a little of each

A family's cookbook

Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce June 2, 2013

Filed under: Desserts — alittlemoreofeach @ 3:49 pm
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Nana made this every January for Peter’s birthday. Peter would then savor it by the spoonful or over ice cream for the next few months. From a February 1954 issue of Woman’s Day magazine.



8 squares unsweetened chocolate

2 cups sugar

1 (14 ½ oz) can evaporated milk

2 Tbl strong black coffee

pinch of salt

1 tsp vanilla



Melt chocolate in top part of double boiler over boiling water; add sugar and mix well. Cover; cook over boiling water for 30 minutes. Add milk, coffee, salt, vanilla; beat until smooth and thick. Serve hot.


Pecan Cookies

Filed under: Desserts — alittlemoreofeach @ 3:08 pm
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1 ¼ cup flour, sifted

¼ tsp baking soda

1/8 tsp salt

1 stick butter

1 ¼ cup light brown sugar, packed firmly

½ tsp vanilla

1 egg, beaten

1 cup pecans, chopped medium-fine



Sift flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside. Melt butter over low heat. Remove from heat and stir in sugar using a wooden spoon. Add vanilla, egg and finally the dry ingredients, stirring until smooth. Stir in chopped nuts last. Place rounded teaspoons of dough two inches apart on cookie sheets. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes at 350 degrees.


Wedding Cookies

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1 cup plus 2 tsp all-purpose flour

1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

½ butter, softened

½ cup finely chopped nuts

¼ cup powdered sugar, sifted

½ tsp vanilla extract



Combine flour and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Add butter, nuts, powdered sugar and vanilla and blend well. Dough will be stiff. Shape dough into one-inch balls. Place on ungreased cookie sheets and bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool slightly. While still warm, roll cookies in powdered sugar until thoroughly coated. Cool completely.


Grandma Willis’s Molasses Cookies

Filed under: Desserts — alittlemoreofeach @ 2:51 pm
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2 cups molasses

1 cup lard

1 tsp salt

1 tsp ginger

1 tsp saleratus (baking powder) dissolved in ½ cup boiling water

flour to mix


No baking temperature or times.


Lemon-Pecan Thins

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½ cup shortening

1 cup sugar

1 well-beaten egg

1 Tbl grated lemon peel

1 Tbl lemon juice

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

dash of salt

1 cup chopped pecans



Beat first five ingredients (shortening through lemon juice) together. Add the baking powder and salt to sifted flour. Mix into creamed mixture. Stir in pecans. Form into rolls. Wrap in waxed paper and chill thoroughly. Slice very thin. Bake on greased cookie sheet for 12 to 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Makes five dozen small cookies.


Butter Cookies

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The holidays are never complete without this treat. Nana Hazel baked hundreds of dozens in her lifetime, and passed the tradition down to Emily. The butter cookie recipe came from a long-ago friend of Nana’s whose parents came from Denmark.

From Stephanie: Nothing says “Christmas” like Nana’s Butter Cookies. It is never too early in the morning, nor late in the day to enjoy a few. And then a few more. They go with most any beverage – hot tea, hot coffee, cocoa, cold glass of milk, punch. Not so great with wine, but perhaps I haven’t found just the right pairing. Nana would often put red and green candied fruit pieces in the center of hers (which would promptly stick to any and all dental work). My favorite butter cookies were the ones shaped like Milano cookies and dipped in dark chocolate (must be why I LOVE Double Chocolate Milanos today). There are some (you know who you are!) who could ‘take or leave’ a Butter Cookie (unimaginable to me) and certainly never with the dark chocolate coating. Emily continues to make these pieces of heaven whenever I ask (I try to keep it just to the holidays); she did make them for Easter one year and put dollops of pastel icing in place of the candied fruit. That got me to thinking Butter Cookies could be adapted by color to most any holiday, leaving plain ones for the rest of the year.


1 lb real butter

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup superfine sugar

4 cups all-purpose flour


Cream butter and sugar well; add egg and vanilla extract; add flour slowly until completely blended. Load dough into a cookie press with decorative inserts. Press onto ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 325 degrees for eight to 10 minutes or until golden around the edge. Let cool. If desired, decorate with candied fruit or dip into chocolate.

Chocolate dip:

Melt two cups of semi-sweet chocolate bits over hot water in a double broiler. Add ¼ cup hot milk and beat smooth. Keep chocolate warm while dipping; lay each cookie on wax paper until chocolate is firm.


Lemon Snow with Custard Sauce

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From a 1951 Woman’s Day magazine.



1 envelope unflavored gelatin

¼ cup cold water

¾ cup sugar, separated

1 cup boiling water

pinch of salt

zest of 1 lemon

juice of 2 lemons

3 eggs, separated



Soak the gelatin in ¼ cup cold water for five minutes. In a medium bowl, mix ½ cup sugar, salt and one cup boiling water. Add the lemon zest and juice. Chill until slightly thickened. Beat the egg whites until foamy, then gradually add 1 /4 cup sugar and beat until stiff. Add to the gelatin mixture and bet thoroughly. Pour into molds and chill. Serve with the custard sauce.


Custard Sauce:

Mix 3 egg yolks, ¼ cup sugar, 1 ½ cups milk and a little grated orange rind.


Lemon Cake Top Pudding

Filed under: Desserts — alittlemoreofeach @ 2:29 pm
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From an old magazine clipping in Nana’s tin recipe box.



3 Tbl butter

1 cup sugar

4 eggs, separated (both yolks and whites are used)

3 Tbl flour

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

2 tsp grated lemon zest

¼ tsp salt

1 cup milk

1/3 cup toasted, slivered almonds



Cream butter and add sugar gradually, beating until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks and beat well. Add flour, lemon juice, zest, salt and mix well. Stir in milk. Blend in ¼ cup almonds. Beat egg whites until stiff; fold into mixture. Pour into loaf baking dish, 9 x 5 inches. Set in pan of hot water and bake in slow oven (325 degrees) for 40 minutes. Lower temperature to 350 degrees and bake until brown, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining almonds and serve either warm or chilled.


Heavenly Pie

Filed under: Desserts — alittlemoreofeach @ 2:24 pm
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1 cup sugar

¼ tsp. cream of tartar

4 eggs, separated (both yolks and whites are used)


Sift the first two ingredients together. Beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Gradually add sugar mixture, beating until thoroughly blended. Use this meringue to line the bottom and sides of a well-greased 9” or 10” pie pan. Bake in a slow oven (275 degrees) for one hour. Cool.



½ cup sugar

3 Tbl lemon juice

1 Tbl lemon zest

pinch of salt

1 pint or ½ pint cream (Nana wasn’t sure which)


Beat the egg yolks slightly, then stir in sugar, lemon juice, zest and salt. Cook in top of double broiler over boiling water until mixture is very thick (eight to 10 minutes). Cool. Whip cream and add half to lemon/egg mixture and use this to fill the pie shell. Cover with remaining whipped cream. Let stand 24 hours in refrigerator before serving.


Heavenly Rice

Filed under: Desserts — alittlemoreofeach @ 2:23 pm
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1 cup cooked rice

¾ cup sugar

12 full-size marshmallows

1 cup crushed pineapple

½ pint whipped cream



Add sugar and marshmallows while rice is hot. Let cool. Add pineapple and fold in whipped cream. Refrigerate.