I am not sure how many of you are familiar with the ultimate cinnamon rolls, Cinnabon. If you are not, you should make every effort to find them and try them. There is nothing in the world like them. Warm,soft, gooey, sweet, cinnamony, cream cheesy heaven is what they are. There are several Cinnabon clone recipes out there, but none of them can give you the exact cinnamon roll you were hoping for. The only to get those are to travel to the nearest Cinnabon bakery. In the area I live in, we use to have one at a local mall, Then one day they were gone. I am not sure why they left our local mall as they always had a line of mouth watering patrons, patiently waiting for person in the front of the line to get out of their way. Now our city is left with nothing but deeply saddened 'Cinnabon Mourners". Try as we may, we will probably never recreate the cinnamon love of our lives. So, in order to have the warm sweet gooey flavor we love, we must either travel over 3 hours or keep trying to perfect the clone recipes we have. Each time I have made this" Cinnabon close, but no cigar clone" I think no, there is something missing. Just as each time I am lucky enough to get my hands on an actual Cinnabon, I savor each bite while the thoughts of, what is in here that makes this so wonderful. Is it something in the dough? Is it the cinnamon they use? Is it something in the cream cheese frosting? It is like there is the lightest citrus flavor in the frosting, I think! All I can say is, "Cinnabon, please come back"! Until that happens, I will keep trying to figure out what that secret is. Actually, if truth be told, even if they were to come back to my area, I will still keep trying to figure out what that one or many ingredients are that makes me smile and my heart melt.
Here is a clone recipe I had found several years ago on a site, which tries to clone many of our favorite restaurant foods. It is not the exact Cinnabon we would love to have, but it is a very good recipe. I use a bread machine for the dough as I am at times, yeast impaired. Besides, it is much easier and quicker. This recipe is very easy. I am sure you will love them as much as my family and I do. I wish I could give credit to the author of this recipe, but like I said, I am not sure which site I had found this on.
1 C. warm milk (110 degrees)
2 eggs (room temperature)
1/3 C. margarine (melted)
4 1/2 C. bread flour
1 t. salt
1/2 C. sugar
2 1/2 t. bread machine yeast (I use Red Star active dry yeast)
1 C. brown sugar (packed)
2 1/2 T. cinnamon
1/3 C. butter (softened) *do not use margarine for this part*
Place the 1st seven ingredients in the bread machine in the order in which they are listed. When adding the yeast, make a well in the flour to put the yeast into. Select the "dough setting" on your bread machine. As soon as the dough is mixed, remove from bread machine, place in an large bowl that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Cover and let rise until it doubles in size.
Turn onto a floured surface. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. While dough is resting , in a small mixing bowl combine brown sugar and cinnamon. Once the dough has rested for 10 minutes roll dough out into a 16" x 21" rectangle. Spread with 1/3 C. of softened butter, sprinkle with the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture. Carefully roll the dough, do not roll too tightly, but tight enough so you do not lose your brown sugar/cinnamon mixture. (I found there was a little too much of the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture, so you may want to use your judgement as to whether you want to use the entire amount. I would suggest making it as directed the first time and the next time make your adjustments). Cut dough into 12 rolls. Place rolls into a 9" x 13" greased cake pan. Cover and let rise until it nearly doubles in size (approx. 30 min). Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes or until they are a light golden brown on top. (Do not over bake as this will make them dry).
Cinnabon Clone Cream Cheese Frosting
1-3oz. package of cream cheese (softened)
1/4 C. butter (softened) *do not use margarine*
1 1/2 C. powdered sugar
3/4 t. vanilla
1/8 t. salt
Mix together cream cheese, butter, vanilla and salt, mix on high until creamed. Slowly add in powdered sugar a little at a time. Continue to beat at high speed until frosting is very light and fluffy. Spread frosting over warm cinnamon rolls. Enjoy!