... so much so that I have to refrain from eating their yummy cinnamon rolls all the time! I love the smell of cinnamon and sugar that wafts from their stores... but I usually only let myself get one when I am traveling and happen to be in an airport that has a store. That way, I only eat one or two per year. At a whopping 730 calories per roll and 24 grams of fat, I can't indulge too often.
That said, having overcome my fear of working with yeast, I was so excited to try this recipe that any worries about calories or fat went out the window! ;) These cinnamon rolls are so good! The consistency and texture are just like Cinnabon's, however the cream cheese frosting is slightly different. Still good, but different. No complaints here though! These still taste great the next day, just reheat in the microwave for 30 seconds. These come out to 525 calories and 18.6 grams of fat per roll -- a little healthier, but not much!
I have to say that several recipes mentioned doubling the frosting recipe in order to get them as gooey as Cinnabon's. Several reviewers advised against doubling the frosting recipe, while others insisted that it had to be doubled or else there would not be enough. Being someone who likes more rather than less frosting, I took the advice to double it... and boy did I have leftover frosting! Even after slathering it all on there as generously as I could, I still ended up with a ton of leftover frosting. So take my advice and do not double the frosting.
I also do not have a bread machine, so I used my KitchenAid mixer to make these. I first came across this recipe before ever having worked with yeast, and I didn't even know where to start. Coming back to it after having made a few different things with yeast, I wasn't as lost... but I've included fool proof directions below for anyone who may have never worked with yeast, because I know I would have appreciated them myself if this was my first yeast recipe.
Clone of a Cinnabon
1 cup warm milk (110 degrees F/45 degrees C) (I used skim)
2 eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup margarine, melted (I used butter)
4 1/2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast (also known as fast rising, rapid rising, or instant yeast)
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened (I used 1/3 less fat Neufchatel cheese)
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
Place ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select dough cycle; press Start.
Alternate directions using KitchenAid mixer: dissolve the yeast in the warmed milk, along with 1 tsp sugar from the 1/2 cup white sugar. Let stand, covered, about 10 minutes, until foamy.
In the bowl of your KitchenAid mixer, add the yeast/milk mixture, eggs, melted margarine, 3 cups bread flour, salt, and remaining sugar; mix on medium speed with the flat beater until combined. Switch to the dough hook and start kneading the dough on speed 2. Add 1/2 cup of bread flour at a time, until the dough becomes soft and elastic and no longer sticks to the bowl (approximately 4-1/2 total cups bread flour according to the recipe). This will vary depending on the humidity of your kitchen, but you can definitely start to see when the dough stops sticking to the sides. It will start to follow the dough hook around as it spins and will start flopping around the bowl in a large ball. After you reach a total of 4-1/2 cups, start adding the flour a tablespoon at a time so you don't risk adding too much flour. When I made these rolls, I added almost 5 cups bread flour total before it was ready. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl and cover with a damp towel for approximately 1 hour, or until the dough has doubled in size. I like to heat my oven to 150°F, turn it off, and then let the dough rise in the warmed oven.
After the dough has doubled in size turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, cover and let rest for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon.
Roll dough into a 16x21 inch rectangle (approximately the same size as my Silpat baking mat). Spread dough with 1/3 cup butter and sprinkle evenly with sugar/cinnamon mixture. Roll up dough (lengthwise so you end up with a 21" roll) and cut with a bread knife into 12 rolls (approximately 1-3/4" each, or three finger widths). Place rolls in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking pan. (If you want to make these the night before, follow the instructions up to this step but then cover and refrigerate your rolls before the second rise. In the morning, take them out of the refrigerate and allow them to rise before baking.) Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). (I baked mine at 350F for 20-25 minutes.)
Bake rolls in preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes. While rolls are baking, beat together cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, confectioners' sugar (I recommend sifting it), vanilla extract and salt. Spread frosting on warm rolls before serving.