I have nothing against the Poppin’ Fresh Doughboy. Back in the days when I was all about convenience, I made all sorts of dishes employing the vaguely chemical-flavored “Grands” as either crust or topping, and I admit that I still use their ready-to-use pie crust from time to time. Despite distancing myself somewhat from Mr. Poppin’ Fresh, I was intrigued by the recent ads for cinnamon rolls with “Cinnabon Cinnamon.” What is this special cinnamon, and why is it unique to the Cinnabon empire? Do they have their own variety of Oompa Loompas slaving night and day to grate some rare form of bark? Can I buy Cinnabon Cinnamon for my own baking, or is it only obtainable via Poppin Fresh tubes or 10,000 calorie binges at the mall food court?
I was distracted from these thoughts by a recipe for cinnamon rolls in the most recent issue of “Bon Appetit,” written by uber blogger-turned cookbook author orangette. I had to make them immediately, and like one possessed I was on my way out for whole milk and cream cheese, both ingredients I don’t always keep in the house. They were not as quick and easy as Poppin Fresh, but the recipe was easy to follow and forgiving. In fact, although the recipe calls for the rolls to be baked in two square baking pans, I discovered that two of my square pans had disappeared following their loan to undergraduate neighbors across the street. (The students have since graduated, and the pans are in a landfill, under a medium-sized Ficus, or being used in North Dakota to make Hash Brownies).
Lacking two square pans I used two round cake pans, and the rolls were still fabulous. All 18 rolls disappeared within a day, and I’m not saying where they went. They are best hot, they will make your house smell like heaven, and since you really should knead the dough (as opposed to using a mixer) you will burn off at least 75 calories before you actually eat your rolls, although this plan will not work if you keep eating spoons full of cream cheese icing while you wait for the rolls to bake.
Since I did not change the recipe in any significant way, and it is on the internet, I will link you to it rather than “borrowing” it: it is right here. Don’t fear the yeast, be prepared to earn the undying love of your family, and don’t worry about using inadequate, non-Cinnabon cinnamon. They’ll turn out just fine without it.