Tag Archives: cinnamon

Butterscotch Cinnamon Whipped Cream Pie


I believe in signs, not necessarily divine ones, but just little occurrences that try to nudge you in the right direction. Take for example my most recent trip to the grocery store when the bags of butterscotch chips caught my eye. I almost never cook with butterscotch, simply because I forget about it. But what would you know, in the split second I was considering picking some chips up, I saw the bags were 2-for-$5. How could I pass up a deal like that?

So I took the chips home without a single idea of what I’d make with them. But I knew I was meant to buy me some butterscotch, and that it was only a matter of time before inspiration hit. Admittedly, the warm weather here played a part in influencing my final decision; I needed something light and refreshing.

Hello, Butterscotch Cinnamon Whipped Cream Pie.


I don’t know if Fate is actually to thank for the creation of this cool and creamy pie, but I am darn grateful for the inspiration that came my way. You’ll see the ingredient list is quite short, and the directions aren’t much longer. And yet, you wind up with a beautiful doubled-layered pie that tastes like sweet, sweet indulgence.

It’s in eating this that I wonder why I don’t bake with butterscotch more often. The stuff is rich, yes, but the warm and spicy cinnamon balances it out. We make a thick ganache out of the butterscotch to blanket the bottom of our crust. Then it’s topped with a 5-ingredient, no-bake filling that’s as fluffy as a pillow.

We know the filling is good, but the crust is just a vessel for serving it in, right? Wrong! This crust is extra delectable thanks to a bit of brown sugar, and its crunchiness is the perfect complement to that light and smooth filling. You might leave subpar crusts behind from time to time – be it from a pizza or pie – but you’ll eat every last crumb of this.

So here’s to a grocery store sale that prompted me to pick up a rather under-used ingredient. Don’t ignore those little signs; you never know where they may lead you.


A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:

  1. You don’t save much by buying a crust. It’ll cost you more, it won’t taste as good, and my crust is so easy that there’s no point in skipping it.
  2. You can make the filling a bit richer by beating in ¼ cup mascarpone cheese.
  3. You want to beat the filling to the point of forming stiff peaks, but don’t beat it past that or it will take on the consistency of butter.

Butterscotch Cinnamon Whipped Cream Pie
By The Smart Cookie Cook


For the crust

  • 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 tbsp. dark brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp. butter, melted

For the butterscotch ganache

  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips

For the filling

  • 1 ½ cups chilled heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar and butter until evenly combined.
  3. Press crust mixture into the bottom of an 8×8 pie dish, pushing up and around the edges so the entire pan is covered in a packed, even layer. Bake for 10 minutes. Let cool completely.
  4. Place butterscotch chips in a heat-proof bowl. Set aside.
  5. Microwave ¼ cup cream in a microwave-safe bowl on 20-second intervals until it is simmering (about 3 intervals). Immediately pour over butterscotch chips and let sit for 2 minutes. Whisk together until completely smooth.
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  6. Pour ¾ of the butterscotch ganache into the cooled pie dish and place in fridge. Reserve the extra.
  7. In a large mixing bowl, use a hand mixer to beat the 1 ½ cups heavy cream, powdered sugar, cinnamon, cornstarch and vanilla until whipped, thick and fluffy.
  8. Spread filling over the butterscotch layer in the pie crust. Smooth out evenly. Drizzle with extra butterscotch sauce and return to the fridge to chill for at least an hour. Enjoy.


Cinnamon Vanilla Protein Cereal Bars


One of my big daily dilemmas is that I love to snack, but snacks aren’t often satisfying. I’ll wind up eating nearly a whole container of hummus in one sitting, or devouring a bag of chips, just in an attempt to feel full. It doesn’t help that I have an insatiable appetite to begin with, but combine that with the fact that most snacks are wimpy, and I’m bound to have an issue.

I bought a box of Special K Protein Cereal to try for the last edition of Smart Cookie Shopping, and I started to wonder if I could turn that into a cereal bar, thus creating a much more substantial snack. These Cinnamon Vanilla Protein Cereal Bars wound up being everything I hoped for and more. Imagine a Rice Krispie treat, but 10 times as filling and flavorful.

These bars are studded with a cinnamon-sugar cereal, crunchy granola, and salty pumpkin seeds then held together by sweet marshmallow.  All those components make for a protein-rich snack that will silence your stomach much more efficiently than wimpy potato chips or the like.


Why would you want to shamelessly bury your face in an entire container of sugar-laden, nutritionally void cookies when you could eat one of these chewy, cinnamon-vanilla-kissed delights? Put down the Oreos and back away slowly. You can treat yourself without hating yourself afterwards.

I know what you’re thinking – I can’t handle making my own healthy snacks! That’s much too fancy! But these bars are equally as easy to make as a typical Rice Krispie treat, AKA the go-to dessert for people who aren’t experts in cooking. But it does sound pretty darn impressive to say you made your own protein bars, doesn’t it?

You fancy health nut, you.

A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:

  1. It’s important to melt the marshmallows on low heat and stir constantly so that they don’t burn.
  2. Have your ingredients ready to go before you start so you aren’t running around like a chicken with your head cut off while cooking.
  3. I don’t know why, but jumbo marshmallows work better than the mini ones. They make the bars chewier.
  4. Granola doesn’t have to be expensive; look for sales. I got my granola from Target for under three bucks.
  5. These make for a healthy dessert after a nutritious dinner of my Quinoa, Potato, Zucchini & Tomato Saute with Fresh Mozzarella.


Cinnamon Vanilla Protein Bars
By The Smart Cookie Cook


  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 1 10-oz. bag jumbo marshmallows
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 5 cups Special K Cinnamon Sugar Protein Cereal
  • 1 cup vanilla granola (I used Target’s Simply Balanced)
  • 1/3 cup roasted & salted pumpkin seeds


  1. Spray a 9×13 with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Add marshmallows and stir continuously until melted and smooth.
  3. Remove from heat immediately and stir in vanilla extract. Fold in cereal, granola, and pumpkin seeds. Transfer to prepared pan and press down into an even layer. Let cool and set, about 1 hour.
  4.  Cut into squares and enjoy. Store in air-tight container.


Cinnamon-Vanilla Cashew Butter

DSC_6898Does anyone else think that nuts are laced with nicotine? I mean, why else would they be so addicting? Some people can’t put down a bag of greasy potato chips, but my drug of choice is a jar of salty mixed nuts. If you supplied me with an endless vat of them, I’d never stop crunching and munching.

Cashews happen to be my favorite. I don’t know what it is about those suckers, but I never get sick of them. I keep a container of unsalted cashews on hand at all times; they’re the perfect healthy snack (assuming I can limit myself to just a handful in one sitting). Plus, they taste so buttery and smooth in their own raw state. I love when nature pumps out perfection.

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Easy Applesauce Cookies

Have you ever looked at a recipe and immediately felt skeptical? I have. Did you then say things to the recipe like, “What? Are you sure?” I have. Did the recipe talk back?

…neither did mine.

Anyway, I had one of those experiences when I looked at the recipe for these Easy Applesauce Cookies. There were no eggs, few ingredients, it used powdered sugar instead of granulated, and no mixer/beater was required, only good ol’ elbow grease. Typically, I don’t delve into anything I’m too uncertain about (I’m not a big risk-taker), but this recipe was sent to me by a reader, yankeegospelgirl, who spoke very highly of it. Who am I to doubt one of you little cookies? And so, I set aside my skeptical attitude and tackled these cookies with confidence.

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Sweet & Simple: 2-Ingredient Pumpkin Rice Pudding

Contrary to what some people may think, having a food website does not mean you cook and bake elaborate eats every single day. In fact, with life constantly forging ahead at full-speed, I usually wind up eating quick and simple things more than I do the fancy and indulgent. This is especially the case when it comes to dessert. I rarely have time to make a fancy dessert, so I find myself getting creative. If you want a delicious dessert to curb your craving for something sweet at the end of your day but don’t have time to bake, then you’ll have to work with the time you’ve got.

That, my little cookies, is where this 2-Ingredient Pumpkin Rice Pudding comes in. You need only 2 things to whip it up: pumpkin butter & a rice pudding snack pack. Stir it up and eat up! And, if you’re feeling extra indulgent, you can add a dollop of whipped cream.

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Thanksgiving Dessert: Personal Pumpkin Poke Cakes

When I say “personal,” I mean these cakes could easily feed two people, but why would you ever want to share? Having your own personal cake allows you to either indulge in the whole sweet treat in one fell swoop or pace it out and prolong the enjoyment. The choice is yours, my little cookies.

Regardless of how you choose to scarf ‘em down, you simply must make these Personal Pumpkin Poke Cakes. They are so good, unlike anything I’ve had before. It’s a whole new pumpkin experience, which I am always happy to partake in.

The cakes are so incredibly moist, and why wouldn’t they be? You’re almost always guaranteed a moist, delicious cake when you bake with pumpkin. Then, the cakes are poked & soaked with a sweet cinnamon-caramel sauce, along with sweetened condensed milk. It’s totally indulgent, but surprisingly, not overly so. It is just sinful enough.

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Seriously Cereal: Cascadian Farm’s Organic Cinnamon Crunch Cereal

Seriously Cereal is a new series to The Smart Cookie Cook. It explores all things cereal & is devoted to all you cerealists (cereal-enthusiasts) out there. We’ve got to stick together!

I’m sure that many cerealists like myself will agree when I say that General Mills’ Cinnamon Toast Crunch is one of the greatest cereals of all time. Those crunchy squares sprinkle my memories of childhood with sweet cinnamon-sugar bliss. Is it their pleasant crisp texture that made them so delightful? Is it their ribbed surfaces, all the more better for trapping sweet coating? No, as important as these components are, it is clearly that visible layer of cinnamon-sugar cradling each square that made them so darn tasty. What person, especially a child, doesn’t love pure sugary goodness?

Just because I’m technically an adult doesn’t mean I don’t still adore Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Age doesn’t affect deliciousness. I’m crazy about cereal, and I’ll still happily shovel in spoonfuls of the sweet stuff. However, if you’ve ever looked at the nutrition facts on Cinnamon Toast Crunch, then you know it’s pretty horrifying:

A teeny-tiny 3/4 cup serving has:

  • 130 calories
  • 3 grams of fat
  • 10 grams of sugar

Now, let’s consider the fact that most people are probably going to eat TWICE that. Then we’re looking at almost 300 calories, 6 grams of fat, and 20 grams of sugar, and that’s not even counting the milk. Moreover, the ingredient list contains many scary, unidentifiable words, which is never reassuring.

When you’re a kid, none of this matters. You can inhale a swimming pool of ice cream or gallons of soda and not receive the slightest consequence, or judgment for that matter. When you’re an adult, it’s different. According to cultural standards, you aren’t supposed to eat sugary, indulgent things for breakfast. Plus, your metabolism starts taking time off and you find yourself becoming more health conscious.

So what do you do when you need your crunchy, cinnamon-sugar cereal fix?

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Apple Cider Pound Cake w/ Sweet Cinnamon Glaze

There are many kinds of cakes in this world. I’m not talking about vanilla, chocolate, sponge cake, pound cake, birthday cake and the like; I’m talking about the overall demeanor that a cake possesses: mighty, intimidating, tall, enormous, elegant, petite, dainty, light, dense, sophisticated…you get the picture. It’s that feeling that halos a cake when it’s sitting atop a cake stand, tucked inside its paper lining, or perched upon a dessert plate.

Of all these descriptions, only one is befitting of this Apple Cider Pound Cake w/ Sweet Cinnamon Glaze: glorious. This cake is glorious.

With just one look, a beam of sunlight shines directly onto the cake just as an angelic chorus swells in the background. What can I say? It’s a beautiful cake.

But it’s not just on the outside that this cake shines. There is one reason, and one reason only, that I make this Apple Cider Pound Cake every year around this time: it is darn good. It is so moist and delicious, just as a pound cake should be. Moreover, the apple cider provides a heavenly apple accent that’s subtle, but unmistakably present. The cider is further complimented by a beautiful blend of spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and clove. This creates a warm, sweet, and spicy harmony. The taste of these comforting spices reminds you of Fall time, the holidays, and treats your grandma used to make.

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Sweet Cinnamon Glaze

Cinnamon is sweet, sinful, and warm. It’s the coziest spice in existence. But beneath that warmth is a bit of kick, the spicy side of cinnamon. That, my little cookies, is what makes cinnamon such a sultry sweet spice.

We find cinnamon sizzling in all kinds of recipes. But when we really start to see cinnamon starring is during the holiday season. Because of its comforting qualities, the spice is ideal during this time of year when the weather is cool and our spirits are warm. It’s what makes pumpkin pie so delicious, give eggnog an added kick, and makes our Christmas cookies extra special. Without cinnamon, our holidays would be nothing.

So, now that Autumn is upon us, we’ll be seeing a lot more of cinnamon. Yesterday, I made my first official Fall recipe: Soft Pumpkin Cookies with Butterscotch Buttercream Frosting. They were the most delicious, soft, melt-in-your-mouth cookies I’ve ever had. But I’ve got a confession: I doubled that recipe. And I didn’t just top it with the buttercream frosting; I made half with a Sweet Cinnamon Glaze. I’ve got to say, I was shocked. Why? Because I was expecting the Butterscotch Buttercream to be my favorite topping. But that was not the case. As amazing as the buttercream was, this Cinnamon Glaze was even better. It went so perfectly with the Pumpkin Cookies I can’t even describe it. All I can say is, “Wow.”

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Cinnamon Roll Almonds

Nuts are a funny thing, you either love ‘em or you hate ‘em. Personally, I don’t understand how anyone could hate nuts (unless you’re deathly allergic), but hey, to each his own. Me? I love ‘em. I think they make just about any dish better, but they’re also deliciously addictive on their own. Nuts are kinda like chips for me. I eat one…and then I have to eat five thousand more. They’re just so good! They hook you in, and then it’s all over.

A good mix of roasted nuts can be pretty tasty. I always keep a container in the pantry. Sometimes though, it’s fun to switch it up and say, “What else could I do with these nuts?” Naturally, one of the easiest things to do is to season and roast them. I had initially set out to do a classic sweet spice coating with cinnamon and all that jazz, but then a light bulb went on. Rather than do the same old thing, why not take these nuts up a notch? What about…cinnamon roll-flavored nuts?

Yum. That’s the first thing I thought when I was struck by such genius. Have you ever had a cinnamon roll topped with sweet icing and nuts? It’s a perfect combination! So, I tried to pick out all the fixings that you’d find in an ooey gooey cinnamon roll flling: the obvious cinnamon, a dash of nutmeg, and sweet brown sugar. But perhaps just as important to the cinnamon roll besides the filling is its icing. How could I get that taste? That’s where the French Vanilla flavored powdered coffee creamer comes in.

These nuts are SO TASTY. When they’re roasting, it smells like you’re baking up cinnamon rolls. I was popping them into my mouth left in right when they were fresh from the oven (and consequently burnt my tongue…totally worth it). I also continued to munch on ‘em like crazy today. I’ll probably do it again tomorrow. You know why? BECAUSE THEY TASTE JUST LIKE CINNAMON ROLLS (filling, frosting, and all!). They almost become candied after baking them in their sugary, spicey coating. Give these a try. Nuts are such a simple snack, and this is so quick and easy to whip up! You’ll be crunchin’ and munchin’ in no time!

A few tips before you get cooking:

  1. You can use ANY KIND OF NUTS YOU WANT. I think almonds go nicely with the cinnamon roll flavor…but then again, what nut wouldn’t? Pick you’re favorite!
  2. If you’re an I-Spy champion, then you’ll probably notice that I used sugar-free coffee creamer. You don’t have to do this. I have no logical reason for doing so besides the fact that sugar-free was all I had on hand. In fact, I imagine full fat tastes even better and makes these nuts all the more indulgent.

Cinnamon Roll Almonds

Recipe by Colleen Bierstine


  • 1 cup raw almonds (or any nut of your choice)
  • 4 tsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. white sugar
  • 2 tsp. French Vanilla flavored powdered coffee creamer (like this)
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • dash nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 egg white


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray with cooking spray.
  2. Lay nuts out onto baking sheet. Use a brush to evenly coat the nuts with the egg white. Make sure that they’re all sufficiently covered.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the brown sugar, white sugar, coffee creamer, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt until well-combined.
  4. Transfer the egg-coated nuts to the mixing bowl. Toss until they are evenly coated with the sugar mixture and no loose mixture remains in the bowl.
  5. Put the sugared nuts back onto the baking tray, spreading them out in one even layer. Bake in oven for 10 minutes, stirring after 5 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool. Transfer to an air-tight container. Nuts will keep for several days.

So yummy, so cinnamon rolly, and so easy! That’s one sweet snack, my friends.