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You Asked For It

Recipes to indulge your sweet tooth

By ANNE LONG
Published December 28, 2003

The former Maas Brothers department stores were fixtures in our area, and their bakeries were outstanding. Ken Kircher misses being able to buy their sticky buns and hoped that someone might have the recipe to share.

You Asked for It readers are amazing and rarely fail to come up with the answers. Thelma Maxhimer sends the Maas Brothers recipe as it appeared in Gourmet Gallery, published in 1975 and now out of print.

In 1976, a recipe using refrigerated crescent dinner rolls won $25,000 in the 27th Pillsbury Bake-Off contest. A number of readers have made the crescent caramel rolls for many years and sent the recipe. Imagination can generate a substantial payoff.

In addition, two readers shared their recipes using breads found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. Rebecca San Pedro starts with a can of biscuits, the flaky kind, and ends with sweet bread that needs only a cup of coffee for a delightful morning respite. Honey lends an interesting flavor to the biscuits.

Louise Vormwald's recipe calls for frozen Parker House rolls. Prepare the overnight cinnamon coffee cake the night before, letting it sit on the counter to rise, and it is ready to bake in the morning. All these sweet breads would be perfect for a special breakfast if you have house guests or expect morning visitors.

* * *

For: Ken Kircher of St. Petersburg

From: Thelma Maxhimer of St. Petersburg

Recipe: Maas Brothers' Cinnamon Twists, Gourmet Gallery, 1975.

Maas Brothers' Cinnamon Twists

1/2 cup warm water

2 packages active dry yeast

2 eggs

1/2 cup warm milk

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup shortening

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

41/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter

1 cup sugar

21/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

Dissolve yeast in water. Add eggs, milk, sugar, salt, shortening, vanilla and 21/2 cups of the flour. Mix until creamed and smooth. Add enough flour to make dough easy to handle. Knead on floured board for 5 minutes. Put in greased bowl; cover. Let stand at room temperature 11/2 hours. Punch down. Let rise 30 minutes.

Cut dough into two pieces. Roll out each piece to approximately 8 by 16 inches. Brush one side with melted butter. Mix sugar and cinnamon together; sprinkle over rectangles.

Fold outer edges of dough to center of strip. Repeat brushing with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture.

Fold dough over one edge to another. You will now have 4 layers of dough. Roll out strip to a width of 4 inches.

Cut strip every 3/4 inch. The piece of dough, now 3/4 by 4 inches, is given one twist and placed in a shallow greased pan. Place each twist against each other.

Brush tops of twists with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Makes about 40 twists.

* * *

For: Carmela Corem of New Port Richey

From: Lorraine Edie of Dunedin, Pat Clark of Land O'Lakes, Claudia Penna of Hudson, Christine Hanna of Clearwater, Linda Adams of Spring Hill, Carole Musgrave of St. Petersburg and Nancy Simeone of Holiday

Recipe: Crescent Caramel Swirl, $25,000 winner, 1976 Pillsbury Bake-Off.

Crescent Caramel Swirl

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine (butter preferred), divided

1/2 cup chopped nuts, divided

3/4 to 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 tablespoon water

2 8-ounce cans Pillsbury refrigerated crescent dinner rolls

Melt butter in small saucepan. Coat bottom and sides of 12-cup Bundt pan with 2 tablespoons of the melted butter; sprinkle pan with 3 tablespoons of the nuts.

Add remaining nuts, brown sugar and water to remaining melted butter. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Remove dough from cans; do not unroll. Cut each long roll into 8 slices. Arrange 8 slices, cut side down, in nut-lined pan; separate layers of each pinwheel slightly. Spoon half of brown sugar mixture over dough. Place remaining 8 dough slices alternately over bottom layer. Spoon remaining brown sugar mixture over slices.

Bake at 350 degrees for 23 to 33 minutes or until deep golden brown. Cool 3 minutes. Invert onto serving platter or waxed paper. Serve warm. Makes 12 servings.

Christine Hanna writes that she was making three times the recipe when she noticed the request in the paper. Christine adds ground cinnamon to the brown sugar mixture and freezes the baked sweet rolls. She says they heat well in a microwave.

* * *

From: Rebecca San Pedro of Tampa

Recipe: Cinnamon Pull-Apart Biscuits

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Biscuits

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed

2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

Dash of ground nutmeg

1/3 cup honey

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1 can refrigerated flaky biscuits

Melt butter. Add vanilla. In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.

Spread honey on the bottom of a pie plate. Sprinkle nuts on top of honey.

One biscuit at a time, dip in melted butter and cover with the sugar mixture. Arrange biscuits on the pie plate, with the sides facing up. Bake at 350 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes. Let stand for 5 or 6 minutes. Unmold on a serving plate and serve warm.

* * *

From: Louise Vormwald of Clearwater

Recipe: Overnight Cinnamon Coffee Cake

Overnight Cinnamon Coffee Cake

1 package 24 frozen Parker House rolls

1 small package instant butterscotch pudding mix

1 cup brown sugar, packed

2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

1/3 cup butter, melted

1/2 cup pecan pieces

In a greased Bundt pan, place half of the frozen rolls, powdered pudding mix, brown sugar, cinnamon, butter and pecans. Repeat with the remaining amounts.

Cover the pan loosely with foil sprayed with Pam, top with a clean towel and allow to sit overnight on a counter. The dough will defrost and rise. (If in the morning it has risen over the top of the pan, poke it with clean fingers, and it will fall back.)

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Recipe requests

Vivian Slabaugh of Holiday has enjoyed amandine shrimp at several restaurants in our area and would be delighted to have a recipe so she can prepare it at home between restaurant visits.

Marilyn Hobbs of Spring Hill writes that she and her husband stop at Cracker Barrels on trips and are particularly fond of their hash brown casserole. Marilyn hopes that someone has the recipe and will send it.

- You Asked for It is a reader mail column. If you have a cooking question or the answer to someone else's question, write to: You Asked for It, the Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Be sure to include your full name, city and phone number with your letter. Letters without this information will be discarded. Requests cannot be answered by phone or mail.

[Last modified December 24, 2003, 13:18:12]

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