I remember eating Butterhorns when I was in college. They were made at the school bakery and served in the cafeteria. They were so good with the vanilla glaze and the chopped walnuts adorning the top. I don't remember eating very many, though, because by the time I finished working they would be all sold (I worked at the serving decks) and I'd have only memories of the domed walnut-covered buns to keep me company.
After I'd finished school I thought I'd finished with Butterhorns. I never saw them anywhere again--not in a bakery or in anyone's kitchen. Then one fateful day I ran across the recipe at a friend's house. I can't even remember who it was now, but I copied the recipe, drawing the appropriate directions for rolling and cutting, and was happy I would be able to make them myself. Ha, ha, that was more of a dream than reality as the recipe has been in my box since the day I wrote it down and the Butterhorns have remained only a memory. Every now and again I'd take out the recipe, remember the delicious, flaky, sweet rolls, promise to make them, put the recipe back in the box and promptly forget about them. It was a vicious cycle of self-longing and denial. (That's a bit melodramatic, but it's food, people, food!)
A few weeks ago I pulled out the recipe again and inspected the ingredients and method of making them and knew I'd denied myself long enough as the recipe is simple to make. I earmarked them for a weekend breakfast, hoping there would be a few more people around so I wouldn't feel obligated to eat 25 years of Butterhorn-denial in one sitting.
These could easily be made fresh for a weekend morning breakfast if someone wants to get up early to roll out the dough and wait for them to rise and bake. Or you could make them ahead of time, freeze them before adding the icing and nuts and add the toppings on the morning you were eating them. Warm them before glazing so they'll seem fresh from the oven.
I suppose any nut would do, but walnuts and the icing just go so well together I think that they are perfect for this recipe. Of course, feel free to use your favourite nut in this recipe. Make it your own and don't wait 25 years to make them.
½ cup chopped nuts, lay aside for garnish
1 recipe for Vanilla Glaze, for garnish (see recipe below)
In a large bowl, rub together into crumbs:
2 cups flour
1 package instant yeast
½ cup butter
3 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon salt (¼ teaspoon if using salted butter)
Grated rind of 1 lemon
In small bowl, beat together and add:
½ cup lukewarm water
⅓ cup milk
Add the liquid mixture into the flour mixture and combine until only moist. Cover and let rise for 1 hour in warm place. Place in refrigerator for at least 4 or 5 hours or overnight. The dough will double so make sure your bowl is big enough.
After dough has chilled take from refrigerator
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 1 or 2 baking sheets.
Roll the dough into a 6x9-inch rectangle on a well floured table or board. Spread with an additional 2 tablespoons of butter and fold the dough over in half. Roll out into approximately a 10x18-inch rectangle . Cut into strips about ½-¾- inch wide.
Hold one end of strip and twist about 8 times. Roll into a circle. Place each bun on a greased pan leaving a space between. Let rise 1 hour or until double.
Bake 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes.
Cool and ice with a vanilla glaze. Use about ½ cup chopped walnuts (or your favourite nut) to sprinkle on top of rolls. Before chopping, for better flavour, toast the nuts in a 325 degree oven for about 10 minutes.
Yield: 12-18 Butterhorns
1 cup icing sugar
1 tablespoon softened butter
2 tablespoon milk or water
Mix together to form a soft icing. Add more milk if too stiff. Add more icing sugar if too soft.
Preparation Time for Butterhorns: 2 ½ -3 hours, not including time in refrigerator.
Place the flour, yeast, sugar, salt, lemon peel and butter in a large bowl. Rub ingredients together or use a pastry cutter until a coarse crumb is formed. Add the egg and milk mixture and mix until moistened and dough just comes together.
Cover the dough and let rise for about 1 hour in a warm place. Then place the dough in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight. After the dough has chilled thoroughly roll out and spread with more butter. Fold dough over and roll out into approximately a 10x18-inch rectangle.
Cut the dough into strips. A pizza cutter is great for cutting dough.
Twist each strip of dough and then roll into a circular form. Tuck the end under.
Place the rolls on a well greased pan. Cover and let rise for 1 hour in a warm place. The rolls should double in size. Bake until golden. When the rolls are cool ice with a vanilla glaze and sprinkle with chopped nuts.
What a tasty breakfast or snack!