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!