Making discoveries while cleaning


Stacy, Wikimedia Commons

Anyone for some sticky pecan rolls? Frozen bread dough saves you some time.

This will give you an idea of how easily I can be distracted.


While looking for some patterns for crocheted snowflakes, I ran across a pile of recipes I had organized decades ago. I had brightly-colored folders with labels such as Main Dishes Poultry and Main Dishes Beef, plus folders for various types of desserts, side dishes. You-name-it, I had it.


I spent most of my day sitting on the floor going through a little more than half of those recipes, clearing out the ones I no longer find appealing. I also got rid of recipes that looked somewhat appealing but were too complicated for me to consider making. Many are appropriate for the holiday season, so I thought I would share some with you.


It does feel good to finally go through the thousands of clipped or hand-written recipes and thin the herd. I hope it doesn’t take me decades to finish this project, since as I mentioned, I am easily distracted.

Pull-apart bacon bread


12 bacon strips, cooked about 5 minutes, then drained and diced


1 loaf (1 pound) frozen bread dough, thawed


2 tablespoons olive oil, divided


1 cup (4 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese


1 envelope (1 ounce) dry ranch salad dressing mix


1. Roll out dough to 1/2-inch thickness; brush with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Cut into 1-inch pieces; place in a large bowl. Add the bacon pieces, cheese, dressing mix and remaining oil; toss to coat.


2. Arrange pieces in a 9-by-5-inch oval on a greased baking sheet, layering as needed (I used a greased Bundt cake pan instead). Cover and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes or until doubled. Preheat oven to 350.


3. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Cover with foil and bake 5 to 10 minutes longer or until golden brown and dough is done. Makes 1 loaf.


Hot buttered rum nut rolls


Clipped from a newspaper back in 1981. I wrote “Good!” on it.


1 loaf (1 pound) frozen bread dough


1/2 cup brown sugar


1/4 cup butter


1 tablespoon milk


2 teaspoons flour


1/2 teaspoon rum extract


1/4 cup chopped pecans, walnuts or almonds


2 tablespoons butter, melted


1/2 cup brown sugar


1/2 teaspoon rum extract

1. Allow dough to thaw at room temperature 2 1/2 to 4 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.


2. In a bowl, mix 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup butter, milk, flour and 1/2 teaspoon rum extract; bring to a slow boil. Pour into a greased 7-by-10-inch baking pan (or appropriately sized round pan); sprinkle nuts over mixture.


3. On a lightly floured board, roll dough out to a 12-by-14-inch rectangle. Brush dough with melted butter.


4. In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon rum extract. Spread mixture evenly over the dough.


5. Beginning with the 14-inch side, roll dough up tightly. Cut into 12 1-inch slices. Place slices cut-side down in prepared pan. Brush dough with remaining melted butter. Let rise until dough reaches top of pan.


6. Bake at 350 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Carefully turn out of pan immediately. Makes 12 rolls.

Oatmeal pie


A recipe from my husband’s Aunt Becky of Hanover, Pennsylvania, with a note that says it is similar to pecan pie.


3 eggs


2/3 cup white granulated sugar


1 cup brown sugar


2/3 cup quick oatmeal


2/3 cup shredded, sweetened coconut


1 teaspoon vanilla


2 tablespoons butter


1/2 cup chopped nuts, optional


1 9-inch unbaked pie shell


1. Preheat oven to 375. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs. Add other filling ingredients and mix well.


2. Pour into pie shell and bake in preheated over for 30 minutes. Allow to settle before cutting and serving. Makes 8 servings.


Cranberry apple pie with orange sauce


Another family recipe, from another Aunt, Mary of Long Beach. I entered this recipe in a magazine contest years ago and won $25.

Pastry for a double-crust pie (recipe follows)


5 1/2 cups thinly sliced, peeled cooking apples (about 2 pounds)


1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries


1 cup sugar


3 tablespoons flour


Dash of salt


1 tablespoon butter


Orange sauce (recipe follows)


1. Preheat oven to 375. Prepare pastry. In a large bowl, combine apples and cranberries. In a small bowl, combine sugar, flour and a dash of salt; add to fruit mixture and toss gently.


2. Fill pastry-lined 9-inch pie plate with fruit mixture and dot with butter. Carefully place top pastry over filling and trim to 1/2 inch beyond edge of pie plate. Fold extra pastry under bottom crust; flute edge.


3. Cover edge of pie with foil (or use an aluminum pie shield). Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake 25 minutes longer or until crust is golden. Serve with orange sauce. Makes 8 servings.


Pastry for double-crust pie


2 cups flour


2 teaspoons baking powder


1/4 teaspoon salt


3/4 cup cold butter


Cold water


1. In bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.


2. Cut in butter with pastry blender until the pieces are the size of small peas. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of cold water over part of mixture; gently toss with a fork. Push to side of bowl. Repeat with 6 to 7 tablespoons more water until all is moistened. Form dough into 2 balls.


3. On a lightly floured surface, flatten one ball of dough with hands. Roll dough from center to edge, forming a 12-inch circle. Wrap pastry around rolling pin. Unroll onto the 9-inch pie plate. Ease pastry into pie plate, being careful not to stretch pastry. Trim bottom crust even with rim of plate. For top crust, roll out remaining dough a little larger for some overhang. When placed over filling, sealed and fluted, cut slits to allow steam to escape.

Orange sauce


1/2 cup butter (1 cube)


1/2 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar


1/3 cup orange juice concentrate


2 tablespoons honey

1. In saucepan, melt butter. Add confectioners’ sugar, orange juice concentrate and honey.


2. Stir mixture until smooth and heated through. Serve warm over cranberry apple pie. Makes 8 servings.

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