My husband holds everything that his mother did so dear to his heart (and I don't blame him since she is no longer with us), so I wanted to get them just right.
The only other time I have attempted cinnamon rolls on my own was last week when my 11-year-old came home from her activity days meeting with dough they had made at the meeting. They had only had time to make the dough and let it rise once, so she brought it home and I helped her roll it out into a flat rectangle, then proceeded to help her mix the butter/cinnamon/brown sugar filling.
The instructions she had brought home just said to mix the ingredients for the filling together in a bowl, but when I did that, the mixture just got really gooey and difficult to spread (it stuck together in lumps), so I tried to remember how my sister-in-law had applied the mixture when she was giving her demonstration a few months ago.
I thought I remembered her putting the mixture in the microwave to melt the butter, so I did that and then slathered the melted butter mixture over the top of the rolled-out dough. As I started to roll the dough into a jelly roll; though, the dough just started to push all of the melted butter mixture off toward the sides and end of the dough. Oops! Note to self: When in doubt, call the Purple Lady and ask questions - but DO NOT melt the butter! ::sigh::
I tried to pick up the dough as I was rolling it to trap some of the butter mixture inside the roll, but it was useless - and by the time I finished rolling the dough, the butter mixture was all over the counter around the jelly roll. I went ahead and cut the jelly roll into individual cinnamon rolls and placed them in the baking pan, then decided to just pour the melted butter mixture over the top of the rolls (since hardly any of it got inside of them), pushing as much of the mixture as I could between the crevices of each roll.
We then baked the rolls as directed and I just crossed my fingers that they would still turn out. I felt really bad because it was the first time Madison had tried making them, and I had totally botched her attempt. To my surprise; however, they actually turned out really well. So well; in fact, that they didn't last 24 hours. Hehe.
Back to my attempt this weekend; though; I had learned what NOT to do when applying the sugar/butter/cinnamon mixture to the dough, so I figured I already had a one-up going into this attempt.
The Purple Lady has always told me that when she makes cinnamon roll, she usually does it on a day that she is already making bread. The recipe that her mom used usually makes about 5 loaves of bread, so she will make 2-3 loaves instead, then will use the rest of the dough for cinnamon rolls (or pizza dough - but that's another story).
Anyway, after sticking the bread loaves into the oven, I started rolling out the dough for the first set of cinnamon rolls - this time refraining from melting the butter mixture. Haha. In this case, learning from my previous mistake was an invaluable lesson. ;)
After rolling the dough and cutting it into individual rolls with dental floss (a trick The Purple Lady showed me), I covered the rolls with a towel and let them rise again. By the time the bread was done baking, the cinnamon rolls were ready to go in.
A short while later, the cinnamon rolls were done - and just as I was taking them out of the oven, the doorbell rang. My daughter had spent the night at my mom's house the night before, so my mom had brought her home and was going to stay and watch conference with us. She said that the minute I opened the front door, she could smell the cinnamon rolls. I told her she'd have to wait a minute longer; though, since I still had to let them cool off a bit so I could frost them. ::evil grin::
After letting them cool down a bit, I frosted them with the "family recipe" butter cream frosting (recipe to come shortly), and then dished some out to everyone. They must have been a huge hit because everyone went back for seconds (and some). I told my mom that I am gonna have to make bread and cinnamon rolls a general conference tradition - maybe to give the kids something extra to look forward to come time for general conference. After experiencing how addicting they are; though, my husband and I decided that I am not allowed to make them anymore. Haha.