12 Days of Christmas Cookies: Day 8 – Aunt Jackie’s Apricot Rolls

On the Eighth Day of Christmas, My True Love Gave to Me: Eight Apricot Rolls

My family is of Croatian/Slovak descent.  I grew up with nut, poppy and apricot rolls at every special occasion, like weddings and all holidays.  I remember Mom’s dining room table, carefully prepared with padding and cooling racks, literally covered with rolls on baking day.  It was a feast for the eyes.  And the smell!  Need I say more?

Being exposed to the process since childhood I knew “how” to roll the rolls and care for them, especially how to slice them to serve.  I loved that job as a kid.  Slicing and placing on a platter to serve was always my favorite part of the process, because I got to eat the ends or any slices that conveniently broke during the preparations. I even volunteered to slice at the 2011 family reunion.  It was an honor to slice up Aunt Margaret’s nut roll.  Excellent!

Teaching this family tradition to my family is a must.  I let my mother make all of the rolls until she couldn’t any longer.  Then it was obvious I needed to get the recipe and do it myself and pass it on to the next generation.

Getting the recipe was a treat in itself.  I called my Godmother, my father’s sister, the family matriarch, Aunt Jackie, in PA.  She dictated the recipe to me over the phone.  It went something like this … I was given the ingredients, told to mix them and then knead the dough until it felt  just “right.”  If the dough wasn’t yellow enough she said I could add a couple of drops of yellow food coloring to the mix (which I never have done. The eggs are suppose to make the dough yellow but sometimes it’s ‘not yellow enough’).  Then, just roll the dough out as thick as a nickle.  Spread the filling, roll the rolls up and let rise.  Bake in a 350 degree oven.  Use poppy seed filling or apricot filling, all “homemade” of course.

Right! This is 2000 something; no homemade poppy seed filling or apricot, though I knew I could probably figure that filling-thing out too, if I needed to.  I was so very thankful I had watched my mom make the rolls over the years, and each year I even get to use her pans.

I am now sharing “my” recipe, as I have developed it over the the years into directions one can understand.

So, now my family lets me make these Croatian/Slovak/Polish rolls.  I guess I’ll make them until I can’t any more and watch and teach my family as they learn to make apricot rolls themselves eventually.

Enjoy this family Holiday tradition.

Aunt Jackie’s Apricot Rolls

(or Poppy Seed Rolls)

Ingredients:
1 C warm milk
3 pkgs dry yeast
1/2 C sugar
1 1/2 sticks of margarine
1 tsp salt
3 whole eggs, room temperature
5 C flour
3 jars or cans of apricot filling (or poppy seed filling)

Place the milk in Pyrex cup and warm in microwave about 2 minutes on “high.”

Place margarine into Pyrex cup with warm milk so it begins to melt.

In large mixing bowl, combine 1/2 c sugar, 1 tsp salt, 1 cup of warm milk (110-120 degrees) and 1 cup flour.  Mix to combine.

 

Add 3 packages of yeast and mix.  Mix in 1 more cup of flour.  Mix well.

Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well.  Add remaining three cups of flour, mixing well after each cup.

Change beater to a dough hook to add the 5th cup of flour.

Once flour is incorporated, remove from bowl and knead on a floured surface for 5 minutes.

If the dough is too sticky to handle add another 1/2 cup of flour.  {NOTE: Eggs are different sizes which makes a difference in texture of the dough.  Adding a little more flour helps if needed. I made two batches of dough the day I made these.  The first batch needed that extra 1/2 cup of flour, the second batch was perfectly fine and didn’t need the flour.  I chose the smallest eggs in the carton to do the second batch}.

Cover dough and let it rest in bowl and raise until doubled.

On floured surface divide dough into 6 equal balls about the size of tea cups.

Roll each ball of dough out into a square about 12-14 inches across, (the thickness of a nickle).

Spread 1/2 can of apricot filling on the dough spreading to the edge of only 1 side.  {Note: The ends of the rolls need to seal when rolled up so the filling doesn’t leak out during baking.  Keeping the edges dry of filling allows the dough to raise and adhere together so leaking of filling doesn’t occur}.

If you are making poppy seed rolls, after spreading the filling on the dough, grate some orange or lemon rind on the top of the filling before rolling.  I use about 1/4 lemon or orange per roll.  Make sure it is spread evenly over poppy filling.  It adds a nice flavor.

Begin rolling up as for cinnamon rolls beginning with the filling edge as the inside of the roll.

Fold under the ends of the finished roll, covering with the top layer, pinching together.

Place in baking pans or onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. we use our long rectangular pans handed down over the years.  You can simply bake on a lined sheet pan also.

Let rise in warm place until doubled.  Then brush top of each roll with milk, poke with holes using a “meat cooking” fork.

Wait about 5 minutes for rolls to recover and then bake in 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until done . At about 15 minutes of baking, cover rolls lightly with foil sheet to prevent burning of top surface.

Remove from oven and cool on or in your pan – then carefully remove them from the pans to cool through.

{NOTE: These rolls freeze well.  Wrap each roll well with foil, sealing ends.  Place in freezer until ready to serve}.

Slice to serve.

Enjoy this special treat from our family to yours.

Roseddy

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Aunt Jackie's Apricot Rolls

Yield: 5 Rolls

Ingredients:

1 C warm milk
3 pkgs dry yeast
1/2 C sugar
1 1/2 sticks of margarine
1 tsp salt
3 whole eggs, room temperature
5 C flour
3 jars or cans of apricot filling (or poppy seed filling)

Directions:

Place the milk in Pyrex cup and warm in microwave about 2 minutes on "high."

Place margarine into Pyrex cup with warm milk so it begins to melt.

In large mixing bowl, combine 1/2 c sugar, 1 tsp salt, 1 cup of warm milk (110-120 degrees) and 1 cup flour. Mix to combine.

Add 3 packages of yeast and mix. Mix in 1 more cup of flour. Mix well.

Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well. Add remaining three cups of flour, mixing well after each cup.

Change beater to a dough hook to add the 5th cup of flour.

Once flour is incorporated, remove from bowl and knead on a floured surface for 5 minutes.

If the dough is too sticky to handle add another 1/2 cup of flour. {NOTE: Eggs are different sizes which makes a difference in texture of the dough. Adding a little more flour helps if needed. I made two batches of dough the day I made these. The first batch needed that extra 1/2 cup of flour, the second batch was perfectly fine and didn’t need the flour. I chose the smallest eggs in the carton to do the second batch}.

Cover dough and let it rest in bowl and raise until doubled.

On floured surface divide dough into 5 equal balls about the size of tea cups.

Roll each ball of dough out into a square about 12-14 inches across, (the thickness of a nickle).

Spread 1/2 can of apricot filling on the dough spreading to the edge of only 1 side. {Note: The ends of the rolls need to seal when rolled up so the filling doesn’t leak out during baking. Keeping the edges dry of filling allows the dough to raise and adhere together so leaking of filling doesn’t occur}.

If you are making poppy seed rolls, after spreading the filling on the dough, grate some orange or lemon rind on the top of the filling before rolling. I use about 1/4 lemon or orange per roll. Make sure it is spread evenly over poppy filling. It adds a nice flavor.

Begin rolling up as for cinnamon rolls beginning with the filling edge as the inside of the roll.

Fold under the ends of the finished roll, covering with the top layer, pinching together.

Place in baking pans or onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. we use our long rectangular pans handed down over the years. You can simply bake on a lined sheet pan also.

Let rise in warm place until doubled. Then brush top of each roll with milk, poke with holes using a “meat cooking” fork.

Wait about 5 minutes for rolls to recover and then bake in 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until done . At about 15 minutes of baking, cover rolls lightly with foil sheet to prevent burning of top surface.

Remove from oven and cool on or in your pan - then carefully remove them from the pans to cool through.p>

{NOTE: These rolls freeze well. Wrap each roll well with foil, sealing ends. Place in freezer until ready to serve}.

Slice to serve.

Enjoy this special treat from our family to yours.

The matriarch of Live Pretty, Roseddy, lives with her husband and children in Orlando, Florida. She is a native of Waynesburg, PA, but she has called the Sunshine State home for over thirty years. In addition to being a fantastic cook, Roseddy is an accomplished seamstress and former Home Economics instructor. Her flower arranging talents are the stuff of legend, and she is a valued member of her church’s altar guild. Roseddy enjoys entertaining, traveling with her husband, and, of course, a good martini.

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