Tag Archives: dessert

Spice Corn Syrup Cake

Today’s recipe comes from Watkins Economy Recipes. This little booklet includes 48 pages of recipes and advice on how to deal with rationing and shortages. There are sections on stretching meat and sugar that offer interesting recipes that I want to try soon. Each recipe’s ingredients list includes at least one Watkins product.

The J.R. Watkins Company began when Mr. Watkins began selling liniment door-to-door in southeastern Minnesota in 1868. The company expanded, and by the 1940s, it was the largest direct sales company in the world. Watkins products are still being sold in stores today.

Inside the back cover of this cookbook is a checklist of Watkins’ products. There are spices and medicines, cleansers and veterinarian products. It’s a fascinating, varied list. If a home front housewife had a problem, chances are that the Watkins catalog had a solution.

Today’s spice cake recipe is an example of a dessert that did not require much sugar.

Spice Corn Syrup Cake

  • 2 c sifted cake flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp Watkins baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp Watkins ginger
  • 1 tsp Watkins cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Watkins nutmeg
  • 1/2 c shortening
  • 1 c light corn syrup, preferably extra sweet variety
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 c cold coffee
  • 1 c raisins
  • 1 tsp Watkins vanilla
  • 1 tsp flour to dredge raisins

Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and spices. Melt shortening over hot water, mix with the corn syrup and cool. Cream mixture thoroughly. Add egg yolks and beat briskly. Add egg and beat well. Add flour mixture alternately with the coffee. Dredge raisins in 1 tsp flour and add those and the vanilla. Mix. Pour into 2 greased layer cake pans and bake 25-30 minutes at 350°F. Test with a cake tester before removing from oven.

NOTE: I kept the Watkins brand name ingredients so you could see how many were in the recipe.

Results

I wish I could say that we liked this cake. It was so dry and didn’t have much flavor. Since it was baked in two layer cake pans, it ended up being thin, as well. We added whipped cream topping to it to try to combat the dryness, but it didn’t help much. Adding a scoop or two of ice cream makes everything better, and this cake is no exception. The raisins were a nice touch. They added a bit of texture.

Baking without…Milk: Coffee Spice Cake

The second recipe in the “Baking without…Milk” series is this delicious coffee cake. It’s from an article in the January 1945 issue of Woman’s Day magazine. I also have a 1941 recipe booklet called The Bread Basket that I’ve been wanting to use for a while. The booklet is full of bread recipes using Fleischmann’s Yeast. There are pastries, cakes, rolls, and a variety of other breads. I had my teenage daughter help me since she makes wonderful bread from scratch. We decided to add a cinnamon topping from The Bread Basket since it also doesn’t call for milk and would have been a recipe housewives in 1945 might have chosen to add themselves.

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Coffee Spice Cake

1/2 c lard

1 c sugar

2 eggs, grade B

3 tbsp molasses

1/2 c cold strong coffee

2 c sifted cake flour

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp allspice

1/2 tsp ginger

Cream lard, add sugar and cream until fluffy, then beat in eggs one at a time and add molasses. Beat well. Add coffee alternately with mixed and sifted dry ingredients. Bake in greased 9 x 9 x 2-inch pan in a moderate oven (375°) for 40 minutes. You can also bake in two 8-inch layers for 25 minutes.

Cinnamon Topping

6 tbsp butter

3/4 c sugar

6 tbsp sifted flour

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp salt

Cream the butter, add sugar gradually, mixing well. Add remaining ingredients and stir until mixed well and crumbly.

Results

After having the past few cakes turn out dry, I was expecting the same from this coffee spice cake. I was very wrong. It was moist and delicious. The cinnamon topping disappeared into the cake while it baked and added a really nice cinnamon flavor. This is a great cake for a brunch or breakfast, and it would be perfect for an afternoon tea or coffee get together. Try adding some vanilla ice cream! The recipe does have coffee in it, but we mainly tasted the molasses and the cinnamon from the topping we added.  The cake is quick and easy to make and I heartily recommend it.

Here is another from this baking without milk series: Baking without…Milk: Orange Marmalade Cake

The “Baking without…” series begins here: Baking without…Eggs: Cocoa Cake with Chocolate Glaze

Baking without…Sugar: Rolled Maple Lace Wafers

Sugar was first rationed in 1942. It was the first consumer commodity rationed but was soon to be followed by items like meat, coffee, and processed foods. Beginning on May 5, 1942, each person could receive a half pound of sugar a week. A pound of granulated sugar contains roughly 2 cups. In 1942, this was cutting the average family’s sugar consumption in half.

Home front housewives struggled to adapt to cooking with new restrictions, and magazines and cookbooks provided recipes to help them find appealing dishes for their family meals and desserts. This series of recipes is from the January 1945 issue of Woman’s Day. For recipes that don’t use eggs, check out that series beginning with Cocoa Cake with Chocolate Glaze

This recipe is the first of three that don’t require sugar. Unfortunately, this recipe didn’t turn out the way it was supposed to. These little cookies still tasted terrific, they just weren’t anything like the recipe suggests they should be! More on that in a minute.

Rolled Maple Lace Wafers.

1/2 c. maple-flavored pancake syrup

1/4 c. margarine

1/2 c. sifted flour

1/8 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp baking powder

A few grains of salt

Combine the syrup and margarine in a saucepan. Bring it to a boil, stirring constantly. When it is at a hard boil, keep it there for 30 seconds. Sift the remaining ingredients together and add them all at once to the syrup and margarine mixture. Stir briskly. This dough will be lumpy. Drop half teaspoonfuls on a greased cookie sheet about 5 inches apart. Bake at 350° for 6 to 8 minutes until they are golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 1 minute. Remove each wafer from the cookie sheet and roll it around a round handled spoon, then place it on a rack to cool. Don’t bake more than 8 cookies at once because they will harden too fast to roll on the spoon. If they do harden too much, you can return them to the oven for a few seconds.

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Results

The cookies should be little rolled wafers. We tried over and over to get this recipe to work, but we finally gave up and just baked them as cookies. Our cookies were too cakey inside to allow them to roll without breaking. The recipe says it makes about 2 1/2 dozen wafers, but if you make cookies the size of the ones you see here, it only makes about a dozen.

The cookies were tasty. They were soft and tasted like maple syrup on a pancake. They did taste better fresh out of the oven, so warming them when cold would probably be best. We ate them with tea and milk.

 

The Dishes

The cookies are displayed on an Anchor Hocking Vintage pattern snack set from the 1950s-1960s. These snack sets are handy for serving everything from sandwiches to cookies. We’ve used them for brunches, luncheons, afternoon teas, parties, and bedtime snacks. I’m not sure why these don’t seem to be made anymore. They are amazingly versatile.

Chocolate Syrup

Tomorrow’s drink calls for chocolate syrup. I thought it might be fun to make my own syrup with a recipe from 1944. It’s in The Good Housekeeping Cook Book in the drinks section, so it’s a recipe specifically for adding to beverages. The cookbook suggests using it for iced cocoa or chocolate, chocolate milk, shakes, and so on. The recipe makes quite a bit of syrup, so make sure you have a large enough storage container. The pictures here are of one small jar of syrup, but there was enough to fill several jars.

The resulting syrup was a little on the runny side, but it mixed smoothly into milk, and would probably be thick enough to use on ice cream. We tested the syrup in different amounts in milk, and it mixed well even when we made the milk extra chocolatey.

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The recipe does offer a couple options when it comes to ingredients. We used cocoa and did not use any corn syrup. I’d love to hear how you use this chocolate syrup.

Chocolate Syrup

1 c. cocoa OR 4 sq. (4 oz) unsweetened chocolate, cut in pieces

3 c. granulated sugar (corn syrup may be used as a substitute for half the sugar–add just before cooling)

1/4 tsp salt

2 c. cold water

3 tsp vanilla extract

Combine the cocoa or chocolate, the sugar, and salt in a small saucepan. Stir in the water and cook the mixture over low heat, stirring until it’s thickened and smooth. (The recipe says this will take about 5 minutes, but we cooked ours longer.) You can beat it with an egg beater if needed. Cool slightly, and then add the vanilla. Pour into a glass container and keep in the refrigerator.

 

The Original Chocolate Chip Cookie: Toll House Chocolate Crunch Cookies

Here they are! This is the original recipe for chocolate chip cookies. You can find the history of this recipe in my last blog post:  Ruth Wakefield’s Toll House Tried and True Recipes. 

I’m pretty sure this is the chocolate chip cookie recipe I grew up with. These cookies are the perfect blend of cookie, chocolate, and nuts. They are a wonderful warm gooey after school treat. They are the ultimate portable snack and are great in lunch boxes or for office parties. Even if you have a favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, trying the original is a fun way to touch a little bit of history. Enjoy!

Toll House Chocolate Crunch Cookies

1 c. butter

3/4 c. brown sugar

3/4 granulated sugar

2 eggs, beaten whole

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp hot water

2 1/4 c. flour

1 tsp salt

1 c. chopped nuts

2 bars (7 oz each) Nestlé semi-sweet chocolate cut into pea-size pieces

1 tsp vanilla

Cream the butter and add the brown sugar, sugar, and eggs. Dissolve the baking soda in the hot water and add to the mixture. Sift the flour and salt together and add to the batter. Add the chopped nuts, chocolate, and vanilla. Drop half teaspoons on a greased cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes at 375°. Makes 100 cookies.

Thanks again to Addie at Sugar Addie’s.

 

Small Summer Fruits: Fruit Crumble

The August 1943 issue of Woman’s Day included an article called “The Small Summer Fruits” in the war food section. The article included a selection of recipes for berries, cherries, currants, and other small fruits. I thought this would be a great time to try these 75-year-old recipes since fruits and berries are plentiful right now. We will start with a fruit crumble. Without the fruit, this recipe would have cost 8 cents in 1943.

We used raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries in our crumble. We also doubled the recipe because we were feeding 9 people. I’m including the original recipe here.

Fruit Crumble

2 c. prepared berries, cherries, or currants

2/3 c. sugar*

Juice of 1 lemon

3 tbsp margarine

2/3 c. sifted flour

1/8 tsp salt

Place the fruit in the bottom of a 1-quart baking dish with half of the sugar. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Blend the margarine, remaining sugar, flour, and salt together. Sprinkle this mixture over the fruit. Bake for 40 minutes at 350°. Serve hot or cold.

*If currants or gooseberries are used, increase the sugar to 3/4 cups.

Results

We ate this shortly after it came out of the oven. It was very sweet and the topping was lightly crunchy. The strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries we used were fresh and sweet, but the added sugar took that sweetness up a notch. This is the kind of recipe that just begs to be eaten with ice cream, so a few of my testers added some vanilla ice cream to their serving. It would make a nice ending to an outdoor neighborhood get-together or would top off a night of board games or stargazing. I like how the taste experience will change depending on the fruits chosen. Plus, it’s super easy to make.

I’d like to include one or two more of the recipes from this article. There were some less familiar dishes that I’d like to try. Addie from @sugaraddies lent her hand with this crumble. As always, I appreciate her talents.

Enjoy your weekend!

 

Baking without…Eggs: Crumb Cake

The second recipe in the “Baking without…Eggs” series is a crumb cake. If you missed the first in the series, you can find it here: Cocoa Cake. The final post in the series can be found here: Prune Cake.

Let’s jump right to today’s recipe.

Ingredients

1 c evaporated milk

1 tbsp vinegar

1 1/2 c sifted flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 c brown sugar

1/4 c shortening

1 tbsp molasses

Crumb Topping

Crumb Topping

2 tbsp shortening

2 tbsp sugar

1/4 c flour

1/4 c dry bread crumbs

1/2 tsp cinnamon

dash nutmeg

Mix the evaporated milk and vinegar. Set mixture aside for a moment. In another bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together. Add the sugar. Cut in the shortening to the consistency of course meal. Then add the molasses and evaporated milk mixture. Pour into a well greased 9 x 9 x 2″ pan.

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For the crumb topping, cream the shortening and the sugar, then mix in the remaining ingredients. Sprinkle this mixture on top of the cake. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes.

 

A couple notes: If you are a fan of cinnamon, you might add a bit more in both the cake batter and the crumb topping. Also, we ended up cooking the cake a bit longer than 30 minutes, so you might double check yours when you pull it from the oven at the 30 minute mark.

 

Results

I keep waiting for one of these recipes to not be a smashing success at my house, but this cake definitely wasn’t it. It was moist with a nice cinnamon crunch. With nine of us testing it, it was completely gone within an hour. This would be nice as part of a weekend breakfast or brunch. A couple of my taste testers ate it warm with vanilla ice cream and said that was a nice way to eat it. We enjoy that combo of hot and cold when it comes to baked goods. You’ll probably see the addition of ice cream mentioned numerous times in the future. Perhaps I should look for a period ice cream recipe. It’s nice to have options when serving a dish.

Addie from Sugar Addie’s (@sugaraddies) helped with the baking again, and as always, I appreciate her lending her talented helping hands.

The next, and final, recipe in this egg-free series is a prune cake. I’m not sure what to expect with a prune cake, so I’m excited to get started. Enjoy your weekend!