Monday, September 23, 2013

New Cinnamon Rolls from 7-Eleven

I have very little familiarity with 7-Eleven.  I grew up in a town without one, and as far as I know, there still aren't any within miles of my hometown.  Although I'd heard of them, I didn't have my first Slurpee until last summer.

Beyond Slurpees, I knew basically nothing about 7-Eleven.  Just a convenience store right?  When I went on my Slurpee visit I noticed that they had things like hot dogs and nachos, but I couldn't imagine ever getting food there.

Except, I love baked goods.  Now, I don't even get baked goods from Whole Foods, let alone from a convenience store, since I always think they aren't very good, and want bakery fresh items!  If muffins or scones are more than an hour or so old, I don't generally want anything to do with them, even if they are homemade.  So why on earth would I get a baked good from 7-Eleven?

Well, for one, it was free.  And I love my freebies.

7-Eleven just introduced these new cinnamon rolls, in partnership with Pillsbury.  Apparently some stores will offer them hot and fresh, although the one I visited only had them in the bakery case, along with donuts.  There were signs everywhere instructing me to get my cinnamon roll and put it in the provided microwave safe box, and warm it up for 10 seconds in the microwave.  While I was able to find the cinnamon roll, and the microwave, the magic boxes were nowhere to be found.  Just standard plastic bakery bags were available, and uh, clearly were not suitable for the microwave.

Undeterred, I got my cinnamon roll, scanned the app to redeem my freebie, and gleefully went out the door, and headed for my toaster oven instead.
Pillsbury® Cinnamon Roll.  $1.69.
The roll did not look like much.  It looked just as stale and unremarkable as all of the other baked goods in the case.  The sign said it was baked fresh every morning at local bakeries, and delivered fresh to 7-Eleven daily.  I was skeptical.

It was huge, which makes sense given the $1.69 price tag.  Obviously, if I was getting it from a real bakery, or even Starbucks, I'd expect a high price, but it seemed a bit much for 7-Eleven.

I know Ojan loves cinnamon rolls, from fancy versions to run-of-the-mill Cinnabon, so I figured that if I didn't like it, I could just give it to him.  And given its size, I planned to give him half anyway.

Spoiler: he didn't get half!
Interior Shot.
So, I cut it in half, and set aside a half for Ojan.

I first tried it at room temperature.  It wasn't great.  The dough was just kinda there, there was plentiful cinnamon sugar filling, between each layer, and a giant glob in the center, but none of it was that good.  The icing was solid and looked ridiculous.  There was so much of it.

But, the whole idea behind these is that they are to be consumed hot.  Since I dislike mircowaves, I popped it in the toaster oven for a few minutes instead.  Within moments, the air was filled with the amazing aroma of freshly baked cinnamon rolls.  I perked up.

And then I tasted it.  Once it was warm, this thing completely transformed.  The icing, that originally looked like an insane amount, melted into the cinnamon roll.  It was sweet, but not too sweet, perfect glaze on top.  Maybe there was still a little bit more than necessary, but it turned out to be far less of an issue than it looked before it was melted.

The roll itself is what really transformed.  It became moist on the inside, with a slight crispness to the outside.  The cinnamon and sugar got a bit melty.  The dough was soft, and just slightly sweet on its own.  The sweetness came from the cinnamon and sugar, and the icing, and really wasn't overdone as I had feared.

This thing was delicious.  Honestly, indistinguishable from a freshly baked cinnamon roll.  I tried to use restraint, but found myself going and taking another big chunk from the half I'd stashed for Ojan.  Sorry, it was just too good!

I have no idea if the effect of reheating in the toaster oven is the same as in their magic box in the microwave.  Perhaps I'd try that next time, but honestly, it was just too good this way to consider messing with it.

When Ojan tried the bite I rationed for him it a few hours later, he agreed that it was amazing.  He asked for another one.

Highly recommended!
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