I actually knew a girl named Cinnamon. It wasn't a stage name; it was her real, honest-to-goodness name. I think if I were to meet someone named Cinnamon today I'd assume she were a porn star or something, but at the time I just thought she was impossibly cool. You can't be a loser with a name like Cinnamon.
According to my old friend Dara, whose memory is far sharper than my own, we met Cinnamon at the Bennington July Program. It must have been the summer after 10th (9th?) grade. It was a terrific month. I took two "college" classes -- photography and intro psych. The cabins were white. There were lots of mountains. Honestly, that's pretty much all I remember. Oh wait! For one of my photography assignments I think I had Dara wear a straw hat and gaze off in a field of tall grass. Then I sepia toned the picture. Was I trying to be artsy?
Anyway, a few days ago I made brownies for my neighbors, doubling the recipe so my friend Jen could take some home to her husband in Boston. I hewed closely to a recipe from Alice Medrich's new cookbook, Pure Dessert. Her recipe sounded terrific as written, but I made two small additions: I added white chocolate chips. And cinnamon.
Cinnamon, I may not remember a whole lot about you, but your fabulous name lingers on. This one's for you.
Recipe for Cinnamon White Chocolate Chip Brownies
Here's a slightly edited version of the New Bittersweet Brownies recipe from Alice Medrich's excellent cookbook, Pure Dessert. I've added cinnamon and white chocolate chips, but the rest of the recipe is decidedly hers.
Makes 16 two-inch brownies
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
6 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
scant 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup white chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees with a rack set in the lower third of the oven. Line an 8" square baking pan with foil so it hangs over the sides.
Place the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of almost-simmering water. Stir frequently with a heatproof spatula until the mixture is melted and smooth. Remove the bowl from the pan and set aside.
Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs, sugar, salt, and vanilla on high speed until the eggs are very thick and light-colored, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the warm chocolate. Fold in the flour and cinnamon. Stir in the white chocolate chips.
Scrape the batter into the lined pan and spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in the pan on a rack.
Invert the brownies and carefully peel off the foil. Turn right side up on a cutting board and cut into small squares.