Sunday, May 6, 2012

Cinnamon Rolls - Just like Cinnabon's.... Absolutely the best!!!

Cinnabon Copycat Rolls

This past week I was a little under the weather.  So this weekend I decided to stay low, rest and just hang out at home.  I made the first posting on Bread, Bread, Bread yesterday and decided "ah what the heck, I'm home I might as well bake"...
I also cleaned out the refrigerator and freezer.  I found lots of fun stuff that really needed to be cooked before I would have to throw it away because of freezer burn. So first there were some shrimp.  I thawed them out and made shrimp with tomato basil sauce with pasta (that will be another post, someday).  I had that for super and froze the rest for lunches.  I had a ham bone left over from Easter and lots of broth from roasts and chickens that I had cooked awhile ago.  I threw them all together and made a wonderful bean soup.  It turned out great.  So I have super for tomorrow night with bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches and several individual servings that I will take to work for lunch.  (My favorite lunch, bean with bacon soup and a braunschweiger and mustard sandwich)... My mom use to make them when I was little.  When I eat them it reminds me of her.  I also chopped up a bunch of rhubarb to make some rhubarb bars which I will have in my next post.
This morning I woke up and went to church and then came home and decided to make my favorite cinnamon rolls.  I love to bring them to work.  It always puts a smile on everyone's face.  I thought I would show you how I make my rolls.  They always turn out and are such a treat.  This recipe is a copy cat recipe for Cinnabon's.  They taste just as good and the recipe makes 18 rolls.  So there's always enough for everyone.

Let's start...
To make these rolls you will need the following: 

1/2 cup warm water (roughly 110 degrees)
2 packages dry yeast
2 T. sugar
3 1/2 oz. package vanilla instant pudding
1/2 cup margarine, melted
2 eggs
1 tsp. salt
6 cups flour (plus a little more)

I'll give you the frosting recipe at the end.

In a measuring cup combine 1/2 cup warm water with 2 packages dry yeast and 1 T. sugar. (Add the sugar to the dry yeast mixture.  It makes the yeast guys wake up faster)  It should start frothing within about 5 minutes.  (See picture above... the yeast is ready to pour into the mixture)
In a large bowl make the pudding according to the directions on the package.  Once it starts thickening, add 2 eggs, the melted margarine, the remaining sugar, the yeast and salt and mix really well.

Start adding the flour 1 cup at a time...

It will start looking a little lumpy, but that's OK.  I usually add 5 cups of flour at this point and add the other cup while I'm kneading.
Again, it looks kind of lumpy and messy, but that's OK.  Start kneading.  If you have never kneaded before, pretend like you are giving someone a massage.  Work the dough with the heals of your hands.  Keep adding flour until the dough is not sticky anymore.  You might need even more flour to achieve a non sticky mass.  That's OK.  Just keep adding until it sticks together, but is not sticky.
Fold your dough over and over kneading with the heal of your hand...
After a very short while, you will have a beautiful ball of dough that's not sticky. 
Now it's time to proof...
Oil (cooking oil) a large bowl and drop your ball of dough into the bowl.  Flip it over and add a little more oil to the top of the ball and rub it all the way around.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise.  I learned a little trick from Alton Brown.  I'm sure you are wondering what the bowl is sitting on.  It's a heating pad sitting inside a large casserole dish.  This keeps a constant low heat on the dough and it rises much quicker.
Once the dough has risen (about an hour or so), punch it down in the middle and let it rise again.  The second rise will go much quicker than the first rise. 
At this point, put about a cup of flour on your counter and turn your ball of dough out on the counter and start rolling with a rolling pin.  Your finished measurement should be approximately 36" wide by 21" long.

Once the dough is rolled out, take about 1/2 cup of softened butter and brush it all over the dough.  Then take about 2 cups of brown sugar and 2 or so tablespoons of cinnamon in another bowl and mix.  Spread this mixture over the dough and butter.  Then start rolling the dough into a 36" log.  I use a measurng stick at this point so I cut the rolls equally.  Each roll should be 2" wide and you should have 18 rolls when you are done.  I also learned another trick from I'm not sure where, but it works really well.  Take some sewing thread or meat twine and slice the rolls with it.  Loop the thread around the dough and pull.  It cuts them perfectly.
Because you have 18 rolls when you are done it's hard to figure out what kind of pan to put them in.  After many different trys, I finally came up with using 3 brownie pans.  Each pan holds 6 rolls.  You don't want too many more than that in each pan because the rolls in the middle won't cook completely and you will have a big doughy mess. 
Take your 3 pans and place a sheet of parchment in the bottom of the pan and place 6 rolls in each pan, cover and let rise one more time.
As Alton Brown always says, "you're patience will be rewarded"!  (LOL!!!)

Once they have pretty much risen to fill the pan, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  I bake each pan separately.  I suppose you could cook them together, but I don't.
The final product looks wonderful... and tastes even better....

Look how pretty and yummy!!!! They're the best!
Now for the frosting....
You will need the following:
8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup margarine (I use butter, because I can)
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar
1 T. milk

Place all the ingredients in a food processor and mix until creamy.  Frost your rolls when they have cooled and enjoy!  You will get a lot of smiles out of these rolls and once they bite into them they're eyes will tell you that you did good! 
I do hope that you will try these rolls, they're the best!  They were definitely sent from heaven...
until next time....

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