Cinnamon Buns like Cinnabon

Seriously, my mom makes killer cinnamon rolls. They rock beyond anything I've ever made. But, this recipe is pretty dang good too. It isn't for everyday eating as it's got a load of sugar and really isn't healthy for you - but it is tasty. Besides, it's okay to have a little 'not so good for you food' here and there!


INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 Tbls. ground cinnamon
(2) .25 oz. pkts. active dry yeast
1 tsp. granulated sugar
1 cup 110 degree water
1 cup warm milk
2/3 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup melted butter OR margarine
2 tsp. salt 2 eggs - slightly beaten
up to 8 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup melted butter OR margarine
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts OR pecans - optional
1/2 cup melted butter OR margarine
1/3 cup granulated sugar
4 cups powdered sugar
2/3 cup melted butter OR margarine
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. maple extract - optional, but recommended (personally, I detest maple anything)
up to 6 Tbls. hot water

INSTRUCTIONS:

Mix together 1 1/2 cups sugar and the cinnamon; set aside.

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 tsp. sugar in warm water; set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together milk, 2/3 cup sugar, 2/3 cup melted butter, salt, and eggs; add yeast mixture and 4 cups of flour to mixture; beat until smooth; stir in enough flour to form a slightly stiff dough.

Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead for 8 minutes.

Place dough into a large greased bowl, cover, and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 - 1 1/2 hours. Punch down dough and let rest for 5 minutes.

Roll dough out onto a floured surface into a 15" X 20" rectangle. Brush 1/2 cup melted butter over dough; sprinkle cinnamon sugar evenly over dough; sprinkle nuts evenly over dough, if desired. Tightly roll up dough and pinch edges together to seal; cut the roll into 12 - 15 slices using dental floss or thread.

Coat the bottom of a 13" X 9" X 2" baking pan with 1/2 cup melted butter; sprinkle 1/3 cup sugar evenly in the bottom of the pan. Place cinnamon roll slices close together in the prepared pan; cover pan and allow to rise in a warm place for 45 minutes. Bake rolls in a 350 degree oven for 25 - 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

Stir together powdered sugar, 2/3 cup melted butter, and extracts; stir in hot water, 1 Tbls. at a time, until the glaze reaches desired spreading consistency. Spread prepared icing over slightly cooled rolls.

NOTES:
  • I'll be honest. I'm a breakmaker machine kind of girl. I love loading in the ingredients, selecting the dough setting and walking away. This recipe does just fine in my machine (2lb loaf pan size). If you're a kneader - more power to you. I am from time to time. Seriously though, it works great in a bread machine.
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