When I got the call to go to an old-fashioned tea party, with some new friends, I racked my brain for the perfect dessert to bring to impress them. Yes, I said impress them. I can't brag about loving food and keeping a blog if I picked up a bag of brownies at the supermarket bakery. Or even, Martha forbid, a mix.
This recipe is probably the only thing ever passed down in my family, so I treasure it like gold. It's a good dessert, not too sweet but light and bready. Plus the nuts are perfectly flavored with brown sugar and maple syrup. Just the smell of this in the oven brought me back to weekends in Pennsylvania with my Great Aunt Ann (and her three little dachsunds).
Here's the family gold - I always believed in spreading the wealth.
Nut Roll (Makes 5 Rolls)
Ingredients for Dough
2 sticks margarine (1 cup)
1 large yeast cake
8 oz sour cream
1 tsp salt
4 eggs, beaten
5-6 cups of flour
Dissolve yeast in sour cream, set aside. Mix flour, salt and margarine (as in a pie crust). Add yeast/sour cream mixture and eggs. Knead until smooth, adding more flour as necessary (dough should not be sticky).
Place in bowl and cover. Refrigerate at least 4 hours, or overnight.
Ingredients for Nut Filling
1 pound ground walnuts
1 stick margarine
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp maple extract (or maple syrup for the purists aka my mom)
1/4 cup warm milk
Mix together until well blended. Set aside and let cool.
Divide dough into 5 parts. Roll each into a rectangle shape, using 1/4 cup flour and 1 cup sugar (for all 5) so that the dough won't stick.
Spread each rectangle with 1/5 of the nut filling, almost to the edges.
Roll width-wise and seal with your fingers.
Sprinkle the tops lightly with sugar and bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.
Wait until cool before cutting into slices.
They were a big hit at the tea party, amongst all the microscopic sandwiches and iced cupcakes. I gave them away for free, but y'know at the annual Wilkes-Barre Slovak festival they fetch a pretty penny. Of course, I kept a roll just for myself...