Friday, December 24, 2010

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

I have so much to blog about......making and packaging our Christmas Goodies, decorating sugar cookies, our Johnson Christmas party, make Cookie Mix in a Jar as gifts, and my first attempt at making Homemade Cinnamon Rolls. Over the next few days, I will share about each event, but today I want to tell you all about my cinnamon roll experience.

It was way more involved than I ever imagined!

First of all, I am not really big cinnamon roll fan. I do like the ones that come in the can from the grocery store, but any other kind (homemade or store bought) I just do not care for. I don't like donuts either, just so you know.

My opinion of cinnamon rolls was changed a couple of months ago. My real life friend, The Accidental Farm Wife, makes lots of delicious food items that she sells to the public. (She also milks her cow and sells the milk, makes her own cheese and butter, delivers newborn farm animals, rides horses, and other farm wife type things). One such food item that she sells is Homemade Cinnamon Rolls. I bought a pan from her, reheated those beautiful rolls, and after one taste I was changed. Those were absolutely the best cinnamon rolls I have put in my mouth. My whole family exclaimed over their deliciousness! I bought another pan from her to share with my parents over the Thanksgiving holidays. Delicious again.

So, I decided that instead of my usual Christmas morning treat of Monkey Bread, made with butter, sugar, cinnamon, and canned biscuits, this year I would try to make homemade cinnamon rolls myself. I had read and reread the recipe for homemade cinnamon rolls in my Pioneer Woman Cooks cookbook. I asked the Farm Wife if that was her recipe, but she said no. The recipe looked so much like Farm Wife's cinnamon rolls tasted, I decided to try it out.

The recipe should come with a disclaimer, "This takes all day and will make the biggest mess ever in your kitchen!"

Here is a link to the recipe that I used. Click here.

Here are the cinnamon rolls waiting to go into the oven. The recipe says that you should make 40-50 rolls, I only came out with 35.

I made my first mistake by letting the milk/sugar/oil mixture come to a boil while trying to scald it. Pioneer Woman clearly states to not let the mixture boil. It did. I frantically texted Farm Wife. "Is it ruined? Should I start over?" She assured me it would be ok, but that she didn't use milk, and didn't scald her mixture....she just said to make sure it was cool before adding the yeast so I wouldn't kill the yeast.

It cooled, I added the yeast, and then the flour. I found a warm place for the dough to rise....and I was amazed that it doubled in size! It was working!

Now, the fun part: rolling up the rolls. This was a disaster. I think that the entire filling oozed out while I was trying to tightly roll the dough. My long roll did not look anything like the pictures! There was butter and sugar everywhere! Dripping on the floor. Covering my entire island.

a picture of the mess.
This is the pan I transferred the long rolls to in order to cut them into 1 inch rolls. See how the cinnamon/sugar/butter leaked all out while I was cutting them. Maybe I needed a sharper knife.

my counter top
That is butter and sugar that oozed out onto the floured surface. You can tell where I used my fingers to try to put the mixture back inside the rolls.

I think it took me an hour, but I got all of the rolls sliced, rolled back together (they kept coming unrolled) and put into baking pans. I baked them, and the kitchen smelled wonderful!
I made the delicious icing while they baked. Yum!

I iced them right after I removed them from the oven, and this is what they looked like. The icing has a light brown color because it has 1/4 cup coffee and maple flavoring.

the finished product!

sharing one cinnamon roll

I took out one cinnamon roll from the pan of rolls that are to be for Christmas morning. The children and I "tested" it. DELICIOUS! Even though I had texted Farm Wife earlier in the process telling her that buying cinnamon rolls from her was so worth it, when the rolls were finally done, and when I realized that I was successful at making them, I told the kids that we have a new Christmas Tradition: Homemade Cinnamon Rolls! If I need cinnamon rolls throughout the year, I will buy them from Farm Wife, but for Christmas morning, I will now bake them myself.

It took me over an hour to clean my kitchen!


  1. I don't have that cookbook, but when I blogged about making cinnamon rolls I used an easy overnight recipe. I used my bread machine to mix the dough then I rolled it out and added the brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon to it. Then I rolled the dough, cut into slices, arranged in pans, and stuck in fridge overnight. At that point I was able to clean up the flour mess on my counters. The next morning I took the rolls out of the frige and let them continue to rise at rt one more hour. Then I baked and iced. I made a maple frosting from Betty Crocker the second time. It was delicious! I also don't like cinnamon rolls b/c they're too bready or something. My kids loved them, though, and I even tried one. They were good. I think I'll stick with my Total Raisin Bran.

    Merry Christmas!

  2. I love Pioneer Woman's recipes and I love cinnamon rolls- but I was disappointed with her recipe- too much work and I don't like the way they taste- doughy like store-bought ones. I'll stick with our regular recipe!

  3. Yummy! I have that same recipe written down in my binder. I had every intention of making some over the holidays, haven't accomplished it yet. I talked myself out of it because it's so much easier to open a can from Kroger. Haha!
    You did a great job!

  4. Sorry but this post made me laugh! My daughter and her friend made a gingerbread house while I was at work this week and it took hours to clean up the sugary mess!!! On top of that it was a disaster and didn't work! I have Pioneer Womans recipe for Cinnamon rolls bookmarked to try, lets see how I go! Wishing you and your family a blessed Christmas.

  5. I decided to try making these this year kitchen was a disaster zone as well, but they were so worth it!! It took hours, and thankfully my dog walked around cleaning up my floors for me while I dripped icing everywhere. I'll continue making these for our annual Christmas morning brunch....they were a hit!

  6. The cinnamon rolls sound wonderful. I've made a lot of cinnamon rolls over the years and the best tip I learned years and years ago was to use regular sewing thread to "cut" the rolls once you get it rolled up. Simply wrap around the dough as thick as you want to cut the roll and cross the ends of the thread over each other on top then pull (close) across. It makes a clean cut with perfectly shaped rolls with much less oozing (most of the time no oozing) of the cinnamon mixture.
    If you decide to make them again this Christmas this will be much less frustrating and should reduce the time it takes to make them from start to finish. Merry Christmas!