When immersed in a liquid, cinnamon sticks add a subtle flavor that is simultaneously sweet and spicy. As common ingredients in beef stews, curries, mulled wines and ciders, homemade applesauce, and hot chocolate, cinnamon sticks are frequently used spices. If you happen to run out, you can substitute ground cinnamon.
Start by replacing each 2-inch cinnamon stick that your recipe calls for with 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon. After mixing in the ground cinnamon, taste your dish to see whether you want a more pronounced cinnamon flavor. Ground cinnamon has a stronger flavor than cinnamon sticks, so don't add too much at once.
For the Future
The next time you head to the supermarket, choose cinnamon sticks over ground cinnamon. While ground cinnamon only keeps for six months in your spice rack, cinnamon sticks can last for more than two years. If you're making a recipe that calls for ground cinnamon, you can grind it yourself in a spice grinder or coffee grinder.