Cinnamon Challenge

There are more than 30,000 YouTube videos of teens taking the Cinnamon Challenge generating millions of hits. Here's a screenshot of my teenager's attempt.

Did you know teens are fighting over who has the best case of dragon breath? Not the morning variety (gross)…we’re talking about the cloud of cinnamon they willingly cough up for sh*ts and giggles.

The Cinnamon Challenge is all the rage in my Footloose town…and beyond. Have you heard of it?

I consider myself a Mommy who’s pretty in-the-know–I still really can’t believe I am considered the buzz-kill grown-up in this house–but I had no clue about The Cinnamon Challenge until I saw a video my stepdaughter posted on Facebook. There she was, side-by-side with her BFF, looking straight into the camera with a spoonful of cinnamon in her hand, giggling in nervous anticipation of swallowing it within 60 seconds without water. They lasted one second, spewed cinnamon everywhere, and laughed hysterically about their mad case of dragon breath. Harmless fun, right? I mean, kids have been daring each other to do stupid stuff to kill some time on a Saturday night forever (I remember a few pickle juice drinking contests myself back in the day…yeah, I was cool). I didn’t think anything of it…until recently.

Turns out cinnamon can be one bad a$$ spice. Cinnamon quickly coats the mouth and throat, making people cough, gag, and throw up. It can cause breathing difficulties, pneumonia, and, in severe cases, make the lungs collapse (kids with asthma are especially high risk). The Poison Control Center phones are ringing off the hook about cinnamon! Who knew?

If you’re running low on the spice and have a teen in your house, it’s not your Mommybrain failing you again. Your kid did the Cinnamon Challenge, or is planning on doing it. Sleep with the cinnamon shaker under your pillow if necessary…or hide it with your liquor and pharmaceuticals. Another option is to simply lock your teenager in her room until she turns 18. Whatever works. I am not here to judge. If you want to be really nice, you can slide some of my Cinnamon Sugar Cookies under her door, but make sure that’s the closest she gets to the real thing.

Eat cinnamon in these cookies, teens, not straight-up. Duh.

Cinnamon Sugar Cookies

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons plus one teaspoon ground cinnamon


Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In a medium bowl, cream butter with 1/4 cup white sugar and brown sugar. Mix in egg and vanilla. Add the sifted dry ingredients, and mix until well blended.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon on a flat plate or a piece of wax paper. Form cookie dough into small balls and roll in the cinnamon/sugar mixture. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake 9-11 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Enjoy!

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