My mother marked the arrival of her fourth baby in 1963 with a sparkling stainless steel stand mixer. Hands-free, she could mix cakes from scratch for birthdays, cookies for school parties and church bake sales, and her still-famous roll dough. The KitchenAid rescued this busy mother and curated untold thousands of batches of good things.
Some mothers quiet their fussy babies with a drive around the block, a lullaby in the rocking chair, or with a hopeful pacifier. My mother turned on the KitchenAid mixer, with me, the fifth baby, on her hip. I know this, not because she has told me or because there are photos to prove it, but because to this day, the gentle hum of the KitchenAid mixer makes me feel at ease. It whisks away stress. It restores calm.
When the word came that her mixer ‘quit,’ we kids sprang into action and bought her a new one. In this new age of mail order, it was a one-click transaction, we received our thanks and that was that.
Mom turned 85 last year and it was decided that she needed to downsize from the big house where we were raised, across the street from the ocean, our forever home. We sorted through the decades of photos, memorabilia, the old prom dresses, the shelves of books, each of us selecting a few keepsakes. “Who wants this?” my sister asked. It was a KitchenAid box with the spiffy new logo and image of a white stand mixer. I opened it to find mom’s original mixer, the one that quit years ago. Abandoning the photo drawer, I pulled the shiny mixer from the box, inspected it, and clutched it like my firstborn.
Mom is happily settled into her new home, a manageable 2 bedroom condo with a perfect kitchen, across the street from the ocean. Her white KitchenAid is dusted with flour from the Thanksgiving roll dough. The Original now graces my counter in the hopes that she will fire up as she once did, making cakes by the batch and singing me her sweet lullaby.
Butter Horn Rolls
Recipe adapted from Duncan Hines Adventures in Good Cooking and The Art of Carving in the Home. I promise, these are worth the effort!
Makes 3 dozen
- 4 cups unbleached flour
- 2 teaspoons ‘instant’ yeast (Rapid Rise)
- 3/4 cup butter at cool room temperature (1 1/2 sticks)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup milk at room temperature
- additional flour for the work surface
Whisk together the flour and yeast in a medium bowl.
Cream the butter, sugar, and salt together in a large mixing bowl, preferably using a stand mixer and the paddle attachment. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Pour in the eggs and milk, then add the flour/yeast mixture. Mix together on low speed until well blended. (Draping a kitchen towel over the whole mixer will help prevent the flour from flying out). Scrape the bowl down to the bottom to ensure everything is well incorporated. (OR get a Sideswipe paddle attachement for KitchenAid!)
Cover the bowl with a clean towel and allow it to rise until doubled, about one and a half hours.
Fold the risen dough with a large spoon or scraper. Transfer to a one gallon size zip-top bag and chill at least 6 hours or up to 3 days.
For Crescent Rolls:
Roll out one third of the dough on a well-floured cloth to a 1/4-inch thick round. Cut the dough into 12 triangles (like a pizza). Roll each triangle into a crescent roll shape, starting at the outer wide end. Place the rolls 2-inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough.
Cover each sheet with a clean towel and allow the rolls to rise until doubled, about one and a half hours.
Bake uncovered at 350 for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheets before removing to a basket. Serve warm.