Welcome to Off-the-Clock, a series of stories dedicated to what our Test Kitchen team likes to cook up when our aprons come off and we need a break from fried chicken and layer cakes.
A slice of warm cinnamon toast—with crisp edges, a soft, buttery center, and a thin veil of barely melted sugar—will motivate me to do just about anything. When I was a kid, my mom used its sweet aroma to persuade me out of bed in morning. In college, it fueled me through long stretches of studying. And now, my husband knows he’s only a few ingredients and five minutes away from yanking me out of a bad mood. I call cinnamon toast the Lazy Man’s Cinnamon Roll. It’s just as comforting as the classic buns but so much easier to make.
My go-to cinnamon toast is a grown-up version of the stuff I ate as a kid. I like to add benne seeds, which give it a nutty, savory note and use thick slices of artisan bread to give it instant polish. Some tips:
- Be liberal with all the toppings: butter, sugar, cinnamon, and benne seeds.
- Day-old bread makes great cinnamon toast. Pick up a nice loaf for dinner and use leftover slices for cinnamon toast in the morning.
- If company’s coming, skip the toaster oven and use a real oven to make a big batch.
- To get the toast golden brown, finish the toast under the broiler for just a minute. Don’t walk away! It’ll darken quickly and burnt cinnamon toast is the pits.
- All you need for a fabulous Sunday brunch is a stack of cinnamon toast and some olive oil-fried eggs.