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Friday, December 28, 2012

A Secret Holiday Recipe

Suzanne Collins points out, “Some secrets are too delicious not to share.” And although every family has its secrets, here’s the crescent roll holiday recipe I promised to share. This is a family recipe that traveled from Poland with Greg’s great aunt and grandparents. These crescent rolls were made each Christmas and it continues to this day. To simplify it as best I could, it’s broken down into its four-step process. Yes, the length and involvement may scare some off but the delectable flavor and sweetness is one you don’t want to miss.

½ lb. butter (2 sticks)
3 cups of all-purpose flour
3 eggs
1 tablespoon of yeast
1 tablespoon of sugar
½ cup of light or heavy cream
1 tsp. of vanilla extract 

Mix flour and chunk the butter into the flour (like making a pie crust) and set aside. Warm the cream to lukewarm and dissolve the yeast. Set aside to proof (approximately 10 minutes). Mix the sugar, eggs and vanilla. Add proofed yeast. Mix the flour and butter with the other mixed ingredients to make your dough. Knead the dough until satiny smooth; similar to bread dough. Do not over-knead your dough. Approximately 2 to 3 minutes. Cut your dough evenly into 4 to 8 pieces and roll into a ball. Typically we use 4 balls of dough if you like a bigger crescent roll. Cover it lightly with flour and loosely cover with Saran wrap. Set aside.


1 cup of dried apricots
Sugar to taste

Wash apricots. Add apricots with approximately ¼ to ½ cup of water in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil and lower heat to a simmer. Stir so the apricots do not stick. If the mixture starts to dry out, periodically add a small amount of water while simmering until the apricots soften and break down. You can use a potato masher to break them up. We like to leave the mixture on the chunky side. To balance the flavor of the finished pastry, we do not sweeten the filling too much. The filling should be a tad tart. Let the filling chill. This can be done one day in advance.


Roll out each ball of dough to approximately a 12 inch circle. Cut each circle into 8 even wedges *similar to cutting a pizza. Add one teaspoon of apricot filling on the wide end. Roll into a crescent roll and pinch the ends to contain the filling. Place on a baking sheet and let stand for twenty minutes to rise. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for twenty to twenty five minutes or until golden brown. Do not overbake - place on wire rack to cool.


Any butter cream frosting can be used (except no ‘out of the can’ frostings) for a crescent roll made from scratch. Here’s a basic one or you can use your favorite butter cream frosting recipe. Maybe try a little cream cheese – how sweet is that on an apricot crescent roll.

1 cup of confectioner sugar
1 stick of butter
1 tablespoon of cream
1 tablespoon of vanilla to taste

For the holidays, you can use food coloring to enhance the frosting or a splash of colored sprinkles. It’s a bit tedious to frost the rolls but worth the effort. That’s the delicious secret for all to try - I cannot believe 2012 is almost over. Happy New Year and good wishes in 2013.

Image of crescent rolls by Ann Bilowz
You may notice this was the image from the Christmas Eve Day blog. Most of the crescent rolls are now gone.

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© 2009 Ann St. Jean-Bilowz/Bilowz Associates Inc. (including all photographs, unless otherwise noted in Annie's Gardening Corner are the property of Bilowz Associates Inc. and shall not be reproduced in any manner nor are they to be assigned to any third party without the expressed written permission and consent of Bilowz Associates Inc.)