Big Ginger Molasses Cookies

4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cloves
1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 cup Crisco
3 cups white sugar (plus another 1/2 cup for rolling the dough)
1/2 cup Steen’s dark molasses
2 large eggs

1. Stir together the flour, salt, baking soda, ginger, cloves & cinnamon and set aside.

2. Beat together the butter, shortening, and 3 cups of sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in molasses. Add eggs, one at a time. Gradually beat in the flour mixture and combine well.

3. Form dough into 25 two-inch balls. The dough is heavy, but not sticky, and easy to handle. Roll the balls in sugar. Arrange the balls about 4 inches apart on a cookie sheet, and flatten slightly.

4. Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes, or until puffed and golden. This make 25 large cookies.

Deep Dish Brownies

For many years library staff members have been contributing recipes to their staff newsletter. The following recipe appeared in April 2005.

  • 2 sticks “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” margarine and 1 stick real butter, melted together (this is a total of 1 1/2 cups, and using 1 stick real butter makes a difference)
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3 teasp. vanilla
  • 1 teasp. salt
  • 1 cup Hershey’s cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teasp. baking powder

Mix melted butter & margarine, vanilla, sugar, and salt together, with a big spoon. Add eggs one at a time, stirring well. Add cocoa powder and blend together. Stir in the flour and baking powder. Bake in a 13″ x 9″ pan at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

Pecan Pie Mini Muffins

For many years library staff members have been contributing recipes to their staff newsletter. The following recipe appeared in April 2004.

Mix together and set aside:
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
½ cup all purpose flour
1 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted

Mix together:
10 Tablespoons melted butter (not margarine)
2 eggs, beaten

Combine the two mixtures until just moistened. Fill greased mini-muffin pans 2/3 full and bake at 350 degrees for 13 minutes.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

3 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon mace or nutmeg
2/3 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 beaten eggs
1 can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
12 oz. chocolate chips

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, mace, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the center. Combine eggs, pumpkin, milk and oil. Add all at once to dry ingredients. Stir until just moistened. Stir in chocolate chips. Spoon into greased muffin tins and bake at 400 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes. Makes two dozen. These freeze well!

Spicy Molasses Pecan Pie

1 partially baked single 9-inch pie crust (cooled)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1/4 to 1/3 cup cup light molasses (not dark)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg or mace
½ teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy cream or undiluted evaporated milk
1 generous cup pecan halves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place butter in a small skillet or saucepan and heat over medium low heat until it melts, turns light brown, and gives off a nutty aroma, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan immediately from the heat and pour the butter into a large mixing bowl.

Add the sugar to the butter and mix well with a wooden spoon. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the molasses, lemon juice, nutmeg, cloves, and vanilla extract and mix until the filling is well blended. Add the heavy cream or milk and beat until smooth.

Pour the filling into the prepared pie shell. Spread the pecan halves on top of the pie. Place the pie on the middle shelf of the preheated oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the pie is golden brown and puffed, and a knife comes out clean when inserted into the center. Cool on a wire rack until the pie is set. — Brown sugar (641.86 W585b)

Coffee Caramel Nut Tart

1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup heavy (whipping) cream
2 tablespoons instant coffee
1 package (14 ounces) caramels, unwrapped
4 cups toasted pecans or almonds
Melted semi-sweet chocolate for drizzling on the dessert (optional)
Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Mix the crumbs, butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a medium bowl until well mixed. Press the mixture onto the bottom and one inch up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.
Stir the cream and instant coffee in a large microwavable bowl until well blended. Add the caramels. Microwave on high for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring every minute. Stir until the caramels are completely melted. Stir in the nuts. Spoon the mixture into the baked crust. Spread the top evenly with a knife.
Refrigerate for about one hour or until firm. Cut into slices to serve. Drizzle with melted chocolate, if desired.–Maxwell House coffee drinks and desserts cookbook (641.865 M465.7a)

Sugar Fudge

1/2 cup butter
3 cups sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup chocolate malted powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ cups pecans
Combine all ingredients except pecans in a deep saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. Mixture will bubble and rise in the pan. When a drop of the liquid makes a soft ball when dropped in a cup of cold water (235 degrees Fahrenheit on a candy thermometer), the candy is ready.
Add pecans, stir well, and pour into a buttered 11”x7” pan. Mixture will harden as it cools. When completely cooled, cut into squares.–Roux memories (LA 641.5976 H912r)
**The author says her mother also used the recipe for this crisp yet creamy fudge to frost cakes, spreading it while still warm and pliable, resulting in delicious candy-coated birthday cakes.

Fresh Apple Cake

1 ½ cups vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
3 eggs, well beaten
3 cups chopped apples
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup chopped pecans
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla

For topping:

1 stick butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup canned cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
Mix vegetable oil and sugar. Add eggs and beat well. Add apples and nuts. Sift flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon together several times. Blend with sugar mixture. Add vanilla. Pour into tube or bundt pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour. (This makes a lot of batter. I usually make a bundt cake and a small loaf.)

Topping: Melt butter and sugar together. Add cream. Bring to hard boil; cool and add vanilla.
–Savory Secrets (LA 641.597 S268r)

Blackberry and Cream Cheese Mousse Parfaits

3 cups fresh blackberries
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
One 8-ounce pkg cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
6 tablespoons full-fat (not low or non-fat) sour cream
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy cream, chilled
2 whole graham crackers
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Combine the blackberries, 2 tablespoons of the granulated sugar, and the lemon juice in a medium-size bowl, mashing about half of the berries to release their juices. Let stand, stirring a few times, to dissolve the sugar, about 10 minutes.
In another medium-size bowl, using an electric mixer, combine the cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Beat in the sour cream, lemon zest, and vanilla. Wash and dry the beaters.
In a small bowl, using the mixer, whip the heavy cream until it just holds stiff peaks. Gently fold into the cream cheese mixture, taking care not to deflate the cream. Divide the mousse among 4 sundae dishes or parfait glasses and spoon the berries on top. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 6 hours before serving.
When ready to serve, combine the graham crackers and remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar in a food processor and process until finely ground. In a small bowl, melt the butter in the microwave. Add the melted butter to the graham crackers and pulse once or twice to combine. Sprinkle the topping on the parfaits and serve immediately
–Icebox Desserts (641.86 C495ic)

Super Simple Pumpkin Tiramisu

This needs to set up overnight, so start one day ahead.
Makes 8 servings.

1 ½ cups chilled whipping cream
3/4 cup sugar
1 (8-oz.) container mascarpone cheese
1 (15-oz.) can pure pumpkin
3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or 1/4 teaspoon each cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 (3-oz.) packages halved ladyfingers
1/4 cup Frangelico
2 oz. crushed amaretti cookies

Beat whipping cream and sugar until peaks form. Mix mascarpone cheese, pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla; beat just until filling is smooth; fold in whipped cream.
Line the bottom of a 9-in. diameter springform pan (with 2-¾ inch-high sides) with 1 package ladyfingers, overlapping and crowding to fit. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of Frangelico. Spread half of filling over ladyfingers.
Repeat with second package of ladyfingers, remaining 2 tablespoons Frangelico, and remaining filling. Smooth with spatula. Wrap tightly in plastic, then foil. Chill overnight.
To unmold, run a knife around inside edge of pan. Release pan sides; sprinkle with amaretti cookies

Pound Cake Melba

4 slices pound cake
Vanilla ice cream
4 poached peach halves
2/3 cup grenadine syrup
1/2 cup toasted almonds, chopped

Place a slice of pound cake in the bottom of each of four dessert bowls. Top each with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and then a peach half, cut side down, on the ice cream. Ladle grenadine syrup over the top and sprinkle with chopped, toasted almonds.


2 ½ cups flour, spooned in and leveled
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 ¾ cups sugar, divided
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 to 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

Strain together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In the large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter and vegetable shortening on medium speed until lightened in color, about 2 minutes. Add 1 ½ cups of the sugar in a steady stream and mix for another 2 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the side of the bowl as needed. Stir in the vanilla.
Add the dry ingredients in two additions, mixing just until blended after each addition. Scrape the dough into a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for 6 to 8 hours, or overnight.
Position the shelves in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter the cookie sheets. Divide the dough in quarters. With lightly floured hands, shape each quarter into a log. Slice each log into 12 equal pieces and roll into small walnut-size ball.
Combine the remaining ¼ cup sugar with the cinnamon in a small mixing bowl. Working one piece at a time, place each ball in the mixture and briskly rotate the bowl in a circular motion to coat the dough evenly with the mixture.
Place 3 inches apart on the cookie sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned. Toward the end of baking, rotate the pans from front to back. (A shorter baking time will make these cookies chewier, while longer baking results in crispiness.) Remove the cookies from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Transfer with a thin metal spatula to wire racks to cool.–Great cookies: secrets to sensational sweets (641.865 W231gc)

German Chocolate Pie

1 (4 ounce) package German sweet chocolate
1/2 cup butter
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup pecan halves
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup whipping cream, whipped

In top of a double boiler or in microwave, melt chocolate and butter. Set aside. In mixing bowl, beat eggs, sugar and flour until well blended and light. Gradually add chocolate mixture, mixing well. Add pecans and vanilla. Pour into a buttered 9 inch pie plate. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Filling will be soft, but will set while cooling. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate until chilled. Top with whipped cream.–The devil’s food: a dessert cookbook (La 641.86 C624d)


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