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My family has a few Christmas traditions. Some of them are somewhat cheesy — and I don’t mean ‘involving cheese’ — the other kind of cheesy. On Christmas eve we would go out for a buffet dinner at a local restaurant, a restaurant we never frequented any other time of year. We (kids) would refrain from overstuffing ourselves on protein and vegetables so we’d have room to fill our anxious bellies at the all-you-can-eat sundae bar. To finish off the night we’d tour the best city Christmas light displays. We thought this was especially exciting. Our parents used it as a ‘tire them out so they’ll sleep’ tactic. It worked.

But I think my favorite Christmas tradition, and one that my Mother still carries on to this day (whether we’re there or not) is Orange Snails on Christmas morning. She would make them on Christmas eve and stick them in the oven to bake while we were opening gifts Christmas morning. Here’s my Mom’s recipe for Orange Snails. You still have time to whip up a batch before the big day!

ORANGE SNAILS

3/4 cup Tillamook Butter (1/2 cup of it needs to be softened)
1/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup scalded milk, cooled
1 egg, well beaten
2 tablespoons warm water
1 cube yeast
2 1/4 cups sifted flour
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
juice of 1/2 orange

Preheat over to 375 degrees.

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Cream 1/4 cup butter and 1/4 c sugar together with hand mixer until fluffy and light.

Add salt, milk and beaten egg and blend together. Stir yeast into butter mixture. Add flour and combine well to form a soft dough.

Place in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel. Let rise about 1 1/2 hours in a warm place until dough has doubled in volume.

While dough is rising, combine remaining softened butter with 1 cup sugar, grated orange rind and orange juice. Blend mixture together and set aside.

Punch dough down and roll out on a floured board. Shape into a rectangle.

Spread about 3/4 of the orange butter mixture on the dough. Roll up like a jelly roll and cut into 1 inch slices.

Grease a 9×13 inch baking pan and place slices in the pan. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes

Bake rolls for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and brush tops with remaining orange butter. Remove from pan and serve warm. Makes 12 rolls.

Do you have any Christmas morning food traditions?

~ Jala of the Tillamook Team

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