Americans love fast food. Unfortunately, it's one of the reasons that as a nation, we are getting fatter and fatter. To satisfy the fast food cravings of those who are trying to lose weight, Los Angeles food writer, chef and caterer Devin Alexander compiled her healthy alternatives to fast food favorites in her new book, "Fast Food Fix:75+ Amazing Recipe Makeovers of Your Fast Food Restaurant Favorites."
Cinnabon: Classic cinnamon Roll
Save: 371 calories, 26 g fat, 5 g sat. fat
Truth be told, this recipe is probably the most time-consuming in this book (with the Pizza Hut Meat Lover's Hand-Tossed Style Pizza coming in second). But after the first bite, every person who's made it swears that they'd make it again, especially the Drive-Through option (see page 197). Even my friend Heather, who later revealed that she had never before made anything requiring yeast, swore it was much easier than she suspected it would be and worth the effort. (We're close enough that she would have told me the truth.)
Plus, it's the only recipe that I'll probably never admit how much I've actually eaten -- they're just so good.
My version of the Cinnabon has also become the recipe in the book that I've used to prove to skeptics that, in fact, these recipes can be duplicated to satisfy cravings with a fraction of the fat and calories of their original counterparts. Though I believe many of the recipes truly duel the originals, this one happens to travel much better than many, since it doesn't need to be hot. The rolls are just fine if they sit at room temperature for several hours. Imagine what a star you'll be if you show up at a brunch with a batch of these cinnamon rolls as your offering. (I'd recommend following the "Even Better" suggestions, see page 197, so they're more user-friendly and can be shared more easily.)
Butter-flavored cooking spray
2 tablespoons light butter from a stick, divided
1 cup fat-free milk
1/3 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup artificially sweetened fat-free vanilla yogurt
1 egg plus 1 egg white
1 package (¼ ounce) active dry yeast
4 cups unbleached flour, divided + additional for work surface
1 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons corn syrup
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 recipe Cinnabon Frosting (see below)
Lightly mist a large bowl with cooking spray. Set aside 1 tablespoon butter to soften.
In a large microwaveable measuring cup or a medium microwaveable bowl, combine the milk, granulated sugar and the remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Microwave on high power for 2 minutes, or until the milk is hot (130°F). Add the yogurt. Whisk until the sugar dissolves (some small lumps of yogurt may be visible). Add the egg and egg white. Whisk to beat well. Add the yeast. Whisk until dissolved.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook(s) or in a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and the salt. Mix or stir by hand with a wooden spoon to blend. Add the milk mixture. Mix on medium power or stir vigorously to blend. The mixture will be very sticky. Add the remaining 2 cups flour, mixing or stirring until absorbed.