Sunday, December 21, 2008

Special touches for Christmas Dinner

I almost added the word "easy" to the headline on this post. The recipe for Christmas Spice Butter is easy. Admittedly, the other technique -- for making dinner rolls shaped like doves -- requires some time and an eye for detail.

If you like the sweet, spicy butter at Texas Roadhouse, this is a good knock-off. It is great on rolls and sweet potatoes.

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 tablespoon sugar

Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until fluffy and well-combined. Transfer to a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until needed. Makes 1 cup.

Shaping the doves is the hardest part of making the rolls because you're using thawed frozen rolls. It's no harder than rolling the bread dough into a rope and tying a knot. You'll need clean kitchen shears to snip the tail into feathers. Whole cloves are the eyes and slivered almonds are the beaks. These will get you lots of compliments and "you shouldn't haves." They are slightly more work than just putting a pan of thawed rolls in the oven but it is a really special addition to Christmas dinner. Just warn your guests to remove the whole cloves before eating. My brother-in-law ate them when I made this the first time. Get the complete instructions at the Rhodes Web site.

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