Who wants Cinnamon Knots this time?

Frosted cinnamon rolls — these pretty, tender, featherlight butter-rich breadrolls with brown sugar filling and cream cheese frosting are simply irresistible — are so popular with my family and friends that I usually make double batches.    Cinnamon rolls can either be iced or glazed, but popular choice is always the sweet cream frosting.    I’ve been trying to come up with some alternative frostings or spreads, but I guess with the case of cinnamon rolls, the wicked and rich cream cheese frosting is very much preferred.

I still make cinnamon rolls, but lately, my family and friends have been requesting for these cinnamon knots.  They still have this oh-so-satisfying homemade cinnamon aroma sans the frosting  — and that’s the very good news.  I got this recipe from Taste of Home Contest Winning Recipes.    But I made few minor changes.  I add a teaspoon of sugar as food for the yeast.  Also I stir in instant vanilla pudding mix with the dough ingredients.  The 2 cups of sugar for the topping was a lot; I could use the remainder for another batch of cinnamon knots.  So measure only 1 cup of sugar and reduce the ground cinnamon to 1 1/2 tablespoons.   Next, I divide the bread dough only in half instead of dividing into three portions.   And really, you’d want these Cinnamon Knots EVERYTIME.   After the first bite, I’m confident you won’t be craving anymore for frosted cinnamon rolls.   Here’s the recipe:

CINNAMON KNOTS
Consider this a cousin of Cinnamon rolls, so yummy especially when served warm.

Bread:
2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup warm milk
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened (or melted)
1/2 cup sugar (plus 1 teaspoon sugar as food for yeast)
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1 box instant vanilla pudding mix
4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour (with flour allowance)

Topping:
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
3/4 cup butter, melted

In a large mixing bowl, suspend yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in warm water to activate, about 5 minutes.    Add 4 cups all-purpose flour, instant vanilla pudding mix, milk, butter, sugar, eggs and salt.  Stir in enough flour to form a stiff dough.

Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic.  Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Divide dough in half.  Slice each dough into 12 portions and form into balls.  Roll each ball into a long strip/rope.  Combine sugar and cinnamon (topping).  Dip strip into melted butter, then generously coat with cinnamon-sugar.  Tie into a simple knot and place on parchment lined ungreased large baking pans, about 2 inches apart.  Repeat with remaining dough.  Cover loosely with kitchen towel and let rise until doubled, about 30 to 45 minutes.

Bake at 375 F for 12 – 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Yield:  2 dozens of marvelous treats

“I’m Nuts Over You” Cinnamon Rolls

I know, i know…another cinnamon rolls.  But upon quick glance of the ingredients measures, this cinnamon roll recipe of Penny Stone from her book, 365 Quick, Easy & Inexpensive Dinner Menus looks promising, very “compelling” actually to give it a try.  So I did…and it was all worth the time, efforts, and costs.  I’ve done this recipe twice already…and believe me, this is the next “yumm” thing to Cinnabon.

CINNAMON ROLLS
Prep. Time: 2 1/2 hours
Cook Time:  10 -20 minutes

2 cups milk, scalded and cooled to room temperature (I used tall can evaporated milk and enough water to measure 2 cups, zapped to lukewarm instead)
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
2 pkgs. active dry yeast (I use 2 tablespoons)
3/4 cup butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten
4 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons salt
cinnamon and sugar, mixed together (I combined 3/4 cup packed brown sugar and 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon)

Combine the first four ingredients in bowl, mixing well.  Let rise for 1 hour.  Add the next 5 ingredients, mixing well.  Let rise, covered with a moist towel (plastic cling wrap works great too!), in a warm place until doubled in bulk (about 1 hour).  Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface.  Knead dough until smooth and elastic.  Roll dough out on a floured surface.  Spread soft butter or margarine (1/4 cup butter or margarine) over dough.  Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar over butter.  Roll dough as for a jelly roll and cut into 1/4″ to 1/2″ slices.  Place in a greased baking pan (i still lined mine with parchment paper) and let rise until doubled in bulk (about 45 minutes).

Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes or until golden brown.  Frost while warm and serve immediately.

FROSTING CINNAMON ROLLS:

2-3 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon butter, softened
2 tablespoons milk (I use liquid coffee creamer)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Start with 2 cups powdered sugar combined with butter, milk and vanilla.  If icing is too runny, add more powdered sugar and continue stirring until smooth.  Drizzle over cinnamon rolls while rolls are still warm.

(Again, if you have extra cream cheese frosting, you can use that instead.)

and after ovening and frosting…YUMMMY!

“Almost Cinnabon” Cinnamon Rolls

It’s that craving again for Cinnabon but no scheduled mall trip today.  Love, love Cinnabon’s cinnamon rolls.  I make an OK cinnamon rolls (I’m not one to shout to the whole culinary world I make the best cinnamon rolls, no way!) but the wicked gooey cream cheese topping drizzling down the tender “cinnamon-filled” sweet bread of Cinnabon are a perfect match.  But my mind just couldn’t veer from enjoying bites of a $3 bucks Cinnabon cinnamon roll.  So I started searching for a clone recipe and chanced upon this recipe of Almost Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls.

My notes:

1)  Use Imperial brand margarine as the stick wrapper shows where to mark for a 1/3 cup margarine, so measuring softened margarine to a 1/3 dry measuring cup is skipped.

2)  I suspend yeast in 1/2 cup water with 1 teaspoon additional sugar to activate.  And use 1/2 cup evaporated milk for the warm milk or a total of 1 cup warm milk.

3)  Mix salt and sugar with flour before adding yeast, margarine and milk.

4)  About 30 minutes before rolling the dough to fill and shape, I would chill the dough first for easy handling.

5)  The 1 cup packed brown sugar in the filling ingredients is just too much.  I would cut it down to 3/4 cup next time I use this recipe.

6)  I increased the 1/4 cup cream cheese to 1/2 cup in the icing.

Almost Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls
Source: Ellen Goltz for the Journal Gazette

1 ( 1/4 -ounce) package yeast or 1 tablespoon
1 cup warm milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup margarine
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
4 cups flour

Filling:
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
1/3 cup margarine, softened

Icing:
8 tablespoons margarine
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt

For the rolls: Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk in a large bowl. Add sugar, margarine salt, eggs and flour; mix well. Knead the dough into a large ball, using your hands dusted lightly with flour. Put in a bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place about 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface, until it is 21 inches long by 16 inches wide. It should be 1/4 -inch thick.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

To make filling: Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Spread the softened margarine over the surface of the dough, and then sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon evenly over the surface. Working carefully, from the long edge, roll the dough down to the bottom edge. Cut the dough into 1 3/4 inch slices, and place in a lightly greased baking pan. Bake for 10 minutes or until light golden brown.

To make the icing: While the rolls are baking combine the icing ingredients. Beat well with an electric mixer until fluffy. When the rolls are done, spread with icing.

Am in cinnabon-heaven once more!