December 4, 2012

old fashioned nut rolls, yields 5

A good old fashioned nut roll...just like grandma used to make! Oh my gosh, I just love nut rolls. They are so delicious. I especially love when some of the nut filling oozes out of the roll while gets all crisp and sugary....oh man, that is the best part! It's pure heaven! There is nothing better than sitting down to a cup of coffee or hot tea and a few slices of nut roll. It just makes my afternoon. Especially on those cold, snowy's the best! 

How do you like this wintery, owl wrapping paper? Isn't it adorable? I bought it at Target, in the Christmas section. (about $5 dollar)  I'll be using this paper to make into bags for the nut rolls. I purchased long, clear, "hoagie sandwich" type sleeve baggies to put each roll in. You can usually find them for sale at your local cake and cake supply store. I purchased mine for 14 cents a piece. I wanted something extra special to package the nut rolls in...that's where this cute owl paper comes in!  It will make great custom made bags for gift giving!

Nut Rolls
*makes 5,  15 inch rolls

the dough:
1/4 C. lukewarm water
2 packets dry yeast
2/3 C. evaporated milk
2/3 C. water
6 C. flour (possibly more, depending on dough)
1  1/2 C. sugar
1  1/2 tsp. salt
1/2  C. butter
1/2  C. vegetable shortening
4 eggs, beaten

Dissolve yeast in lukewarm water and set aside. Beat together eggs, shortening and butter. Add the sugar and salt and mix. Add the evaporated milk and the 2/3 C water, the yeast mixture, and 1 C of the flour. Beat well. Add the remaining flour gradually. It is quite possible you will need more than the 6 cups of flour. Sometimes I need to add as much as 2 1/2 cups of extra flour. You are done adding flour when your dough is no longer sticky and it is smooth and elastic and easy to knead without it sticking to your hands. Don't over add flour...just be careful and do it a little at a time. Knead the dough until smooth. Place in a greased bowl and cover until the dough has doubled in size. This dough will not rise as much as bread dough, so don't worry. Give it a good hour or so, and you will be fine! While the dough is rising, make your nut filling.

nut filling:
2 pounds shelled walnuts
2 1/2 C sugar
1 C melted butter
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 C milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon

Grind the walnuts in a food processor for best results. The walnuts should be ground to the consistency of finely chopped. Combine all the ingredients into a large saucepan and cook over low flame until thickened. Stir almost constantly and keep flame low. Cook for at least 10 minutes. Allow nut filling to cool. This will take a while and I sometimes divide up the mixture into 3 separate bowls to help the mixture cool faster. You can refrigerate for a few minutes as well. You don't want to spread the raw dough with hot nut filling, so make sure it is at least cooled down to just warm to the touch.

assemble nut rolls and bake:
When dough is doubled, divide it into 5 equal parts. Roll each piece out to about 1/4 inch thickness. You do not have to roll dough into a square. Roll the dough out into a circle...not a perfect circle...but a big awkward circle...this will be just fine! Divide the nut filling into 5 equal portions and spread filling on each circle of dough you roll out. Spread to within a 1/2 inch of the edges. Roll up like a jelly roll and tuck in the ends. Place on baking tray. Prick top of roll with a fork a few times and brush with an egg yolk wash. (1 egg yolk mixed with 2 tsp. water) Let roll sit 30 minutes before baking. Rolls do not need to rise like bread dough. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes. Allow to cool before slicing. Enjoy!