On mornings when I’m sitting here with a bag of Cheetos for breakfast, I remember eating cinnamon on toast. It was candy on white bread.
On mornings when I’m sitting here with a bag of Cheetos for breakfast, I remember the Steak & Eggs joint in the 1970s.
The humble place did one thing really right — cinnamon on toast. Folks ordered it as a main course for breakfast (45 cents), perhaps with a scrambled egg and bacon on the side.
Cinnamon toast once suffered a reputation as Depression food, when all you had in the pantry was bread, sugar and cinnamon. These days, it’s considered a luxury.
One bite of Sandy’s toast and you’d never go back to doughnuts. It was candy on white bread.
The recipe came from her grandmother. The surprise is grandma broiled the cinnamon and sugar into the toast, creating a layer of, yes, candy. She used two sugars, white and brown.
Cinnamon toast is made by toasting bread, slathering it with butter and then sprinkling on a tablespoon or two of a sugar-cinnamon mixture. It usually ends there. The butter dampens the coating, the flavors explode and our campers are happy.
Sandy’s way took it one more step, to heaven. She buttered the toast, added the duo of white and brown sugar plus cinnamon and ran it under the broiler until the sugar just melted. Done just right, it was amazing. Overdone even slightly charred it.
Broiling adds a new taste dimension. It is the best way to produce a lot of hot cinnamon toast all at once.
The toast was ready after two pours of Sandy’s Navy coffee. (Navy coffee is so strong, it keeps you awake all day, it’s purpose in the Navy, of course. Sandy served it the traditional way, with mug, spoon and saucer. The saucer was for pouring the hot coffee to cool, then slurping it.)
We can reconstruct her cinnamon toast recipe but never the ambiance of her place. (This was before McDonald’s taught us that breakfast comes from a window.)
Contact Jim Hillibish at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SANDY’S CINNAMON TOAST
8 slices Italian bread
1/4 pound butter, melted
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
Toast bread until golden. Brush each slice with butter. Mix cinnamon and the sugars. Spread on the buttered toast. Run under broiler or in a toaster oven until glazed.
For two slices, use 2 tablespoons butter, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon white sugar and 3-4 tablespoons brown sugar.
Note: Some folks prefer their cinnamon toast with crusts removed, another grandmother thing.