Holiday Baking Shortcuts from Darlene's Kitchen

Crescent SweetRolls

1 can of rolls makes 8 sweet rolls. The low-fat versionworks great for this.

Unroll the dough and go ahead and separate each triangle. Ifyou spread the filling on first (before separating), you can't see the seamsanymore. Just so you know. {}Spread asmall amount of melted butter (about a tsp) on each of the pieces of dough.Sprinkle about 1/4 to 1/2 tsp sugar over that. Sprinkle about 1/4 tsp orange peel,lemon peel, OR cinnamon on top. From the wide end, loosely roll dough up,ending with the point side down and gently press the ends together to keep thefilling from melting out while baking. Bake in a preheated 375* oven for 12-14minutes or until browned. Drizzle with powdered sugar icing 5-10 minutes after youtake the rolls out of the oven.


About 1/2 to 3/4 cup powdered sugar should be plenty for 8rolls. If you are doing Cinnamon Crescents, to the powdered sugar, add 1/4 tspvanilla and about a Tbsp or so of milk. Whisk that up until all the lumps aregone. You want it to be thin enough to drizzle so adjust the milk or powderedsugar amount and whisk out the lumps. With a spoon, drizzle desired amount overwarm rolls. For Orange Crescents, add orange juice to the powdered sugar andcontinue the same process. For Lemon Crescents, add lemon juice to the powderedsugar, mix, and drizzle.

Quick and easy!

Frozen Bread DoughTips

The night before you are going to make rolls, take the doughout of the package and place on a lightly greased baking pan or something youcan put in the fridge. Only thaw out what you think you will need at one time.The rest will keep in the freezer for a long time. There should be anexpiration date on the bag. Loosely cover the dough with plastic wrap and thawovernight in the fridge. Next morning, roll, rise and bake. There areinstructions on the bag for rising a loaf, how to make cinnamon rolls and otheritems. On the show today, I had Parmesan Rolls, Parsley-Dill Rolls, DinnerRolls and Garlic Breadsticks. Here's what you do for all that:


Parmesan Rolls

Place thawed loaf on a lightly floured surface and slice inhalf lengthwise. Next, slice into 12 equal(ish) pieces. With floured hands,rolls each piece into a ball. Melt 2-3 Tbsp UNSALTED butter in a bowl. Placeabout a cup of SHREDDED (not grated) Parmesan cheese on a plate. Pick up adough ball, dip the top in the butter, then, dip into the cheese and placecheese side up in a well-buttered round or square oven safe pan. Continue untilall 12 are in the pan. Cover with a clean cloth and let rise until double. Itcould take an hour or longer for that to happen, so keep an eye out. You don'twant them to over proof (rise too long). When they are ready to bake they willfill up the pan. Bake in a 350* to 375* oven for 15 to 20 minutes. The cheesewill get pretty brown. That's okay.


Parsley-Dill Rolls

Follow the same instructions as above until you get to thetopping. Dip the dough balls in melted UNSALTED butter and place in a butteredpan. Sprinkle evenly with just a little bit of salt. Sprinkle some dried dillweed over that and top with a sprinkling of dried parsley flakes. Cover and letrise until double. Bake at 350* to 375* for 15-20 minutes. These make a littlebit of a mess, but if you like these toppings, it will be worth it.


Plain Dinner Rolls

For some of the rolls I place the dough balls in a muffin panjust like they were. Others I cut each dough ball into 3 pieces, rolled intosmaller balls and placed them in the pan to make cloverleafs. I also split somein half, rolled into smaller balls and placed side by side in the pan. I alsomake a few Parkerhouse-type rolls. After the dough is all in the muffin pan(s),brush the tops with butter, cover and let rise until double and bake the sameas above.


Garlic Breadsticks

One loaf would make a whole lot of these. What I did was cutit in half, lengthwise, use half for mini rolls and half to do the breadsticksfor display on the show. Using half a loaf: Cut that half in half again, onlythis time crossways so you have shorter pieces to work with. With a rolling pinor with your hands, flatten out the dough to about 1/4 inch in thickness. Cutinto 1/8 to 1/4 inch strips. Roll the strips in melted butter (I put the butteron a plate so it would be easier to roll). Place in a square or larger pan,depending on the size of your breadsticks. Leave a little room for rising. Dothis will all the strips. Sprinkle with garlic powder and parsley. Let rise forabout 30 minutes or if you want them a little crispier, just let them rise forabout 10 minutes. Bake at 375* for about 10-15 minutes, depending on how softor crispy you want them.


Chocolate Caramel Cake

This is so easy and really delicious!

1 Box Chocolate Cake Mix (notDevil's Food- either milk choc or plain choc)

1 can Sweet Condensed Milk

1 jar Caramel Topping

1 8 oz container Cool Whip

Milk Chocolate Covered Toffee BitsOR Choc Syrup and Maraschino Cherries

Mix and bake the cake in a 13x9pan, according to package directions. While the cake is still hot, poke severalholes in it with a skewer or a knife. You want the holes big enough for thetoppings to seep down into the cake, but not so large that it falls apart whenyou try to serve it. Next, slowly pour the sweet condensed milk evenly over thetop. I use a serving spoon; it helps me control where the milk goes and howfast it comes out of the can. Then, you'll pour the caramel topping on next --same way, with a serving spoon, evenly over the top. You'll see it run over thesides and settle here and there. That's okay. Loosely cover the top, makingsure the cover doesn't touch the cake. Set in refrigerator until the cake iscold. Spoon Cool Whip over the top of the cake and sprinkle milk choc toffeebits over that. Set back in fridge until time to serve. This cake is evenbetter after it sits in the fridge overnight. Store leftovers (if there areany) in the fridge.


See you all again sometime in theNew Year! Enjoy a wonderful Christmas with your family and friends!

Love- from Darlene's Kitchen toyours.