Fall at the Top of the Continent
Saturday afternoon, we went for a drive, up the mountains past Island Park, across the continental divide, and into Montana. Nestled between mountain ranges there is a huge valley, large even by Montana standards. It's called Centennial Valley.
It's the last week of September and fall is encroaching on the valley. On the contiental divide, the snow is about half way down the mountains and the middle of three peaks in the distance is capped in snow. Soon the valley will be locked in for another year.
Last year, we were here in October, camped at Elk Lake, when dark clouds tumbled over the divide. We scurried to break camp as bold lightning strikes were lighting up the valley. On the way out, were two bull moose chasing a cow, impervius to the beginning storm. By the time we got to the pass, there were six inches of snow and the valley was locked away for another season.
But this is what the valley looks like in the summer--gorgeous, a paradise. This picture was taken in early July. The mountains in the background, still etched with snow, that is the Cotinental Divide.
10 More Ways to Use Cinnamon Chips
It's amazing, all the ways customers use cinnamon chips—just check out the customer reviews. And they keep finding new ways. They add them to their favorite recipes. They experiment and find new ways.
Here are ten new ways you and your family can discover the magic of cinnamon chips.
Awesome! These are the only cinnamon chips that I use. I put them in muffins, scones, banana bread, and pancakes. They are packed with flavor. No other brand of cinnamon chips can come close to the quality of these.--Linda
We have a tester in the neighborhood that is a magnificent baker. I love her cookies. But then, I love everything she bakes.
She gave me some maple oatmeal cookies. They were fabulous. They should have lasted a week at my house. They didn’t. Maybe they lasted two days.
They were thin, crispy oatmeal cookies—not soft, cakey cookies. The oats and crispness hid the cinnamon chips but you could certainly taste them. Most of the maple came from the glaze she put on them, just a splash across each cookie, not a covering.
Smart. The glaze, of course, went on after baking. If she had put the maple flavor in the dough, the heat would have driven off much of the flavor. It was a thin glaze with just enough maple to balance against the cinnamon chips.
But maple is not the only flavor that works with cinnamon chips.
If you make a lemon or orange cake or quick bread, add cinnamon chips. I’m especially partial to cinnamon chips in an orange bread made with orange zest. The sweetness of the cinnamon chips and the bright burst of the Vietnamese cinnamon balances so well against bitterness of the orange zest.
By the way, when you grate the zest from an orange, do so lightly getting just the outer peel of the orange-colored skin. The pungent, unpleasant taste of the peal comes from the white pithy bulk beneath. The orange oil is in the outer skin.
A long time ago, we discovered that brown sugar flavor is a terrific complement to cinnamon or cinnamon chips. But brown sugar flavor doesn't taste like brown sugar. I don't know what it tastes like. A customer says that it tastes like toasted marshmallows. I can buy that. That makes it a sure shot--a toasted marshmallow flavor with your favorite recipes. No wonder those cookies with cinnamon chips and brown sugar flavor are so good.
Oh, and brown sugar flavor is one of those everyday flavors like vanilla. You don’t have to use it with cinnamon. And it costs less than vanilla.
We always use cinnamon chips in our carrot cake. It doubles the flavor.
When you grate your carrots for your cake, grate a little extra. Save it for your morning pancakes. Add cinnamon chips to the batter. Cinnamon chip carrot pancakes will make you famous.
When you grate your carrots, grate them on a thin setting. You want the carrots to cook soft and tender, melted into the cake or batter, not chunky. The pre-grated carrots in the produce section of the grocery store are too chunky,
Cinnamon and apples, of course, is a classic combination. My mother made terrific apple pancakes. She grated apples and stirred them into the batter.
If I were making them today, I would throw in a cup of cinnamon chips and a teaspoon or two of apple flavor.
Use cinnamon chips in your cinnamon rolls. Instead of rolling only cinnamon and sugar into a bread roll, add some cinnamon chips just as you would add nuts or raisins. If you'are feeling a little crazy, smear apple pie filling on the dough, sprinkle cinnamon chips over the pie filling and then roll that up.
And finally, bananas. Banana bread with cinnamon chips is way better than banana bread without cinnamon chips. And we’re learned that no matter how ripe your bananas are, your banana bread is not banana-y enough without banana flavor. We let our bananas get super, squishy ripe and then add two teaspoons of banana flavor.
I love these little gems! These are the best to put into baked goods. Pancakes come to life when you add them, and so does any kind of bread!! –Susan Sheetz