Betsy-Retsies are what I’m making to have with dinner tonight. I admit, I picked the recipe purely because of the name. There is no indication in the Kitchen Cabinet Recipes book as to how they got their name, but it’s certainly eye-catching. I made up my mind to make them as soon as I saw the name in the index, before I even knew what they were. As it turns out, they are a buttery dinner roll of some sort. I don’t know just what sort yet, but I guess we’ll find out at dinner time.
I made, rose, and rolled out the dough as instructed, though gave them less time to rise because I’m using quick rise yeast. Once rolled out to about half an inch thick, though, I learned that a soft yeast dough is trickier to cut with biscuit cutters than a standard cookie dough, even though the editor of the book promises that they are “positively the easiest little hot rolls to make, and the easiest to eat, that we have found in a long time.” They certainly aren’t hard, but keeping nice neat rounds took a bit of practice. They may not all be perfectly shaped, but with luck, the rising process will improve their appearance.
Fast forward to dinner – the betsy-retsies were making the whole kitchen smell delicious! We had them with lamb chops and fresh from the garden carrots. My carrots are still lingering out there, not too many, but a fair number. Whenever the ground isn’t too hard, I go out and pull a few more. The betsy-retsies came out of the oven light and golden and perfect looking. Because of the butter between the layers, they pulled apart perfectly, and didn’t need additional butter adding. The flavour was delicious; the texture, delicate; the appearance…. slightly lopsided, but acceptable. Even cold, they stayed moist and tender and delicious.
Sunset’s Kitchen Cabinet Recipes, Volume 1 was published in May, 1944. It contains the recipes printed in Sunset Magazine between 1929 and 1933. They appear to have been put into the book in the order in which they were originally printed, which means a single page can have a recipe for cake, a salad, a sandwich filling, an appetizer and a cookie, all just jumbled together, which makes it harder to just browse a category, but it is interesting, and you can sort of follow the seasons and holidays through the years.