Cinnamony Sugary Buttery Cookies

These cinnamon vanilla snaps are addicting! They key is in the ingredients…

A secret behind the best pies, cookies and breads is that they start with excellent ingredients. Organic butter from grass-fed cows and Bob’s Red Mill all-purpouse flour give these cinnamon sugar cookies a head start, and Penzeys double-strength vanilla extract put them at 11 on a 1 – 10 scale! The “double-strength” description is spot on; you truly only need half the required quantity of vanilla recipes call for and the flavor is divine. High-quality Saigon cinnamon added the final touch. These cookies come out of the oven ready to melt in your mouth!

Cinnamon Sugar Cookies


  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (or 1/2 tsp Penzeys double-strength)

For topping –

  • 1 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together sugars at medium speed.
  3. Add butter and mix until incorporated.
  4. Add egg and vanilla and mix until light and fluffy.
  5. Add flour, baking soda and salt. Mix on low speed just until incorporated. Do not overmix.
  6. Mix topping ingredients in a small bowl.
  7. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in cinnamon mixture.
  8. Place onto ungreased cookie sheets, about 2 inches apart.
  9. Bake for 18 minutes.
  10. Cool immediately on wire racks

Yields 2 dozen cookies.

Recipe adapted from At Home in Alaska.

Laying in a Year’s Worth of Supplies Part II: The Well-Stocked Kitchen

Penzeys spices have earned a prominent place in our well-stocked kitchen. We recently received an order of items we wanted to make sure we have on hand when we return to Point Hope at the end of the summer. From left to right in the foreground: arbol peppers, star anise and chipotle peppers. 

As I write this, I’m surrounded by several stacks of Rubbermaid totes. Each stack has four to seven nested totes duck taped together, ready to be mailed to Anchorage where they’ll be filled with dry goods and mailed back up here for the next school year. We’re down to the tail end of most of our groceries, which is the way it should be with only 10 days remaining before we fly down to south-central Alaska for the summer.

Planning out a well-stocked kitchen, experimenting with new dishes and baked goods, and writing this blog make the extra effort and expense of laying in everything we need for our kitchen worth it. In addition to mail-ordering spices to supplement what we already have on hand, we’ve prepared a five-page Excel spreadsheet shopping list we’ll take care of in Anchorage. And, of course, there are the ice chests we mailed down earlier, waiting to be filled with some of the world’s best seafood – the salmon, halibut and rockfish we catch and package ourselves. Come late summer when we return to the village, our kitchen will be ready!

Various types of salt, cooking oils and a full compliment of herbs and spices inspire an eclectic approach to cooking and baking, and allow us to create many of our own rubs and grilling sauces.

Although the theme of our summer posts will shift to fishing, hiking, boating and sailing, we’ll continue to write about the cooking we do for ourselves and our guests. And during the summer, we’ll finally be able to enjoy wine and beer with our meals!

Click here to see A Year’s Worth of Food: Provisioning for the Alaska Bush, Part I