Gooey… Sticky… Gone… The Cinnabon Clone
When I was in high school, a couple of years back (wink, wink) my friends and I found ourselves spending our weekends at the mall. We went in search for the latest fashions, the newest restaurants and, of course, some stylish boys. However, one mall was always favorable over the others: Woodfield Mall was the preferred choice. There was a plethora of fashions and bargain finds… But most importantly there was an intoxicating smell that spread through the air like wildfire… Mmmmmmm…. Cinnabon! If you have never had a Cinnabon, well, I truly feel sorry for you…To describe it simply: it’s a yeast rolled dough with layers of cinnamon sugar. When it bakes, it transforms into a gooey, sticky and tender goodness. The Cinnabon is one of the few foods that have forever left its fingerprints on my taste buds.
As an adult I have avoided the Cinnabon store like the plague. Unable to refuse the deliciousness that is the Cinnabon, I actually dash past the store when in site of it, so I am not tempted to walk in. Still, the curious little scientist in me always wondered… What is it about these cinnamon puffs that make them so unforgettably irresistible??? A couple of weeks ago the Cinnabon was featured on a television special. And so as I watched them sprinkle on the cinnamon sugar and slather on the icing, I thought, hey, I can do this! And if I can bake this, anyone can!
The Perfect Cinnabon
1 cup warm milk
2 eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup butter, melted 4
1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup white sugar
1 package yeast (1/4 ounce)
1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 stick of margarine softened
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 stick of butter
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1. Microwave the milk for 45 to 60 seconds… it should not be hot, but very warm to the touch.
2. Add yeast to the milk with a tablespoon of sugar.
3. Dissolve yeast in warm milk in a large bowl. It should look nice and foamy. If the yeast did not rise, start again. Your water may be too hot or your yeast may be dead, check the expiration date on the yeast.
4. Place butter, salt, eggs and milk mixture into a mixer with the dough hook attachment. Mix to combine.
5. Add flour and wheat gluten in. Knead with dough hook for approximately 5 minutes. Take a piece and test it. Dough should stretch a bit before tearing when pulled apart.
6. Lightly grease a bowl and place the ball of dough inside and cover with plastic wrap.
7. For the perfect proof box (a place for the dough to rise), place a cup of water into the microwave for 1.5 minutes. Remove the water, and place the bowl with the dough inside. The steam and warmth created in the microwave is the perfect environment for the dough to rise. If microwave is not available, place by a warm area, like on top of a preheated oven. Let rise for one hour or until doubled in size.
8. While the dough rises, combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl, set aside.
9. Once the dough has risen, remove the dough and place on a floured board.
10. Roll out to a large rectangle, about 16×21 inches or 1/4 inch thick.
11. Spread the margarine on the dough making sure to cover all the nooks and crannies.
12. Next, sprinkle the rolled, buttered dough evenly with the cinnamon mixture.
13. With the rolling pin, gently roll the cinnamon sugar into the filling and the dough.
14. Start rolling the dough. Be patient, keep the roll tight.
15. Mark the dough with a knife. You should get 12 huge rolls.
16. Take floss or twine and cut the roll on the marked lines. A knife will squish the buns.
17. Place on a baking sheet with tall sides, covered with parchment paper and allow to rise covered in a warm place for 20 minutes.
18. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
19. Combine powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, lemon juice and cream cheese with a paddle attachment until fluffy and combined; two minutes.
20. Once the buns have risen, place them into the oven for 18-20 minutes, or until cooked through but do not have any color on them.
21. Slather with frosting and enjoy!
Make sure you check Mila’s blog at www.skyeventplanner.com for more tips and tutorials.