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Posts Tagged ‘Kid Friendly’

postheadericon No Bake Krispy Date Balls

My Mom was a  homemaker/home health aid with clients in the Schuylkill County area. Many were elderly and looked forward to her visits far more for the companionship than the health care and homemaking services she provided. Some of the clients came and went quickly due to severe health issues, but some were long term. It is usually inevitable that people thankful for assistance and companionship grow close to their caregivers. My Mom experienced just that. She often chatted with clients and many times, their favorite recipes came up in conversation. Sometimes the particular food was the topic of discussion because it was on the counter or in the refrigerator at the client’s home at that time. Many of these folks were culinary treasurers from the previous generation and turned out some of the tastiest Coal Region comfort food around.

One day, Mom’s client had a little saucer of these snacks wrapped and ready for Mom to bring home for my Dad and I to try. One bite and I fell in love. I had just passed my test for my driver’s license and asked to take the car to the store so I could get the ingredients to make more. I used to make them so often, I knew the recipe from memory. As I thumb through my recipe file and see cards in my Mom’s handwriting, I realize I have only made these once since she passed away nearly 30 years ago. It is time to make them once again, I believe. Thinking about her carrying them home to us that day with the little bow on top no longer brings tears of grief from my eyes over losing her but brings a smile. That is always something to celebrate – and these sweet, chewy little gems are just the ticket to celebrate with!

Fast and easy to make with no baking (only a few minutes of stove top cooking required), you will find yourself turning to them when you want an easy snack or need a contribution to a potluck or bake sale.

No Bake Krispy Date Balls

No Bake Krispy Date Balls

Krispy Date Balls

Ingredients

  • 1 stick salted butter (1/4 pound)
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 (8 oz.) package pitted chopped dates
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts, pecans, or almonds
  • 2 cups crispy rice cereal (like Rice Krispies)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Shredded or finely grated coconut for rolling

Instructions

  1. In a large saucepan, melt butter and sugar over low heat.
  2. Add dates and boil 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Add nuts, crispy rice cereal, and vanilla.
  4. When cool enough to handle, form into bite-sized balls and roll in coconut.
  5. Store in an air-tight container at room temperature.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2019/04/04/no-bake-krispy-date-balls/

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postheadericon Easter Resurrection Rolls or Disappearing Marshmallow Rolls

Super easy to make from only 5 ingredients and absolutely yummy, many families make these rolls at Easter to “tell” the story of the resurrection of Jesus.  Resurrection rolls (aka “Empty Tomb Rolls”, “Disappearing Marshmallow Rolls”) are dough with marshmallows wrapped inside, which become hollow as they bake and the marshmallow melts representing the empty tomb of Jesus on Easter morning.  You don’t have to have a particular religious affiliation, or any affiliation at all, to enjoy these rolls. They are a real treat for all and a great family baking activity, kids love making them, and kids of all ages adore eating them; how can you not like a soft billowy roll with a melt-y caramel, sticky sweet interior?  They should be served warm from the oven.

Each ingredient in Resurrection Rolls represents a part of the resurrection story.

  • The white marshmallow represents Jesus’ body .
  • The butter and cinnamon sugar mixture represent the oils and spices used to prepare Jesus’ body for burial according to the Jewish customs of the time.
  • The dough represents burial cloths.
  • The oven represent the tightly sealed and guarded tomb.
  • Time in the oven represents the three days Jesus was in the tomb.
  • The hollow space inside the baked roll upon opening represents that Jesus’  body was no longer in the tomb when the women came to see him on Sunday.

Easter Resurrection Rolls

Easter Resurrection Rolls

Resurrection Rolls / Disappearing Marshmallow Rolls

Ingredients

  • 16 large marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup salted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 2 (8-oz.) cans refrigerated crescent roll dough

Instructions

  1. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
  2. Unroll crescent roll dough, and separate each roll along perforations.
  3. Roll marshmallows in melted butter, and then in cinnamon-sugar mixture.
  4. Place one coated marshmallow in the middle of an unrolled crescent dough segment, and roll the marshmallow up in the dough taking care to completely encase the marshmallow by stretching, folding and pinching the dough around it.
  5. Place rolls on a parchment lined cookie sheet , and bake at 350˚ for about 10 - 12 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. If desired, immediately after removing rolls from the oven, brush with remaining melted butter and then sprinkle with remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture.
  7. Serve warm.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2019/04/02/easter-resurrection-rolls-or-disappearing-marshmallow-rolls/

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postheadericon Do Nothing Cake

My Mom always had some favorite “go-to” recipes that found themselves on the table at many family get-togethers or community events. She concentrated on foods that were easily transported, pleased a variety of palates, were budget friendly, and were not labor intensive. When called upon to provide a dessert, this cake was at the top of her list.  My Mom made this a gazillion times (ok, a LOT…) for many different occasions throughout the 60s and 70s.  I would hang out with her at our yellow vinyl and chrome kitchen table set not necessarily paying much attention to the creation of the cake but counting down the minutes until I could scrape the bowl and lick the spoon.  Mom would always intentionally leave some batter in the bowl rather than meticulously scrape it all into the baking pan “just because” I was “such a good helper”.

Although this cake was taken to many events, there is one that stands out in my 58 year old mind as if it were yesterday. Mom was a member of the local hosey’s (volunteer fire company) Ladies’ Auxiliary (back in the era when women could join the auxiliary of the organization and provide “support” and building and equipment fundraising help, but not be a member of the Fire Company itself…). The auxiliary met monthly at the hosey to discuss business (and keep up to date on neighborhood events and “happenings”) and each month it was the responsibility of that month’s “refreshment committee” to serve coffee and snacks at the official close of the meeting. I would often go with my Mom to the meeting and sit quietly at the bar doing homework or snacking on a piece of hot bologna, a 5 cent bag of Marsden’s potato chips, and a Coca Cola served in one of those little green glass bottles. When the meeting was over and refreshment time rolled around, I proudly took my place next to Mom at one of the long banquet tables while seated on a gunmetal gray folding chair that had the initials of the hosey stenciled on the rear of the backrest and told the ladies in attendance how “I helped bake the cake” Mom was serving. God love them; they smiled and nodded and made happy noises…and made my day. Of course, my chosen cake that evening out of the couple contributions available was always this one! Oh, Mom – how I miss my “baking buddy” and wish I could get you back, if even just for one minute.

This cake is very moist and makes an elegant treat for dinner guests, your family, or a potluck.  Make sure to poke plenty of holes in the cake top so the topping flows into the cake nicely. If transporting it, bake it in a disposable foil pan to safe the work of having to retrieve your cake pan later.

Do Nothing Cake

Ingredients

    Cake
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 whole eggs, beaten
  • 1 - 20 ounce crushed pineapple, un-drained
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    Topping
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) margarine or butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2/3 cup evaporated milk (NOT sweetened condensed)
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.
  2. Lightly grease a 13 x 9 inch baking pan.
  3. Mix all cake ingredients in large bowl until just combined.
  4. Pour into prepared pan and bake 30 to 35 minutes or until cake just tests done (do not over-bake).
  5. Make topping while cake is baking.
    Topping
  1. In sauce pan, place margarine or butter, sugar, and evaporated milk. Cook and stir over medium heat until it bubbles, then cook 5 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in the coconut and nuts until blended.
  3. Poke holes across entire top of cake with skewer or a long-tine fork.
  4. Pour the warm topping over the still warm cake (the topping will ooze down through the holes you made.)
  5. Spread the topping to cover the entire top of cake.
  6. May be served slightly warm or completely cooled.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2019/03/30/do-nothing-cake/

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postheadericon Super Easy Garlic Pull Apart Bread

Sometimes, there is nothing better to me than a warm piece of garlic bread dipped in my favorite pizza or pasta sauce. Forget the pasta and meatballs – give me the garlicky dough and I will make a meal out of it! I also like easy. Don’t get me wrong, I often spend hours, or even the better part of the day, cooking, but I welcome a break once in awhile. A loaf of frozen bread dough in the freezer is often a great shortcut to yumminess and this super easy garlic pull apart loaf is a perfect example. Kids love getting involved in making this, and everyone in the family loves eating it.

Super Easy Garlic Pull Apart Bread

Super Easy Garlic Pull Apart Bread

Super Easy Pull Apart Garlic Bread

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 loaf (1 pound) frozen white bread dough, thawed

Instructions

  1. n a small bowl, combine the butter, parsley, garlic powder and garlic salt.
  2. Cut dough into 1-in. pieces; dip into butter mixture.
  3. Layer in a greased 9 inch x 5 inch loaf pan.
  4. Cover and let rise in a warm spot until doubled, about 1 hour.
  5. Bake in preheated 350 F for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Turn out onto serving platter.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2019/03/14/super-easy-garlic-pull-apart-bread/

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postheadericon Ambrosia (Salad)

A staple on many tables in Pennsylvania Dutch country and found at church events, pot lucks, and holiday dinners, Ambrosia was on the menu for my family’s Easter dinner; both my Mom and I adored it. Ambrosia literally means “food of the gods” but technically, it also means a dessert made with oranges and shredded pineapple.  And mini marshmallows.  Got to have the mini marshmallows!

Often found in the ready made salad sections of grocery store delis in the Pa Dutch/Coal Region, Mom and I would occasionally indulge ourselves by purchasing a container, but nothing tasted as good as the bowl of Ambrosia that we prepared together on Good Friday afternoon intended to be an accompaniment to our family’s Easter feast.

Even though Mom always used fresh coconut (cleaned and grated by my Dad) for a cake for Easter dinner dessert, she always bought a can of Baker’s sweetened shredded coconut for use in her Ambrosia recipe. Mom also always bought a larger jar of maraschino cherries than needed for the Ambrosia and set some aside in a little dish for my Dad to divert him away from snacking on the cherries draining in the colander that were destined for the salad.  Without fail, Dad would stride into the kitchen and spy the draining cherries, Mom would hand him the little dish to divert his attention and give me a look and grin that said, “There.  That’ll keep him busy!”

As big a fan as my Mom and I were of Ambrosia, the rest of our family had a “take it or leave it” attitude.  And that was a good thing, because as the time passed between the making of the bowl of Ambrosia and dinner after church on Easter Sunday, the level of Ambrosia in the bowl dropped dramatically. Apparently, both my Mom and I had the habit of sneaking a spoonful of Ambrosia out of the fridge periodically when we believed no one was looking. Once the level became dangerously low and it appeared the Ambrosia was in jeopardy of never making it to Easter dinner, Mom would dutifully put aside a little bowl she tucked in the back of the fridge so she and I could have a taste on Easter Sunday with our dinner.  Years later, Mom and I had many a laugh reminiscing about our stealth attacks on the Easter Ambrosia!

As the Easter season approaches, I think I will add this to the dinner menu in memory of my wonderful Mom.  I would move Heaven and earth to have one more minute with her again if I could.  Love you, Mom. And miss you like crazy.

NOTE: Nothing is carved in stone regarding the ingredients – feel free to leave out something you are not fond of and add something you are, if you desire. Toasting the coconut before adding it to the salad  raises this to another level as does toasting the nuts if using. Make sure the pineapple, mandarin oranges, and maraschino cherries are thoroughly drained to keep the light and fluffy texture from becoming watery. Add the mandarin slices last and fold in gently to minimize the segments breaking apart. An overnight chill in the fridge before serving allows the marshmallows to become soft. The addition of sour cream in Mom’s version of Ambrosia keeps the salad from being overly sweet due to the high fruit content.

Ambrosia (Salad)

Ambrosia (Salad)

Mom's Ambrosia

Ingredients

  • 1 - 8 ounce tub of whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 - 20 ounce can pineapple in its own juice, tidbits or crushed, drained well
  • 1 - 15 ounce can mandarin orange segments, drained well
  • 1 cup red or green seedless grapes, sliced in half
  • 1 - 1/2 cups sweetened coconut flakes (toasted if desired)
  • 1 - 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1 - 10 ounce jar of maraschino cherry halves, drained well
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine whipped topping and sour cream.
  2. Add in coconut flakes and marshmallows.
  3. Fold in pineapple, grapes, and maraschino cherries and nuts (if using).
  4. Gently fold in mandarin oranges.
  5. Cover bowl and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight before serving.
  6. Keeps up to 3 days in refrigerator.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2019/02/26/ambrosia-salad/

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postheadericon Cool and Creamy Jello Pie

I love this pie and the recipe is a classic that has been around for a long time. It is so quick and easy you will find yourself wanting to experiment with other gelatin flavors; lemon, lime, orange, raspberry, peach – use your imagination. You can top it with additional whipped topping and garnish with fruit or serve it as is. You can choose to add fruit to the filling or not, it is up to you. If adding fruit, use a cup of small fruits or chopped pieces; make sure it is dry (fresh blueberries) or well drained (chopped canned peaches). This is a very family friendly recipe, quick to make, and kids love it.  This is a 3 or 4 ingredient dessert that is a welcomed light ending to any meal and is especially refreshing as the weather warms here in the Coal Region as spring approaches. Try it frozen in the hot summer months.

Cool and Creamy Jello Pie

Cool and Creamy Jello Pie

Jello Pie

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh strawberries, divided
  • 2/3 cup boiling water
  • 1 pkg. (3 oz.) JELL-O Strawberry Flavor Gelatin
  • ice cubes
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 tub (8 oz.) Cool Whip Topping, thawed
  • 1 ready-to-use reduced-fat graham cracker or shortbread crust (6 oz.)

Instructions

  1. Slice 1 cup strawberries; refrigerate for later use. Chop remaining strawberries; set aside.
  2. Add boiling water to gelatin mix; stir 2 min. until completely dissolved.
  3. Add enough ice to cold water to measure 1 cup. Add to gelatin; stir until slightly thickened. Remove any unmelted ice.
  4. Whisk in COOL WHIP. Stir in chopped strawberries. Refrigerate 20 to 30 min. or until mixture is very thick and will mound. Spoon into crust.
  5. Refrigerate 6 hours or until firm. Top with sliced berries just before serving.

Notes

You may use any flavor gelatin and add appropriate fruit to the filling.

http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2019/02/24/cool-and-creamy-jello-pie/

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postheadericon Choose Your Fruit Coffee Cake

When I find myself staring at the walls or in the midst of a bad case of cabin fever…I make food.  I “cook” as much as I “bake” and if pressed to answer the question, “Which do you enjoy more?” my answer would be that baking squeaks out the win. After doing some soul searching on why that would be my choice, I realized that I have a huge file of recipes for baked goods that I can turn out quickly, often with less stress, mess, and fuss than non-desserts. Plus, there are just some days where a big ‘ole piece of cake wins out over a four-course meal in the happiness department. One of my favorite quick-to-whip-up snacks is this coffee cake which makes use of just about any fruit I might have hanging out in the fridge at any time of year. I have even used a jar of good quality jam as the fruit filling in a pinch (Oooo, I just made it easier to make – now I have no excuses not to!) This cake was a favorite of my parents. My Dad always had a cup of coffee while we were still gathered around the kitchen table after supper together every night and really liked something sweet to accompany it. After I found this recipe and made it the first time, Dad laughingly remarked it tasted “moor-ish” (he wanted “more”) and pretty much demolished the cake by the next day. After that, it became one of my most requested creations and we had a blast trying fruit after fruit throughout the year. We never did have one that emerged as a “favorite”…they were all greeted and devoured with enthusiasm. I cannot remember how many times I baked this coffee cake, but each and every time I do, in my memories I see us sitting at the kitchen table, sharing the laughs of the day with each other.  I think I’ll go stir up this cake — and some memories — right now. (Recipe from a classic Better Homes and Gardens cookbook)

Choose Your Fruit Coffee Cake

Yield: 9

Choose Your Fruit Coffee Cake

Coffee Cake

Ingredients

    Fruit
  • 1 and 1/2 to 2 cups sliced, peeled apricots or peaches; chopped, peeled apples; chopped pineapple; pitted cherries; blueberries, blackberries or red raspberries
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
    Cake
  • 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 Tablespoons cold salted butter
  • 1 whole egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk or sour milk (to sour milk, mix 1/2 Tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar with the milk, stir, and allow to stand for 5 minutes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    Crumb Topping
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cold salted butter

Instructions

    Filling
    Apricot/peach/apple/pineapple/cherry/blueberry filling – combine prepared fruit and water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer for 5 minutes or until fruit is tender.
  1. Combine sugar and cornstarch; stir into fruit. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture is thicken and bubbly, about 3 to 5 minutes. Set filling aside.
    Blackberry/red raspberry filling – Combine fruit, water, sugar and cornstarch. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture is thicken and bubbly, about 5 to 7 minutes. Set filling aside.
    Prepare crumb topping
  1. Mix flour and sugar in a small bowl. Cut in cold butter until mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Set aside.
    Prepare Cake
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350F degrees. (325F degrees if using glass baking pan)
  2. In a medium bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda. Cut in butter, until mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Make a well in center of flour mixture; set aside.
  3. In another small bowl, mix egg, buttermilk (or sour milk) and vanilla; pour into flour mixture. stir with wooden spoon until just moistened – some lumps may remain.
  4. Spread half the batter into a lightly greased 8x8x2-inch square baking pan.
  5. Spread cooled fruit filling evenly over batter.
  6. Drop remaining batter in small mounds on top of fruit filling.
  7. Sprinkle with crumb topping.
  8. Bake 40-45 minutes or until golden brown.
  9. Serve warm or cooled. Store covered with plastic wrap for up to two days.

Notes

Rhubarb-Strawberry Coffee Cake: Prepare as above, except substitute 3/4 cup fresh or frozen cut-up rhubarb and 3/4 cup frozen unsweetened whole strawberries for fruit. Continue as directed.

http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2019/01/23/choose-your-fruit-coffee-cake/

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postheadericon Nougat Candy

When I was young, my family went grocery shopping at the local A & P every Friday evening because Fridays were payday for my Dad.  The local store was small, but seemed to have everything we needed at the time. As Mom, Dad, and I embarked from the Buick, Dad would drop a nickle in the parking meter, Mom would gather her pocketbook (purse) from the car and deftly drape it over her forearm, and I would run ahead to secure the perfect shopping cart (sometimes referred to a “buggy” in my area and by my folks); it was important it have no wobbles or wheels that made it undesirable for a trip around the supermarket! Upon opening the door, the smell of freshly roasted coffee hung thick in the air at the entrance/exit; a set of red coffee grinders, shoots caked with coffee grounds from previous users grinding their beans, proudly proclaimed “Eight O’Clock!”. By this time the folks had caught up with me and Mom started down the produce aisle while Dad and I went exploring. Nothing was ever more exciting to me than when we rounded the aisle that contained the thing I longed for most. I would tug on Dad’s shirt sleeve, he would dutifully bend down, and I would whisper in his ear – like I did every week –  “Did you bring some?”  “Yes,” he would answer grinning, “I brought some!”. The “some” was money. Pocket change to be exact. So very important because the object of my affection and the thing that drew me week after week was the display of individually wrapped assorted candies of which you could buy individual pieces! Right there!  Just pick your favorite, drop a nickle in the box in the center of the display, and chow down! And so we did. He picked his favorite (which seemed to vary – something I did not quite understand in my child’s reasoning) and I went right for the nougat. That individually wrapped piece of white, chewy, goodness inside which were little jewel colored gobs of flavored jellies.  Ah, my night was complete! That special little bond in childhood that Dad and I shared in that moment lives on today in my memory. Those displays are still around in markets, although the individual pieces are not 5 cents anymore. I have to admit, they do not hold the same fascination for me now these many decades later as I stand in the mega mart staring at the display. Sure, I still enjoy the candy once in awhile, but it feels like something is missing – and it is; my beloved Pop. This super-easy recipe for jelly filled nougats to create at home makes me think fondly of my Dad. It is among my favorites in my recipe collection

SOME HINTS:

  • extend parchment out ends or sides of pan to form “handles” to help with removal from pan before cutting into squares.
  • mixture is sticky, a piece of lightly greased parchment paper makes a good tool to push down and level our the mixture in the pan.
  • use a very sharp knife when cutting the nougat into squares
  • be sure to cool completely before cutting (several hours or overnight)
  • to make ahead or store: layer the cut pieces of nougat between pieces of parchment paper and place in an air tight container and freeze. To serve, let them sit for about 1 hour or 2 to bring them to room temperature.
  • you can use the gumdrops of your choice; red and green for the holidays, even spicy gumdrops, but be sure to use fresh gumdrops and SMALL gumdrops (otherwise you will need to cut large gumdrops up into smaller pieces and that’s not the best use of your time!!). Other types of “gummy” candies may not work correctly in this recipe (too tough, etc.)

Nougat Candy

Yield: About 60 bite-size pieces

Nougat Candy

Easy Nougat Candy

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 bags mini marshmallows (250g per bag)
  • 2 bags white baking chips (225g per bag)
  • 2 cups small gumdrops

Instructions

  1. Prepare a 9 inch x 13 inch pan by lining with parchment paper.
  2. Melt first 3 ingredients together, stirring often, until smooth over low heat in heavy saucepan. Remove from heat. Allow to cool for 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in gumdrops.
  4. Spread on parchment lined 9 inch x 13 inch pan.
  5. Chill overnight in refrigerator. Cut into squares.
  6. Can be stored n refrigerator or frozen.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2019/01/14/nougat-candy/

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postheadericon Raisin Filled Cookies

Sometimes, there is a food we see, taste, or smell that evokes vivid memories of times past, and if we are lucky, of someone very special.  Raisin-filled cookies immediately bring to mind my Nana (my Mom’s mother) both because she absolutely loved these cookies and she made them all the time for us. My Nana had some real specialties in her repertoire; her chow chow, her fudge, her homemade bread, and these soft, luscious cookies with sweet cooked raisin filling sandwiched between two disks of sugar cookie dough baked to golden perfection. As a child, I always knew something special was coming out of the kitchen when Nana opened the closet door, took her over-the-head, full-bib, cotton print trimmed with ric-rac apron from the hook inside the door, pulled it over her head, patted down any loose bangs she might have displaced and started to gather ingredients needed for her current project. Now, in the 60s when I was a child, my Nana did what a lot of women in the Coal Region did – she worked Monday through Friday in a local garment factory. I remember her being dropped off by a co-worker after work (Nana never learned to drive), walking in the door wearing a cotton dress, penny loafers, and white ankle socks that were completely caked with gray and black fibers when she would take them off at night; a result of the garment factory conditions and fiber dusts the workers were exposed to. My Nana was a somewhat tall woman, opposite of my short, bow-legged Pappy (her husband), and she wore her very dark hair cut short in the back with pin curls in her bangs. She cut a commanding figure in the kitchen when she set about to create something and I can close my eyes and see every detail about Nana and the family kitchen yet today. And though it may not seem to some people that this woman who still lived in the home she was born into in 1901 and grew up in, married to a coal miner who was the love of her life for nearly 60 years, factory worker by day, would ever be described as “regal”, but that is exactly what she was to me. Regal. Gone from my life since 1975, I wish we had had more time together.  Miss you, Nana. Thanks for the memories (and the cookies!)

NOTES:

  • Use margarine as called for in this old recipe. Butter and margarine have different characteristics; butter will alter the spread and texture of these cookies.
  • There is no need to manually seal the two disks of dough over the filling. The soft dough will seal itself as it bakes and the process will allow steam to escape.
  • Do not over-fill the cookies. Make sure to keep clean edges around the sides of the disks of dough to aid in the cookies self-sealing when baking.

Raisin Filled Cookies

Yield: 2-1/2 dozen approximately depending on size

Raisin Filled Cookies

Raisin-filled Cookies

Ingredients

    Dough
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup margarine (no substitutes)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup whole milk with 1 teaspoon white vinegar added, stirred and left to rest for 5 minutes
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
    Filling
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 8 oz of dark, seedless raisins (about 1-1/2 cups)

Instructions

    Dough
  1. In a stand mixer, or by hand cream the sugar and butter. Add the salt, egg, milk, baking powder, baking soda and vanilla; mix until combined.
  2. Turn off the mixer (if using) and add all 3 cups of flour. Turn mixer on low (or stir by hand) and mix until a soft, sticky dough ball is formed.
  3. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or for several hours.
    Filling
  1. In a small saucepan, mix the sugar and cornstarch well to blend and smooth any lumps.
  2. Add water and whisk until smooth.
  3. Add the lemon juice and raisins and bring to a boil on medium heat.
  4. Reduce to simmer and cook for 5 minutes stirring constantly.
  5. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Filling will be thick.
    Assembly
  1. Divide dough into 3 parts, refrigerate remaining dough while working.
  2. Dust work surface with flour and roll out dough to 1/8 inch to just under 1/4 inch thickness.
  3. Cut into 2-1/2 to 3 inch rounds with cutter. Make sure to cut even numbers of rounds.
  4. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet.
  5. Top each bottom cookie round with a teaspoon or so filling. Do not allow filling to go all the way to the edge of the round and do not over-fill. Press the mound of filling down lightly with dampened finger if necessary to flatten somewhat.
  6. Top the cookie and filling with another cookie round. There is no need to seal the edges, the soft dough seals and bakes together.
  7. Bake 375 F for 10 to 12 minutes rotating the sheet pan half way through. Cookies should only start to be a bit golden brown on the bottom and should stay soft.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2019/01/07/raisin-filled-cookies/

Assembly of Cookies

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postheadericon Mom’s Waldorf Salad

Waldorf salad is a fruit and nut salad generally made of fresh apples, celery, grapes and walnuts, dressed in mayonnaise. The name comes from the fact that the Waldorf salad was first created for a charity ball given in honor of the St. Mary’s Hospital for Children on March 14, 1896 at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York City. The original recipe was just fruit, celery, and mayonnaise. It did not contain nuts, which had been added by the time the recipe appeared in The Rector Cook Book in 1928. The other thing it did not, and usually does not, include is miniature marshmallows, but my Mom, faced with trying to get a fussy kid (who might that be?…) to eat fruit and vegetables got creative and always added the marshmallows.  For decades, I thought she was the only one who ever did that, but lo and behold, I was going through an old cookbook with recipes from the Coal Region and found my Mom’s exact recipe for Waldorf Salad in it — maybe adding  the marshmallows is a Coal Region thing, I don’t know, but to this day, there is not one batch of Waldorf Salad made in my kitchen that does not contain those mini marshmallows! Mom never added the traditional grapes, therefore, I do not, either. Just typing this recipe out takes me back to memories of me as a kid, sitting at our chrome and yellow vinyl covered chairs  kitchen table set, chowing down on a bowl of Waldorf Salad while my Mom puttered around the kitchen doing what Moms do so well — showing you how much they loved you.  Miss you so much, Mom. This one’s for you. (The photo is  missing the marshmallows, apologies, I did  not have one with them included! Photo from Taste of Home)

Mom’s Waldorf Salad

Yield: 6 to 8

Mom’s Waldorf Salad

Mom's Waldorf Salad

Ingredients

  • 3 cups eating apples, peeled and cored, diced into 1/4 - 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 1 cup thinly sliced celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • Mayonnaise or "salad dressing" (like Miracle Whip)

Instructions

  1. In bowl, combine apples, marshmallows, celery, and nuts.
  2. Toss with enough mayonnaise or sala d dressing to moisten well.
  3. Chill.
  4. Add additional mayonnaise or salad dressing if needed before serving.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/12/14/moms-waldorf-salad/

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