Friday, August 12, 2011

Food for Thought


That is a common refrain in my kitchen.  I realize that may come as a bit of a surprise because typically such yummy things come out of my kitchen, but there are moments.  I'm afraid I'm a bit of a, "hmmm, I don't have that, but I have this" sort of cook.  I've also been known to say, "That's a silly step, I'll just dump it all in one bowl ... oh.  Maybe not."  Periodically I also feel that some of those measurement things (teaspoons, tablespoons, etc.) are a bit of a pain.  Let's just eye-ball it.

This behavior does drive my husband a little batty, but seeing as 99.6% of the time, the meal still turns out tasty, he has grown to over look it.  But it's the times when the recipe turns out a bit wonky that he asks, "Did you follow the recipe?" and I have to sheepishly respond with, "Sorta."

This is one such recipe.  My mom made these delicious Butterscotch Rolls many, many times over the years during my childhood.  It was always a special morning when she would take the time to make the dough, roll it out and sprinkle the delicious nuts and raisins over the sugary goodness before rolling them up, cutting them and popping them in the oven.  It's like a sweet, ready-this-morning version of cinnamon rolls made with a biscuit dough instead of yeast bread.  One of my favorite breakfast delights!

I have made it right a hundred times ... but I've also made it wrong enough times that Brett is a little cautious about the first taste.  And for good reason.

Over the years I have ...

  • halved the recipe, but forgot to halve the shortening, resulting in greasy little hockey puck rolls.
  • forgotten the brown sugar resulting in pasty, decidedly unsweetened raisin rocks.
  • miss-measured the milk resulting in a batter that couldn't stand up to the jelly roll technique and ended up just cut, scraped and chunked into the pan before baking.  Ugly, but tasty.
  • selected the wrong seasoning out of the cupboard.  FYI:  Chicken Jerk is not a good substitute for cinnamon, unless you want your breakfast rolls utterly inedible due to the spiciness of your sweet rolls.

In spite of these disgusting mistakes - I keep making them.  It just goes to show that I'm a full-blooded optimist, "This time I'll get it right!"  And in this same spirit of positive thinking, I thought I would share with you this recipe ... and do my best to transcribe it correctly!

Butterscotch Rolls
(My mom's recipe ... from way back.)

Biscuit dough (enough to make 16 biscuits)
1/3 cup butter softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I like pecans.)

You can use any biscuit recipe, but this one is the best:
2 1/4 cup flour (I use half white/half wheat flour.)
4 t. baking powder
1/2 t. cream of tartar
1/2 t. salt
2 T sugar
1/3 cup shortening
2/3 cup milk
1 egg

Combine the dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.  Cut in the shortening with a pastry cutter until the shortening is well distributed.

I love my pastry cutter, hence the sproinged wire parts!

Add the milk and egg and stir with a fork just until the dough is combined.

Don't mix more than this, or you'll have tough dough.

Flour the countertop surface and turn the biscuit dough out.  Knead the dough just a few times, adding flour as necessary, if sticky.  Roll the dough out into a rectangle - about 1/4 of an inch thick.  Apply a thin layer of butter over the entire surface.  This will help the sugar stick to the dough.  Next sprinkle the brown sugar in an even layer, followed by the raisins and nuts.  Sprinkle the entire surface with cinnamon.

Be as generous as you'd like with the fillings.

Now roll the dough up as you would a cinnamon roll.  You may need to use a floured spatula to slide under the dough and separate it from the countertop.  Once you have it assembled, mark off nine rolls, cut and place spiral side up in a greased 8x8 cake pan.  Be sure to space them apart as they will plump upon baking.  Bake at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.  We like to top ours with a smidgen of butter or softened cream cheese.  Delightful!


P.S.  I double checked the ingredients ... you're good to go!

Butterscotch Roll


  1. looks so good! I want to eat my computer screen!

  2. These look wonderful!! I do believe that I may have to try them :). One question: what if you don't have shortening? Can I substitute butter? BTW thanks for commenting on my blog.

  3. YUM! Love these! We may have to make them soon!

  4. Oh! I am like you - not EXACTLY by the book! Ha! But that is a great recipe! Thanks for coming by on my SITS day!


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