Happy Birthday, lil bro!

Since he is out to sea, and I didn't remember to send a birthday card in time, I want to take a moment to say Happy Birthday to youngest of us but who has the most letters after his name, by far. I am thankful to God for my siblings--they and their spouses are the best friends and uncles/aunts an oldest sister could ask for.

Happy Birthday, Matthew Lee! We are so proud of you!

“I bought my brother some gift-wrap for Christmas. I took it to the Gift Wrap department and told them to wrap it, but in a different print so he would know when to stop unwrapping.” --Stephen Wright

Mother Doughs Best

My mom always saves me when it comes to recipes. She has cooked professionally for 20 years, and really knows her stuff. I called her with an idea I had for chocolate fritters, and she convinced me to go a bit of a different route:

Chocolate "croissants"

Strawberry cream cheese tart

The dough recipe she gave me is the same they used for the cream cheese danish at their restaurant, back in the day. She still makes these quite often, mostly with a cream cheese filling, and sometimes adding different fruit fillings. But the standout here is the dough. It is super easy to make. Rolls beautifully. Bakes wonderfully. Many, many uses. Tastes--oh, it is so yummy. It is my new secret culinary weapon!

This recipe made 16 chocolate croissants and one 10 inch tart.

Mom's Versatile Pastry Dough:

1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 butter or margarine (usually I'm all about real butter, but margarine worked fine)
1 pkg yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
1/4 cup warm water
1 egg
2-3 cups all purpose flour

Heat sour cream, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan over low heat until sugar is dissolved and mixture begins to bubble. Add butter and stir until butter is melted. Pour into mixer bowl fitted with paddle attachment. Meanwhile, add the yeast to the warm water in a glass jar and allow to proof. When proofed, add to sour cream mixture and combine. Add egg and combine. Slowly add the flour and mix until elastic. Place in a covered bowl in the refrigerator over night. May use immediately in the morning.
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