~my thoughts about life~

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Baking With Mom

Yesterday was my perfect pre-Christmas day.  I was able to spend the day with my mom and we baked up a storm!

Every Christmas, we get together and make nutroll.  It's a recipe handed down from my great-grandmother and is my grandpa's very favorite thing.  It didn't look like we were going to find the time this year.  My mom gives any spare time taking care of her ailing mother.  Last year, we had Gram come over while we made nutroll.  That would not be a possibility at all this year since time with her is typically spent preventing her from running out the door.  My mom knows this will be her last Christmas with her mother around so she's trying to spend as much time with her as possible, making as many memories as possible.

Somehow, my mom found time to take a day off and spend it with me.  It was due partly to the fact that her car was in the shop getting some dings repaired and that she was recovering from having a skin irritation removed the day before.  We made nutroll, chocolate crinkles, chocolate fudge, and buckeyes.  After we were done, I had to run home and finish up some iced sugar cookies that people had ordered from me.  Note To Self:  Do not agree to make iced sugar cookies for people right before Christmas.  You are too busy.  Plus, you are not charging nearly enough!  The cost of butter alone eats up half the profits!  Raise your prices or get a backbone!  (Sorry, I had been meaning to have that chat with myself for a while now.)

After all that, my house is a wreck.  I still have cookies to decorate and peanut butter balls to dip in chocolate.  The kids are home on Christmas break and the presents aren't all wrapped yet.  I'm going to have to find somewhere for the kids to go when it becomes present wrapping time.  For now, I think it's time to turn back on some Pandora Christmas music and get this house back into shape.  You know me, I won't be able to enjoy Christmas at all if my house isn't clean.  Anyone want a cookie?

Here's my Christmas Gift to you- my nutroll recipe.  This is a family heirloom so you should consider yourselves lucky!  (Warning:  this recipe isn't for novice bakers.)


Bread Dough:
1/2 lb. butter (cold)
5 egg yolks (save whites)
3/4 C milk (warm)
2 T sugar
4 C flour
1 envelope yeast
pinch of salt
1 t vanilla

With your hand, work cold butter and egg yolks together. (It will look a bit like scrambled eggs when it's ready.) Add yeast to warm milk and sugar. Let stand until yeast swells in milk, about 5 minutes. Add flour and salt to to egg and butter, then add milk and yeast mixture. Add vanilla. Knead like bread dough. Cover and let stand 20 minutes.

Put on pastry board, work out a little, cut into 4 pieces, and let stand 20 minutes.

Roll each piece and fold over several times. Let stand 20 minutes more.

Roll thinly and fill each piece with nut filling.

Nut Filling:
5 egg whites
4 C powdered sugar
1 lb. walnuts (ground)
1 t vanilla

Beat egg whites until stiff.  Add nuts, powdered sugar, and vanilla.  Spread 1/4 of the filling on dough and roll like a jelly roll.  Pinch ends to make sure filling doesn't seep out.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.  Repeat with other three.

My Notes:
*  We buy bread bags from our grocery store's bakery to store the nutroll in.
*  Nutroll freezes well.
*  If making more than one batch, be sure to wash the bowl and all the tools well that are used to make the filling.  The egg whites will not become stiff if there is reside from the last batch still in the bowl.
*  Specialty shops sell nutroll pans.  They are about the size of a cookie sheet but are curved to help shape the rolls.  We found several at an Amish shop and have used them for years.  You can bake them on a cookie sheet but they will flatten out a bit.

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