Strap in ladies and gents, this one’s a long one. As part of my Mother’s Day brunch this year (MD2017), I thought I’d raise the bar and attempt some of the harder ones in the book–nothing impresses your mother like showing her you can cook (and bake). My mom LOVES pastries, so I made her 17-44: Homemade Danish Pastries to nosh on while I worked on trying to serve up 5-4: Eggs Benedict. Luckily, these turned out better than my hollandaise sauce attempt did.
Obviously, mine look a bit different than what’s pictured on their card–we’ll get into all the decisions and pitfalls that led to that being the case after the jump.
Scones have a lot of different methods of preparation, usually depending on varying geographical interpretations. There’s even different pronunciations of the word “scone”–some rhyme it with “tone”, while others rhyme it with “gone.”
Simply Delicious‘ take, 17-11: Scones, seems to most closely adhere to the British version of scones in that they make theirs into round cakes, score them, and then break them apart into triangle shapes after baking. The North American versions tend to be individually-sized, round, and more often than not closely resemble what we refer to as biscuits.
One of my first memorable experiences with scones were at an 18th birthday tea party I attended in the last few months of senior year of high school–we had just come back from a Spring Break trip to England & Ireland, and I came to the tea party prepared with white gloves and pinkies up. They had scones with clotted cream & jam, finger sandwiches, and lots of flowery, delicate pots of tea. ☕️
Wouldn’t have been my choice for an 18th birthday party (I spent a good portion of mine in my dorm room hungover from a wild freshman-year-of-college Halloween extravaganza the night before), but it was definitely unique.
17-45: Light Coffee Rolls were made as part of a gift box for a family friend. These coffee rolls can hardly be described as “light” in my opinion. The batch I made came out rather heavy, but buttery and delicious. 😋
The rolls were best served fresh from the oven, upon cooling, the rolls got heavier and less airy.
Editor’s note: Happy New Year! We start the new year by finishing up a bit of old business from last year!
My second apple recipe for this year’s holiday gifts (XMAS 16) is 17-40: Apple Rolls. These “not too sweet” rolls contain an apple wedge wrapped inside a savory dough, covered with sesame seeds. I made a double sized batch of these rolls. Thankfully, the instructions are very good and I’ve practiced with yeast enough times to make a pretty decent dough.
I wish I had taken the advice from the front of the card and used chopped pecans instead of sesame seeds.
17-25: Almond Rolls are kind of a bonus holiday baking (XMAS 16) post for me–only one person received the bulk of these, as they made up part of a week-long Secret Santa gift-giving event that my work puts on. 🎄🎁 My giftee for Secret Santa not only got these, but a batch of 17-9: Brownies with toasted hazelnuts both in the batter and on top, as well as a batch of my family’s chocolate chip cookie recipe with red & green M&Ms swapped in for semisweet bits. 🍪🎅
These almond rolls are similar to cinnamon rolls/buns, and like the recipe that Simply Delicious provides for cinnamon rolls, these ones lack a glaze/icing as well. However, given the sweetness of the filling and the fact that these are a gift for someone, I’ll forgo adding icing on my own this time. 🍰
In my holiday baking batch from last year (XMAS 15), I included 17-67: Coconut Crescents to offer some variety to the endless types of cookies. 🍪 17-48: Buttery Vanilla Rolls were included in this year’s holiday baking (XMAS 16) for much the same reason, although I think I ended up with a better mix of items this year. 🎅🏼
I liked that these were baked in muffin cups as well–I thought that might make them easier to pack up and distribute/ship as gifts. To make them holiday-ish, I sprinkled them with a bit of red and green decorating sugar while they were cooling. 🎄
The second of two appetizer dishes I made for Thanksgiving this year (TGV 2016), 1-5: Pigs in a Blanket aren’t a surprise to many who grew up with these being served at various parties & gatherings. I’ve been looking for an event like this to make this recipe for, and I finally found it–it doesn’t get more traditional American than Thanksgiving.
This was the sixth of seven dishes I cooked for this year’s feast, and I made these the day of Thanksgiving (Thursday 11/24) while I waited for the whole wheat kernels I needed for 17-5: Hot Seedy Rolls to finish soaking. I waited until the day of to make these because they really taste best as fresh as you can make them.
Since this is technically being posted after Thanksgiving, these work well for Christmas, parties, or really even just a Saturday night Netflix marathon. The stains and wrinkling of the card (I scanned these over two years ago at this point) tell me someone else may have whipped up some of these sometime in the past, although no other clues exist pointing to whom or when. The tagline at the bottom is right though–most everyone can get on board with these “pigs”.
Pretzels are my favorite snack food, which means that 17-21: Small Golden Pretzels were right up my alley. One of my favorite episodes of the Simpsons is based around pretzels. Making pretzels usually involves boiling the dough in baking soda water.
These golden pretzels are good as an afternoon snack. Saffron gives these pretzels the golden hue.
Croissants are a culinary item that have been around for well…a really long time. Crescent-shaped rolls are a part of several cuisines–one example would be the kifli from Eastern Europe, versus the well-known Western European version, like 17-1: Croissants. 🌙
Wikipedia mentions that frozen pre-formed croissants are pretty readily available these days (and have been since the 1970s), so making this recipe’s truly a labor of love–it takes a good amount of effort, as noted above.