Holiday Baking Shortcuts from Darlene's Kitchen - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Holiday Baking Shortcuts from Darlene's Kitchen

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Crescent Sweet Rolls

1 can of rolls makes 8 sweet rolls. The low-fat version works great for this.

Unroll the dough and go ahead and separate each triangle. If you spread the filling on first (before separating), you can't see the seams anymore. Just so you know….  Spread a small amount of melted butter (about a tsp) on each of the pieces of dough. Sprinkle about ¼ to ½ tsp sugar over that. Sprinkle about ¼ tsp orange peel, lemon peel, OR cinnamon on top. From the wide end, loosely roll dough up, ending with the point side down and gently press the ends together to keep the filling from melting out while baking. Bake in a preheated 375* oven for 12-14 minutes or until browned. Drizzle with powdered sugar icing 5-10 minutes after you take the rolls out of the oven.


About ½ to ¾ cup powdered sugar should be plenty for 8 rolls. If you are doing Cinnamon Crescents, to the powdered sugar, add ¼ tsp vanilla and about a Tbsp or so of milk. Whisk that up until all the lumps are gone. You want it to be thin enough to drizzle so adjust the milk or powdered sugar amount and whisk out the lumps. With a spoon, drizzle desired amount over warm rolls. For Orange Crescents, add orange juice to the powdered sugar and continue the same process. For Lemon Crescents, add lemon juice to the powdered sugar, mix, and drizzle.

Quick and easy!

Frozen Bread Dough Tips

The night before you are going to make rolls, take the dough out of the package and place on a lightly greased baking pan or something you can put in the fridge. Only thaw out what you think you will need at one time. The rest will keep in the freezer for a long time. There should be an expiration date on the bag. Loosely cover the dough with plastic wrap and thaw overnight in the fridge. Next morning, roll, rise and bake. There are instructions on the bag for rising a loaf, how to make cinnamon rolls and other items. On the show today, I had Parmesan Rolls, Parsley-Dill Rolls, Dinner Rolls and Garlic Breadsticks. Here's what you do for all that:


Parmesan Rolls

Place thawed loaf on a lightly floured surface and slice in half lengthwise. Next, slice into 12 equal(ish) pieces. With floured hands, rolls each piece into a ball. Melt 2-3 Tbsp UNSALTED butter in a bowl. Place about a cup of SHREDDED (not grated) Parmesan cheese on a plate. Pick up a dough ball, dip the top in the butter, then, dip into the cheese and place cheese side up in a well-buttered round or square oven safe pan. Continue until all 12 are in the pan. Cover with a clean cloth and let rise until double. It could take an hour or longer for that to happen, so keep an eye out. You don't want them to over proof (rise too long). When they are ready to bake they will fill up the pan. Bake in a 350* to 375* oven for 15 to 20 minutes. The cheese will get pretty brown. That's okay.


Parsley-Dill Rolls

Follow the same instructions as above until you get to the topping. Dip the dough balls in melted UNSALTED butter and place in a buttered pan. Sprinkle evenly with just a little bit of salt. Sprinkle some dried dill weed over that and top with a sprinkling of dried parsley flakes. Cover and let rise until double. Bake at 350* to 375* for 15-20 minutes. These make a little bit of a mess, but if you like these toppings, it will be worth it.


Plain Dinner Rolls

For some of the rolls I place the dough balls in a muffin pan just like they were. Others I cut each dough ball into 3 pieces, rolled into smaller balls and placed them in the pan to make cloverleafs. I also split some in half, rolled into smaller balls and placed side by side in the pan. I also make a few Parkerhouse-type rolls. After the dough is all in the muffin pan(s), brush the tops with butter, cover and let rise until double and bake the same as above.


Garlic Breadsticks

One loaf would make a whole lot of these. What I did was cut it in half, lengthwise, use half for mini rolls and half to do the breadsticks for display on the show. Using half a loaf: Cut that half in half again, only this time crossways so you have shorter pieces to work with. With a rolling pin or with your hands, flatten out the dough to about ¼ inch in thickness. Cut into 1/8 to ¼ inch strips. Roll the strips in melted butter (I put the butter on a plate so it would be easier to roll). Place in a square or larger pan, depending on the size of your breadsticks. Leave a little room for rising. Do this will all the strips. Sprinkle with garlic powder and parsley. Let rise for about 30 minutes or if you want them a little crispier, just let them rise for about 10 minutes. Bake at 375* for about 10-15 minutes, depending on how soft or crispy you want them.


Chocolate Caramel Cake

This is so easy and really delicious!

1 Box Chocolate Cake Mix (not Devil's Food- either milk choc or plain choc)

1 can Sweet Condensed Milk

1 jar Caramel Topping

1 8 oz container Cool Whip

Milk Chocolate Covered Toffee Bits OR Choc Syrup and Maraschino Cherries

Mix and bake the cake in a 13x9 pan, according to package directions. While the cake is still hot, poke several holes in it with a skewer or a knife. You want the holes big enough for the toppings to seep down into the cake, but not so large that it falls apart when you try to serve it. Next, slowly pour the sweet condensed milk evenly over the top. I use a serving spoon; it helps me control where the milk goes and how fast it comes out of the can. Then, you'll pour the caramel topping on next -- same way, with a serving spoon, evenly over the top. You'll see it run over the sides and settle here and there. That's okay. Loosely cover the top, making sure the cover doesn't touch the cake. Set in refrigerator until the cake is cold. Spoon Cool Whip over the top of the cake and sprinkle milk choc toffee bits over that. Set back in fridge until time to serve. This cake is even better after it sits in the fridge overnight. Store leftovers (if there are any) in the fridge.


See you all again sometime in the New Year! Enjoy a wonderful Christmas with your family and friends!

Love- from Darlene's Kitchen to yours.


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