1/2 cup warm water
2 packages active dry yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1 package (3.5 ounce size) instant vanilla pudding mix
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
8 cups flour
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 cups brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons cinnamon
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
In small bowl, combine water, yeast and sugar. Stir until dissolved. Set aside. Yeast should bubble. In large bowl, make pudding mix according to package directions. Mix until slightly thickened. Add butter, eggs, salt; mix well. Add yeast. Blend. Gradually add flour and knead until smooth.
Place in large greased bowl. Cover and let rise in warm draft free place until double in size, about 1 hour. Punch down and let rise again, about 45 minutes. On lightly floured surface, roll out to 34" x 21" rectangle. Spread 1/2 c melted butter over surface.
In small bowl, mix topping (brown sugar and cinnamon). Sprinkle over top of dough. Starting at the long edge of the dough, roll up very tightly. With a knife, put a notch every 2 inches. With string or thread place under roll by notch and cross cross over to cut roll.
Place 4 rolls each into 8 or 9-inch square baking pans, 2" apart. Cover and let rise in warm draft free place until double. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, remove when golden brown.
Combine all frosting ingredients and mix until smooth. Spread on warm rolls. Serve warm.
I read online you need to add 1 tsp maple syrup to the frosting.. I'm not sure that's correct so I made half batch with and half batch without. I'll let you know which was best. I personally think Cream Cheese Frosting without any extra flavorings is good on anything.. even tree bark!
I will say this is a very sticky dough.. be prepared.. it's soft and gooey.. I don't think I rolled it as thinly as I needed to but.. hey.. it's a learning process... although I have made these before.. it's been a while.. and I have to learn.. all.. over... again.. each time I make them...
I have also chopped pecans and sprinkled them in with the cinnamon/sugar mixture but that will make them NOT a cinnabon knock-off.. it's your choice.. I like pecans in mine.. however, since I'm not eating these I didn't add them.
I got 24 rolls from this recipe.. I didn't need that many at once so I froze a dozen of them. I'll take them out of the freezer and let them thaw, rise and then bake as directed in the original recipe when I decide to use them. I'll also update the post when I do this to let you all know if that was successful or not. Wish me luck!