How to Make Cinnamon Chips

cinnamon chips chocolate chip only better!

What are cinnamon chips?  Well, they are like chocolate chips only better!  The first time I even knew what cinnamon chips were was during my 3 year stint in Michigan while I worked at a bread store and bakery.  My favorite bread that we made there was a loaf of whole wheat cinnamon bread with oatmeal, dates, and…cinnamon chips!

Most cinnamon chips that you can buy commercially are made with palm oil, white sugar, non-fat dry milk, and an emulsifier like soy lecithin.  Fortunately, my cinnamon chip recipe is only four ingredients, and has a beautiful texture without the aid of any questionable additives. 

I really do not have much of a problem with palm oil, other than the fact that you need to carefully source it to be properly prepared by sustainable practicing people.  But I find that in “chip” recipes, a better fat is cocoa butter.  Cocoa butter has a higher melting point, so it sets up in a way that holds up best in baked goods.

But when it comes to those other ingredients, I am perfectly happy to make my own version at home in order to avoid GMO-laden pseudofoods.  Soy lecithin is a problem, mostly because it is so highly processed.  And when you get a food that highly processed, it’s almost impossible to know where it came from exactly.  That’s why I avoid soy lecithin, or at least buy my compromise foods as organic to avoid the possible GMOs. (source)

Non-fat dry milk is similar: it is less highly processed, but the processing that it does undergo renders the fats in the resultant powder oxidized and otherwise questionable:

Commercial milk powders are reported to contain oxysterols (oxidized cholesterol) in higher amounts than in fresh milk (up to 30 μg/g, versus trace amounts in fresh milk). Oxysterols are derivatives of cholesterol that are produced either by free radicals or by enzymes. Some free radicals-derived oxysterols have been suspected of being initiators of atherosclerotic plaques. For comparison, powdered eggs contain even more oxysterols, up to 200 μg/g. (source)

What about SUGAR?!

As for the sugar, I don’t have as much of an issue with it as I used to.  Sugar is commonly referred to as bad, or as “empty calories”.  However, I have softened my stance on sugar significantly in the last year.  Sugar gives you energy, and combined with other foods, it won’t cause sugar crashes very easily.

But if you are a real foodie like me, you’ll still prefer whole sugars and natural sweeteners.  They still contain minerals and nutrients, as well as their energy-generating sucrose.  My personal favorite is whole cane sugar, but I also have a number of other sweeteners I use in my house: raw honey, coconut or palm sugar, maple syrup and sugar, date sugar, and green stevia.

These sugars are preferred over bleached white sugar.  But I still stand by my decision to not worry too much about white sugar anymore.  I eat it on occasion, and I feel just fine.  But at home I use mostly whole sugars and natural sweeteners, saving the unbleached white sugar in my pantry for water kefir and the occasional recipe that doesn’t do well with an unrefined sugar.

Equipment Needed:

Note: You can make these cinnamon chips GAPS legal by using raw honey, but I suggest that you use the thickest that you can find.  For this recipe, use 3/4 cup of honey substituted for the whole cane sugar.

Additional Note: You can also make these chips with palm shortening if you cannot get cocoa butter.  The result will be a softer chip, but you can refrigerate them to help them keep their shape.

IMG_5190

Cinnamon Chips

2 cups (16 ounces) cocoa butter (buy cocoa butter here)
1 cup whole cane sugar* (buy whole cane sugar here)
1/4 cup ground cinnamon (buy organic spices here)
pinch of salt (buy sea salt here)

* You can also up the sugar content to 1 1/2 or even 2 cups.  This won’t make the cinnamon chips too sweet, but will simply change the flavor and texture to a more conventional chip.  If you prefer less fat in the ratio, then make them this way.  I like them either way!

  1. Prepare a large glass baking dish by lining it with parchment paper that hangs over the edges on two opposite sides.  This will make it easy to remove the rectangle of hardened cinnamon mixture at the end.
  2. In a double broiler, heat the cocoa butter over medium heat until fully melted.  If you are using a glass bowl set over simmering water in a saucepan, take care that the steam doesn’t condense and drop of water fall into the melted cocoa butter.
  3. Whisk in the whole cane sugar and cinnamon, still heating the mixture over medium heat.  Leave the mixture on the heat to let the sugar dissolve for about 10 minutes, whisking occasionally.
  4. Remove the mixture from the heat and set on the counter to let cool for one hour.
  5. After an hour, check the mixture and blend it for 1 minute with the immersion blender.  Repeat this process every 20 minutes until the mixture cools enough that when you blend it, it stays emulsified (mixed together).
  6. Pour the emulsified mixture into the prepared pan and smooth out into an even layer.  Let cool completely at room temperature, or until it is completely hardened.
  7. Lift the rectangle of hardened cinnamon chip mixture out of the pan by pulling up on the overhanging parchment sides.  Transfer to a cutting board.  IMG_5182
  8. Cut the hardened mixture into chip-sized bites, as large or small as you like, but preferably 1/4 inch squares.  Store in airtight containers at room temperature.

You can add these cinnamon chips to snickerdoodles, cinnamon rolls, and whole wheat breakfast breads!  Or try them in waffles, pancakes, or even sprinkled over ice cream.

But I dare you not to eat one out of the jar before you put them into anything!

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.

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Comments

  1. Would solid coconut oil work well in place of the cocoa butter?

    • You definitely can, but they will melt more easily! Keep them in the fridge so they don’t melt in the pantry, and beware when you put them into cookies or something 🙂

  2. I havent bought cinnamon chips in years because of the ingredients, but I miss them terribly. Excited to try this!

  3. Do you think using part stevia, say 1/4 cup stevia and 3/4 cup sugar, would work?

  4. Looks divine! Thank you! I think I may add in some heavenly cardamom too; doesn’t that sound fun?

  5. By the time you answer this, it’ll probably be way too late for me. But maybe it’ll help someone else. 🙂

    I’m trying to make these delicious sounding cinnamon chips. The cocoa butter, sugar, cinnamon & salt mixture has been on heat (and smells wonderful!) for about an hour already, and my sugar still has not melted/dissolved. Any suggestions? Thanks!

  6. It’ll probably be too late for me by the time you answer this, but hopefully it will help someone else! 🙂

    I’m trying to make these delicious sounding cinnamon chips, but I’m having a problem. My cocoa butter, sugar, cinnamon & salt mixture has been on-heat for over an hour now and the sugar is still not melted/dissolved. Any thoughts?

    Thanks!

  7. Just for the record — it’s now been over 3 hours and the sugar is still not dissolved. 🙁 I’m about ready to give up despite the delicious smell.

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