Reinhart vs. Cinnabon™ - The Smack Down!
|After our Daring Baker September challenge of cinnamon rolls and sticky buns, hosted by the most lovely Marce of Pip in the City.. a few of us gals started talking about what kind of differences the hugely popular commercial Cinnabon™ cinnamon rolls had vs. the outstanding cinnamon rolls we made from Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice.|
Reinhart's on left / Cinnabon™ knock-off on right
It was mostly unanimous that the Cinnabon™ rolls were a bit more ooey-gooey and the icing was about 10,000 times better as they use cream cheese in their icing. Well the next thing you know, some dork suggested we make the Cinnabons™ so we could compare.
And so we - and by we, I mean moi, Marce, Helene, Sara, Kelly, Laura Rebecca, Chris and Mary got baking last Sunday. Now you'd think that since we've all made cinnamon rolls in the past, that this baking session would go smoothly.. but uhh.. not so much.
Well everyone's buns baking went smoothly, I don't think anyone had a problem, the dough was delightful and the icing was as easy to whip up as the icing in Reinhart's tome. But the actual act of getting together on Yahoo Instant Messenger to lend support and chit chat through most of the process didn't go quite as well..
Firstly there's the part where we forgot to tell everyone to meet on Yahoo.. *sigh* So some bakers weren't there to witness the HELL we went through trying to get Kelly online with us. GAWD. You know? As far as I know, Kelly might still be baking these damn rolls today. We spent most of the day (during rise times) trying to get her Mac to behave and join us in a conference on Yahoo. It never happened. By the time we were all enjoying warm ooey gooey Cinnabon™ knock-off's, Kelly was still at her Mac installing and uninstalling various versions of Yahoo IM. Also? She was trying to make U-Stream work - as she wanted to allow us to see her bake the rolls..
She did, finally, succeed in that - and a few of the gals got to watch her in her kitchen making cinnamon rolls. I was not a part of that. *sob* I heard it was very funny though.. and I can just imagine Ms. Sexy Thang getting her groove one amidst puffs of flour and schmears of cream cheese. ;)
No.. the Queen of Dorkdum, could not participate in the fun video-blogging. For she remembered how she had forgot to make her pretzels for her anniversary post the following day. Are we seeing a theme here? Forgetting to let everyone know about Yahoo and then forgetting one of my most important posts of the year needed to not only be written up but actually BAKED? Ugh. So I rushed off to throw together more yeast and flour while the other gals watched Kel.
Reinhart on top / Cinnabon™ on bottom
Okay.. so what was the verdict of our Cinnabons™ vs. Reinhart's rolls? We all agreed that although Reinhart's rolls were completely delish, the Cinnabons™ ended up being a lil more gooey-er in the middle and the Cinnabon™ icing, totally blew the Reinhart icing out of the water, so to speak.
Which would I make again? Most likely the Cinnabon™ variety. I really liked how the filling was butter/brown sugar/cinnamon and yeah, that icing was good enough to eat with a spoon. I even added cardamom and orange zest to my icing so it was that much more heavenly. Still though, I can say - that these did not turn out exactly like a real Cinnabon™.. the recipe was a knock off that I paid a whole .79¢ for.. so I knew it wouldn't be 100% authentic, but they were close. I have yet to master the art of making those huge tiered cinnamon rolls though.. mine usually end up more disc like. I get a good rise in my dough, but when I roll them and slice them, the middle doesn't rise above the rest as much as Cinnabon's™ rolls do. There must be a trick there that I am unaware of?
Anyhoo.. it was a blast chatting with the gals all day as well as calling my sweet Kel on the phone to hear the desperation in her voice while she was trying to make fakkin Yahoo work. hahahahaaaaa! If we've learned anything from this experience.. it's A- butter will make ANYTHING better and B- next time find a chat platform that works with a Mac first. ;)
If you'd like to do your own comparison, you can find Reinhart's recipe on Marce's site here and the Cinnabon™ knock-off recipe below. Note my horror at the thought of using margarine. But that's what the original recipe calls for and I'm sure there is a reason as I know butter and margarine don't cook/bake the same, but I just couldn't go there.
Cinnabon™ Knock-off Cinnamon Rolls
1 pkg. active dry yeast (1/4 oz. size or 2 1/4 tsp.)
1 c. warm milk (105º to 110º F.)
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/3 c. margarine, melted (ewww - I’m using butter!) :P
1 tsp. salt
4 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. packed brown sugar
2 1/2 TBS. cinnamon
1/3 c. margarine, softened (ewww – see above!) :P
1/4 c. (1/2 stick) margarine, softened (again ewwwww) :P
1/4 c. (2 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 TBS. whole milk (I ended up using about 4 TBS. to get consistency that I wanted.)
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. lemon extract
Freezing: These rolls can be frozen after baking. Just pop one into the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds to reheat. So says the recipe.. I’d still freeze after the first rise and cutting/shaping.