Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Danish defeat

So this is probably in complete contradiction to my last post (although, to be fair, I never said I was following the p90x diet), but I'm excited to announce the return of Pillsbury Bake-off season. Every other year, amateur chefs across America have the chance to win $1 million by cultivating the newest recipe made predominantly of Pillsbury products. My strategy in the past has been to take things that are good and then try to figure out a way to recreate them using crescent rolls and refrigerated biscuits. I should point out, for anyone hoping to emulate this strategy, that I have never actually won the Pillsbury Bake-Off. I think I might not be in touch with what the American heartland is looking for food-wise.

This year, I'm trying a different approach to make it to Bake-Off Stadium in Orlando for the finals. So far this approach is two-fold: 1) Make an entree, because there's less competition probably than the brunch and dessert categories, and 2) Whatever it is, cover it in cheese. Because most things taste better with cheese on them.

The winner from last bake-off: neither entree nor cheese-covered. The time is ripe for change.

I encourage all my readers to think of their own clever Pillsbury bake-off ideas. You can then enter them yourselves, or, better yet, give them to me to aid my quest for bake-off glory. If I win, I can't guarantee you a share of the million, but I would promise you the $10,000 in GE appliances. They would probably not fit in the kitchen of any apartment I could buy in New York for under a million dollars anyway.

For those of you questioning my past bake-off failure, here's my main entry from last year. It's perfect for anyone who needs a tasty brunch and who happens to have a lot of brand specific products from Pillsbury and its subsidiaries (I'm just kidding, you can use any brand of almonds).

1 cup fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
1 cup fresh rhubarb, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 T corn starch
3 T sugar
1/2 tsp orange zest
1 package Pillsbury Place 'N Bake Crescent Rounds
1/4 cup Fishers slivered almonds

Orange Glaze
2/3 c powdered sugar
2 T orange juice
1/2 tsp orange zest

Preheat oven to 375.

On the stove, heat over medium-heat the strawberries, rhubarb, sugar, orange zest, and cornstarch, --stirring until the juices are released and everything mixes well. Continue to heat on medium, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, place parchment paper on a cookie sheet and place crescent rounds several inches apart. Unfurl each round, press one end flat onto to the parchment, and rewrap the rest around the flattened end. It should make a slight cup where the filling will go.

When the fruit is done cooking, spoon enough to fill each crescent cup to the brim. Put the danishes in the over for 12-15 minutes.

While they are cooking, mix the powdered sugar, orange juice, and zest in a small bowl to make the glaze.

Allow the rolls to cool for a few minutes before drizzling with orange glaze and garnishing with almonds.


  1. I think I'll enter too. I just have to think of something. Noticing the list of products that I'll have to buy to develop my ideas, I realize that the Bake-off is probably a real money maker for them. I wouldn't usually buy refridgerated products.

  2. I don't want to tip my hand too early, but I'm thinking my main ingredient will be chorizo.

    You should definitely enter! We can hang out in Florida! You know, when we both make the finals.

  3. YUM! I want to eat your dish from last year. Good luck! By the way, I had a dream last night that you gave me your journal that you had written in. Random.

  4. Those look delicious! I used to have a pampered chef recipe where you took two of the french bread loaves and split them in half and filled them with goodness (they did a pizza one and an apply cranberry filled one). Then they twisted them and you sliced through the twists and served with a garnish (marinara or a powdered sugar glaze). A mexican chorizo filled one could be uber tasty!

  5. That sounds amazing, Jess! I think I should make that regardless of if I can figure out how to Pillsbury-ify it!

  6. I can't help it - I'm now imagining those cute little cakes from last year, covered in cheese...........

    I hope you win! :)