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Cinnamon Rolls! Just Like Cinnabon

 

Makes: 18

Ingredients 
1/2 cup warm water (roughly 110 degrees)
2 packages dry yeast
2 T. sugar
3 1/2 oz. package vanilla instant pudding
1/2 cup margarine, melted
2 eggs
1 tsp. salt
6 cups flour (plus a little more)
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1 lb. brown sugar 
1/4 C. cinnamon

Directions:
  1. In a measuring cup combine 1/2 cup warm water (approximately 110 degrees) with 2 packages dry yeast and 1 T. sugar. (Add the sugar to the dry yeast and warm water.  It makes the yeast wake up faster.  It should start frothing within about 5 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl make the pudding according to the directions on the package.  Once it starts thickening, add 2 eggs, the melted margarine, the remaining sugar, the yeast mixture, salt and mix really well.
  3. Add 3 cups of flour to the mixture. I use a mixer with a dough hook.  It's so much easier.
  4. If you're doing it by hand, the mixture will start to come together with the 3 cups of flour. Just keep mixing while adding 2 more cups of flour.
  5. Once it's mixed,  put the remaining 1 cup of flour on the surface you are using and dump the mixture on the surface and knead until smooth. This will take a about 5-7 minutes. Keep turning the dough and kneading.  Pretend you're giving someone a massage. The dough will not take all of the flour on the surface you're working on. Don't worry about it. Dough only uses the flour that it needs.
  6. Oil (cooking oil) a large bowl and drop your ball of dough into the bowl.  Flip it over and add a little more oil to the top of the ball and rub it all the way around. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise.  I learned a little trick from Alton Brown. I'm sure you are wondering what the bowl is sitting on in the picture.  It's a heating pad sitting inside a large casserole dish.  This keeps a constant low heat on the dough and it rises much quicker.
  7. Once the dough has doubled, punch it down. Put about a cup of flour on your counter and turn your ball of dough out on the counter and start rolling with a rolling pin.  Your finished measurement should be approximately 36" wide by 21" long.
  8. Once the dough is rolled out, take about 1/2- 3/4 cup of softened butter and brush it all over the dough.
  9. Sprinkle about 2 cups of brown sugar on the butter and then top with the cinnamon.
  10. Start rolling the dough into a 36" log.  I use a measuring stick at this point so I cut the rolls equally.
  11. Each roll should be 2" wide and you should have 18 rolls when you are done.  I also learned another trick. Take some sewing thread or meat twine and slice the rolls with it. Loop the thread around the dough and pull.  It cuts them perfectly.
  12.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place 6 rolls in each pan. Cover and let rise until doubled in size. Pop the 3 pans in the oven and bake for about 13-15 minutes. Remove from oven and let them cool down.
Note: You will have18 rolls when you are done and it's hard to figure out what kind of 
pan to put them in. After many different tries, I finally came up with using 3 brownie pans.  Each pan holds 6 rolls.  You don't want too many in one pan because the rolls in the middle won't cook completely and you will have a big doughy mess. Take your 3 pans and place a sheet of parchment in the bottom of the pan and place 6 rolls in each pan, cover and let rise one more time.

Now for the frosting....

Frosting
8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup margarine (I use butter, because I can)
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar
1 T. milk

  1. Place all the ingredients in a food processor and mix or beat with a beater until creamy.  Frost your rolls when they have cooled and enjoy!  You will get a lot of smiles out of these rolls and once they bite into them they're eyes will tell you that you did good!