Wednesday, February 25, 2009


2 cups self-rising flour
2/3 cup solid shortening
6 to 8 tbsp water

Cut flour and shortening together until mixture is like coarse crumbs. Add the water, starting with 6 tablespoons, and mix until a stiff dough is formed. Gradually add more of the water, if needed. Divide the dough half. Roll half of the dough to a circle about 1/8-inch thick. Transfer to a pie plate. Add the filling. Roll remaining dough like the first half and use over the top of the filling. Using your fingers, turn the edges of the dough under to seal and press into a scalloped designed edge. Cut small slits in the top crust to allow steam to escape during baking. Bake according to the pie recipe.


2 cups brown sugar
3/4 cup butter
2 eggs
1 cup cold coffee
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
3 cups flour
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup chopped dates, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream brown sugar, eggs and butter together. Dissolve the baking soda in the cold coffee. Add the soda/coffee mixture to the butter mixture. Add the baking powder and flour to the mixture and mix all together well. Stir in nuts and dates, if using. Spread the mixture on a greased and floured 12 x 17-inch cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Cool 1 minute. Frost with a simple powdered sugar icing.

Friday, February 20, 2009


1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 stick butter
1 egg
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour


1 cup chocolate chips
2 cups miniature marshmallows

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix the granulated sugar, brown sugar, and butter together. Add the egg and mix in well. Mix in the peanut butter and vanilla. Add the flour and mix well. Press or roll dough on a 15-inch pizza pan, going all the way to the edge of the pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the chips and marshmallows over the top. Return to the oven for 5 to 8 minutes until topping starts to melt. Cut when completely cooled.

Thursday, February 19, 2009



1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 to 4 tbsp red food coloring

Position oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans and dust with flour. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat together the shortening and sugar until fluffy, at least 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, to the creamed mixture, beating well after each egg. Beat in the vanilla.

In a small bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.

In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, vinegar, and food coloring. Gradually stir the dry ingredients into the egg mixture, alternating with the buttermilk mixture until all ingredients are just incorporated and the batter is smooth. Do not over mix. Using a rubber spatula, scrape the batter evenly into the prepared pans. Bake for about 35 minutes until the cake just begins to pull away from the sides of the pans and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool on wire racks for about 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pans and remove the cakes from pans by inverting them onto the racks. Turn right side up and let cool thoroughly.

The cakes can be stored, well wrapped, at room temperature for up to two days or frozen for up to two months. If frozen, thaw at room temperature before proceeding to frosting.


3 tbsp flour
pinch of salt
1 cup whole milk
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract

In a small saucepan, combine the flour, salt, and a few tablespoons of the milk; stir until smooth. Set the saucepan over low heat and stir in the remaining milk. Cook, stirring, until the mixture thickens to the consistency of gravy, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Using an electric mixer, beat together the butter, sugar, and vanilla for a minute or so until smooth. Scrape the cooled flour mixture into the butter mixture and beat on high speed for about three minutes, until the frosting is the consistency of whipped cream. (Frosting can be covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days; let sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes to reach a spreadable consistency.) Frost sides and top of cake.

Store cake, loosely covered, at room temperature for up to 24 hours. May be stored in freezer, well wrapped, for about a month. Thaw before serving.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
7 tbsp uncooked regular oats
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup cold butter or margarine, cut into pieces
2 small ripe bananas, mashed (1 cup)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup chopped toasted pecans
1 tsp vanilla extract

Combine the light brown sugar, oats, and flour. Cut in the 1/3 cup cold butter with a pastry blender until crumbly; chill this struesel.

Beat banana and eggs, sugar, butter in a large mixing bowl at medium speed with an electric mixer for 1 minute or only until smooth.

Combine the 1 1/2 cups flour and baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to the banana mixture, beating just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in the vanilla and pecans.

Spoon batter into 3 greased mini loaf pans. Sprinkle each loaf evenly with the struesel. Bake at 340 degrees for 35 minutes. Cool in pans on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Carefully remove bread from the pans and cool completely on wire rack.

Monday, February 16, 2009


3 large eggs, separated
1 to 1 1/4 cups sugar, to taste
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tbsp grated orange peel
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 to 1 tsp ground cinnamon, to taste
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup orange juice
4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1/4 tsp cider vinegar
Pre-baked (lightly) and cooled 9-inch single pie crust
Garnish with fresh orange slices, fresh berries, etc as desired

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Carefully separate eggs into 2 very clean mixing bowls. Allow whites to come to room temperature. Meanwhile, beat yolks briskly for a few seconds with a whisk. Add sugar, flour, orange peel, vanilla, cinnamon and salt; whisk again. Whisk in orange juice and butter; beat until blended. Stir in buttermilk and mix well. Set aside.

Sprinkle vinegar over the egg whites. Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites at medium-high speed just until they hold slight peaks. Stir a large spoonful of egg white into the yolk mixture and mix well. Fold in remaining egg white and mix gently but thoroughly until blended. Pour filling into the pie shell.

Place the pie on the lower shelf of 350 degree oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until puffed and light brown and a knife comes out almost clean when inserted in the center. If the crust starts to brown to quickly, cover the edge with strips of foil. Cool on a wire rack. If refrigerated, allow to warm slightly before serving.
Garnish as desired when serving.
Note: File Photo

Sunday, February 15, 2009


1 cup shortening
2 cup white sugar
4 eggs
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
4 tsp vanilla extract
Simple powdered sugar frosting, optional

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease cookie sheets and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the shortening and sugar. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Stir in the vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir the flour mixture into the creamy mixture, alternately with the buttermilk. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely. Once cookies have cooled completely, frost with a thin powdered sugar frosting, if desired.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


1 stick butter
12-oz chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts
5-oz colored miniature marshmallows
1 cup coconut, optional

Melt butter and chocolate chips until creamy. Fold the marshmallows into the chocolate mixture. Spread the nuts and the coconut,if using, on a sheet of waxed paper. Cover with the chocolate-marshmallow mixture. Roll up like a jelly roll. Refrigerate until solid. Slice and serve.

Note: File Photo

Thursday, February 12, 2009


1 pkg (26.5-oz)cinnamon streusel coffee cake mix
3 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup water
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 (1.4-oz) chocolate-covered toffee bars, chopped
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1/3 cup uncooked regular oats

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 13 x 9-inch pan; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl at low speed of an electric mixer, beat together the coffee cake mix, eggs, sour cream, butter, water, and vanilla for 1 minute or just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Spread half the batter into the prepared pan. Combine the streusel packet, candy, pecans, and oats; sprinkle half of the mixture over the batter in the pan. Dollop then spread the remaining batter over the stuesel layer. Sprinkle with the remaining struesel. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack. Drizzle the glaze packet over the top of the cake.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009



1 can whole berry cranberry sauce
2 tbsp flour
5 med pears, peeled and sliced*


1 cup coarsely crushed gingersnap cookies
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

For the fruit mixture, combine cranberry sauce and flour in a medium mixing bowl; mix well. Add the pear slices, toss to coat evenly. Place fruit mixture in a baking dish and set aside.

For the topping, in a small mixing bowl, combine cookie crumbs, flour, brown sugar, and butter; mix well. Sprinkle the crumb mixture over the fruit mixture. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until the pears are tender and the topping is golden brown.

Note: This is just as good when you substitute apples for the pears.

Monday, February 9, 2009


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup canola oil
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup nuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with non-stick vegetable oil spray; set aside.

In a mixer bowl, beat the sugar, oil, and eggs. In another bowl, combine the flour with the salt, baking powder, and cocoa, blend well to mix. Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture; mix well and add the vanilla. Fold in the nuts. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake 25 to 27 minutes at 350 degrees.


3 to 4 tbsp milk
1 stick butter
dash of salt
1/4 cup cocoa
powdered sugar

In a saucepan, melt the butter with the milk. Add the salt and cocoa stirring over the heat until well mixed. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Add powdered sugar to make a good thin spreading consistency icing. Pour over the cooled brownies and spread to cover. Garnish with mini chocolate chips, if desired.

Note: File Photo


1 box carrot cake mix
3 large eggs
1 cup water
1/3 cup canola oil
3 large carrots, grated
2 cups chopped pecans, toasted and divided
1 (8-oz) can crushed pineapple, well drained
2/3 cup sugar
24 pecan halves
2 cans homestyle cream cheese frosting
1 tbsp vanilla extract
praline crumbles

Grease 3(8-inch)round cake pans. Line with waxed paper; grease the waxed paper. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat the cake mix, eggs, water, and oil at low speed of an electric mixer for about half a minute to blend. Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir in the carrots, 1 cup of the pecans, and the pineapple. Pour the batter evenly into the three pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 22 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pans, on wire racks, for 10 minutes. Remove from the pans and cool completely on the wire racks. Wrap the cake layers in nonstick aluminum foil and place in the freezer for 30 minutes. Freezing will allow for easier frosting. Coat a sheet of wax paper with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

Place the sugar in a large heavy skillet. Cook the sugar over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Cook 5 to 10 minutes or until the sugar melts and turns a light brown. Remove the sugar from the heat. Working quickly, drop pecan halves, a few at a time, into caramelized sugar, turning to coat. Using a fork, remove pecans to the greased sheet of waxed paper. Cool completely; remove from the waxed paper and reserve for garnish.

Combine the frosting, vanilla, and remaining 1 cup of pecans in a large bowl. Remove the cake layers from the freezer and unwrap. Spread frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Let stand for 1 hour before cutting. Sprinkle Praline Crumbles(recipe below)over the top of the cake. Garnish rim of cake with the candied pecans.

NOTE: You can substitute spice cake mix for carrot cake mix, if you prefer. Increase the water amount to 1 1/3 cups if using spice cake mix.


1 tbsp butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Melt butter in a medium skillet over low heat. Add sugar, reduce heat to medium-low and cook until the sugar melts. Stir in pecans; cook until pecans are coated and sugar turns light brown. Pour pralines onto waxed paper. Cool; break into pieces.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


6 quarts popped popcorn
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda

Place the popped popcorn in a large glass bowl and set aside. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Grease two 13 x 9-inch baking pans; set aside.

In a 2-qt saucepan, combine the brown sugar, butter or margarine, corn syrup, and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and baking soda; mix well. Pour the syrup mixture over the popcorn and stir until all the corn is well coated. Pour into the prepared pans and bake, uncovered, at 250 degrees for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Cool completely before storing. May be stored in air-tight containers or plastic zip-top bags.


16 frozen dinner rolls, thawed and risen (I recommend Rhodes)
6 oz cream cheese, softened
3 tbsp sugar
1 egg yolk
1 2/3 cups cinnamon chips, divided
Vanilla Glaze (recipe below)

In a small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, and egg yolk until well blended. Set aside three tablespoons of the cinnamon chips for garnish. Stir the remaining cinnamon chips into the cream cheese mixture.

Spray a board or counter top with non-stick cooking spray. Combine the rolls and roll out into an 18 x 12-inch rectangle. Spread the cream cheese mixture lengthwise down the center third of the dough rectangle. Cut 1-inch wide strips from the edges of the dough almost to the filling. Begin the braid by folding the top row toward the filling. Alternately fold the strips at an angle from each side across the filling toward the opposite side. Fold bottom row toward the filling and finish by stretching last strip and tucking under to seal. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Supporting the braid with both hands, place it diagonally on the baking sheet. Cover with non-stick sprayed plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 25 to 30 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool and drizzle with the glaze below. Sprinkle the reserved cinnamon chips over the glazed top.

Vanilla Glaze:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp softened butter
enough milk to make of the desired drizzle consistency

Stir the powdered sugar and butter together in a small bowl. Add milk until you have the needed consistency.

Note: Chocolate Chips or Peanut Butter Chips also work well in this recipe.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


This is from an old Indiana Rural Electric Co-op Newsletter.

4-oz pkg German sweet chocolate
1/4 cup butter
14-oz can condensed milk
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch
1/8 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 deep dish unbaked 9-inch pie shell
1 1/3 cups shredded coconut
1/2 cups pecans

Melt chocolate with butter over low heat; stir until blended. Remove from the heat and gradually blend in milk. Mix sugar, cornstarch, salt, eggs, and vanilla together. Gradually blend in chocolate mixture. Pour into pie shell. Mix coconut and pecans and sprinkle over filling. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes or until top is puffed. Filling will be soft but will set while cooling. Cool at least 3 hours before cutting. If top starts to brown too quickly during cooking, cover loosely with foil for last 15 minutes of baking.

Monday, February 2, 2009


12 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped finely
6 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup heavy cream
3 tbsp rum (or use 1 tsp rum flavoring)
1 cup cherry preserves
1 semi-sweet (4 oz) chocolate bar

Place 12-ounce chocolate and butter in a large bowl. In a small saucepan, bring cream to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Pour cream over the chocolate and butter and shake the bowl gently to distribute the cream evenly. Let sit for 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk together by hand until smooth. Cover the surface of the icing with plastic wrap and set aside in a cool spot to set but do not refrigerate. When set, the icing should have the consistency of a firm pudding. Set aside the preserves until the cake is to be assembled.

With a vegetable peeler, shave the chocolate bar into a freezable bowl. Place in the freezer until ready to decorate the cake.

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup rum
3/4 cup boiling water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and line with parchment paper the bottom of single layer heart-shaped pan. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer cream butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, blending until smooth after each.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cocoa. In a separate small bowl, blend together the sour cream and rum. With mixer on low, alternately add the dry ingredients and the rum mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Slowly pour in the water and mix until well-blended. Pour the batter into the pan and shake gently to level. Bake 30 to 40 minutes, until center of cake springs back when lightly touched. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 to 6 minutes in the pan then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To Assemble:
When the cake is completely cool, invert cakes onto a serving plate. Using a hand held whisk, stir the cooled chocolate icing, adding the rum gradually. Once rum is incorporated, whisk vigorously for a few seconds until the icing is slightly lighter in color. Spread 2/3 of the icing over the sides and top of the cake. Take chocolate shaving from the freezer and adhere shaving to the sides of the cake. Spread the cherry preserves gently over the top of the cake in a heart shape design, leaving at least a 1-inch border around the edges. Use the remaining icing to make a decorative design around the cherry heart and around the top edge of the cake.


2 cups persimmon pulp
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
2 cups buttermilk
1 1/2 cups butter
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 tsp nutmeg
3 eggs

Cream sugar and butter together; add persimmon pulp, buttermilk and eggs. Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Bake in greased and floured pan for 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Cool and frost with the following icing.

3 oz cream cheese
1/2 stick butter
1 lb powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans
2 tbsp milk

Cream together the butter and cream cheese; add vanilla and milk; mix well. Add powdered sugar and blend in well. Spread over the brownies. Sprinkle with chopped nuts.

Sunday, February 1, 2009


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup old-fashioned oats, uncooked
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup raisins, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Cream butter and gradually add to the sugars, beating until light and fluffy. Add egg, vanilla, and pumpkin; mix into the sugar mixture very well. Gradually add in the flour mixture and mix well. Add raisins if you would like and mix in well. Drop onto lightly greased baking sheets and bake approximately 10 minutes or until lightly browned.


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup solid vegetable shortening
4 to 6 tbsp ice water

Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender or two butter knives. Add ice water, tossing with a fork, until mixture comes together; form into a bowl. On a floured surface, roll dough into a 13-inch circle. Place in a 9-inch glass pie plate. Trim the overhang to 1-inch and fold under. Flute the edge. Use with the following pie.

9 tbsp butter or margarine
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup toffee bits

6 or 7 Golden Delicious apples
3/4 cup toffee bits
1/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/8 tsp salt
2 tbsp butter or margarine

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

To make the topping combine butter, flour, sugar, and toffee bits. Form mixture into two balls; refrigerate.

Filling: Cut each of the apples into quarters. Peel and core each quarter, then cut each in half. Toss the apples with the toffee chips, sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Spoon the mixture into the crust. Dot with the butter. Remove the topping from the refrigerator and break into pieces over the apples. Bake for 20 minutes. Loosely cover pie with a tent of foil with a quarter-sized hole in the center to allow steam to escape. Bake for 1 hour or until bubbly and crust is golden at 400 degrees.