Cookies, Desserts, Recipes

Avalanche Cookies #bookclubcookbookCC

These addictive creamy peanut butter-based no bake cookies are full of fluffy marshmallows, decadent white chocolate, and crunchy Rice Krispies cereal. Believe the hype–these are fabulous!

These addictive creamy peanut butter-based no bake cookies are full of fluffy marshmallows, decadent white chocolate, and crunchy Rice Krispies cereal. Believe the hype--these are fabulous!

Have you ever had Avalanche Cookies before? Or the original Avalanche Bark from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory? If you haven’t, you are missing out! But good thing–these cookies are super simple to make and they are no bake, so perfect for the current heat wave of summer! It’s been about a zillion degrees in Nashville lately, so I haven’t wanted to turn my oven on to bake. And with a newborn, it’s not like I have much time anyways. 🙂 But what I DO have time for is super easy no bake treats like these… or these chocolate peanut butter granola bars. Mmmm!

These addictive creamy peanut butter-based no bake cookies are full of fluffy marshmallows, decadent white chocolate, and crunchy Rice Krispies cereal. Believe the hype--these are fabulous!

I really shouldn’t make these treats very often though, because they are so addictive. Whether you’re eating the “batter” or the cookies themselves, you will want to keep going back for more and more. They have such a rich, distinctive flavor–the perfect blend of caramel-y, butterscotch-y, chocolate-y goodness that arises when you mix together peanut butter and white chocolate. Originally I wasn’t going to share this recipe as my contribution to #BookClubCookbookCC for our June selection, Chocolat, because these treats don’t seem as sophisticated enough to be French… but then I decided, what the heck. They have chocolate in them and they are tasty treats. Who can say no to that? Certainly not the French, haha. I haven’t actually read the book Chocolat or seen the film [yikes] but I would like to, so I will request them from my local library soon. 🙂 Thanks for hosting this month and for pushing me to make something AND write a blog post this week, Sarah! If you would like to win a copy of The Book Club Cook Book, the cookbook that this event is based off of, scroll to the end of this post. This month we are giving away TWO copies so you have a great chance to win! 🙂

These addictive creamy peanut butter-based no bake cookies are full of fluffy marshmallows, decadent white chocolate, and crunchy Rice Krispies cereal. Believe the hype--these are fabulous!

There are many versions of these cookies online–even a few bar cookies variations–but what I did differently was to add additional cereal to the peanut butter/white chocolate mixture. This adds a little bit of extra crunch [and stretches the number of cookies you can make, which is always a plus in my book]. But if you want a richer treat, you can reduce the cereal down to 1 1/2 or 2 cups. We thought they were plenty rich though… and plenty delicious. I added mini chocolate chips to a few and boy was that great! I think sprinkles on top would be wonderful too, but certainly not necessary. No matter how you make these, everyone will love them. Enjoy!

one year ago: Strawberry Ginger Smoothie
two years ago: Tabbouleh 
three years ago: Italian Chicken & Veggie Couscous Bowls
four years ago: Banana Crumb Muffins
five years ago: Creamy Taco Mac

Avalanche Cookies

  • Servings: 4 dozen
  • Print

slightly adapted from Cookies & Cups

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups crispy rice cereal [like Rice Krispies]
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows
  • 16 ounces white chocolate [chips or candy coating]
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter

Directions:

In a large bowl, stir together cereal and mini marshmallows. Line two baking sheets with silicone liners or wax/parchment paper.

Melt white chocolate and peanut butter together using your desired method. I used the white chocolate candy coating and melted that for 1 minute in the microwave, then added the peanut butter and melted everything together for about 20 seconds, but your results may vary. You can use a double boiler if you prefer.

Immediately pour white chocolate mixture over cereal mixture, then stir together. Scoop out onto prepared baking sheets in about 1 tablespoon rounded scoops. Refrigerate to for about 20 minutes or so to set, then enjoy!

These are pretty stable at room temperature but if it’s really hot or humid you may want to refrigerate until serving if possible.

Mix ins like mini chocolate chips or sprinkles are always good, but not necessary. 🙂

 

Giveaway
This month Sarah at Thing I Make (for Dinner), this month’s host, is giving away two copies of the book.* Enter to win a copy of the cookbook so you can join us in future months, if you wish!
TWO of our lucky readers – US and Canada only! – can enter to win a copy of The Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club’s Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp, courtesy of Tarcher-Penguin. Giveaway runs from June 1st till June 30th at 6 o’clock PM, Pacific time. Please see terms and conditions in the rafflecopter widget below. Many thanks to Tarcher Books. You may find Tarcher: on the web, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on Pinterest.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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*Disclosure: Sarah received a complimentary copy of The Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club’s Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp as an opportunity to give a copy away. Opinions are our own. We received no further compensation for our posts.

 

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Breakfast, Muffins, Recipes

Coffee Chocolate Chip Streusel Muffins #bookclubcookbookCC

When you have leftover coffee, why not turn it into some chocolately streusel muffins?!? These muffins are dangerous to have around your kitchen. 🙂

Coffee Chocolate Chip Streusel Muffins #bookclubcookbookCC - these chocolate & coffee filled muffins are SUCH a treat!

OH MY MUFFIN GOODNESS! These are fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. And I owe them all to a book. Not any old book though, one of my new favorite books–A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. This month for a #BookClubCookBookCC, our hostess was Emily at Life On Food. She asked us to make a recipe inspired by this wonderful classic, and suggested chocolate russe, a cake that the book’s main character, Francie, idealized as a dessert of the rich, only visible to her in the fancy bakery windows, never in her [poor] home where all the dessert she got was stale pie and sugar buns. Well, chocolate russe sounds delicious and all, but I’ve reached a point of lazy cooking and baking these days so muffins it is!

Coffee Chocolate Chip Streusel Muffins #bookclubcookbookCC - these chocolate & coffee filled muffins are SUCH a treat!

I promise you this–even though these muffins aren’t the recipe for the month, or even something mentioned in A Tree Grows in Brooklynthey are definitely inspired by the book. If you haven’t read this classic, you should. It’s one of those that I never read as a kid or in school, but read as an adult a few summers ago [I actually listened to the audiobook]. The book takes you through Francie’s life, from early chidhood to college. It is truly a coming of age story that captures a poor family in Brooklyn in the pre-war era. It is lovely and full of wonderful character descriptions. Since her family is so poor, food is a large part of their daily existence and coffee is their daily luxury–even the kids! The vivid descriptions of how the kids would be served as much “hot strong coffee” as they liked, with a pre-determined amount of sweetened condensed milk [to stir in or spread on toast] was crazy to me. As a kid, I didn’t like coffee at all! My dad prefers instant [gross] and my sister and I were talking recently about how he used to pay us a quarter to try his coffee. Haha! Unsurprisingly, Francie and her brother Neeley didn’t like the coffee either but still take a cup as their luxury and to be a little more grown-up. So, muffins. Coffee as a nod to Francie and Neeley [my favorite character!] and chocolate chips for the chocolate russe. And because chocolate is yummy. 🙂 If you can’t tell, I ADORE this book and am so glad I got to make a recipe inspired by it!

Coffee Chocolate Chip Streusel Muffins #bookclubcookbookCC - these chocolate & coffee filled muffins are SUCH a treat!

If you love coffee and chocolate, these muffins are for you! The coffee flavor is mellow but unmistakable. They’re perfect with a glass of cold milk or a cup of coffee… but it’s the streusel that wins the award! Since I made the streusel with melted butter, almonds, and oats, you really have press it onto the batter… but it bakes up nice and crispy creating a fantastic crunchy texture. Yum! I can’t get enough of these muffins. Hope you love ’em too! Thanks for hosting this month, Emily!

P.S. Scroll down for the giveaway, running through the end of the month!

one year ago: Mujaddara: Mediterranean Lentils and Rice with Carrot Slaw
two years ago: Apple Rubies in Coconut Milk
three years ago: Double Blueberry Walnut Muffins
four years ago: Quinoa Pancakes
five years ago: Lemon Blueberry Bread

Coffee Chocolate Chip Streusel Muffins

  • Servings: 12-14
  • Print

slightly adapted [mainly the streusel] from Bakerita

Ingredients:

for muffins

  • 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour [or all purpose]
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup strong brewed coffee, chilled or at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

for streusel

  • 1/4 cup white whole wheat flour [or all purpose]
  • 1/4 cup old fashioned oats
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sliced and toasted almonds
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 tablespoon strong brewed coffee, chilled or at room temperature

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line muffin tins with paper liners or grease cups with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugars, baking powder, and baking soda. In a small bowl, whisk together egg, coffee, oil, and vanilla. Fold wet ingredients into the dry, mixing until just incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips. Batter will be thick.

Divide batter between muffin cups, filling about 3/4 of the way full. I use silicone baking cups and got 14.

In a small bowl, stir together flour, oats, brown sugar, and almonds with a fork. Pour in butter and mix to form crumbs. Streusel will be thick. Spread about 1/2 tablespoon on top of each muffin.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until tops turn golden brown and streusel starts to caramelize. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean. Serve warm! Muffins also freeze well.

Giveaway
This month Emily at Life on Food, this month’s host, is giving away a copy of the book.* Enter to win a copy of the cookbook so you can join us in future months, if you wish!
One of our lucky readers – US and Canada only! – can enter to win a copy ofThe Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club’s Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp, courtesy of Tarcher-Penguin. Giveaway runs from March 1st till March 31st at 6 o’clock PM, Pacific time. Please see terms and conditions in the rafflecopter widget below. Many thanks to Tarcher Books. You may find Tarcher: on the web, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on Pinterest.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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*Disclosure: Emily received a complimentary copy of The Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club’s Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp as an opportunity to give a copy away. Opinions are our own. We received no further compensation for our posts.

 

Appetizers, Recipes

Homemade Jerky #bookclubcookbookCC

Did you know you could make jerky in the oven, without a dehydrator? Well, you can…and it’s so easy and delicious! 

Homemade Beef Jerky... easy, tasty, & delicious! #bookclubcookbookCC

I used to think beef jerky was gross and smelled terrible, but nearly seven years married to Ben has changed my taste a wee bit. 🙂 Once in awhile, it absolutely hits the spot! [But I still think it smells bad.] Ben loves it so much that he often chooses it as a road trip snack, or I’ll buy him a bag of something interesting if I come across it somewhere. A few years ago, I stumbled upon the perfect Christmas gift for him… beef jerky seasoning/cure blends so he could make it for himself! And it’s been fun to see him experiment with homemade jerky ever since!

Homemade Beef Jerky... easy, tasty, & delicious! #bookclubcookbookCC

That’s why I immediately thought about sharing our his method of jerky making for this month’s edition of #bookclubcookbookCC! Ashley at Cheese Curd in Paradise is our hostess, and her book choice was The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara. This book is supposed to be an excellent Civil War historical fiction novel–it is now on my list to read, though I didn’t get to it this month. [Psst… if you’re reading this post on February 29th, be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post to enter the giveaway. I’m behind this month so it’s only live until 6pm Pacific time today!]

Homemade Beef Jerky... easy, tasty, & delicious! #bookclubcookbookCC

Even if you haven’t heard of this book, it inspired the early 1990s movie version of Gettysburg, a film my sister and I absolutely dreaded our dad watching while we were growing up. It was two VHS tapes long and just seemed to drag ON and ON and ON. 🙂 Since dried beef was common food fare for Civil War soldiers, I wanted to share our homemade beef jerky method with you today in honor of #bookclubcookbookCC! I’ve never tried Civil War era beef jerky, but from my internet research it seems pretty bad. Hopefully this version will be a little more palatable. 🙂

Homemade Beef Jerky... easy, tasty, & delicious! #bookclubcookbookCC

When you read through the recipe below, you’ll notice that it takes a LONG time to make beef jerky. A minimum of 24 hours and really, for good beef jerky, more than 48. Most of the time is spent marinating the meat in the fridge. Ben has some purchased seasoning/cure mixes that he has used and recommended [link in recipe], but he has also experimented with his own blends too–but he didn’t write down what he did so I can’t share them with you. In the recipe, I do link to another blog post I found online with a few seasoning suggestions so you can check those out if you prefer to not purchase seasoning. After this, you’re ready to cook the meat. Since we don’t have a dehydrator, we use our oven set at a very low temperature and keep it propped open just a bit for ventilation. From what I’ve read, this isn’t authentic beef jerky since it isn’t really completely dried/smoked and it does cook a little, but it’s pretty darn good. The whole cooking process can take up to 5 hours, so this isn’t a process to start later in the evening. The longer you cook it, the drier the meat becomes… and as it cools, it will dry out even more. When at home, we keep our jerky in the fridge to keep it fresher longer [obviously not the traditional method], but it will last at room temperature or outdoors for a few days if you want to take it camping or on other outdoor adventures. Supposedly this method of cooking jerky makes it last for 1-2 months, but ours gets eaten wayyy before then so I can’t say for sure. Ha!

Homemade Beef Jerky... easy, tasty, & delicious! #bookclubcookbookCC

Ben has made it to keep around the house as a snack, but also for family get togethers and a camping trip. It is so tasty and fun to make! I think it would be a great family project–just make sure to not eat the whole batch during the cooking process! Enjoy! 🙂 Thanks, Ashley, for hosting this month and inspiring me to share this awesome treat with everyone!

Homemade Beef Jerky... easy, tasty, & delicious! #bookclubcookbookCC

one year ago: Freezer Breakfast Burritos
two years ago: Spicy Chicken, Spinach, and Corn Enchiladas
three years ago: Italian Sausage and Red Rice
four years ago: Sausage, Apple, and Egg Casserole
five years ago: Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

Homemade Jerky

  • Print

Method from Two Dogs in the Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • 2-4 pounds beef, in cuts like london broil, bottom round, eye of round, flank steak, etc. – you want a lean, tender cut
  • seasoning blend – we used this one from Nesco. You can also make your own… with any flavors/seasonings you like! There are several recipes here, but I haven’t tried them. From my research, you will want to use 1 tablespoon of salt for each pound of meat to help cure the jerky.

Directions:

Begin a day or two before you want to cook your jerky. Two days before is better, if you can swing it. You’ll want to start by trimming any extra fat off your beef, then cutting the meat into thin strips about 1/8-1/4 inch thick. If you cut against the grain it will be more like regular beef jerky, but if you with the grain, it will be more lean in texture and appearance. Place in a large bowl, toss with seasonings of your choice, and then cover well with plastic wrap [tuck in so it doesn’t dry out]. Refrigerate for 24-48 hours.

When ready to cook, preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Remove meat from marinade/seasoning. If your mixture has any liquid, just shake it off but you don’t need to pat it dry or anything. Now you have some options….

You have two cooking methods options:

  1. Thread strips onto kebab skewers and place directly on oven racks that have been sprayed with cooking spray. You’ll have to space them out to go in between the slats, and line the bottom of your oven [before preheating] with foil to avoid a big mess. This is a quicker cooking process, and helps cook the meat evenly but it’s a little trickier to set up.
  2. Place strips about 1/4 inch apart on cookie sheets lined with aluminum foil that has been sprayed lightly with cooking spray. Much easier, but may take a little longer to cook.

Bake for 45 minutes, being sure to place a dish towel in the oven door for slight ventilation.

After 45 minutes, check meat every 20 minutes until meat is done. Each slice will take different amounts of time to cook based on its size and thickness. It should take between 2 and 5 hours total for all the meat to cook, depending on how chewy you want it. When it comes out of the oven, it should be darker in color and slightly dry to the touch, but it will harden/dry more as it cools. When each slice is cooked, allow to cool completely on a cooling rack, patting any grease off with a paper towel. Store in an airtight container or ziploc bag. We keep it in the fridge for safe keeping over 1-2 months [not that it lasts that long!] but it’ll last a few days at room temperature. The better dried it is, the longer it’ll last on the counter without spoiling. We feel it’s better to be safe than sorry, but it’s ultimately your choice. Enjoy!

Giveaway
This month Ashley at Cheese Curd in Paradise, this month’s host, is giving away a copy of the book.* Enter to win a copy of the cookbook so you can join us in future months, if you wish!
One of our lucky readers – US and Canada only! – can enter to win a copy ofThe Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club’s Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp, courtesy of Tarcher-Penguin. Giveaway runs from February 1st till February 29th at 6 o’clock PM, Pacific time. Please see terms and conditions in the rafflecopter widget below. Many thanks to Tarcher Books. You may find Tarcher: on the web, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on Pinterest.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

*Disclosure: Ashley received a complimentary copy of The Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club’s Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp as an opportunity to give a copy away. Opinions are our own. We received no further compensation for our posts.
Musings

Round Up: Peace Like a River-Inspired Culinary Creations for #bookclubcookbookCC

This month I invited #bookclubcookbookCC members to join me in reading Peace Like a River and making Mrs. Enger’s Cinnamon Rolls with Coffee Frosting. Here’s my invitation post! For more info on this project, please check out this post by our fearless leader, Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla.

Peace Like a River #bookclubcookbookCC

Since cinnamon rolls were the recipe of the month, I have to highlight those submissions first. 🙂 My Cinnabon Copycat Cinnamon Rolls are obviously my fave but we also had some other cinnamon rolls this month that I’d love to try too! 🙂

Tender, soft, and sweet cinnamon rolls... these basically taste like the famous mall food court treat of my childhood, but they are homemade and actually, pretty easy! #bookclubcookbookCC

First up, we have Emily at Life on Food. She made the suggested recipe from the cookbook–Mrs. Enger’s Cinnamon Rolls with Coffee Frosting. Don’t they look so good? I wish I could have one right now! I will definitely have make this recipe one day!

Emily - Cinnamon Rolls

Next, we have a twist on cinnamon rolls from Andrea at Adventures in All Things Food. She made a Cinnabun Coffee Cake! All the flavors of a cinnamon roll, sans the work. Great choice!

Andrea - Cinnabun Coffee Cake

Erin from The Spiffy Cookie chose to combine the two main sweets of the book into one tasty treat! Her Peach Cinnamon Rolls look like a fabulous treat to have for breakfast or dessert. I love how she used jam to get that great peach flavor in the winter! Mmm.

Erin - Peach Cinnamon Rolls

Now that I’ve talked about peaches, I should share the peach pies of the group! Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm made a fantastic-looking Spiced Peach Pie! She even used peaches she canned herself. YUM. I wish I knew how to can! Wendy, want to come visit Tennessee this summer?!

Wendy - Spiced Peach Pie

Renee from Tortillas and Honey also made a peach pie. Her Old Fashioned Peach Pie just sounds like a dream! And I love that she used her mom’s recipe, from an old Betty Crocker cookbook. Since the book takes place in the 60s, that is so fitting. Great idea, Renee!

Renee - Peach Pie

Since pancakes were mentioned a few times in the story, Sarah from Things I Make (for Dinner) chose to make Gingerbread Pancakes. They sound so festive and filling! I’m impressed with her creativity–it didn’t even occur to me to make pancakes, even though they’re one of my favorite foods. 🙂

Sarah - Gingerbread Pancakes

After all that sweet, we need a little savory, right?! Thankfully two of our fabulous blogging crew complied! We have two versions of the potato and fish chowder the Land family enjoys for a birthday dinner. Yay! Camilla from Culinary Adventures with Camilla decided to go the savory route. She drew her inspiration from one of the more mystical [yet sad] scenes in the book, where a pot of potato and fish chowder never seemed to run out. Though I’m not much of a fish person, her King of Soups sounds delicious!

Camilla - King of Soups

Last, but not least is another version of this soup. Ashley from Cheese Curd in Paradise made a Red Potato Chowder with White Fish. Her Minnesota family loved this soup, and usually she would make it with fish her husband caught himself, but this time she was out and used cod instead. Impressive!

Ashley - Red Potato Chowder with White Fish

I wanted to share Ashley’s recipe last so I could also mention that she is the hostess next month, so stay tuned to Cheese Curd in Paradise to see what book/recipe she chooses for us in February! Thanks for following along with #bookclubcookbookCC!

Breakfast, Pastries, Recipes

Copycat Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls #bookclubcookbookCC

Tender, soft, and sweet cinnamon rolls… these basically taste like the famous mall food court treat of my childhood, but they are homemade and actually, pretty easy! 

Tender, soft, and sweet cinnamon rolls... these basically taste like the famous mall food court treat of my childhood, but they are homemade and actually, pretty easy!  #bookclubcookbookCC

This month, as you may remember, was my month to host #bookclubcookbookCC. I chose to have the group read Peace Like a River by Leif Enger and make cinnamon rolls. Though I haven’t quite finished the book yet, I’m loving it so far. The story is just so powerful and the way the Land family is united yet so divided has been incredibly compelling. I can’t wait to finish the book! No spoilers, please. 🙂

Peace Like a River #bookclubcookbookCC

For my recipe this month, I thought about making the provided cookbook recipe for the cinnamon rolls [especially because they call for honey in the dough which I found realllly interesting]. But then I changed my mind and made these Copycat Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls again instead. I have made them multiple times over the past couple of years for important people in my life when they have come to visit–my sister and brother in law, my college friend, my parents, my Bible study… and okay, okay… for just Ben and I on several occasions. If you come to visit us in Nashville maybe you’ll be lucky enough that I’ll make them for you too! 🙂 And I’m sure you’d love that, because these cinnamon rolls are truly, truly amazing! So I just had to share them with you. I hope you don’t mind, because these are the best cinnamon rolls I have ever made!

Tender, soft, and sweet cinnamon rolls... these basically taste like the famous mall food court treat of my childhood, but they are homemade and actually, pretty easy! #bookclubcookbookCC

So, why are they the best? Cinnamon rolls have the reputation for being tough to make from scratch. You have to use yeast, which scares people. They require a lot of time–make the dough and the filling and the frosting, let them rise twice, bake, frost, etc. Blah! And don’t forget the rolling out process! A challenging prospect if there ever was one. While I can’t say that these cinnamon rolls are quick to make or that they are yeast free, this dough is the softest and stablest yeast dough I have ever worked with! I’m not sure why, but it’s a cinch to roll out every. single. time. It’s incredible. Even the time that I royally screwed up the dough by not adding all the ingredients because I was trying to make the dough while making dinner, Facebook messaging a friend, listening to music, AND emptying the dishwasher. Still, easy to roll out. Winner of a recipe in my book!

Tender, soft, and sweet cinnamon rolls... these basically taste like the famous mall food court treat of my childhood, but they are homemade and actually, pretty easy! #bookclubcookbookCC

The relative ease of making these cinnamon rolls [and yes, I just said ease of making cinnamon rolls. If you can roll out dough without tearing your hair out, cinnamon rolls are easy, imo!] is trumped by how good they taste, and how reminiscent of Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls these really are. It’s not the dough or the filling or the frosting… but all three in one that makes these treats so special. I haven’t had a Cinnabon in years, though I am tempted nearly every time I visit a mall that has one.

Tender, soft, and sweet cinnamon rolls... these basically taste like the famous mall food court treat of my childhood, but they are homemade and actually, pretty easy! #bookclubcookbookCC

Cinnabons were an integral part of my childhood. My grandpa, who passed away in September, always used to take me to the mall to split a Cinnabon with him when I was growing up. We lived near my grandparents for the first eight years of my life, and he often took care of me while my mom was in grad school and my dad was at work. Even though I haven’t had a Cinnabon with him in many years, almost every time I saw him, and even sometimes on the phone, he would mention this. He loved to reminisce about the activities we did together–everything from Cinnabon trips to feeding the ducks to making up stories together. I know I will always associate cinnamon rolls, and Cinnabon cinnamon rolls to be precise, with my grandpa. Though these past five months of pregnancy have been incredibly happy, they’ve also been filled with a touch of sadness knowing that I never got to tell my grandpa that he was going to be a great grandpa again. The last time I saw him, I was pregnant but didn’t know it yet, and I found out about the baby about a week after the funeral. Someday, a couple years from now, when I make these cinnamon rolls for [or with] our baby boy, I will tell him about his great grandpa and what a wonderful man he was. Even though these aren’t true Cinnabon cinnamon rolls, I think he would approve. ❤

two years ago: Champorado [Filipino Chocolate Rice Pudding]

four years ago: Cranberry Feta Pinwheels
five years ago: Baked Rigatoni with Bechamel Sauce

Copycat Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls

  • Servings: 12-15 rolls
  • Print

slightly adapted from Culinary Couture

Ingredients:

for dough

  • 3/4 cup water – microwaved for about 15-20 seconds, should feel warm like bathwater, about 105-110 degrees F
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup sugar, divided
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk [1/4 cup milk + a couple drops of lemon juice/vinegar stirred and left to sit for 5 minutes works great]
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour

for filling

  • 2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

for frosting

  • 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Directions:

In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together warm water, yeast, and 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Let rest for 5-10 minutes until yeast starts to bubble. When frothy, add salt, buttermilk, egg, oil, and remaining sugar. Whisk to combine. With a wooden spoon, stir in 2 cups of the flour. Then using a dough hook, add flour in 1/2 cup increments, mixing on low speed until dough begins pulling away from the side of the bowl. When a total of 4 1/2 cups flour have been added, increase speed to medium and knead for 5 minutes. If you need to add an additional 1/2 cup flour, do so during this kneading process. I usually add the extra flour if the dough seems too sticky.

Grease a bowl with cooking spray [you can use the same bowl if you are coordinated enough to grease while the dough is in there/hold it to the side], then allow dough to rise in a warm location, covered with a dish towel, until doubled in size. This should take 1-2 hours.

When dough is almost ready, prepare filling. Stir together brown sugar, cinnamon, cornstarch, and vanilla in a small bowl and set aside. Also, grease a 9×13 inch baking pan and set aside.

When dough is ready, flour your clean counter top/work surface. Punch down the dough and roll into a large rectangle, about 20×30 inches. Spread butter over dough, leaving a 1 inch margin on all edges. Top with filling mixture. Roll into a tight log, rolling from the long side closest to you. When you are almost to the other end, bring the far long side up and over so the seam is on top. Gently press the exposed edge to the top of the dough to seal.

Divide the log into three sections, then divide each section into four or five rolls depending on how big you want them. Cut with a sharp knife and gently transfer cinnamon rolls to prepared pan. If you lose the filling along the way, just gather it up and sprinkle over cinnamon rolls. Cover rolls with a dish towel and let rise in a warm location for another 1-2 hours, or cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to bake the next morning [this is what I always do]. For the refrigerator rise, remove from refrigerator and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake for 15-17 minutes for 15 rolls or about 18-22 for 12 rolls. Bake until tops begin to brown, but check in the middle to make sure the dough isn’t raw. If they need additional baking time, cover with foil to prevent excess browning.

While rolls bake, prepare frosting. Using a stand mixer, hand mixer, or a whisk, beat together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add vanilla and lemon juice, beating until combined. Add powdered sugar gradually, mixing until smooth. In my stand mixer this usually takes about 2-3 minutes. When I make the rolls the night before, I leave the butter and cream cheese on the counter overnight so they are soft in the morning.

When rolls come out of the oven, immediately spread half of the frosting on top. Add additional frosting on individual rolls for serving, or when they have cooled down considerably. Serve warm–they reheat well too!