Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Nobby Apple Cake

One of Farm Boy's friends gifted us with some home grown apples a few weeks ago, which is not something we see a lot of here in Texas. (Thanks John Boy!)  He doesn't know what kind they are - the tree was there when he bought the house - but he said they were good for both fresh eating and baking.  So, being good gift receivers, we did a little of both!

Since I hadn't posted anything from this book yet, I decided to see what it had to offer for apple recipes.

As an aside, this book is a reminder of The Chambers that Got Away.  It was at an estate sale, in pristine condition and had all the do-dads for the Thermowell.  I put a bid on it, but didn't win.  <insert dramatic sigh here>  In the end, I found my Betty, but she needed a lot more work than TCtGA would have required.

Favorite Eastern Star Recipes, Olde Family Favorites, no date, but I'm guessing maybe late 1950s
Despite the fact that I'm pretty sure it should be Knobby, I settled on Nobby Apple Cake, because it looked easy.  The lack of the K really bothers me, though.  Obsess much?  Yes, yes I do.

As I guessed, it was easy to make.  The hardest part was spreading the batter around the baking dish.  "Pour the batter" is a very optimistic phrase for this batter.  It's very stiff and just barely enough to coat the apples.

Just before baking

However, it puffs up quite a bit during baking.  Ta da!

All done!
I hated anything with cooked apples as a kid and now I can't get enough of them.  We ate this dusted with powdered sugar and cinnamon, but a nice dollop of whipped cream would have been perfect with it, too.  

Nobby Apple Cake (Printable recipe)
from Favorite Eastern Star Recipes Olde Family Favorites


    1/4 cup butter
    1 cup sugar
    1 egg
    3 cups pared, cubed apples
    1/4 cup chopped nuts
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon soda
    1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
    1 cup flour

Preheat oven to 350F.

Cream butter with sugar; add egg, apples, nuts, vanilla and sifted dry ingredients.  Pour into greased 8-inch square pan.  Bake at 350F for 45 minutes.  Serve with whipped cream or ice cream, if desired.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Praline Cookies

It's been almost a year since my last post and a lot of life has happened around here in the meantime.  As usual with life, it has been a mix of good and bad.  I'm not sure I want to dwell on the bad, but on the good side of things, we started volunteering for a local animal rescue group and have fostered six kittens so far.  Our own pets aren't really into sharing their home with the interlopers, but it makes us feel good when we look at the "before" pictures and know that we have made a difference, at least in a small way.

For example, here is one of our current boarders:

Penn, day 1

Penn, now.  What a handsome devil!

But now, back to food!

This copy of the Watkins Hearthside Cookbook (1952) followed me home about a year ago.  I know my grandmother had an earlier Watkins book and liked it, so I decided to give it a whirl.

Oh, who am I kidding?  I really bought it because I thought the illustrations inside were adorable.  Sure, newer cookbooks have some drool-worthy photos in them, but how many are this cute?

While looking for something to entertain my sweet tooth, the recipe for Dream Bars initially caught my eye, but then I noticed the Praline Cookies next to it and thought they sounded like they had potential and would be a lot quicker to make.

When I make cookies (which isn't often because I cannot keep my #$%^ hands out of them!), I have to locate the Break-Up Spatula, which is the best cookie lifter ever.  I was told by Farm Boy when we married that if we divorced, I am morally obligated to steal this from him.  Legend has it that he stole it from his ex, who stole it from a former roommate.  And while I can't prove that it was stolen before then, I feel certain that the roommate wasn't the original owner.  If only this thing could talk, I'm sure it would have some tales to tell.

Chambers stove range
The Break-Up Spatula, ready to work
This recipe was pretty easy to make.  I wasn't sure if the baking sheet should be buttered or not, so I went ahead and used parchment paper.  I could have sworn that the recipe stated to flatten the cookies "using a drinking glass", but I would have sworn wrong.  I did, though, use a drinking glass, which I dipped in sugar before each flattening.

The cookies spread more than I expected, turning into thin, very crunchy/crispy, caramelized brown sugar discs.  My taste testers gave them rave reviews and I had to fight to bring home the last few cookies for myself.  And because I can't keep my %$#@ hands out of them, they were all gone within a day. 

Chambers stove range
Mmmm, I can almost smell them now!

Praline Cookies (Printable version)
From the Watkins Hearthside Cookbook (1952)
  • 1 1/4 cups sifted flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon Watkins vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 375F. 
Sift the flour once, measure and resift with the salt.  Cream the butter with the sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy.  Add egg and vanilla and beat thoroughly.  Stir in the dry ingredients, then add the nuts.
Form into small balls the size of small walnuts and flatten on the baking sheet to 1/4" thickness.  They should be about 2 inches apart.  Bake at 375F for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool on baking pans about 2 minutes, then remove to wire cake racks to cool.  This recipe will make about 3 dozen cookies.