen throughout your home, drop a few tablespoons of ground cinnamon in pretty containers and place them wherever needed. For a more decorative approach, place whole cloves or dried cranberries in a glass, then anchor a few cinnamon sticks in the glass.

7. Got a sore throat or scratchy cough? Soak cinnamon sticks in cold water for several hours, then sip the water. According to health.com, the mixture contains mucilage, a water-soluble fiber that will coat and soothe the throat.

8. Cinnamon has antioxidants as well as antifungal and antibacterial powers -- who knew? DIY bloggers say this mask helps clear up blemishes and fade acne scars. Mix 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon with 3 tablespoons honey, apply to the skin for a few hours or overnight, then wash off with warm water. Another treatment calls for 1 tablespoon honey, 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Let this mask sit for about 30 minutes before rinsing off -- the nutmeg will act as a natural exfoliant. Be careful of dripping!

9. This sopapilla cheesecake is super-easy but tastes like a masterpiece dessert! Unroll and spread one can butter crescent rolls on the bottom of an ungreased pan. Combine two (8-ounce) packages softened cream cheese, 1 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Spread the mixture over the crescent rolls. Unroll and place another package of butter crescent rolls on top of the mixture. Spread 1/4 cup melted butter over the top, then sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes.

10. Snickerdoodle cookies are a classic favorite -- but have you tried them in muffin form? For these snickerdoodle muffins, you'll need 2 sticks unsalted butter, 1 cup sugar, 2 teaspoons vanilla, 2 eggs, 3/4 teaspoon baking soda, 3/4 teaspoon baking powder, 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar, 3/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg, 1 1/4 cups sour cream and 2 1/4 cups flour, plus 1 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons cinnamon mixed together First, cream the butter and sugar until soft, then add vanilla. Add eggs one at a time and mix until incorporated. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder and cream of tartar. Add the flour mixture and the sour cream alternately to the egg-butter mixture (start and end with flour). Use an ice cream scoop to scoop out muffin batter, and drop one scoop at a time into a shallow bowl filled with the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Roll the muffin around in the mixture until it is covered completely in cinnamon sugar. Place muffin into a greased muffin tin. When finished, bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 22 minutes, or until golden brown.