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What’s the farthest you have traveled for food? Did you fly across the country just so you could have the perfect bowl of clam chowder? Did you cross the state line just for a scoop of ice cream? What was it, how far did you travel, and was it worth it?
I had to think about this, and I would say it was 20 miles, each way, for a Cinnabon.
I’m not clear on the details here. The circumstances are vague and I can’t find any evidence of it in my email archives because it was so long ago. However, I’ll do my best.
Angeltown had no Cinnabon. A great source of sadness to me and a great source of joy to my body, which didn’t need thousand-calorie desserts on a regular basis. My Patient Husband would pick up Cinnabons when he travelled for work, but only if they flew him through the right airport and the right concourse and he had a long enough layover.
I remember it was Wendy who sent me a Cinnabon gift card. I don’t remember why, but it might have been Christmas or my birthday, and I think it wasn’t too long after Emily had died. Meaning I was in a fog (which might explain my lack of details here.)
The nearest Cinnabon was at a mall twenty miles away. But I went for it. On a day I felt like garbage and my life was a nightmare, I went and had a Cinnabon and one of those huge coffees. And my life was good again. Well, as good as a cinnamon bun the size of your head, washed down with a gallon of caffeine, can make it. 🙂
But no more–there are no Cinnabons within 40 miles of Angelborough. On Easter Sunday, because the Dunkin Donuts line was out the door, I learned how to make my own cinnamon rolls, and they’re really quite good. Interested?
Here’s the recipe. It’s from the Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook, 1995 edition, pages 442 and 444. The cinnamon rolls use half the sweet dough recipe; that half-recipe makes 12 cinnamon rolls. When you make the sweet dough, therefore, you’ll be halving everything.
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 packages active dry yeast
8 to 9 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1 cup butter or margarine
1) In a large bowl, combine sugar, salt, yeas, and 2 cups flour. Heat milk and butter slowly until warm; butter does not need to melt. (MY NOTE: I put it in the microwave for 1 minute; I discovered that making it too hot will kill the yeast). Beat liquid into dry ingredients.
2) Beat in eggs and 2 cups of flour. (MY NOTE: I hand-mix it. They ask for machine mixing.)
3) Stir in enough additional flour (about 4.5 cups) to make a soft dough
4) Turn dough onto lightly floured surface, knead until smooth and elastic; shape into a ball.
5) Turn over in greased large bowl to grease top; cover; let rise until dough is doubled, about one hour.
6) Punch down dough; divide into pieces as your recipe directs; cover, let rest 15 minutes.
I go off-recipe for the cinnamon rolls, so I’m going to give you mine, which doesn’t have raisins and pecans (which would make my kids turn up their noses)
1/2 Sweet Dough
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1) prepare sweet dough. Grease 9 x 13 baking pan (I use a pyrex pan and don’t bother greasing it). Roll dough into a rectangle about 18 inches by 9 inches.
2) Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon. Melt the butter, add to mixture. Stir into a paste.
3) Using a silicone spatula, spread the butter-sugar mixture across the dough. It’s going to feel like you’re painting it on.
4) roll it into a long tube, slice into 12 cinnamon rolls. Set them on the pan to rise for another hour.
5) bake at 400 for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned on top
Option 1: Open a can of frosting; smear gobs of frosting everywhere
Option 2: In a small bowl, stir 2 cups confectioner’s sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, and 3 tablespoons water until smooth; smear gobs of glaze everywhere.
My notes: this does take forever, it seems, because it’s broken up into so many parts. I make the dough before breakfast, punch it down after breakfast and a shower, roll it into the cinnamon rolls before church, let it rise again while we’re at church, bake it while we’re eating “church breakfast” (brunch) and then have it for dessert.
I freeze half of them after they’ve been rolled and cut. To thaw, have them sit overnight in the fridge, then rise/thaw on the counter in the pan for at least four hours before baking.