Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Baking the Bake-Off: Easy Crescent Danish Rolls

This weekend while reading through the latest updates on the Pillsbury Bake-Off website, my daughter and I noticed this recipe for incredibly simple danish rolls made out of Pillsbury crescent rolls and a handful of other ordinary ingredients. It has been a while since I have prepared and shared with you a recipe from the Pillsbury Bake-Off contest, so this seemed like a nice thing to try that I actually had the time to make. It also required very little shopping - the only thing I didn't have handy was crescent rolls, and that was easily remedied with a quick run to the store.

I had originally set out to bring you each and every Pillsbury contest grand prize winner in the order it won, but I soon realized that preparing the recipes in such a strict order was a bit unrealistic. I still very much want to continue testing all of the grand prize winners, but I might not necessarily present them in chronological order. I also would like to be able to open up the field a bit, sometimes sharing recipes that I have tested that were finalists or category winners, and not only the grand prize winners. I actually have already snuck in a few of the non-winners previously, and no one seemed to mind. ;)

The 1975 Pillsbury Bake-off was a rather unique contest year. Two recipes took home the grand prize title, including Easy Crescent Danish Rolls . The recipe was a huge hit and has since become a classic, with variations appearing in many community cookbooks across the country and adapted and shared all over the web. As you can see from my photo of the ingredients above, the recipe calls for fairly typical items, at least in a US kitchen. Certainly in my kitchen, in any case. I can see why such a recipe captured so much attention. Easy, inexpensive, really attractive looking, quick to prepare, and the taste is really good for something made in 10 minutes.

True to the recipe name, these were very easy and despite being just a bit messy to eat, with the cream cheese filling hot and bubbly and oozing out the sides, they were quite tasty. I will make them again, varying the citrus and jam and extract flavorings. I think raspberry with lime would be amazing in this recipe. I would cut the filling in half though next time, to cut down ever so slightly on the messiness. Also, the vanilla tints the icing a pale brown color, which I found a bit unpleasant. I would recommend a white vanilla if you want a nice color contrast and pure white icing.

Note: I used light cream cheese and skim milk this time, and there really was no problem with taste or texture. I almost always use light cream cheese in recipes normally without any issues. For my preserves, I used a delicious strawberry jam I had bought at a local farm stand called The Girls in Boca Raton, near where my mother lives. They have a huge assortment of home canned jams and jellies and the most adorable old fashioned ice cream counter and candy shop.

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