Nothing says family bonding to my mom’s side of the family like football, lil’ smokies and nanny rolls. Whether it be Christmas or a family reunion, these three items are usually a part of the festivities. Of course, being from Seattle, when it comes to football the Seattle Seahawks are a big deal in our family. I have to admit though, while I love the excitement of watching the family yell at the TV, drink beer and cheer on their favorite team, I usually don’t know much about the players, standings or scores. This year it’s a bit different. The Seahawks are in the Superbowl. The streets of Seattle are decorated with blue and green and the number 12 (for the fans who the Seahawks consider the 12th man). Recently my cousin and his son won the Alaska Airlines Russell Rescue contest after they submitted the cutest Russell Rescue video about why they deserve to go to the game. The prize was an all expense paid trip from his new home in Monterrey, California to see the Hawks take on the New Orleans Saints. The Dalisky clan could not have been prouder.
My mom’s dad, Poppi, has always been a big Hawks fan and now-a-days he spends much of his time lounging in his easy chair, watching his HDTV and cheering on his local teams. Obviously, he is pretty excited about their Superbowl game. Of course, when I think about Poppi, I always think about Nanny (that’s what happens when you were married over 65 years) and I wonder how Nanny would have responded to the big game. My guess is that while Nanny wasn’t a huge football fan (like myself) she would have been happy to see Poppi happy and had we all gotten together to watch the big game, she would have been happy that the football team brought us all together. She would do her part to support the local Hawks by making some fantastic food to accompany a great game.
Which is why I could think of no better time to try to make Nanny’s famous crescent rolls, affectionately called Nanny Rolls. But because I expect that the Hawks will Go Big or Go Home this weekend, I did the same. Rather than try to do the reasonable thing and just make Nanny rolls, I decided I would transform Nanny rolls into Seahawks themed pigs in a blanket, because Nanny Rolls + Lil’ Smokies + Seahawks = LEGION OF GOODNESS (see what I did there Hawks fans).
Below is the recipe for my Seahawks themed Nanny Rolls. I think I will call them 12th Man in a Blanket for all those brave fans who will spend a small fortune to go to the Superbowl, will brave crazy long lines, will stand in the freezing cold weather all to cheer their hearts out for the blue and green! If you are hosting your own Superbowl party or need a dish to share with your fellow Hawk fans, these are sure to be a hit! So long as you follow the directions they are pretty easy – I had an epic fail on my first attempt because I didn’t add the warm water and my butter wasn’t soft enough. If you don’t have a bread machine you could probably make these with store bought crescent roll dough, but homemade sure does taste better!
Nanny’s 12th Man in a Blanket
1. Add 1 Cup milk, 1/4 cup SOFTENED butter, 1/2 cup WARM water and two eggs into the bottom of your bread machine pan.
2. Layer 1/4 cup sugar, 2 teaspoons of salt, 5 1/2 cups bread flour on top of the wet mixture. Then make a small well and fill with 2 tablespoons of yeast.
3. Put in the bread machine and select the dough setting (1.5 hours on my $6.99 thrift store find).
4. Remove the bread pan from the machine and divide into three equal balls. At this point I would highly recommend using a pastry map otherwise things can get pretty sticky really fast! I got lucky and somehow ended up with one of Nanny’s and I love it! So much love and experience in that one heavily used pastry mat!
5. Select one roll and set the others to the side. Add food coloring and knead it into the dough. This part can get messy and will stain your fingers! Once you have reached your desired shade roll out the dough into a 12″ circle. I decided to make a green ball, a blue ball and a plain ball.
4. Cut the rolled out dough into about 13 triangle sections (like a pizza).
5. Place a lil’ smokie at the fat end of each triangle and roll it towards the center. If needed tuck in the ends. PS- I used cheddar filled lil’ smokies because the kid in me loves a good cheddar dog
6. Place on a pan (preferrably with parchment paper so they don’t stick) and cover with a light cloth in a warm room. My house was really cold last night because I was too busy making nanny rolls to build a fire so I warmed the oven and put them in there.
7. Once they have risen, like the good lord Jesus Christ, bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Watch them carefully because mine got a little brown on the bottom (parchment paper would have helped that too) . When they are done remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack.
8. Enjoy and get ready to cheer on the Hawks!