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Cookies resembling cinnamon add spice

Wed., Dec. 1, 2010

It’s time to get fancy. Because no holiday cookie selection is complete without something that inspires a “Wow!”

So to crank up the Wow!-factor on Day 12 of AP’s 12 Days of Holiday Cookies, we created a deliciously sweet cookie that looks, smells and tastes like a cinnamon stick.

But impressive cookies come at a price, albeit an affordable one. These cookies require a bit more care when baking than the rest of the cookies in this series. They must be shaped into the classic rolled cinnamon stick as soon as they come out of the oven. They also can be cooked only two to four cookies at a time.

Finally, some special equipment is handy when making these. A silicon baking mat is very helpful. These nonstick baking sheet liners are available at kitchen, baking and craft shops, and make it easier to remove and roll the cookies. An offset spatula – the sort used for frosting cakes – also is helpful.

Spreading the batter thinly ensures even baking of this cookie. Working with the delicate cookie while still warm and pliable is essential.

Cinnamon Bark Sticks

8 large egg whites

2 cups sugar, plus 1/4 cup

2 cups all-purpose flour

Pinch of salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon extract

10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1/3 cup heavy cream

Brown gel food coloring

2 teaspoons cinnamon

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a nonstick silicon baking mat.

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to whisk together the egg whites and 2 cups of sugar until foamy. Add the flour and salt and mix to incorporate. Add the cinnamon extract, butter and cream, then beat again until completely smooth. In small amounts, add the brown food coloring a drop at a time until desired color is reached, stirring thoroughly between additions.

In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1/4 cup sugar with the cinnamon.

Scoop a teaspoon of batter onto the prepared baking sheet. Using a small offset spatula spread the batter thinly and evenly into a rectangle about 2-by-5-inches. Depending on the size of your baking sheet, you should be able to fit 2 to 4 cookies on at a time.

Sprinkle each rectangle lightly with the cinnamon-sugar. Bake the cookies for about 8 minutes, or until the surface looks dry. The edges should not be browned.

Working quickly and as soon as the baking sheet comes out of the oven, one at a time use a spatula to flip each rectangle over. Tightly roll both long sides of each rectangle toward the center. Set aside to cool and repeat in batches with remaining dough.

Yield: 36 sticks

Approximate nutrition per serving: 95 calories, 4 grams fat (3 grams saturated, 38 percent fat calories), 2 grams protein, 14 grams carbohydrate, 11 milligrams cholesterol, no dietary fiber, 20 milligrams sodium.

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