Monday, December 20, 2021

Resurrection Rolls: or, Don't trust me with children's recipes

It's Christmas time, which means it's time to bust out the traditional Christmas recipes! Today, we are making a church holiday classic:

Resurrection Rolls
1 or 2 cans of crescent dinner rolls
Marshmallows (large size)
Margarine (melted)
Cinnamon sugar (use a lot more cinnamon than you usually would)

Heat your oven---- that is, your tomb--- to whatever temperature is listed in the baking instructions on the can.
Separate the dough into triangles (representing the linen cloth used for burial – Luke 23:53). Dip marshmallows (representing the body) “in soil and spices” – Luke 23:56. Wrap the “body” in the “linen cloth” (lightly pinch seams) and lay on cookie sheet. Place in the “tomb” and bake according to directions on the can of the rolls. (We recommend putting foil on your pans in case of leakage.)
Remove from “tomb” to discover the body is gone! HE IS RISEN!!!

Source: Canadian Bible Society Celebration Cookbook via Caker Cooking

What, you think we're baking for the wrong holiday? Well, what could be more appropriate for the holiday than American-sized marshmallows dipped in simulated butter? Also, a global collapse is no time to adhere to arbitrary calendars.

Anyway, one of the people in the house has taken to hot chocolate with marshmallows in it. 


When I saw the marshmallows that barely fit in the mug, I was like "We should allegorically represent Bible stories with prefabricated convenience foods!" After a brief explanation to everyone else in the house, a can of crescent rolls and tub of margarine were added to the grocery list.

To me, the most bizarre part of this recipe is that we're baking without getting out a mixing bowl. But anyway, we decided that our sugary Jesuses were perhaps a bit large. Therefore, we purchased the reduced-calorie linen wrappings.

I can't open biscuit cans. Some people talk about how they get scared every time the can pops in their hand. I on the other hand, always pull the little paper tab that says "PEEL HERE" and end up with a slightly stripped yet still sealed can that I angrily smack into the countertop with un-Christian thoughts until someone else opens it.

Though no one ever tried bring marshmallow Jesuses into bible study when I was of the right age, the recipe shows up in so many church fundraiser cookbooks that I may be one of the few who missed out. The cashier saw the marshmallows and crescent rolls, and he immediately recognized what we were making. It seemed like an amusing way to get some relatively bland yet inoffensive dessert. 

Here we have the Bible represented in decidedly un-Biblical food-style products.

However, our Jesuses were a bit too American-sized to fit in one burial cloth. 

I thought this would be a simple recipe, but it is really hard to pinch this rubbery bread dough shut around a slippery greased marshmallow. You just never know what recipes will involve skills beyond yours.

We only had enough linen for four Jesuses.

Also, I have a big rant about package design. You can't open a can of biscuits without ripping the baking instructions off. Surely they know what parts of the can will get torn off when you open them, so why can't they print the instructions around them? We had to look up the baking instructions for these prefabricated simulacra of bread online.

"Could you check the package and see how long we're supposed to bake them?"

We were all so amused at this recipe that two of us just sat in front of the oven to see if Jesus would leak. He did. First, we saw a few marshmallow spurts from the roll that I already knew had the least structural integrity.

But before our resurrection was fully baked, every single corn syrup Jesus had prematurely escaped the tomb. If you drop the religious slant, this recipe could be a slightly messy way to keep children entertained just watching through the oven window.

All right, let's see what Sunday school disaster emerged from our oven.

It's been a long time since I was so emphatically glad I put foil over the pan. I didn't want to even think about getting all this sticky candied-on mess cleaned away. Let's have a look at one of the more intact resurrection rolls.

On one roll, the dough had baked enough to keep a shape before the marshmallow oozed out. If you were to carefully unstick it from the pan and transfer it to a plate without causing a collapse, you could get the ecclesiastic metaphor across to the wee ones without explaining why Jesus is now all over the pan. 

As for the taste: these are exactly like canned cinnamon rolls. Maybe they use the same dough in both. But I think we all know that the taste isn't the point of these. But with that said, these are a surprisingly good if somewhat messy breakfast-or-dessert item.


  1. Those must be a southern thing. I was raised by 2 church nut parents, and never heard of them. As for Easter themed marshmallow crafts, I will stick to peep jousting (and throw the mess out because peeps are disgusting).
    Now I'm thinking of my grandmother's favorite apple dumpling recipe. Apple slices were wrapped in crescent roll dough and baked in a pan with butter and orange juice (and probably more sugar). There's probably a recipe somewhere online.

    1. Maybe they are. My parents are very religious too, but they never took us to any church that did these.
      I've done dessert dumplings before. The recipe was batter spooned into caramel sauce and baked. They were hip-threateningly good.

  2. These look delicious! Would you be able to freeze the marshmallows first to help them melt a bit later? All the very best for Christmas and the New Year! xx

    1. We'll have to try that next time. And wishing you all the same!