Sunday, November 30, 2008

Auntie Bucksnort’s English Toffee

We make this candy at Christmas. Box some up before you eat it. It makes a fine gift.

Grate one very large milk chocolate or bittersweet chocolate bar.
Finely chop almonds (or pecans, if you happen to live in a pecan orchard, as we do) to equal 2 cups.
Mix together chocolate and nuts, set aside.

Combine in deep saucepan: 1 cup sugar, 1 cup melted butter, 2 tsp. vanilla, 3 tbl. water.

Boil and stir over medium heat until mixture reaches 300 degrees (hard crack stage). This will be just a little after the mixture begins to change to a golden color.

Spread half the chocolate mixture on a large cookie sheet. Pour the boiling mixture onto the chocolate, spread it with a spatula, then top with the rest of the chocolate and nuts.

Let cool until hard. Break into pieces.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Immediate Fudge Cake

Heat 1/3 cup of butter in a bowl in the microwave with 2 squares unsweetened chocolate for 40 seconds, remove from microwave and stir until melted.

1 cup sugar
2 eggs
½ tsp. vanilla
¾ cup flour
¼ tsp. salt
½ to ¾ cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans.

Stir well, pour into a greased 8 inch square pan, bake at 375 for 25 minutes.

This recipe comes from my old spattered copy of Peg Bracken's Appendix to the I Hate to Cook Book. It was first published in 1966 before we all had microwaves, so you can see that I've changed the recipe a bit.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Hot-Milk Sponge Cake

1 cup sifted flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
2 tbl. butter
½ cup hot milk
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Beat the eggs until thick and lemon-colored, about 3 minutes at high speed. Gradually add the sugar, a spoonful at a time. Heat the milk and butter in the microwave, keep hot. Sift the remaining dry ingredients. Add flour mixture to mixer bowl, stir until blended. Add the hot milk mixture, beat well. Add the vanilla. Bake in an 8” or 9” square greased pan at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes.

This is the best cake, bar none. Split a piece and serve with sugared berries and whipped cream. Or just eat it plain.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Hot Fudge Sauce for Ice Cream

· 1/4 cup butter
· 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
· 2/3 cup boiling water
· 2 cups sugar
· 1/4 cup light corn syrup
· 1/4 teaspoon salt
· 2 teaspoons vanilla

Melt butter in a heavy 3-quart saucepan over low heat. Add chocolate; heat, stirring, until melted. Stir in water, sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook without stirring until sauce is thickened and glossy, about 8 minutes. Stir in vanilla. Serve hot over ice cream. Store leftover sauce in the refrigerator. Reheat over very low heat, stirring in a little hot water if necessary.

This recipe comes from

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Cockeyed Cake

1 ½ cups sifted flour
3 tbl. cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup sugar
½ tsp. salt
5 tbl. vegetable oil
1 tbl. vinegar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup cold water

Sift dry ingredients right into a greased 9”x 9”x 2” baking pan. Make three holes in this dry mixture. Into one, pour the oil; in the next, the vinegar; into the next, the vanilla. Now pour the cold water over it all and mix together. Be sure you get it all mixed well or you will get an unpleasant foaming-of-the-mouth surprise caused by unmixed-in baking soda. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

This recipe comes from The I Hate to Cook Cookbook, by Peg Bracken, which was first published in 1960. I've been making it all these years for my family.

Note: This cake, served plain, makes a perfect vegan dessert, and is also delicious when spread with Chocolate Frosting (Vegan!).

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Apple Crisp

3 pounds tart apples
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup rolled oats
4 tablespoons cold butter (1/2 stick)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Peel, core and chop apples, toss in a bowl with lemon juice to prevent darkening. In a separate bowl, combine brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg; stir into apples. Set aside.

In another bowl combine flour, sugar and oats. Cut butter into 8 pieces, and cut butter into flour until mixture looks like crumbs. Stir in nuts. Butter a 10 X 10-inch baking dish. Spread apples in bottom of baking dish then sprinkle with flour mixture. Bake at 375° for 45 minutes, or until apples are tender and topping is lightly browned. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Angel Pie

5 eggs
1 lemon
3 tbl. water
½ tsp. cream of tartar
1 cup sugar
¼ cup sugar
½ pint whipping cream

Separate eggs. Beat whites until frothy, add tartar. When peaky stage is reached, add one cup of sugar, a tablespoon at a time. Spread in greased 16” x 8” pyrex pan. Bake at 250 for one hour.

In double boiler, beat yolks with ¼ cup sugar, 3 tbl. water, juice and rind from one lemon. Stir until thick. Or, you can mix these ingredients in a bowl and microwave on high, one minute at a time. Whisk the mixture at the end of each minute. In my microwave, it took three minutes to make the mixture thick. Please note: This will taste quite tart. Don't be nervous. The tartness plays off the sweetness of the meringue and the richness of the unsweetened whipped cream in the assembled dessert.

While the lemon mixture is cooling, beat the cream. Spread less than half the cream on the cooled meringue, spread all of lemon mixture, then top with remaining whipped cream.

Chill overnight before serving.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sausage Cornbread Stuffing for Turkey

Brown a pound of sweet bulk sausage.

Brown a chopped onion and a chopped tart apple in some butter, mix all together with crumbled homemade 8" x 8" cornbread and some chopped fresh parsley.

Season with sage, thyme, salt and pepper. Add one cup or so of chopped pecans, then toss with enough melted butter and chicken broth to moisten.

I've left the proportions of the herbs and seasonings up to you. Mix a bit, taste a bit, adjust a bit.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Turkey Stuffing

Toast slices of firm white bread on cookie sheets in a 400 oven.

Tear up toasted bread and add:
Chopped celery
Chopped onion
Fresh parsley
Thyme (as in the song)
Freshly ground pepper
Moisten with chicken stock and melted butter

Friday, November 21, 2008

Perfect Roast Turkey

1 16-18 lb. turkey
1 tbl. dried rosemary, crumbled
2 tsp. ground sage
2 tsp. dried thyme, crumbled
1 ½ tsp. salt
1 ½ tsp. freshly ground pepper
Stuffing of your choice
½ cup (1 stick) butter

Preheat oven to 375. Pat turkey dry, inside and out.

Combine herbs and salt and pepper in a small bowl; rub some in each cavity. Fill neck-cavity loosely with stuffing, close with skewer. Tuck in wings. Fill main cavity loosely with stuffing. Fold tail in over stuffing. Skewer opening; lace closed with string. Tie legs together. Place turkey breast side up on rack in roasting pan. Brush generously with melted butter. Sprinkle with remaining herb mixture. Transfer any remaining stuffing to buttered baking dish. Cover with foil and chill.

Roast turkey one hour, basting every 30 minutes with butter. Cover breast with foil. Continue roasting 1 hour, basting occasionally with pan drippings. Uncover breast and continue roasting until thermometer inserted in thickest part of thigh registers 170 degrees, basting occasionally, 1 to 1 ¾ hours longer (total time in oven so far is 3 – 3 ¾ hours), depending on size of turkey. Place stuffing in covered baking dish in oven during the last 40 minutes.

When done (remember—170 degrees) transfer turkey to platter, reserving juices in roasting pan for gravy. Tent turkey with foil and let rest 20 minutes, while you make the gravy. Continue baking stuffing in dish 20 minutes (one hour total).

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Grandma Elva’s Pumpkin Pie

Makes 2 large or 3 small pies

1 large can pumpkin
1 ½ cups brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. cloves
½ tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. ginger
2 cups evaporated milk
1 cup milk

Mix all ingredients well, pour into unbaked pie shells. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, then at 375 for 45 minutes.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Stuffed Peppers

This is one of those approximate recipes that all cooks have in their heads. You can use either green or red (or orange or yellow) peppers.

Slice off the tops of the peppers, set the bottoms aside, and chop the tops, discarding the stems.

Pan fry the chopped pepper with chopped onion and ground beef. Season with salt and pepper and oregano; add a little tomato sauce.

Add some cooked rice.

Place the bottoms of the peppers in a greased casserole dish, fill with the stuffing and put the rest of the stuffing over the top of everything. I always make too much stuffing, so my individually stuffed peppers always morph into a kind of casserole.

Sprinkle with grated cheese, then with Italian bread crumbs, then with Parmesan cheese.

Bake covered at 350 for around 45 minutes, then remove the cover and bake for an additional 10 minutes to crisp the top.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Toffee Bars

1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts

Cream butter, sugar, and vanilla. Add flour, mix well. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Press mixture into an ungreased large pyrex pan (15” x 10”) and bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Old-Fashioned Dark Cookies

This recipe comes from The Blueberry Hill Cookbook, by Elsie Masterton.

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup shortening
1 egg
½ tsp. salt
¼ cup dark molasses
¼ cup maple syrup
½ cup warm water
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
2 ½ cups flour

Here are Elsie’s exact directions:

“Start the electric mixer going, slowly. Add, one after the other: Brown sugar, shortening, egg, salt, dark molasses, maple syrup, ½ cup warm water, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and 2 ½ cups of flour, or enough to make a consistency for drop cookies. Blend with mixer until very smooth, turning it up to a higher speed after all ingredients are in.

Drop by teaspoonfuls or by tablespoonfuls on greased cookie sheets. Bake in a moderate (350˚ F.) oven about 10 minutes. Remove cookies from oven before they are too well done, while they are still a little soft. I bake them fairly large and they are quite fat and chewy. Put them in a cookie jar as soon as they’re cool, so they won’t dry out.

These cookies freeze beautifully. Freeze them on a tray until they are frozen hard, then drop them in a plastic bag, to be removed one by one as you want them. Don’t put them directly in the bag, because they will stick together in freezing and you’ll have trouble separating them to remove them. Try eating one before it’s completely defrosted—almost better than hot.”

Makes 30 large or 60 small cookies.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 ½ cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. soda
3 cups quick cooking oatmeal
½ cup chopped walnuts
1 cup chocolate chips

Beat together butter, sugars, eggs, vanilla. Add flour, salt, and soda sifted together. Mix until blended, then add remaining ingredients and blend.

Drop by teaspoonfuls on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 8 minutes. Let cool on paper towels.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Aunt Faith’s Apricot Cookies

1 cup butter
2 cups flour
½ cup sugar
Pinch of salt

Cream butter and sugar, mix in flour and salt. Spread in a 9” x 13” pan, pack down and smooth out with the back of a spoon. Bake 10 minutes at 350. While cake is warm, spread with 1 cup apricot jam.

Mix 3 unbeaten egg whites with 1 cup powdered sugar. Spread over jam, then sprinkle with ½ cup slivered almonds.

Return pan to oven for 30 minutes (don’t let the top get too brown). Cut in squares after slightly cool.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Green Salsa

1 lb. tomatillos with husks removed, rinsed, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
3 tbl. onion, diced
½ cup fresh cilantro leaves
4 serrano or jalapeno chiles, stems removed, coarsely chopped
Salt to taste

Cover tomatillos with a small amount of cold water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes or until they are soft. Place ½ of the tomatillos (do not drain) in blender jar. Add the remaining ingredients except for the salt. Blend until pureed. Pour this mixture back into the pan with the chunky tomatillos, simmer another 10 minutes. Add salt to taste.

This sauce is a beautiful green. It’s good on almost anything—scrambled eggs with some sour cream or yogurt, on tacos, or?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Chiles Rellenos (a low fat version)

Two layers in the casserole; two more to go

Roast 6-8 or more large green chiles (Anaheim type) under the broiler or over an open flame until charred all over. Place in a closed plastic bag or covered Tupperware container for ten minutes or so. You should then be able to peel them easily.

Take off the stem ends and take out seeds and membranes (leave some in if you want—they’re the hot part).

Beat three egg whites until stiff, adding ½ tsp. salt. You can leave out the yolks for a very low fat version, but I stir them up and fold them into the beaten egg whites.

In a greased oblong casserole, place half the egg white mixture, all the chiles, sprinkle with as much cheese as you want, then cover over with the remaining egg whites, spreading them all the way to the edges to seal. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or so until brown.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


I learned this recipe long ago from a friend who was originally from Wisconsin. I suspect that it is from the Wisconsin Cheese Board, or its equivalent, since the names of the cheeses are so carefully capitalized.

We used to make it in an electric frying pan when we lived in a rented basement room without a kitchen. Simple times...

2 tbl. butter
1 medium onion, minced
1 large can tomatoes
3 heaping cups of uncooked fine egg noodles
1 lb. ground beef
1 tsp. salt
½ cup catsup
¾ cup water
2 tbl. Worcestershire sauce
1-12 oz. can of corn (or a cup of frozen corn)
1 small can chopped black olives
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup grated aged Cheddar

Brown onions in butter, add beef and cook until pinkness is gone. Add salt and raw noodles and tomatoes. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes (noodles will cook). Add catsup, water, Worcestershire sauce, corn, olives, Parmesan cheese. Put into casserole and top with the Cheddar cheese.

Bake covered for 45 minutes at 350. Turn off oven, uncover casserole, let stand in oven for 15 minutes.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Sword and Anchor Bread

From my Dad's cousin, Buddy

2 cups of boiling water
1 cup rolled oats
2 tbl. butter or margarine
½ cup molasses
2 tsp. salt
1 tbl. dry yeast
½ tsp. ground ginger
½ cup warm water
3 cups whole wheat flour
¼ cup wheat germ (optional)
2 – 3 cups of white flour

Pour boiling water over oats, add butter, stir and let stand until cool. Add molasses and salt.

Dissolve yeast and ginger in the ½ cup of warm water, let stand 10 minutes, add to oatmeal mixture, mix well. Add wheat flour and wheat germ, beating well after each addition.

Add just enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead, let rise until doubled, form into 2 loaves, let rise in greased pans. Bake at 350ยบ for 50-60 minutes.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Shaker Raised Squash Biscuits

Although these are called biscuits for some reason, they are really raised rolls.

1 cup milk
4 tbl. butter or margarine
¾ cup sugar
½ tsp. salt
1 pkg. dry yeast
4-5 cups flour
1 ½ cups butternut squash; cooked, mashed, and sieved
2 eggs at room temperature

Dissolve yeast in a bit of warm water. Heat milk, add butter, sugar, salt. Cool to lukewarm. Add a couple of cups of flour to the milk mixture, then the yeast, the eggs and the squash. Mix well, add the rest of the flour.

Knead 7-8 minutes, let rise until doubled in a greased bowl, covered. Punch down dough. Turn out and shape into 3 dozen biscuits. Let rise on a cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Brush tops with butter while still hot.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sesame Breads (Khoobz sumsum)

From Tunisia via Peace Corps kids

3-1/2 to 4 cups of unsifted flour (measured out into a small bowl)
2 tsp. salt
1 pkg. dry yeast
1-1/4 cups very warm tap water (120 – 130 degrees)
1 egg white, slightly beaten
1 tbl. cold water
8 tsp. sesame seeds

In a large bowl thoroughly mix one cup of flour, the salt and the dry yeast. Gradually add tap water to dry ingredients and beat two minutes at the medium speed of the electric mixer, scraping the bowl occasionally. Add ¾ cup flour, beat at high speed for two more minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in enough additional flour to make a stiff dough. Turn out onto lightly floured board; knead until smooth and elastic, about five minutes.

Divide dough into 8 equal pieces. On a lightly floured board, roll each piece into a five-inch circle. Cover the circles with a towel and let them rest on the board for 45 minutes.

Place the circles, bottom side up, on greased baking sheets. Blend the egg white and cold water and brush this mixture on the tope of each circle. Sprinkle each with a teaspoonful of sesame seeds.

Bake at 500 degrees for 10 minutes, or until browned. (I start checking them nervously after about 7 minutes—that’s a very hot oven!). Cool on wire racks.

Serve with Falafel and Raita (yogurt mixed with cucumber and mint).

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Savory Hamburger Buns

2 tbl. dry yeast
½ cup warm water
1 ½ cups milk
½ cup soft shortening
½ cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. celery salt
½ tsp. spaghetti sauce mix (I use a blend of oregano and marjoram, maybe a little basil)
2 eggs, beaten
7 to 7 ½ cups flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water in large missing bowl.

Scald milk; add shortening, sugar, salt, celery salt, and spaghetti sauce mix. Cool until lukewarm. Add milk mixture, eggs, and half the flour to the yeast. Beat until smooth.

Add remaining flour gradually. Knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. Let rise in greased bowl until doubled, about 1 ½ hours. Punch down, let rise again for about 30 minutes.

Divide dough into thirds. Roll each third into a square about ½ inch thick. Cut into 9 small squares. Tuck square corners slightly under to form buns. Place on a greased baking sheet. Cover with towel and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.

Bake at 400° for 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on racks. Makes 27.

You can freeze these buns as soon as they are cool. To serve cool, thaw in package at room temperature 2 to 3 hours. To serve hot, place in covered container or aluminum foil wrap and heat in 350° oven until hot, 20 to 25 minutes.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Poppy Seed Egg Twist Bread

2 tbl. dry yeast 
½ cup warm water (110-115 degrees) 
¼ cup sugar 
1 ½ cups scalded milk 
¼ cup (1/2 stick) soft butter or margarine 
3 tsp. salt 
3 large eggs 
7 ¼ to 7 ½ cups sifted all-purpose flour 

1 large egg, beaten 
2 tbl. cold water 
1/3 to ½ cup poppy seeds 

 Soften yeast in warm water with sugar. Stir butter and salt into hot milk and let cool to lukewarm. Mix yeast mixture, milk mixture, the 3 eggs and 3 ½ cups of the flour to make a batter, beat until smooth. Add the remaining flour a bit at a time until the dough feels right. 

Knead on floured board about five minutes. Place in greased bowl, let rise, punch down, let rise again. 
Turn out onto floured board. Divide into two parts, divide each part into three and roll out long “snakes.” Braid the three long pieces together, repeat for the other loaf. 

Let rise on greased cookie sheets. When doubled, brush with the egg and water mixed together, then sprinkle with the poppy seeds. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 to 35 minutes, or until well browned. Cool on wire racks.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Molasses Doughnuts

2 eggs, well beaten
½ cup sugar
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
2 tbl. fat (shortening will do)
1 cup molasses
1 heaping tsp. baking soda
1 cup sour milk*
5 cups of flour

Beat the eggs well, add sugar, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, and melted fat, mix well. Add molasses, beat all together. Add soda to milk and dissolve, add to first mixture. Add flour and mix well. Refrigerate overnight. This is a soft dough. Roll out and fry in hot fat.

*Sour milk: Add a tsp. of vinegar to a cup of milk, let stand 10 minutes or so.

This recipe comes from Maine’s Jubilee Cookbook, published for Maine’s sesquicentennial year of 1970 by Courier-Gazette, Inc., Rockland, Maine, 1969.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Magic Muffins

1 ¾ cups flour
3 ½ tsp. baking powder
3 tbl. sugar
½ tsp. salt
1 egg
7/8 cup milk
3 tbl. butter, melted

Sift dry ingredients, make a well in them, combine wet ingredients and pour into the well, blend only until mixed. Bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

English Muffin Bread

Made in the microwave: The toast is exceptional.

5 cups flour
2 tbl. dry yeast
1 tbl. sugar
2 tsp. salt
2 ½ cups milk
¼ tsp. soda
1 tbl. warm water

Combine 3 cups flour, yeast, salt, sugar. Heat milk until warm. Add to flour mixture and beat.
Stir in remaining flour. Cover and let rise one hour.

Dissolve soda in warm water, stir into flour mixture. Put batter (it will be sticky) into 2 greased glass loaf pans, let rise for 45 minutes to an hour.

Microwave one loaf at a time on high for five minutes (turning once halfway through if your microwave doesn’t have a turntable). Let rest in pan for five minutes, turn onto rack to cool.

This freezes well, just be sure it’s cool, slice, and freeze. Thaw one slice at a time, then toast.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Brown Sugar Blueberry Muffins

1 egg
¾ cup light brown sugar
½ cup milk
1 tbl. melted butter
1 ½ cups flour
¼ tsp. salt
1 tbl. baking powder
1 ½ cups fresh or frozen blueberries

Beat egg, add sugar, milk and melted butter and mix well. Sift in dry ingredients, but don’t stir yet. Add blueberries on top of flour mixture, then mix gently just until the flour is stirred in.

Bake in greased muffin tins at 425 for 12 minutes, maybe a minute or two longer if you used frozen berries.

Makes 1 dozen muffins

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Best Biscuits

2 cups sifted flour
4 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. cream of tartar
2 tsp. sugar
½ cup shortening
2/3 cup milk

Sift dry ingredients. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add milk all at once, stir only until dough follows fork around the bowl. Turn out on lightly floured board and knead gently ½ minute. Pat or roll ½ inch thick, cut with biscuit cutter. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet in 450 oven for 10 to 12 minutes.

Makes 16 biscuits.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Butterfinger Cookies

Quick! While you still have some leftover Halloween candy!

½ cup butter
¾ cup white sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 ¼ cup crunchy peanut butter
1 cup flour
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
5 little Butterfinger candy bars (Halloween size)

Mix butter, sugars, eggs, peanut butter. Sift dry ingredients, add to butter mixture and stir well. Crunch up candy bars and add and mix.

Form dough into 1 ½ inch balls and bake on ungreased cookie sheet for 10 minutes at 350◦.

Peanut Buttercup Cookies: Substitute chopped Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups for Butterfingers.


You’ll be sorry you found out about these cookies because they are so addictive. They are apparently best eaten the next day, but they rarely make it that long.