Does anyone else love Cinnamon Toast Crunch? I do. As a thirty-something supposed adult, I proudly join the legions of school-age kids who love sugary cereal. Back in the States, when I needed a pick-me-up, I would sometimes buy a box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch and eat it by the handful, straight out of the box. And then lick the sugary coating off my fingers. No shame. No shame at all whatsoever.
These Cinnamon Sugar Crisps are kind of like the adult version of the cereal. These will in no way replace CTC. They don’t quite have that light crunchiness of CTC (they have a firmer bite), and aren’t as sweet, but they’re still satisfying, and when you need something sweet and crunchy to snack on, these can hit the spot.
Cinnamon Sugar Crisps
adapted from Leite’s Culinaria
Makes roughly 65 crisps plus lots of edge pieces
1 cup all purpose flour
3.5 tbsp. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. baking powder
(1/8 tsp. cinnamon, opt.)*
1/4 cup (2 fl.oz.) water or milk, room temperature** (see note)
1/8 cup + 1 tbsp. (1.5 fl.oz.) vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1.5 tbsp. sugar
1/2 ~ 3/4 tsp. cinnamon (adjust to your preference)*
pinch of salt
*I have a serious cinnamon addiction, so I always add extra to everything. Adjust according to your love of cinnamon!
**You can use either water or milk. Water will produce a slightly crunchier texture and a neutral flavor in the dough – so the vanilla and cinnamon will be more prominent. Using milk will produce a more delicate crumb (a bit similar to pie crust), a slightly deeper, sweeter flavor (from, I assume, the caramelization of the sugars in the milk), and the overall won’t be as close to the CTC flavor. Personally, I prefer the taste of the water version, but try them both out and decide for yourself!
1. Preheat oven to 350F (176C). Prepare 2 sheets of wax paper or parchment paper, plus one sheet of parchment paper and set aside.
2. Prepare the cinnamon-sugar topping by stirring together all of the ingredients. Set aside.
3. Combine flour, brown sugar, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon (if using) in a medium bowl. Set aside.
4. In a measuring cup or small bowl, combine water or milk, oil, and vanilla. Give it a brisk stir to combine, and then immediately pour into the dry ingredients.
5. Stir everything until it all comes together in a ball. The resulting dough should just hold together and not be overly wet. If it feels a bit slick or tacky to the touch, add in an additional half tablespoon of flour at a time. If the dough is too dry and crumbly and doesn’t hold together, add in a few drops of liquid (water or milk) at a time until it comes together.
6. Sandwich the dough between the two sheets of wax or parchment paper, and roll out until 1/8 inch in thickness.
7. Carefully peel off the top sheet of paper, and evenly sprinkle half of the cinnamon-sugar over the dough. Cover with the sheet of parchment paper, lightly press down to adhere the topping to the dough, and carefully flip over. (Emphasis on “carefully” because I tried to do this too quickly and ended up with cinnamon sugar all over the countertop and floor.)
8. Sprinkle the remainder of the cinnamon-sugar over the other side.
9. Slide the parchment and dough onto a baking sheet. With a sharp knife, cut the dough into 1 inch squares (I use my offset spatula as a guide). Slide the baking sheet into the middle of the oven, and bake for 15 minutes, until the dough has firmed up slightly, but still soft.
10. Remove the tray from the oven, and reduce the oven temperature to 225F (107C). Separate the pieces, using a knife to cut through them if they have baked together. Continue to bake for another 20 minutes, flipping the crisps halfway through.
11. After 20 minutes, turn the oven off and keep the tray in there with the door slightly ajar for an additional 15-20 minutes.
12. Let them cool on a rack, and then store them in an airtight container to keep on hand when you need a crispy cinnamony fix!