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Let’s Bake!

I love to bake!  Cakes, cookies, brownies, breads.  You name it!  And I love to bake it! 

A few years ago, I was involved in an online forum specifically for moms.  It was actually the first place I “discovered” when we got internet service years ago.  Man, did it change my whole world!  That particular forum is long-since defunct.  But it left me with many friendships that I will treasure the rest of my life.  And it certainly left me with some amazing recipes!

This moms forum really opened up the world for a small-town Southern girl!  I heard about fabulous new things on a daily basis.  One of those “things” was about an eatery called “Cinnabon.”  I’d never heard of such!  I learned it’s a cinnamon roll shop.  We sure don’t have one here in Podunk!  Cinnamon rolls around here come in a “whop ’em” can (like biscuits) or they come from the pseudo-bakery in the local grocery store.  I say pseudo-bakery because the vast majority of “bakeries” in our local stores have their items shipped in from somewhere and don’t do any actual baking.  It’s what my friend Christie calls “brought on” stuff.  Not real.  Nobody’s actual hands touched it and made it.  FAKE!  Thus, “pseudo” baked goods.

So I had not a foggy clue what “Cinnabon” was.  Nearly 11 years later, I KNOW what Cinnabon is and have actually tasted the cinnamon rolls there.  But the problem is, I tried a homemade “copycat” recipe for Cinnabons before I ever had the real thing.  And in all honesty, I think the homemade is FAR better than the real thing.  Not that real Cinnabons aren’t good, mind you.  They are.  VERY good!  But if I can make cinnamon rolls at home that are as good and not have to drive 2.5 hours to the nearest Cinnabon, then YEE HAW!  And if you can make a whole PAN for what one single one would cost, DOUBLE YEE HAW!

Truly, these cinnamon rolls are the best I’ve ever had.  Most cinnamon rolls are just dry to me.  These cinnamon rolls I’m about to share with you are so moist and delicious!  You’ll want to slap your Pappy!  Just feed him one of these cinnamon rolls and he’ll forget you ever slapped him!  Guaranteed!

So let’s make them! 

Rock-Your-Face-Off Cinnamon Rolls

Dough:

*  1/2 cup butter, melted

*  1/4 cup water

*  1/2 pkg. instant vanilla pudding mix (3.4 oz size)

*  1 cup milk, room temperature

*  1 egg, well beaten

*  1 Tbsp. sugar

*  1/2 tsp. salt

*  4 cups bread flour OR all-purpose flour

*  1 pkg. yeast

Filling:

 *  1/2 cup butter, softened but NOT melted

*  1 cup brown sugar

*  2 tsp. cinnamon

Frosting:

*  4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature

*  1/4 cup butter, room temperature

*  1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

*  1/2 tsp. vanilla

*  1 1/2 tsp. milk

Mix all the dough ingredients together and knead 10 minutes.  I use my Kitchen-Aid to do the work for me on this.  However, you can also make these in a bread machine set to the dough cycle or you can do it the old-fashioned way and knead it by hand.  I’m WAY too lazy to do that!  But if you’re not lazy like I am, knock yourself out!

Butter the surface you plan to use to roll these out.  Trust me.  This will save you much heartache later!  I like to butter a piece of waxed paper or parchment paper, but you could certainly just butter your fabulous granite countertops…..I just don’t happen to have fabulous granite countertops.  But I’m horribly jealous that YOU do!  At any rate, just make sure whatever surface you roll yours out on is buttered!  Or you’ll be sorry!  Believe me!

Here’s what it looks like when you first put your dough down:

Cinnamon Rolls 1

Once your rolling surface is sufficiently greased up, roll your dough out about 17″ long and 10″ wide. 

Slather the butter all over your rolled out dough like this:

Cinnamon Rolls 2

Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon over the dough, then press it into the butter really well like this: 

 Cinnamon Rolls 3

Cinnamon Rolls 00

If you like nuts in your cinnamon rolls, by all means, add some pecans or walnuts or whatever nut you like.  If you like raisins, add those too!  We’re not building rockets here!  You can add the things you like to YOUR cinnamon rolls and nobody will report you to the recipe gestapo! 

Once you have the dough buttered and sugared, roll it up into a log. 

 Cinnamon Rolls 11

Slice the log into about 18 slices. 

Cinnamon Rolls 12

 Cinnamon Rolls 10

You can do more or less depending on how many cinnamon rolls you want to make or how thick you like your cinnamon rolls.  As you can see above, I only had 14.  I cut mine really thick!

Now here’s a word of advice for you.  Take it.  Don’t take it.  This is a personal opinion.  I don’t sell Pampered Chef.  But I adore their products!  I think these cinnamon rolls turn out 10 times better baked in their stoneware than in anything else you can bake them.  That is my own opinion as a baker.  But personally, I just wouldn’t bake them in anything else unless every single piece of stoneware I had was broken!  Whatever you choose to bake them in needs to be sprayed with non-stick cooking spray or buttered like crazy because these dudes are STICKKKKKKKKKKKK-Y!  As you can see, I used my Pampered Chef Bar Pan.  That’s what I always use to bake these.  You’re going to want to make sure whatever you use has a lip around the edges because the brown sugar and butter turn to syrup and will run off something that doesn’t have a lip.  Then you’ll have an evil, wicked, mean and nasty mess to clean up in your oven!  Don’t say you weren’t warned!

Place them in a well-greased pan and then cover them with a dish towel until they double in size.  Bake them in a pre-heated 350° oven 15-20 minutes.  Be sure not to overbake them.

Once they’re baked, they’ll look a little something like this:

Cinnamon Rolls 13

 Let them cool and frost with frosting……if you can wait until they’re cool.  They rarely make it to a cooled state in this house.  The ankle biters and that tall skinny man that live here just can’t stay out of them.  And I also have a crazy dog that’s addicted to anything with cinnamon in it.  He thinks it’s his very own doggie crack!  So when I bake these or anything else with cinnamon in it, Charles Edward William Harry (Hairy) Dog is pressed up against the door patiently (or not-so-patiently!!!) waiting his turn for a cinnamon crack treat! 

Cinnamon Rolls 14

Cinnamon rolls 22

Cinnamon Rolls finished

And that’s Rock-Your-Face-Off Cinnamon Rolls, friends and neighbors!  Bake some for your loves today!  Or at least Saturday morning!!!!  Or hey, Sunday morning before church and then take some to your Sunday School class and you’ll be the very favorite person in the room!

Enjoy!  I’m off to bake cupcakes now!  I have to strike bake while the iron oven is hot!  I have real-life people addicted to my cake (Fat Babysitter and my SIL!) so I must provide them with THEIR crack!  See y’all tomorrow! 

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One Response

  1. Oh, those rolls look good! Amy, I have another question for you. When you say “bread flour”, are you talking about all-purpose flour?

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