Aunt Mary passed away in January of this year at the age of 85. She was an absolute treasure. She was so many things ... the best cook and baker there ever was, the best listener, someone who would offer advice in such a way that you didn't even realize she was guiding you in a certain direction until she had already done it. She was a woman of strength, courage, forgiveness and love.
When my brother and I were young, my parents would take us every weekend to the Sunday School that was just up the road from Aunt Mary's. After Sunday School, we would spend time at her house and have the most delicious treats. Every Easter Aunt Mary would make a Yugoslav Easter Bread for her kids, her nieces and nephews, and, as the years went on she would add her grandchildren and her great-nieces and nephews.
Through the years she taught me and other family members how to make some of her wonderful treats. Somehow though, they would never turn out as good as hers. There was definitely a special touch she brought to the things she made.
At least once a month I would like to share one of my Aunt's recipes with you. She loved to cook, to bake, and to have people enjoy her creations. I think that even though she is gone, she would have loved to know a bit of her lives on. I hope that you can try the recipes and if you do and enjoy them, please let me know.
Salami Dolce 1/4 lb butter (at room temp) 1/4 c. baking cocoa 3/4 c. icing sugar 2 egg yolks 1 pkg social tea biscuits
Mix together all ingredients except the social tea biscuits. Crunch biscuits into small pieces and sprinkle with rum or brandy. Blend butter mixture and cookie crumbs together. Spread onto a sheet of wax paper and form into a log shape. Wrap in wax paper and refridgerate. Slice to serve.
Rum Balls 3 oz semisweet chocolate 1/2 c. granulated sugar 1/3 c. rum 1/4 c. corn syrup 2-1/2 c. finely crushed vanilla wafers 3/4 c. finely chopped pecans or walnuts
Melt chocolate, stir in sugar, rum and syrup. Stir in wafer crumbs and nuts. Chill until firm enough to shape into balls. Roll in sugar or cocoa. Layer between waxed paper and store in cool dry place (not refridgerator) for a few days before serving.
Mince Tarts 1 beaten egg 1/2 c. sour cream 4 oz. cream cheese (room temp) 1/4 c. grated lemon 1/4 c. rum 1/4 c. granulated sugar 1 tbsp flour 450 ml Mincemeat (Aunt Mary preferred Cross & Blackwell) 1 grated apple pastry shells
Mix first 3 ingredients together. Add next 3 ingredients and mix well. Add grated apple to mincemeat and mix. Drop mincemeat/apple mix into pastry shells to 2/3 full. Top with cream cheese mixture. Bake 20-30 minutes at 375 F.
Cappuccino Shortbread -see recipe from June
Candied Pecans 1 c. firmly packed brown sugar 1/3 c. orange juice 4 c. pecan halves
Line two baking trays with greased foil. Mix all ingredients together and pour onto one of the trays. Bake at 350 F for 10 to 13 minutes or until bubbly and dark golden brown, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven and immediately spread out on second buttered tray. Allow to cool and then break apart.
Sugar Cookies 1 c. butter 1 c. packed brown sugar 1 egg 1tsp vanilla 2 c. flour 1/2 tsp baking powder 1/4 tsp nutmeg 1/8 tsp salt
Beat butter until light and fluffy, gradually add sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla. In seperate bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, nutmeg and salt. Gradually add to butter mixture. Divide dough into 2 parts and wrap in plastic wrap and refridgerate for at least 1 hour. Bake cookie cut outs at 375 F for 10 to 12 minutes.
Quick and easy and ready for the bake table at the Back to School BBQ -
Brownies 1/2 c. butter 2 squares unsweetened chocolate - melted 1 c. sugar 2 eggs - well beaten 1/2 c. flour 1/2 c. chopped nuts (optional)
Cream butter, add melted chocolate and mix well. Mix in sugar until well blended. Add beaten eggs and mix well. Blend in flour and nuts. Spread evenly into greased 9" square pan. Bake at 350 for 25 - 30 minutes. Allow to cool before frosting.
Chocolate Frosting 1/3 c. butter 1 egg 2 c. icing sugar 1 tsp. vanilla extract 1 square unsweetened chocolate - melted Cream butter, stir in egg. Gradually add sugar and beat until fluffy. Add vanilla and melted chocolate.
An easy recipe that makes a nice snack for back to school/back to work lunches.
1 c. flour 1-1/2 tsp. baking powder 1/2 tsp. baking soda 1 c. skim milk 1 c. brown sugar 1 c. coconut (fine & unsweetened) 1 c. plain sunflower seeds 1 c. raw pumpkin seeds 1 c. dried apricots (chopped or whole) 1 tblsp. ground flax seed
Mix all indredients together in medium sized bowl, stir until moistened. Pour into ungreased loaf pan and bake at 350F for 50 minutes.
If you live in the northern hemisphere, have a vegetable garden and in that garden grow zucchini, then you'll know why this month's recipe is for Zucchini Loaf. They multiply faster than rabbits.
Blueberry Zucchini Loaf
4 eggs 1 c. sugar 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 1 c. vegetable oil 2 c. grated (unpeeled) zucchini 3 c. flour 1-1/2 tsp baking powder 1 tsp baking soda 1 tsp salt 1 tsp cinnamon 1 c. blueberries
Beat eggs, sugar and vanilla for 2 minutes. Gradually add oil and beat for another 2 minutes. Stir in grated zucchini. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl. Pour in zucchini mixture and stir until just moistened. Pour into greased loaf pan. Bake in 375 oven for 1 hour.
Cappuccino Shortbread 4 tsp instant coffee finely ground in coffee grinder 1 cup butter 1/2 cup icing sugar 1 tsp vanilla extract 1-3/4 cups flour 1/4 cup cornstarch 6 squares semi-sweet chocolate
Finely grind the instant coffee. In a large bowl, cream butter then add sugar, coffee and vanilla. Sift together flour and cornstarch and add to butter mixture. Mix to a nice smooth dough. Mould dough into the shape of a coffee bean (approx 1 tsp dough per cookie). Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 325 for 15 minutes. Allow to cool. Melt chocolate squares and dip cookie into chocolate. Place on cookie sheet lined with wax paper and place in fridge or freezer to allow chocolate to set.
This month it is a very simple yet very tasty barbequed chicken and cooked red cabbage.
Barbequed Chicken 1/4 c melted butter 1/2 tsp garlic sale (oops, I've been around Italians too long - I mean garlic SALT) 1/4 tsp salt 1/2 tsp chili powder 1/2 tsp pepper 1/8 tsp mustard powder Combine dry ingredients with melted butter. Brush over chicken. (I usually cook 2) Cook in 400F oven uncovered for 40 minutes then cover and cook for another 40 minutes Baste frequently.
Red Cabbage 3 to 4 medium apples, pealed and chopped 1 onion 2 tblsp olive oil 1/2 medium red cabbage, shredded In dutch oven, fry onion in oil until soft. Add shredded cabbage and apple. Add: 2 c hot water 2/3 c vinegar 1 tblsp sugar 1 tsp salt Cover and cook 2 hrs on medium/low heat until cabbage is soft
Strawberry Shortcake - 2c Flour 2 tbsp. Sugar 4tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp salt 1/3 c unsalted butter 1 c milk Sift dry ingredients together. Cut in butter with 2 knives or a pastry blender until the mixture is crumbly. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk. Toss the mixture lightly with a fork until the liquid is absorbed. Knead the shortcake dough lightly on a floured surface. Divide dough in half and place in two greased 8" round pans. Gently pat dough down with hands. Bake in 450 oven until lightly browned. Approx 18 - 20 minutes.
Strawberry Topping - 4 c whole hulled strawberries 1/3 c confectioners sugar 1-3/4 c whipping cream 2 tbsp icing sugar Slice the strawberries into halves and stir in cofectioners sugar (reserving at least 12 whole ones for the top of the cake). Whip the cream along with the icing sugar. Once shortcakes are cooked, allow to cool for 5 minutes and remove from pans. Place 1/2 of the whipped cream and halved strawberries between the layers. Place the remainder of the whipped cream on the top layer and garnish with the remainder of the strawberries, halved and whole.