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Snow Chicken

-----Original Message----- 
From: john
Sent: Tuesday, November 05, 2013 9:52 AM
Subject: Recipe for the unconventional Snow Chicken


I wish you can help me out. I've only seen this dish served in the "Dragon 
Buffet" up in Albany, NY. I googled it and the stuff that comes up often is 
'Chicken w/ Snow peas,' and that recipe is waaayy off. The one I'm looking 
for doesn't have any vegetables, just the chicken and the sauce. The chicken 
is cooked a little bit on crispy side, golden brown and is cut into small 
pieces. Kinda like nuggets. The sauce is where it's at. It has a milky 
taste, very thick. Sweet with a bit of tartness. If I would guess, condensed 
milk or coconut milk would be the most probable ingredient. I would guess 
it's Chinese just because it's from a Chinese restaurant. I hope you can 
find it. Thanks in advance. You're awesome.


Hi John,

I had no success with a recipe or even a good description. I found recipe requests for this on a couple of message boards: Blog - Times Union

Cafe Mom

I found mentions of this being served at several restaurants - Dragon Buffet, Sake Cafe, Plum Blossom in Albany, and Tomo Asian Buffet in Troy.

It is on the online menus for Sake Café and Tomo Asian Buffet, but not on the menu for Dragon Buffet:

Dragon Buffet

Sake Café

Tomo Asian Bistro

I wish I could help you but this is all I found - no recipes or detailed descriptions. I 'll post this on the site in case a reader can help.


=========================================================================== Hello John,

Not being one to give up too easily, I continued searching and found a recipe called "Velvet Chicken Under Snow". It appears to fit your description, and the sauce is made with condensed milk. There's a photo with the recipe.

See: Velvet Chicken Under Snow


Velvet Chicken Under Snow
1	 lb	Chicken Breast (boned)	 
1/2	 cup	Chicken Stock	 
1	 tbsp	Sherry	 
1/2	 tsp	Ginger Root Juice	 
1	 tsp	Sugar	 
1	 pinch	Salt	 
1/2	 cup	Condensed Milk or Light Cream	 
 	 	Cornstarch Paste	 
1/4	 tsp	Sesame Oil	 
1	 cup	Rice stick (broken up)	 
2	 cups	Oil for deep-frying	 	
 The term "velvet" denotes a method of poaching chicken breast to turn it white and 
make the texture very soft and smooth. Care must be taken to use simmering liquid for 
just long enough to cook the chicken through. Boiling water or prolonged poaching will 
toughen the texture. 
1.Velvet chicken: Heat 6 cups of water to boil. Reduce to simmer. Remove skin from 
  chicken breast; cut breast into 1" chunks. 
  Simmer in uncovered pan for 3-5 minutes, until meat is cooked through. 
2.Sauce: In wok or sauce pan, heat chicken stock, sherry, ginger juice, sugar & salt. 
  When sauce is very hot, slowly add 
  condensed milk or cream. Stir to combine. DON'T ALLOW SAUCE TO BOIL. Dribble in corn- 
  starch paste to thicken. Enrich with sesame oil. Add chicken before serving to reheat. 
3.Rice stick: Heat oil in wok for deep-frying until hot enough to puff up rice stick but 
not brown it. Fry in small batches; 
  drain. Process takes just seconds. Place rice stick on platter; cover with chicken. 
  4 Servings
From: "Marla"
Subject: Snow Chicken Recipe
Date: Thursday, December 04, 2014 11:49 AM

This is a recipe I have from a church friend who is from China.
The sauce sounds very similar to the Snow Chicken sauce your reader describes in your 
post from 11/5/13

She calls it Chicken Velvets

Chicken Velvets

3/4 C chopped water chestnuts
6 green onions (tops only)
3/4 C mushrooms
4 eggs
2 C bean sprouts
2 boneless chicken breast (1 lb. ground chicken) raw ( I prefer thigh meat)
1 T cornstarch
1 T sugar
1/2 t salt
1/2 C flour
1/2 C oil
1T sugar or more to taste
1 1/2 t salt
1 qt. milk

Chop or grind water chestnuts, onions, mushrooms, bean sprouts, and chicken.
Add eggs and blend well. Add sugar, cornstarch and salt. Blend.
Spoon by heaping tablespoon into deep fryer. Turn when
browned. (I fry in saute pan not deep fry.)

Heat oil and cook flour in it until flour taste is gone but not brown.
Add milk, sugar and salt and stir until thick. Top velvets with sauce. 
I always put soy sauce on them too.

LAUSD Square Rolls

From: Olivia 
Sent: Friday, November 08, 2013 9:46 AM
Subject: sweet crumb topping square rolls

I Attended Garfield high School, (LAUSD) 1971-1974 and would buy their square rolls for 
breakfast or nutrition from the cafeteria. they were made fresh every morning, made in 
a large cake pan and then cut into large squares and served hot!!! They were the best 
sweet roll I have ever tasted!!! This is not the coffee cake or the cinnamon rolls.... 
They were called "Square Rolls".  please find me the recipe!  Thank you!... Olivia 

Hi Olivia,

Sorry, I cannot find an LAUSD recipe called “square rolls.” There are several requests on message boards for this recipe, and no one appears to have had any success.

There is a lot of discussion about them and some recipes here: Chowhound


From: "Gwen" 
Subject: Square Rolls/Sweet Crumb Rolls 
Date: Saturday, November 30, 2013 1:07 PM

Hello again, and happy belated Thanksgiving! I hope this email finds you well.

In response to the search for Square Rolls recently posted, I believe the recipe is 
one already on your site. It is here, the seventeenth recipe down:

As an amendment to the recipe, some forum posts about these crumb rolls say they thought 
leftover coffee cake was used for the cake crumbs, which is a common bakery trick. 

And here's my reasoning- On Wednesday, January 16, 2008, The Press Enterprise newspaper 
published this recipe request:

"Mary Ann Powers, of Lake Elsinore, has a memory that dates back to recess time.  
She writes that she attended school in San Pedro, part of the Los Angeles Unified 
School District, in the 1960s and '70s, and remembers two types of treats that were 
available at recess. "One was a delicious crumb cake. The cake was a dark brown, moist, 
and not too sugary. The other cake, sort of a cinnamon roll (although I don't remember 
the cinnamon taste in it). We used to call them `square rolls' because they must have 
been cut from a square pan. They were about 4-5 (inches) square."

This is the follow up, from January 23, 2008 (and a side note, the recipe was printed 
first in 1975 in the LA Times):

Mary Ann Powers, of Lake Elsinore, isn't the only one who fondly remembers some tasty 
sweet rolls served at school when she was growing up. So does Joanne Pease-Simpson, of 
Riverside.  Last week, we published Mary Ann's request for recipes for two types of 
sweet rolls that were served at recess time at schools she attended in the '60s and 
'70s in San Pedro, part of the Los Angeles Unified School District. Joanne, who grew 
up in the San Fernando Valley and went to Northridge Junior High, remembers those rolls, 
too. "I think it might be the same coffeecake (Mary Ann) remembers, and might have been 
a school-district-wide cafeteria recipe ," e-mails Joanne. "I have had this coffeecake 
only once since those days, at a friend's house about 30 years ago, and never was able 
to get the recipe from her. My memory of this food makes my mouth water! I do hope 
someone knows how to make it." 
Well, Joanne and Mary Ann, those recipes are apparently alive and well. It seems there 
are some folks who went to schools in the Los Angeles area and also remember those 
sweet rolls. Katherine Perrigan, of Riverside, sent in a recipe for City Schools Sweet 
Rolls. Katherine said she attended junior and senior high schools in South Gate and 
remembers those delicious rolls. 

City Schools Sweet Rolls 

4 yeast cakes 
2 cups lukewarm milk 
1 large egg 
1/2 cup shortening 
1/2 cup sugar 
2 teaspoons salt 
1 cup cake flour 
5 cups bread flour 
3/4 to 1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg 
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted 
Cake Crumb Filling ( recipe follows) 
Powdered Sugar Glaze ( recipe follows) 

Dissolve yeast in milk. Combine egg, shortening, sugar and salt in mixing bowl and 
mix 1 minute at low speed. Add yeast mixture and mix 1 minute. Add cake and bread 
flour and nutmeg and mix just long enough for flour to be incorporated. Not more 
than 5 minutes. Roll dough out in rectangle shape on floured board. Brush with 
butter or margarine and sprinkle with Crumb Cake Filling. Roll up jellyroll fashion 
and then slice into 11/2-inch slices. Place on greased baking sheet, cut-side down, 
and pat out flat. Let rise until double. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. When 
partly cooled, brush with Powdered Sugar Glaze. Makes 18 rolls. 

Crumb Cake Filling 

1 cup plain cake crumbs 
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed 
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

Combine all ingredients and mix well. 
Recipe Exchange note: For cake crumbs, use a prepared cake mix and follow directions 
for cooking. Crumble cake and use what you need and freeze the rest, or simple use 
leftover cake for crumbs. 

Powdered Sugar Glaze 

2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup hot water
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix powdered sugar into hot water until smooth. Stir in vanilla.

On 1/25/2019 2:21 AM, lily wrote:

Hello Phaed

Wondering if the recipe for the square sweet rolls from L.A. City Schools has been found?  
I also attended Garfield High School from 1976 to 1979 and agree with Olivia.   
Would love to have the recipe.  Let me know.  Thanks.



Hello Lily,

There is a recipe posted on that page just below Olivia's request and my reply. It was sent by Gwen and is called "City Schools Sweet Rolls." I have never received a reply from Olivia or anyone else saying that recipe is not the one Olivia requested. Is it not correct or did you just overlook it? If it not correct, please state why...


On 1/25/2019 6:00 PM, lily wrote:
Hello Phaedrus,

Thank you for responding to my email.

That recipe is for Cinnamon Rolls, not the Square Rolls that Olivia and I are talking 
about.  I read a good amount of comments on Chowhound and it is not the recipe for the 
sugar square rolls we are looking for.  I have attached a few comments below with great 
description of that popular roll.  If you ever find that recipe PLEASE share it with me.  
Thank you very much!

Comment #1
However, if you are referring to the "Sweet (Square) Roll" recipe, none of the recipes 
floating around the Internet, especially the ones repeated and reprinted from the LA 
Times (May 13, 1998) "L.A. SCHOOLS CITY SCHOOLS SWEET ROLLS" is correct. All of these 
recipes instruct the reader to "roll up jellyroll fashion". You and I know, that is NOT 
the correct recipe for the rolls. The cake crumb "filling" (actually the topping) and 
glaze seem close. I am currently experimenting with other sweet roll recipes, but I am 
having trouble making the rolls as light and fluffy as I remember. I'm not sure how 
those cafeteria ladies accomplished that! All of my attempts seem to yield rolls that 
are basically the density of sandwich bread. Tasty, but not quite there. I haven't 
given up yet! It's become a quest! Any suggestions from anyone reading this, regarding 
achieving the fluffiness we all remember, are welcome!

Comment #2
P Palliefry Mar 2, 201109:06 PM
I went to Nimitz Jr. High School from 1972 - 1975 and I would get there early in the 
morning to get the cake/cinnamon rolls for 50 cents and slice. They were served right 
off from large sheet pans and cut into large squares about 5 inches by 5 inches or so. 
They were a few inches thick. They weren't like a cake. They were more like cinnamon 
rolls that were NOT rolled with a filling. They were doughy but not wet doughy with a 
very moist sweet top. I made the above cake and it was definitely a cake and the 
topping was very dry. The rolls I would get had a very moist top and not too cake like 
body. I was so disappointed if I got there late and they ran out. I am really hoping to 
find that recipe. I still crave them to this day. It looked like they were made and the 
batter poured onto sheet pans and baked. Can any help with this recipe? Like I said I 
tried the one above twice and that wasn't it. The other cinnamon rolls are rolled into 
a diagonal and rolled up with a filling. This was definitely not the type they served 
then or that I am looking for. They were large cut squares with no filling. Thanks
7 Replies

Comment #3
donnav727 Dec 15, 201809:47 PM
I attended Madison Jr High in North Hollywood '72-'75... they offered large rectangular 
cut pieces of a stretchy moist type of cake you could pull apart, with a moist light 
crumble baked into the top. It seemed to include cinnamon and sugar but there was more 
to it. This fine crumble appeared to be very lightly/finely drawn through the stretchy 
cake itself. It may be that it just baked in that way. White icing was very lightly 
drizzled on top of the cake. As you have said, the cake itself did not have a regular 
cake texture. It was not a rolled and cut cake, but rather baked in a pan and cut into 
large rectangular pieces. And, it definitely had the stretch to it that you mentioned. 
Why or why can we not find this recipe? It was an amazing treat!!!

Comment #4
S shande Jul 15, 201803:31 PM
I know the one you are looking for. We had "square rolls" "round rolls" and "coffee cake" 
all were different. I have not found the one you are looking for. I remember it like a 
square of "glazed crumb doughnut, kinda stretchy.

Comment #5
sccosel Jul 15, 201810:12 PM
Yes, at Emerson Jr. High, circa 1977, the "square of glazed crumb doughnut, kinda stretchy" 
as you describe were called "sweet rolls" on the menu. I've been trying to find that recipe 
for years. If I recall correctly, I remember it having a very light, fluffy consistency with 
an egg bread flavor. It tore apart effortlessly and tasted delicious!

Comment #6
shande Jul 17, 201808:49 AM
Yep, that was it! I too wish I could find that recipe. I don't remember it being on the menu 
every day like the coffee cake was. I think they alternated at my school with the cinnamon 
rolls. I wonder if it was a lazy version of the cinnamon roll and why the recipe hasn't been 
found? I should bake just the cinnamon roll recipe dough to see if it is the same and then 
mess with a combo of the glaze-crumb mixture part. Just an idea. :)

Hi Lily,

I'm afraid there is nothing new to be found in any of my sources about the LAUSD Square Sweet Rolls. All that I could find were those same items that you cite from Chowhound

This is a toughie. One would think that if anyone who uses the web had that recipe, they would have posted it by now. The request has been on my site for 6 years now, and other sites for even longer. It's a popular request, so popular that someone has even set up a malware site with those keywords to draw in the unsuspecting and defenseless.

I have no suggestions. Maybe someday it will turn up.


Subject: good news... here's the recipe (square sweet rolls)... enjoy...
From: Janine 
Date: 4/4/2020, 4:52 PM
Square Sweet Rolls

This recipe for square sweet rolls takes me right back to junior high school in Los Angeles! 
It's early morning ...

See: Square Sweet Rolls


Lately, I have been finding that a lot of my links to recipes no longer work because bloggers sometimes lose interest and take down their blogs and because newspaper sites decide to take down older articles. So that this recipe (that has been requested numerous times) doesn't get lost, I am posting it below. If you want to see photos and comments about this recipe, go to the link: Square Sweet Rolls

Square Sweet Rolls

2 tsp active dry yeast
1 C warm whole milk 110 degrees
2 tsp honey or sugar
1 large egg at room temperature
1/4 C shortening or butter
1/4 C sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 C cake flour
2 1/2 C bread flour
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 C melted butter cooled)
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 C brown sugar
Powdered Sugar Glaze
2 C powdered Sugar
1/4 C hot water
1 tsp vanilla

Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm milk. Mix gently and let stand for 10 minutes. 
It should bloom and become bubbly.
In the stand mixer, cream the shortening and sugar. Mix in the egg and salt for 1 minute.
Add the yeast mixture(after 10 minutes) and mix for 1 minute.
Add the cake, bread flour and nutmeg, just until combined.
Grease a rectangle pan (9X13) with shortening. Set aside. Roll out dough to a rectangle 
shape and transfer to prepared pan.
Brush with butter. Sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon evenly over the top of butter. 
Cover and let proof for 60-80 minutes in a warm spot until doubled in size.
Bake at 400 degrees F. for 20-22 minutes or until golden. Mix the ingredients for the glaze. 
Drizzle with powdered sugar glaze while still warm.

A&G Cafeteria Pecan Delight Pie

-----Original Message----- 
From: Martha 
Sent: Thursday, November 07, 2013 5:57 PM
Subject: A&G Cafeteria

Hi Phaedrus,
I am trying to find a recipe from A@G cafeteria. It is a cake with a flaky 
pecan dough and cool whip on top. It looks like a slice of cake but has no 
layers like a cake. The cake was not compact but more airy.

Hello Martha,

James, another of my readers and often a helper, has copies of the A&G Cafeteria recipe manuals. Below is what he found in them. Note that this is a cafeteria recipe for making ten pies. You will have to cut it down to make one pie.


On Fri, Nov 8, 2013 at 9:20 AM, James wrote:

It is a pie, not a cake. It is a very unusual recipe. A&G Cafeterias had 
some great and unique recipes. They definitely were not copycats.  You might 
need to fix the Ritz crackers ... it is three boxes at 1 1/2 lbs each or 4 
1/2 lbs.

A&G Pecan Delight Pie

Yield: ten 9-inch pies

3 1 1/2 lb boxes Ritz Crackers
3 lbs pecans
4 lbs egg whites
5 3/4 lb sugar
Whipped Cream to finish

Grind pecans and Ritz crackers. Whip egg whites and sugar to stiff meringue. 
Remove meringue from machine. Fold dry ingredients very carefully by hand. 
Do not beat ...FOLD. Place in greased pie tin.

NO CRUST -- Bake in medium oven 350 - 275 for 35 - 40 minutes.

Garnish with whipped cream and serve. 

Thank you very much for the recipe. It is the one that I was looking for. Can't wait to make it. 
Like James said, it is a unique pie.



German Cookie

From: Mary 
Sent: Wednesday, November 06, 2013 1:35 PM
Subject: German cookie

Hello! I stumbled across your website and thought you may be able to help me.
Years ago, a German lady I worked with made some cookies but she wouldn't share the recipe. 
They were like nothing I've ever had before. They were round and rolled in powdered sugar. 
The texture almost seemed like an unbaked cookie. The best way I can describe it...
finely ground nuts and possibly ground fruit with a little spice. Years later I ate a 
Turkish Delight and realized it resembled that Christmas cookie from years ago. 
Have you any clue what cookie it may have been? 

Hello Mary,

Perhaps they were “pfeffernüse” or “peppernuts”. See the recipe here with pictures: Pfeffernüse


No I tried that recipe right away but the cookies I had were not hard and crunchy 
and didn't really seem to contain flour. 
From: "Lisa" 
Subject: German Cookies 11/29/13 Edition
Date: Tuesday, December 03, 2013 2:01 PM

Hi Unk,

In your 11/29/13 Edition, Mary asked about some German Cookies. They are
probably Elisenlebkuchen: Fresh Loaf
which are a special kind of lebkuchen, they should be made only
with nuts, without any flour (I doubt that that is still the case with most
of them). In Germany they are usually sold in decorated tins, some with
chocolate glazing, some with white sugar glazing and some without.

Lebkuchen were invented by monks in Nuremberg, the best store bought ones
come from there. They were baked on wafers to prevent them from sticking to
the baking sheet (not necessary if you bake them on a parchment paper lined

There are multiple descriptions and recipes found online. A recipe for them
can be found here: 

From: Anny
Sent: Wednesday, December 18, 2013 1:07 PM
Subject: German Cookie

Hi Phaed, 

I'm wondering if she's talking about rum balls, which are unbaked and rolled in powdered sugar. 

My German mother and aunt would make these every year around Christmas.  My Aunts were a little 
stronger than my mothers, which I truly miss because she's gone now, but they were always a treat every year. 



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