Ahhhh… the holiday smells!
There’s no doubt that my Mom “Betty” loved cloves.
She cooked with cloves and even decorated with them. At the holidays Mom would make orange-clove pomander balls and you guessed it – clove gum was a special treat beyond the usual mint flavored gums.
There’s no better time of year to enjoy the aroma of all that is spice and nice than at holidaytime.
This Wonderful Christmas Scent recipe comes to us from my Cousin Julie’s kitchen. Julie has contributed several recipes to this blog and her cooking advice has helped bridge the gaps in my much younger memory since the loss of my Mom back in the 1980s. Losing Cousin Julie in October (mere weeks ago) has left a huge void in my heart that’s only filled with the love and bountiful memories she gifted those who knew her.
This holiday season I dedicate all of it to Julie’s loving memory! And as you’d expect making this Wonderful Christmas Scent recipe could be no finer way to fill my home with a memorable great scent of the holidays.
I hope you enjoy this recipe – it’s so easy to make and enjoy! And you can gift the ingredients to friends and family as an easy way for them to brighten and heighten their holiday season!
3 sticks | cinnamon
¼ cup | whole cloves
3 | bay leaves
½ | orange, halved
½ | lemon, halved
1 quart (4 cups) | water
ii. what to do
It doesn’t get any easier than this, folks!
1. Put everything in a medium-sized pot over low heat.
2. Bring things to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Check the water level periodically to ensure it hasn’t all evaporated. You can tilt a pot lid on top to help release the fragrant mist while helping retain the water.
Enjoy and Happiest Holidays from Betty’s Cook Nook!
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook
In the tradition of many of my posts here at Betty’s Cook Nook let’s take a stroll into the past and enjoy some vintage images of gum advertising! I focus on clove gum, since it was one of Mom’s favorites and clove is a key ingredient in this Wonderful Christmas Scent recipe.
Click the circles to view the entire ad:
This recipe is a Pillsbury Bake-Off® winner from time warp October 20, 1969! It marked the first time a refrigerated dough won the Bake-Off’s grand prize. Hats off to you, Edna Holmgren Walker (at right), for winning the grand prize that landed you in the Pillsbury Hall Of Fame and into the hearts and tummies of foodies across the globe. And thank you my Mom “Betty” for snagging this recipe so that I could enjoy it!
I think if you were to shout out “Pillsbury” in your local grocery it would soon be echoed with a “Doughboy!” But second to Snuggles, who annoyed my good childhood friend Scotty, the Pillsbury Doughboy just creeps me out. He’s always in a over the top good mood and his platter sized dilated pupils are super freaky. His laugh? Me, oh my!
The web is flooded with jokes and videos about the doughy guy. I even found his “fauxbituary” that said he died of a yeast infection caused by being poked in the stomach too many times. This commercial, however, is probably one of my favorites of him – it features Maureen McCormick in a spot from before her Marcia Brady stardom. Marcia! Marcia! Marcia! Thank you for practicing your singing before making what might have been something other than a Sunshine Day.
All kidding aside, the Pillsbury crescent rolls make the perfect wrapper for these sweet treats.
foodie tips ~
❤ Fine dining for two – four? You can half this recipe if you don’t want 16 magical puffs. Or you can make all 16 and get your crazy magic marshmallow puffs on!
❤ I read on some blogs that folks thought it was normal that the puffs had a coating of the marshmallow mixture inside, but otherwise the puff had blown a tire during baking. I absolutely disagree. Obviously there’s an art to creating the perfect magical mouthwatering gooey marshmallow puff and about half of my first batch turned out with no white explosion. Why, look at Edna’s vintage picture above – do you see any exploded puffs? Zero. I tasted both blown and unblown puffs and will eagerly testify in foodie court that these are best enjoyed with the entire marshmallow intact inside the perfect puff. That’s the magic!
❤ Here in Texas “nuts” is an abbreviation for “Texas Pecans.” Giddy up!
❤ On my next go of these, I’m going to sprinkle a little fairy dust on top of these magic puffs. By fairy dust I mean crumbled bacon. Mmmm… bacon!
¼ cup | sugar
1 teaspoon | cinnamon
2 8-ounce cans | Pillsbury refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
16 large | marshmallows
¼ cup | butter, melted (Betty’s Mom “Nanny” would say make it Falfurrias)
¼ cup | chopped nuts (make it pecans – see foodie tip above)
½ cup | powdered sugar
2-3 tablespoons | milk
½ teaspoon | vanilla
ii. what to do
0. Preheat oven to 375°F.
1. Combine the sugar and cinnamon and set aside.
2. Separate the two cans of crescent dough into 16 triangles.
3. Dip a marshmallow in the melted butter then roll it in the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
4. Place the marshmallow on the wide end of the triangle. Fold the corners over the marshmallow and roll it toward the point. Make sure to completely cover the marshmallow and squeeze the edges of the dough to seal. We don’t want any melted marshmallow blowouts, remember?!
5. Dip the pointed side of the puff into butter and place the buttered side down in a greased deep muffin pan. Repeat the process until all your puffs are prepared.
6. Place the muffin pan on a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown.
7. Remove the puffs from the pan and drizzle with your icing mixture. Sprinkle with your pecans and serve warm. Note: While Mrs. Holmgren’s recipe below called for immediate removal and topping I ate my magic puff too fast and it was hot-hot-HOT! I’d suggest letting these rest a few minutes but don’t let them get cold. Nobody likes a cold magical marshmallow puff!
Yields 16 rolls (full recipe)
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook
I still remember the “clang-clink-clang” made by the stainless teaspoon as I scooped the tea mix from the Kiker household staple – the Lipton tea jar. I’d drop a couple of spoonfuls into mom’s plastic strawberry iced tea glasses, add tap water, stir, then fill with some ice cubes. Mom would add a sliced lemon if we were going gourmet all the way, like for the Thanksgiving feast.
While we’re on the topic of ice cubes, one of my childhood chores (yes, Laura Ingalls wasn’t the only one with them), was to keep the ice cube trays full. Why? Well, modern conveniences like automatic ice makers didn’t exist in most homes so I had to make ice the old-fashioned way. Magic!
Tea. Simple and refreshing. Let’s “jooj” it up a bit with Mom’s recipe for Russian Tea.
Два чая, пожалуйста
(two teas, please)
1 cup | instant tea powder (unflavored)
2 cups | orange instant breakfast drink
3 ounces | imitation lemonade mix
1½ cups | sugar
½ teaspoon | ground cloves
½ teaspoon | ground cinnamon
ii. what to do
1. Mix all of dry ingredients together. Store in a tightly sealed glass jar.
2. When ready to serve, add 2 slightly rounded teaspoonfuls of the drink mix into your cup of choice.
3. Add boiling water.
Makes: 1 quart
Foodie Tips ~
♥ The dry mix makes a great gift ~ especially during the chilly holidays! Place the powdery mixture into a glass jar, wrap with ribbon and gift away.
♥ This tea is also good served over ice.
♥ Who doesn’t like sliced lemon with their tea?
♥ Make sure and check out the recipes below; the bottom two were donated by my super-cousin Alison-Sutton-Bergin. All I can say is… “Gig That!” The recipes are slightly different from mom’s and that’s inspiration to try something new. The top “spiced tea” recipe is from Debbie (Alison’s mom)… and the bottom recipe “instant russian tea” is penned by Alison’s dad, Bill(y).
In 5th grade, I remember my music class teacher praised me for my rhythm with the wood block. Grabbing that praise, I entered beginning band in 6th grade at Garner Middle School… and my passion for percussion marched on through high school and college. I still love music to this day.
Returning home from summer band practice at Garner, I remember sitting on the floor watching TV (before cable or satellite TV) and Looney Tunes was tops on my list. Bugs Bunny was one of my favorites and we all know Bugs’ love of the carrot. With that in mind…
…I hope you enjoy mom’s tasty carrot cake as much as I do!
for the cake:
2 cups | sugar
1-1/3 cups | cooking oil
4 | cage free eggs
2 cups | flour
1 teaspoon | salt
2 teaspoons | baking soda
2 teaspoons | cinnamon
3 cups | grated raw carrots
1/2 cup | nuts (texas pecans or walnuts)
for the icing:
1 pound | powdered sugar
8-ounce package | cream cheese
¼ cup | margarine (or unsalted Falfurrias butter, per Nanny)
2 tablespoons | milk
2 teaspoons | vanilla
0. Preheat oven to 300°F.
1. Beat sugar and oil… add the eggs and beat well.
2. Sift together the flour, salt, soda and cinnamon. Add to egg mixture and beat well.
3. Fold-in the grated carrots and nuts.
4. Transfer batter to a greased 9″ x 13″ pan.
5. Bake 70 minutes at 300°F.
6. While cake cools, let’s make the icing by beating all of the icing ingredients (above), until creamy.
7. Spread icing on cool cake and serve.
♥ Go nuts… Use tasty Texas pecans!
♥ You can also make individual treats by transforming the cake into 24 cupcakes. Cook for about 50-60 minutes.
♥ OR… you can even transform this recipe into cake balls! To yield about a dozen cakeballs we crumbled 4 cupcakes along with 2 tablespoons of the frosting, chilled a few hours to firm then hand dipped into white chocolate bark. Delicious!