Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Paisley Almond Cakes

I came across this little book, Recipes from Scotland by F. Marian McNeill (seventh edition, 1965) at an estate sale a few weeks ago.  Finding a cookbook printed in Scotland is a pretty rare event in this area.  My dad's side of the family hails from Scotland, so I thought it should come live with me.  Plus, I had been striking out on the treasure hunting scene lately and I was feeling weak.

In thumbing through it, I came across Paisley Almond Cakes and thought they looked promising.  I've been experimenting with cutting out wheat after reading Grain Brain and Wheat Belly, so finding a vintage gluten free pastry was a nice surprise.

I read through the recipe before starting (for a change!)  Yada, yada, yada, I have all the ingredients.  Grease a dozen patty-pans.  Huh?  What the heck are patty-pans?  The first few searches yielded only squash recipes, but with enough keywords, I finally found a pan that looked reasonably like my golf ball gem pan.  Okay, that'll do, pig.

chambers 90c stove range

I would say the golf ball pan molds are just a wee bit (hey look, I'm using the Scottish lingo!) small to get an even dozen out of this recipe.  This photo doesn't show it, but some of them oozed over the sides and onto the floor of the oven.  Burning batter overshadows the delectable smell of baking almond pastries.

I really liked these.  They are light and airy, with a subtle almond flavor.  They weren't overly sweet, so we served them with butter and strawberry preserves.

Paisley Almond Cakes (Printable recipe)

Recipes from Scotland by F. Marian McNeill (seventh edition, 1965)
2 ounces cornflour
2 ounces rice flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 ounces soft butter
3 ounces castor sugar
1 1/2 ounces ground almonds
2 eggs
Grease a dozen patty-pans (or small muffin cups).  Heat the oven to 375F.

Sift the flours and baking powder together.  Beat the eggs.  Cream the butter and sugar, then beat in the eggs and flours alternately.  When white and creamy, stir in the ground almonds lightly.  Half fill the tins and bake at 375F for 10 to 15 minutes.  Turn out and cool on a wire rack.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Sticky Pecan Rolls

One of my friends asked for a cinnamon roll recipe and after sending it to her,  I wanted cinnamon rolls.  Enter Bake the No-Knead Way: Ann Pillsbury's Amazing Discovery by Ann Pillsbury (1946).

I had to enlist the aid of the house pony to prop this one up.

I let Farm Boy decide between the cinnamon or pecan roll option and he chose the pecan rolls.  Since the recipe was originally written in 1945, I decided to double the mixture that is spread on the bottom of the pan.  The sweet recipes during and just after World War II tend to be a bit on the austere side.  They are probably healthier, but that's not really what I was going for here. 

chambers 90c stove range
Yep, that's a'risen!

chambers 90c stove range

This was probably the easiest yeast dough recipe I have ever made and I was impressed with the results.  I had my doubts when I mixed it all up and it was really wet and sticky, but after flouring the board and the top of the dough, it rolled out easy-peasy.  The finished rolls received rave reviews and between 5 people, we polished off 9 of them in one sitting.

Sticky Pecan Rolls (Printable recipe)
adapted from Bake the No-Knead Way: Ann Pillsbury's Amazing Discovery by Ann Pillsbury (1946)


1/2 cup scalded milk
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup water
2 1/4 teaspoons dry granular yeast
1 egg
3 cups flour

Combine milk, butter, sugar and salt; stir until butter is melted and salt and sugar are dissolved.  Cool to lukewarm by adding the water.  Stir in the yeast.  Blend in the egg.  Add the flour and mix until dough is well-blended and soft.

Roll out on well-floured board into an 18x12" rectangle.  Spread with the filling:

1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped pecans

Roll up jellyroll style and cut into 1" slices.

For the topping, combine:

1 cup brown sugar
5 tablespoons corn syrup
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Spread evenly on the bottom of a buttered 13x9x2" baking pan.  Place the pecan roll slices, cut side down, on top of the brown sugar mixture.  Let rise in a warm place (I put the lid on the pan to keep the tops from drying out) about 1 hour, or until light.

Bake at 375F for 25 to 30 minutes.  Cool for a minute or two, then invert carefully onto a serving platter.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Tokyo Cookies (aka Boiled Cookies)

These cookies, which are almost a candy, have been my favorite comfort food since I was a little kid.  I've tried a few different versions - some with only oatmeal, some with the addition of peanut butter - but my favorite way to make them is with a combination of coconut and oats, but without the peanut butter.

The version I use (and alter to include coconut) is from Azaleas to Zucchini, East Texas Food, Festivals and Entertainment from A to Z (1995) by the Smith County Medical Society Alliance.  I'm not sure why the recipe contributor decided to call them Tokyo Cookies, but the name has grown on me over the years.  It sounds more intriguing than Boiled Cookies or No-Bake Cookies.  Plus, it always makes me sing the Godzilla song while they are boiling.  Wait, maybe that's not a good thing.

This cookbook was a gift from my mother-in-law.

You can see that I've forgotten to allow time to boil them a time or two.  Sometimes it is hard to read directions when one is having a chocolate emergency!

chambers 90c stove range
Mmmm, smell the chocolatey goodness!

The recipe optimistically claims to make 3 dozen cookies, but I usually get about 25 cookies out of it. Normally when that happens, it's because someone around here (*cough* me *cough*) likes to sample cookie dough, but boiling hot sugar syrup isn't great for sneaking samples, even if it is chocolate flavored.

chambers 90c stove range
They may not look like much, but they have amazing restorative powers!

Tokyo Cookies (Printable recipe)
adapted from Azaleas to Zucchini, East Texas Food, Festivals and Entertainment from A to Z (1995) by the Smith County Medical Society Alliance
8 tablespoons butter
2 cups sugar
4 tablespoons cocoa
1/2 cup milk
2 cups oats
1/2 cup coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla
Bring to a rolling boil the butter, sugar, cocoa and milk.  Boil over medium heat about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Add oats, coconut and vanilla and immediately begin spooning out cookies on waxed paper.  Let harden.  Yield: 3 dozen