Shortcakes


Great with Berries and Whipped Cream!

shortcakes
 

INGREDIENTS:

4 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup sifted flour

DIRECTIONS:

Turn oven to 350°. Beat eggs and sugar together for 10 minutes. Fold in the flour. Bake in ungreased pan for 45 minutes.

recipe by: Mayme Wagner
image source: littlefrenchbakery.com

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Lemon Sponge Cake

A nice & light Lemon Sponge Cake from one of my Grandmother’s handwritten recipes. This one really couldn’t be any quicker or any easier.  Here we go:

Ingredients and Preparation:

  • 1 package Duncan Hines “Lemon Supreme” Cake Mix
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 package Jello Instant Lemon Pudding Mix
  • 4 eggs

Disregard directions on the cake mix box. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and beat well with electric mixer. Pour mixture into well greased tube pan.

Bake 55 minutes at 350°. Let cool. Remove from pan to finish cooling.

posted by Mountain Republic                                        recipe by Ruth Hagen

Homemade Thin Crust Pizza

I adopted my recipe for pizza crust from the 1956 edition of the Betty Crocker Cookbook. I prefer the “thin crust” this recipe calls for over the thicker crusts many folks love. I use Betty’s recipe for the dough, but I’ll top the pizza with whatever I want.

I’ve made pizzas from this recipe quite a few times now & we had enjoyed them so much, that my wife suggested that we do a “pizza night” each week. I don’t know if we’ll do it every week, as it does take several hours from start to finish. Save this recipe for another day if you want to be eating pizza in half an hour.

But if you do have the time, it’s well worth the effort. And if you’ve got kids, I know they’ll like helping build their own “pie”. The beauty of this recipe is you can top it any way you like it!!

DOUGH PREPARATION:

Dissolve 1/2 TSP. active dry yeast in 3/4 cup plus 2 TBSP. warm water (110° – 115°)

Blend in 3 – 3 1/4 cups sifted flour to make a stiff dough.

Knead on a lightly floured surface. Place in greased bowl. Turn to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (about 85°) until doubled in size (about 2 hrs.)

Divide into two parts. Roll each part until it’s about 12″ in diameter (1/8″ thick). You can roll the edge of the crust to make a stand up ridge if you like. (There’s no reason you couldn’t divide the dough again and make four individual pizzas.)

So it doesn’t stick, sprinkle a little corn meal on your pizza pan, pizza stone or baking sheet before you put the crust on it. (Don’t have a round pan? Roll the pizza dough into two 14″ x 10″ rectangles instead.) Now comes the fun part….

ADDING THE TOPPINGS:

Here’s where you get to be creative! You can add what ever toppings you like! There’s virtually no limit to the different combinations you can come up with.

Start off by adding a favorite sauce. You can use regular tomato sauce and add some Italian herbs or purchase a pre-made pizza sauce. Sometimes, I like using BBQ sauce in place of the tomato sauce. Ranch dressing is also an option or experiment with some different kinds of sauces. Sometimes I’ll use a very light coating of olive oil on the crust instead of a sauce.*

* When applying the sauce or oil, keep it about 1 inch away from the edge of crust so it doesn’t burn. Also, try to completely cover the sauce with your toppings. This helps keep the sauce from burning near the edge of the pizza.

Here's Pizza#1 after it finished baking. Pizza #2 didn't come out quite as round!
See below for what the pizzas were topped with.

Now it’s time to add your favorite toppings. Just to give you an idea of what kind of combos are possible, here’s what I loaded on my two pizzas last night:

PIZZA #1:

I brushed the crust with a very light layer of olive oil. Then I added chopped turkey breast, chopped mushrooms, chopped broccoli, Monterey Jack cheese, Mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese,  oregano, basil & rosemary. Topped it off with chopped green onions when it came out of the oven.

PIZZA #2:

I brushed the crust with a nice thick layer of my favorite BBQ sauce. Then I added cooked hamburger meat, chopped onions, chopped garlic, sliced olives, extra sharp cheddar cheese & oregano.

BAKING:

Bake at 425° for about 18 -20 minutes or so. Watch closely, as edge of crust will burn quickly. Pizzas cooked on a “stone” tend to be done a little sooner. Edge of crust will be crunchy.

Bake only one pizza at a time. I usually prepare the second pizza while the first one is in the oven. Makes about 6 -8 servings. Hope you enjoy!

posted by Mountain Republic

Banana Walnut Bread

I do most of my baking during the cooler months of the year & quick breads are one of my favorites things to bake.

Quick breads are made with quick acting leavening like baking powder, soda, sour milk or steam, instead of the slower rising yeast.

Many different kinds of breads, muffins, biscuits and corn breads fall into the “quick breads” category, including pancakes, waffles, dumplings & doughnuts.

Today’s “quick & easy recipe” is for Banana Walnut Bread. Ready? Here we go:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 cups sifted flour
  • 3-1/2 TSP. baking powder
  • 1 TSP. salt (Kosher if you have it)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 TBSP. shortening
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 overly ripe mashed bananas
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts

PREPARATION:

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Cream the sugar & shortening together.
  • Stir in the egg, milk & mashed bananas. Mix well.
  • Sift together & stir in the flour, baking powder & salt.
  • Add the chopped nuts to the mixture & stir.
  • Pour into a well greased 9″ x 5″ x 3″ loaf pan.
  • Dust the top with cinnamon or nutmeg (optional)
  • Let it stand for 20 minutes or so before baking.
  • Bake for about 70 minutes or until golden brown.
  • When done, a toothpick inserted in center will come out clean.
  • Let cool in pan for 5 minutes, then remove loaf & finish cooling on a wire rack. The loaf will have a “crack” on the top. This is normal.

Here’s a look at the finished product

The loaf will be easier to slice when allowed to fully cool, but who can wait that long?

posted by Mountain Republic

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Mom Jones’ Cookies

I remember my Mom made these cookies often when I was a kid.  This recipe was from my Grandmother & dated April 1955. I don’t know who Mom Jones’ was or where the recipe originally came from, but I do know these cookies sure are good!

This is definitely one of my favorite cookie recipes and it makes a good, large batch. I’ve baked these cookies for soldiers that I support in Afghanistan several times. The troops have always liked them, since I’ve heard the hard ones make fine projectiles to use on the Taliban!

I’ve made these many times for our family gatherings as well & they always seem to disappear fast. I remember my Mom used coconut more often than raisins, but I like them both ways. If you’re so inclined, you can add both raisins & coconut or cut the fruit out all together. The raisins tend to caramelize a bit in the oven and with the brown sugar, the cookies have a nice chewy texture.

So they don’t get too hard, I only like to bake them about 10 minutes or so. Let them “set” on the cookie sheet for two minutes before removing to cool on a wire rack.

This recipe can easily be cut in half. Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups sifted flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup shredded coconut or raisins
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 2 cups quick oatmeal

PREPARATION:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream shortening & sugars together. Mix well.

Beat in eggs.

Add flour, sifted together with baking powder, baking soda & salt.

Blend in oatmeal, nuts, vanilla & raisins or coconut. Dough will be very stiff.

Drop by rounded teaspoonful onto greased cookie sheet. Bake 10 – 15 minutes or until golden brown. Makes about 8 – 9 dozen cookies, depending on size.

posted by Mountain Republic                            recipe from Amy Chenevert

Fresh Blackberry Cobbler

Where I live in the mountains of California, blackberries are like an invasive weed. Many folks spend a good portion of time each year trying to eradicate the persistent plant from their property, fighting a good battle, but eventually losing the war.

All that’s mostly forgotten around this time of year, when the blackberries are ready to harvest. Head out into the forest & you’ll find a healthy patch of blackberries growing alongside just about any dirt road or near any damp, shady spot like a creek. Berry patches cover the entrances to many old mines around here.

We like to go hiking along old logging roads. Blackberries grow abundantly along the edges of these now seldom used roads. On our return trip, we’ll pick a gallon of berries to take home. Once home, we wash & drain the berries well. What we don’t use for that night’s cobbler, we will freeze and use later.

The following is my Grandmother’s recipe for Fresh Blackberry Cobbler:

Ingredients & directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a saucepan, add:

  • 3 cup fresh or fresh frozen blackberries (washed & drained)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 cup water

Bring to a boil for about a minute or until it starts to thicken a bit, stirring constantly. Pour the hot berry mixture into a 1 – 1/2 quart baking dish. Top with bits of butter. Dust with cinnamon is desired.

Measure & sift together:

  • 1 cup sifted flour
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 – 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Add to flour mixture:

  • 3 tbsp. soft shortening

(Mix in shortening with a pastry knife or fork until the mixture has the appearance & consistency  of “meal”)

Add to flour mixture & stir until mixed:

  • 1/2 cup milk

Drop spoonfuls of the topping mixture on top of the hot berries until covered.

Bake until golden brown, about 25 – 30 minutes. Serve warm, with cream if desired.

posted by Mountain Republic                                                    recipe by Amy Chenevert

Pecan Butter Cookies

These pecan butter cookies are easy to make & even easier to eat! Enjoy!

PECAN BUTTER COOKIES

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sifted flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped pecans

Sift together the flour and salt. Cream butter, sugar and vanilla. Add flour and mix until blended. Add pecans and stir to distribute evenly. Chill if necessary to handle dough easily. Shape into one inch balls and place a few inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in a slow oven (325 degrees) for about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and place on wire rack. Cookies, while still warm, may be rolled in confectioner’s sugar or a mixture of granulated sugar and cinnamon. Makes about 2 1/2 dozen.

posted by Mountain Republic                                                    recipe by Amy Chenevert