A couple of years ago, my poor mom was so busy working that she barely had time to make Christmas cookies. Of course, being the greatest mom that she is, she made all of my sister's and my favorite cookies and skipped making her favorites! I felt so bad, that I secretly made these nut rolls and brought them to our Christmas dinner for her. That was kind of the first moment where I thought..."wow, I can actually make good-tasting stuff!"
This year, I decided to make half of the recipe with the walnuts that it calls for, and half with pecans. I was really interested to see how it would taste, and I love these with pecans! My mom said that she still prefers these with walnuts. Try them both and let me know what you think is better!!
Total Time: 2 hours + at least 3 hours for chilling
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Bake Time: about 1 hour, 30 minutes
Yield: 8 dozen rolls exactly
- 1 pound butter (4 sticks), cold
- 4 cups flour
- 1 pint vanilla ice cream, softened (soften in microwave--set on defrost for 1 1/2 pound)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- extra powdered sugar for rolling
- 3/4 cup milk, scalded
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 cups finely ground walnuts (or pecans!) -- 1 lb. nuts = 4 cups chopped
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- In a large bowl, cut the butter into the flour using a pastry blender (see how my mom broke my pastry blender below...) Continue blending until there are very fine chunks of butter remaining. Add softened ice cream and vanilla. Mix well until a heavy, smooth dough forms.
- Divide dough into 8 portions. Shape into balls and wrap each ball in plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or overnight.
- Just before you are ready to bake, make the nut filling. In a bowl, place the scalded milk and sugar, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the nuts and vanilla; mix well. Divide into 8 equal paper cups. (The 5 oz. waxed cups work the best!)
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper. Sprinkle a flat surface with powdered sugar. (How can these not be amazing??)
- Roll out each ball into a circle with a 10-12 inch diameter. (You will need quite a bit of powdered sugar.) Spread the nut filling almost to the edge. Using a pizza cutter, cut the circle into 12 equal wedges. (I make a plus sign and then cut each quarter in 3). Roll each piece from the wide edge to the narrow point. Place on the baking sheet and bake for 22 minutes.
- Remove immediately from the baking sheet and allow to cool on a cooling rack. When completely cooled, dust with sifted powdered sugar.
- For storage, do not put into an air-tight container. This will make the rolls become soggy. Using a container with a lid that is not pressed on completely is ideal :)
Source: Arlene Williams "At Home"