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Amy AlessioWelcome to my page, where the Vintage Cookbooks blog has lived for over 9 years! Sign up for my newsletter to receive a copy of TREASURES, the first story in my Amazon bestselling Alana O’Neill short mystery series with vintage recipes. My newsletter will send bonus recipes as well as news of my upcoming shows and books right to your email box. Treasures
In TREASURES, Alana, a young mother, discovers an unlikely secret after a fire in an antiques mall in this short mystery with recipes. This is the first in the Alana O’Neill mysteries and includes vintage recipes for: Congo Squares, Kolackys, Chiffon Cake, Pound Cake and Dark Chocolate Cake. Alana’s adventures continue in the separate stories: MISSING ANDY, FELLED BY FRUITCAKE and BLAST FROM THE PAST.
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Lemon Ladyfinger Torte

I have always like recipes with ladyfingers. I remember the first “Broken Glass” Jello pie I made, mainly as I was intrigued with the idea of lining the pan with ladyfingers. Have any of you made/tasted that one? It’s a favorite, mainly for the memory of making it with Mom when I was little. This easy cake recipe from the 1963 Better Homes and Gardens Snacks and Refreshments also seems fun.

1 1/2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

1/2 cup soft butter

2 eggs

2 tsp. grated lemon peel

2 1/2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice

4 dozen 4-inch long single ladyfingers

1 cup whipping cream, whipped

Gradually add sugar to butter, creaming at medium speed on mixer till light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Gradually add peel and juice. (Mixture may look curdled.) Beat at high speed till smooth, about 10 minutes.

On cake plate, place 12 single ladyfingers, curved side down, in 2 rows; top with a third of the lemon mixture, then a layer of ladyfingers. Continue layers ending with ladyfingers. Frost with sweetened whipped cream. Chill overnight. Makes 12 to 16 servings.

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Easy Raspberry Ring

This is another of those recipes which sound a bit weird but are no doubt delicious. It is also from the 1963 Better Homes and Gardens Snacks and Refreshments.

1 3-oz. package raspberry flavored gelatin

Dash salt

1 1/4 cups boiling water

1 10-oz. package frozen raspberries

1 cup whipping cream, whipped

1 10x4x2-inch loaf angel cake (I believe any angel food cake will work; I usually don’t see any in loaf shape.)

Dissolve gelatin and salt in boiling water. Add frozen raspberries and stir till thawed. Chill till partially set. Whip till fluffy; fold in whipped cream.

Rub brown crumbs from angel cake (I’m sure cutting works too.); tear cake in 1 1/2 – 2 inch pieces. Loosely arrange half of cake in bottom of 10-inch tube pan. Pour half of gelatin over. Repeat. Chill firm. Unmold. Serves 8.

 

 

 

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Handwritten Recipe Wednesday: Apple Bundt Cake and an Earring Challenge

This is the year of doing things I’ve been meaning to do for a long time, it seems. One thing is to make a cookbook out of the handwritten recipes, and that is in progress. Another is to lose weight, and that’s going well. I plan on testing for my black belt in June, and while I won’t say that’s going well, it’s going! Another is to do more creative things, like make jewelry. I used to love to do that, so I joined an earring a week type challenge from my librarian/designer friend Sarajo Wentling, who puts up beautiful jewelry on her blog. My efforts are pretty simple, but I had a lot of fun doing these.For sure I’ll be using vintage beads in upcoming posts. If any of you make earrings, you could join the party and post your designs.

In the meantime, it is of course Handwritten Recipe Wednesday. This sounds easy and fun. I love bundt cakes, and have a rose shaped one that this would go well with, I think, especially as it has no frosting.

3 apples – sliced

5 Tbsp. sugar

2 tsp. cinnamon.

Mix those together and put aside.

Mix together: 2 cups sugar, 1 cup oil, 4 eggs, juice of orange & rind or 1/4 cups orange juice, 2 tsp. vanilla, 3 cups flour, 3 tsp. baking powder.

Put half of batter in pan then apple mixture then rest of batter. 350F for 1 hr., 10 min.

The orange juice sounds like a good addition. Do you have a favorite bundt cake recipe?

Here are my first efforts at the earring challenge:

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Chocolate Fleck Cake

It was a big weekend for us as my 11-year-old Josh got his black belt in a three hour test on Saturday night. My husband was his partner and Josh got to throw him for part of it. We had a party yesterday to celebrate and thankfully this morning the boys are off so we are taking it easy!

This is an easy cake-mix recipe from my 1963 BHG Snacks and Refreshments.

1 package yellow or white cake mix

1/3 cup chocolate shot

1 1/2 cups whipping cream

2/3 cup instant cocoa (dry)

1/4 cup finely chopped pecans

Mix batter from cake mix according to package directions; fold in chocolate shot. Bake in 2 paper-lined 8x 1 1/2 inch round pans as directed on package.

For the frosting, combine whipping cream and instant cocoa; chill, then whip till fluffy. Frost cooled cake, sprinkling nuts between layers. Chill till serving time.

 

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Canned Fruit Cooky Freeze

There’s an entire chapter of recipes with canned fruit in the 1960 Better Homes and Gardens Dessert Cook Book. I don’t know about this one. I know the frozen fruit salad was very popular, and I like icebox cakes, but this seems like an odd combination of flavors.

Line bottom and sides of 8x8x2-inch pan with about 2 dozen chocolate wafers.

Combine 1 cup heavy cream, whipped, with 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 tsp. rum flavoring or vanilla. Fold in one No. 2 1/2 can (3 1/2 cups) fruit cocktail, drained, 1 ripe banana, sliced, 1/2 cup California walnuts. Pile into cooky-lined pan. Freeze firm.

Remove from freezer 1/2 hour before serving. Cut in squares. Makes 9 servings.

It seems like you are supposed to break cookies perfectly in half to garnish, too.

The caption on the photo is “A breeze to make, a joy to eat.” Hmm.

 

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Handwritten Recipe Wednesday: Bacardi Pina Colada Pudding Cake

This looks delicious, though they have Bacardi misspelled. I don’t drink normally, but this cake may have to be an exception.

1/3 cup Bacardi dk. rum (80 proof)

1 pkg. coconut cream or vanilla instant pudding

1 pkg. white cake mix

4 eggs

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup oil

1 cup flaked coconut

Blend all ingredients except coconut in large bowl. Beat 4 min. at med. speed. Pour into 2 greased & floured 9″ layer pans. Bake at 350F for 25 – 30 minutes. Cool cake. Fill & frost. Sprinkle with coconut. Chill. Refrigerate leftover cake.

Pina Colada Frosting

Combine 1 can (8 oz.) crushed pineapple in juice, 1 pkg. Jello coconut cream or vanilla instant pudding and 1/3 cup Bacardi dark rum in bowl. Beat until well blended. Fold in 1 container frozen whipped topping (thawed).

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Apple Upside-Down Cake

Here’s another gem from the 1960 Better Homes and Gardens Dessert Cook Book. I love the idea of apple rings instead of pineapple, though I may have to do some taste testing of both to be sure! Cake mix recipes are always a fun idea.

2 tart red apples

1/4 cup butter

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup broken walnuts

1/3 cup chopped maraschino cherries

1 package spice-cake mix

Core unpeeled apples and slice in rings 1/4 inch thick. Melt butter in an oven-going 10-inch skillet. Add honey and the apple rings; cook 3 minutes, turning once. Sprinkle with nuts and maraschino cherries.

Prepare cake-mix batter as directed on package. Pour 2 cups batter over apples. (Bake remaining batter as cupcakes.)

Bake cake in moderate oven (350F) 30 – 35 minutes or till done. (Bake the cupcakes 20 – 25 minutes.)

Cool upside-down cake 5 minutes in pan. Turn upside down on serving plate; serve warm. Top servings with whipped cream or ice cream, if desired.

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Ice Cream in Choco Tarts

I know yesterday was Elvis’ birthday, but I’ve done lots of postings on peanut butter and banana and other favorites. Check this date in previous years to savor the fattening delicacies he loved.

The subzero temps here in Chicagoland have me thinking of ice cream. I like this series of directions and photos from the 1960 Better Homes and Gardens Dessert Cookbook:

For 5 tarts, use 1 stick pastry mix. (What is the equivalent to this now, I wonder?) Roll to 1/8 inch. Cut in 5-inch circles. Lightly press pastry round atop same-size circle of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Prick pastry with fork.

(second photo) Now you’re ready to shape the pans and tarts. Holding pastry and foil together, flute edges to form in tart shells – it will take about 5 crimps. Place on cooky sheet.

(third photo) Bake tart shells in very hot oven (450F) 10 minutes or till pastry is golden brown. Cool baked shells on wire rack. Remove aluminum foil. Next comes the filling.

This recipe covers the shells in melted chocolate and almonds, kind of like the fancy waffle bowls you see in ice cream and frozen yogurt places.

Melt 1 6-oz. package (1 cup) semisweet chocolate pieces over hot water. Spread melted chocolate over bottom and sides of each tart; sprinkle with almonds. Cool.

Just before serving, fill each tart with scoop of ice cream. Trim with chocolate curls. Makes 8 servings.

What are you baking this weekend?

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Handwritten Recipe Wednesday: Pineapple Squares

I loved stained recipe cards, since that usually means a favorite. This is from a stuffed recipe box in my collection. Clearly it belonged to someone who liked to cook.

Then men and I are home on a dangerous cold day off school day, though I’m going in to work at the library later. It’s cozy, but I’d prefer to not have the cold!

for 40 min. at 350F

2 cans Doles crushed pineapple

2 cups sugar

5 tablespoons corn starch

Mix thoroughly and boil until thick – then cool.

Put in mixer and cream: 1 cup Crisco, 1 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 2 egg yolks

Add: 4 cups sifted flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda, salt (I’d use a pinch), 1/2 cup milk

Mix like pie crust. Put half in cookie sheet – put cooled mixture on bottom then put top crust. Beat 2 egg whites. Brush on top – sprinkle chopped nuts and white sugar.

 

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Molly MacRae Monday: For the Slicers and the Sliced – Cozy Comfort All Around

Happy New Year! On this First Monday, popular mystery author Molly MacRae reviews her favorite present received over the holidays. What was yours? I got an outdoor fire pit as my favorite, perfect for S’mores, though no one in my family will go out in the subzero weather and cook them with me out there yet.-AA

What’s the best Christmas present I received this year? Something perfect for someone who likes to chop, dice, slice, and mince. Also perfect for someone who works in a library. In case you didn’t know, working with books is hard on the hands – very drying. Combine that with lots of washing, because in the children’s department we work with the young and the snotty, and you’re lucky if your fingertips aren’t cracked, sore, and bleeding in the winter months.

Enter the world’s best Christmas present! For stylish, literary, and cute, you can’t beat the combination of Hello Kitty Band-Aids and Shakespearean Insult Bandages. Who wouldn’t feel better with that little cat wrapped around her finger? And who wouldn’t feel stronger with “Thy wit’s as thick as Tewksbury mustard” (Henry IV, part II) helping her to mend?

Most of my bandaging needs do stem from the library. I’ve hardly ever cut myself while cooking, even though I use big and sharp knives. Or maybe that’s because I use big and sharp knives. In any case, here’s a recipe for scalloped potatoes that requires plenty of slicing, mincing, and grating. The original version comes from the 1973 paperback edition of the Joy of Cooking (our copy being so well-used that it’s now completely loose-leaf), but we’ve made so many changes, over the years, that the only recognizable part is the potato.

Scalloped Potatoes à la MacRae and Thompson

Heat oven to 350º F

1 ½ – 2 quart casserole (sprayed with nonstick spray or smeared with butter, margarine, etc.)

Ingredients:

3 medium potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced (roughly equaling 3 cups)

1-1  ½ cups grated extra sharp cheddar cheese

½ – 1 jalapeño, minced

6 teaspoons flour, divided

1 ¼ c. milk (or nonfat dry milk reconstituted)

1 vegetable bouillon cube

Salt and pepper to taste

To assemble:

Layer ⅓ of the potatoes in the prepared casserole dish, sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of the flour, salt and pepper, ⅓ or the jalapeño, then ⅓ of the cheese.

Repeat the layers.

Heat the milk to scalding. Stir in the bouillon cube. Poor over the ingredients in casserole dish.

To bake:

Cover and bake for ½ an hour. Remove cover and bake for another 45 minutes or until potatoes are tender and the cheese on top is dark golden brown.

Eat!

And here’s a rollicking cozy mystery by Duffy Brown, to keep you warm and laughing when the winter winds blow. Geared for the Grave is the first book in her new Cycle Path Mysteries that take place on Mackinaw Island. Lots of fun!

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