Saturday, December 18, 2010

Weekend Cooking...Pillsbury Orange Rolls

I am sure many of us have traditions for Christmas morning. Santa hats, Christmas PJs, waking pre-dawn to see if Santa has arrived, maybe a dawn religious service. For my family it is Pillsbury Orange Rolls!

We always attend Mass on Christmas Eve..and the niece is way to old to be getting up before sunrise to check on Santa. But one is never too old for Orange Rolls.
As I remember, we had them when I was a child. I am not sure why. Were they available all year or did they only make their appearance when the weather turned cold and the decorations went up in the department stores and malls? So, like October.

But regardless, they are one of our Christmas morning food traditions to this day. I arrive at the bro and sil's early, and preheat the oven. Give the can a good whack on the edge of the counter to pop it open.
Now there is a decision to be made. You can bake them on a sheet pan, each free standing, in which case they get crispier edges. Or you can bake them in a cake pan so that most of the edges are still soft. The perfect one is the one roll in the middle that never touched the pan edge and is all soft. That one is mine if I can grab it first.

I will tell you a very scary story.
A few years ago I went off to the local supermarket to buy my can of Orange Rolls...and there were none to be found! Not even a label on the shelf. The slack jawed store employee had no idea why. So, I went to another store...and no, they had none either!! The niece and I scoured every store in the area..and went far afield to search other areas. Not a Pillsbury Orange Roll to be found. Oh, the tragedy, oh, the dilemma. Christmas would be ruined! Was there some sort of nationwide Orange Rolls shortage, maybe caused by one of those freak Florida frosts?

Now, some of you might say, "Well, you could have baked something." True, I guess that I could have, but honestly the thought never entered my mind. First, I am scared of yeast. Second, it is all about hitting the tube on the edge of the counter, taking the lid off the little can of icing. It is TRADITION!

So, I bought a can of Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls and topped them with my own orange icing, a simple mix of fresh orange juice and powered sugar. You will notice from the can in the picture above that they say they have Cinnabon cinnamon in them now. That is not something I remember from my childhood. Maybe it was so. Or is someone fooling with my Orange Rolls? But regardless, at the time I thought it was a clever solution.
And to tell you the truth, they may have been better than the original. The icing was for sure.

But the next year, the Orange Rolls were back in the store and I went back to the old favorite. Just because.
Christmas is about traditions, even if they don't make a lot of sense.

This is my contribution this to this week's Weekend Cooking.
"Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend."
Be sure to check out the other entries this week. As always, hosted by Beth Fish Reads.


  1. I love orange icing - and would go back to the original recipe too - just because ;-)

  2. Caite, I love these orange rolls too. I do love to bake with yeast but these are better than any I've tried. I usually serve them on New Year's morning plus other times I have overnight guests. I can imagine your panic when they were not in any store.

  3. I totally get this. You just don't mess with some traditions.

  4. Our tradition is monkey bread. I think we would all have seizures if they weren't "magically" waiting for us on Xmas morning.

  5. Very scary story! Thank goodness you came up with a fix! By the way, my niece now makes these every Christmas but unrolls them first and fills them with chocolate chips. (Obviously she has inherited the family sweet tooth)

  6. Do you jump everytime you crack open the can? even though I know it's coming, the loud crack noise makes me flinch. Enjoy your Christmas morning orange rolls with family. That's a nice tradition!

  7. I do...and usually drop half of them on the counter...which is better than the floor.

  8. My mouth is salivating. I have not heard of these orange version of the cinnamon rolls. Wow. I would love to try them but I don't thinkg they are available here. I will double check at the store next week. If not, I'll do the frosting variation. Maybe even try unrolling them and adding chocolate. Thanks.

  9. Now this is my kind of cooking post ... where the cooking involves popping open a tube and putting icing on it!

    I love these kinds of rolls but cannot have them in the house or I will eat them all. But maybe I'll start the same Christmas morning tradition!

  10. what a 'sweet' holiday tradition! i've never seen orange rolls in our stores here in nj, though. i may have missed them though, because i'm a freak of nature who doesn't like any type of cinnamon rolls. :)

    hope you laid in a supply for this christmas. enjoy.

  11. I have never tried these but have added them to the grocery list for this week :)

    We already have a traditional Christmas morning breakfast, but these might make a good Christmas Eve morning treat.

  12. Love these rolls! Our tradition is to have waffles with fresh wipped cream-which is all very labor intensive for me. Maybe this year I need to just smack the container on the counter and start a new tradition. Thanks for sharing this ritual.

  13. My mother is a big fan of those orange rolls too but I don't think they are available in Boston any more. I got her one of those chocolate oranges to compensate!

  14. CLM. I love the chocolate oranges too and you need to whack then too, to separate the segments!


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