Hass Cookbook Project – Spice Cake recipe two – what I found when I made it.

It seems spice cakes were very popular back in 1911. This cake I made recently and found that it was very good. What I found really interesting was that it was egg-less, and almost butter-less .

If you remember this cake recipe was originally published on July 7th, 2020, the Hass Cookbook Project cakes 4 of 4. My recipe had a statement I hadn’t made it. Well I made it a week ago (July 2020) and realized that is really easy and flavorful.

I preheated the oven to 350 deg. F not the 300 deg F I show on my recipe. I didn’t use a tube pan as the instructions talk about. I used a 9″ x 9″ pan which I sprayed with a Pam spray baking with flour. I mixed the flour, sugar, baking soda, spices including the salt together. NO fancy mixer just a big spoon.

I melted the butter and mixed it in with the sour milk, then poured it into the dry ingredients and hand mixed till all the dry ingredients were incorporated. I added the raisins last and mixed them into the batter. I baked it for 30 minutes, when tested it still wasn’t done so we added 5 minute, then another 3 after retesting. The tooth picks came out clean.

The cake came out looking great, it smelled like a dream, and when it had cooled we cut into it. It was addictive. We talked about it and decided that a cream cheese frosting was the perfect frosting for it, but also it really didn’t need a frosting. If you wanted something simple, dusting it with powder sugar would be more then sufficient. Moist, flavorful, and great texture. Try it.

This blog is part of a series of offering I put together to show case what people can do once they decide they want more to life then working nine to five so they can sit on a couch waiting to be the bank of Mom and Dad. There is so much more to life. Visit http://www.toyoungtoretire.com for one of the classes on how to make this the master piece of your life.

This is part of my posts that talk about what you can do in retirement.

Hass Cookbook Project – Desserts 2 of 2 Steamed Puddings

We have more puddings that appeared in the cookbook. They appeared to be a big dessert at the time and a lot of them appeared to be very flavorful.

It appears to be a very good pudding. I would almost call it a pound cake pudding since the bulk of the ingredients are measured by pounds. The one ingredient that I really like to see in my fruit cakes is pecans and I see this recipe is missing pecans. This is a project for this winter.

Now this was called Graham Pudding, but the recipe I feel would make a good spice cake, but there are no spices in it. I felt it need a sauce which had a lot of flavor so I felt the Lemon Sauce would be appropriate. The sauce was not part of the original cook book but I added to the recipe for convenience.

This was a recipe that Gramma Hass cut out of a paper. It was either the courier express or the Buffalo News. In addition to the currants this one also had Almond, raisins and some of the standard spices the spice cakes had. Specifically cloves,mace, cinnamon, and nutmeg. I also noticed that they like Suet as the fat.

This is the second last of the steamed pudding section. I found it interesting that it was called plum pudding, but there are neither plums or prunes in it. Raisins, currents, citron, and lemon rine seem to be the fruits of choice. It looks good but the 5 hours of steaming I felt was a little intense.

This recipe doesn’t have a very appetizing title but it ingredients seem very similar to the other puddings. You can tell I got lazy writing out the instructions because I copied from one of the other puddings that used apples. There are no apples in the list of ingredients.

We have reached the end of the pudding section, and will now move on to the pies. I hope you like pumpkin, lemon, and mincemeat. One of the pies was even made without eggs.

Hass Cookbook Project – Desserts 1 of 2 Steamed Puddings

No steamed pudding is worth its flavor without a good hard sauce to make it sweeter. So we are going to start off with a Foamy hard sauce.

The above recipe was one of many steamed pudding recipes. It was actually listed just before the Foamy sauce so I think the two were suppose to go together. When cooked it would go good with several types of sauces, fruit like strawberries, blueberries, or hot fudge. It would also make a good breakfast with a little maple syrup.

I did make this pudding one year and took it to our churches Guinea pig party. A guinea Pig party is where everyone brings a dish they have never made before and feeds it to all the other attendees. Its sort of like a blind taste test pot luck. It did come out very nice and we thoroughly enjoyed it. I would definitely make this again.

This is actually a pie that is steamed rather then baked. The dough doesn’t have any shortening but instead used Suet. There is an admonition that all the sinews should be removed. It actually came out very good and again it was a contribution to a Guinea Pig party I went to. There is a cherry hard sauce that came with the recipe for putting over the steamed pudding.

Next post I will finish up the puddings then post two more recipes that I made and show you how they came out. Till then be safe.

Hass Cookbook Project – Cookies, Cookies and more Cookies 2 of 2

This is a continuation of the previous post. There were two Molasses cookies in the cook book. One had eggs in it and one had no eggs in it. Both were made and both came out good.

This first one does not have any eggs but other wise it is very similar to the second one. I don’t know when I made this one and for some reason I didn’t make notes so I don’t have any comments. I am thinking this was a war recipe.

This is the recipe that is made with eggs. I like the the way they tasted and I remembered from some of my other recipes to refrigerate the dough for three hours. I formed the dough into little balls and then flattened them out. they baked up great.

These are really a filled oatmeal cookie. I made the cookies and then the filling. I spread it between the cookies once they had cooled. They were excellent and also additive and fairly easy to make. The white spots on the cookies is actually sunlight coming in the window and screwing up my picture. I didn’t realize it at the time I took it so it has to be redone. These were good as a straight cookie with out the filling.

This is more of a bar cookie then an individual cookie. Again this was a sticky dough which should be chilled before rolling out. I used a pizza cutter to cut them and it seemed to work out very well.

I made these in the fall of 2018 and the first batch that I baked for only 16 minutes and they were not fully baked and they fell apart on me. So I increased the baking time to 20 minutes and it did the trick. The dough is sticky and tough to work with. I also have no idea what a buttered Gem pan is so I used a baking sheet with parchment paper on it.

Hass Cookbook Project – Cookies, Cookies and more Cookies 1 of 2

When you want to make cookies, consider making these, they are very good. I can remember when I was a child at Christmas time. A week before my Mom and Grandmothers would all go to the food store, and buy flour, and bags of sugar, eggs, coconut, and other flavorings. Then the following weekend they would cover the dining room table with news paper and make up the all the recipes that required chilling on the first day. Then with the time left they would start making the cookies that didn’t need frosting. Oatmeal, chocolate chip, rum balls, candy cane cookies, and more then I can remember. I can still hear the admonition, “Stop eating the cookies or you won’t eat any dinner.” The next day they would roll out the dough and we would use the cookie cutters to cut shapes from the dough. Grandma or my Mom would put them on a baking sheet and bake them, then bring them out to the dining room and using a spatula place them on a wire rake to cool. Once they were cool, my Mom would whip up white, green and red frosting and bring out some knives and all us kids were in charge of frosting them. We also had a variety of sprinkles. The cookies below are the ones that my Grandmother had in 1911 and don’t include the newer additions like the sugar cookies, cut outs and rum balls. Enjoy all the ones listed tasted great.

The coconut cookies were easy to make and tasted great. Note that the confectionery Sugar has to be stirred in, not whipped in with the mixer. I tried the mixer and the powder went all over the place. I guessed at what size a 15 cent box of coconut was, and after going through a bunch of other recipes it appeared to be 14 oz.

This was made and it came out very good. Nice flavor but I never took a picture before they were all eaten up which I guess is a good indication that they are worthwhile to make.

On October 7th, 2018 the Buffalo Bills beat the Tennessee Titans in the last minute of play with a field goal winning 13 to 12. It was during this game that I made these cookies. Please note it didn’t take three hours, but eating them afterward was a great way to end the game. One thing to note is when you add the baking soda to the hot starch and molasses mix it really foams up, so don’t be surprised.

This was a tough mix to work with. It was very sticky and I had to use parchment on the bottom and plastic wrap on the top to roll it out. I baked it as a big cookie and then cut into square cookies after it was baked. It had great flavor and I think next time I would chill the dough and then put the cookies on a the baking sheet.

This is the first of two posts on her cookies. the next post will Molasses, oatmeal and raisin. Enjoy and see in a little bit.

Cork’d a Wine and Food Pairing

Since we can’t travel we decided to attend this event on Wednesday July 8th, 2020. It was held on a patio outside a club that we frequent. The event was great fun and the food was fantastic.

It was called Cork’d and featured five wines from the Club’s Wine Cellar and paired food with each wine. They printed up these place mats which explained the wines and foods.

When we got there they had the plate mats out in front of the plates and they had 4 wine glasses on them. We visited with other people in groups set apart from each other. They served a wonderful white wine that I unfortunately didn’t write down what it was. After enjoying it they rang a bell and we all sat down at our places. A loaf of home made bread with an herb butter.

Next was the Charcuterie with a 2016 Wine called Merry Edwards Sauvignon Blanc, from the Russian River Valley, CA. there were three different styles of Charcuterie, all made by the chef in house starting last March. It had a light salad with it.

We had an Octopus Terrine, with slice of Blue Fin Tuna on top with a tomato relish over it. My better half does like like Octopus but she really liked this Terrine. They served another white wine. This was a 2016 Hartford Court Three Virtues Chardonnay.

Immediately they served Two Tapas – an Almond Granita made into a gelato and served with an Oyster in Almond milk.

Next was a Hot Veal Rolade with a truffled center with a lobster tail poached in tomato with peas on top. Ummmm. With this they served a 2015 Marina Cvetic Montepulciano D’Abruzzo from Italy. Rich and delicious and a good match with the wine.

Last was duck prepared in two different ways, with a light salad,on a mashed potatoe bed with a field of forest mushrooms. We were served a 2017 Renato Ratti Ochetti Nebbiolo from Piedmont, Italy. Each course better then the next.

Finally it was time to leave and we were give these cute little boxes with a canolli to go with each end having a different filling.

Hass Cookbook Project – Candies

I never thought of making my own candies for the house. It was way to easy to buy them at the store. There were several candies she had in her cook book. This is one that I tried.

I had a party in March and had left all these peanuts that just were not getting eaten. So I decided that making them into a candy might be a good idea. I went out and bought a candy thermometer at the local hardware store. The process was real easy, and I found the temperatures I needed to boil the syrup to and didn’t have to figure out what “drops hard in cold water” looks like. I cut it while it was still soft. Um Um good. Definitely a keeper.

This was for candy canes and I happen to be on my cooking spree in June so it was never made, but it didn’t look to hard to make.

The newspaper clipping had several candies listed in it. The second one down was for a candy called Walnut Pats. This was very easy to make. If I wanted to make it extra special I would melt some dark chocolate and pour it over the Pats and I would have had the best Turtles around. I like to experiment on other people so I take dishes like this to church picnics, etc. I know it is a hit when it became apparent that this candy was addictive and was quickly wiped out.

Again this was before my picture taking time. This recipe I had to make twice, the first time that I followed it exactly and it was a disaster. To much flour, ingredients like baking Powder were missing. The cookies came out like lumps of lead, the frosting was runny and just didn’t stay on top of the cookies. This is where being an old time cook would have put their experience to use. I cut the flour back to 3 cups, added a 1 Tsp of baking Powder, a 1/2 teaspoon of salt and wha-la, a cookie that you could be proud of. For the frosting you can see all the directions I added. It came out great and tasted fantastic.

Next I will detail the making of a devils food cake. I had published it earlier as “Devils Food 2” with a note I had not made it. Well I made it for the July fourth and it came out like a lump of fudge nothing like a cake. So I am remaking it today. Wish me luck. Also We went to a special dinner at a country club. It was great and you will soon see why.

Cookbook Project – 4 of 4

This is the last of the cakes that were in the cookbook. The flavors looked interesting and the directions sometimes were a challenge. Again the black is the original, and the red is what I added.

This one I had not made but the fact that she used maple syrup as a flavoring intrigued me. Again the amount of flour is not specified but most recipes use 2 cups to make a batter, the spices are not specified, and I have to assume that the packages of raisins today are the same size as they were in 1911.

This is another one that seems fairly typical of the time with the addition of Allspice, cinnamon, and cloves. As I continue to make these recipes I find that I have to be observant of what ingredients are listed and what is not. One of the recipes I am making is a Devils food cake. I mixed it all up and thought this is easy and put it into a cake pan to cook. As it was cooking I started to write up my notes and realized that there had not been any baking soda or powder listed and I had not added any to the mix. It came out of the oven looked very dense. When we cut into it, it reminded me of a dense brownie. I am going to remake it with some baking soda.

A lot of the cakes are what I would call spice cakes and have a very spicy flavor. This will be one of the next cakes I make once I perfect the Devils Food cake recipe.

Note the addition of the Nutmeg to this spice cake recipe. The first one also had ginger which this one does not. This one was from a news paper clipping of the time. It will be interesting to see how this one compares to the first.

This is again another spice cake with a mix of similar spices. I will let you know which spice cake I prefer.

This cake I did make. I couldn’t find canned strawberries so I used frozen strawberries instead. I was thinking that this would be a very red cake like the red velvet cake. It was not, it was a brown cake. Again it was a best guess as to how much cinnamon I needed to put into the mix. The flavor was very good and this is a recipe I would not hesitate to make again.

Well its time to move on to the next section. I will be going over the Candies that she had listed and then moving on to the cookies

Making a recipe from the Cookbook – Nellie Hand’s Coffee Cake

As I have been going through the recipes and publishing them I find it seems that there are more that I have not made then I have. So I have been motivated to make the ones I haven’t. Nellies Coffee cake looked interesting in that she used brewed coffee as the liquid. so I thought I would try it.

We had coffee left over from the morning coffee so that is why I choose this recipe.

I first mixed the liquid ingredients together. I didn’t have any lard but I found some suet in the freezer so I melted it down and used this in the recipe. I didn’t tell my better half what I had done till after she had enjoyed some of the cake and said she liked it.

I mixed the coffee with the strained suet and boiled for 10 seconds then set the mixture aside. I mixed all the dry ingredients together.

When I mixed it up I originally thought a cup of flour (note the red 1 in front of the flour), but it was to soupy so I added a half cup then another half cup and it finally looked like a batter. I put it into a specialty cake mold and then baked in a 350 deg. F oven for 30 minutes, testing with a tooth pick the last 10 minutes till they came out clean.

I let them cool in the pan for 10 minutes after I pulled them out of the oven, then I turned them out of the pan onto a wire rack to cool. The flavor was more like a spice cake then coffee flavor. It was very good. I sprinkled powder sugar on them and enjoyed. You have to have enough confidence in your abilities to cook when dealing with old recipes that forget little things like how much flour to add to the mixture. As I looked at it, the worst I could do was fail, in which case I would have tossed out if it was terrible, or eaten if it looked terrible but tasted good.

Cookbook Project 3 of 4 – Do you have allergies to eggs, milk or butter? There is a cake for you

I sometimes think that it would have been a great career to be a chef but alas it was not to be. In my family it was considered the work of women. My Grandmother had her hands full taking care of her family at the time. Cooking required a lot of time and planning if you wanted to have a good table set. She made do with what she had and here is another example. She had another recipe being made without eggs, milk or butter so again we feel it must have been a war time creation.

I made this in mid October in 2018 (yes I have been working on this a while) and I was surprised at the result. It made a nice cake (which I didn’t take a picture of because at that time I was just playing around) but it was very dense like a plum pudding which is not surprising. There is a note on the page to serve it with a hard sauce. The next recipe is one of a couple fruit cakes.

This was one I did not make. It was one of Grandma Hass’s friends in Hamilton, Canada who I suspect was part of the Stickney branch of her family which is based North west of Toronto, Ontario, CA.. If you look at the ingredients you will note that some of the measurements are in pennies like 5 cents worth of chopped figs and 5 cents worth of nuts. There is no mention what type of nuts so I assume they would be pecans. I was guessing that 5 cents worth was about 3/4 of a cup.

This was not made but I am planning on making it shortly. I had to find the recipe from an old newspaper to fill in the directions. You will note that the they didn’t tell you how much spice (Cinnamon and nutmeg) to add, only to add it. This cake has been around for a long time and apparently was made when ever a new Prince of Wales was crowned as best as I can guess.

Now this is another fruit cake that Grandma Hass had in her cookbook. This recipe I made and it made 4 cakes or loaves (I baked it in a loaf pan). I took it to a party and everybody really liked it. It was nicely spiced, had a great cinnamon smell and was addictive. I used parts of recipes from the “Joy of Cooking” to figure out how to make it. As you can tell I should have added a little more water to the mix but I was trying to follow the recipe exactly.

Grandma called this a Royal Fruit Cake or White Fruit cake. This is another one that I made that was very good. It has a long list of ingredients like good fruit cakes should. It does not have molasses in it so hence white fruit cake. In my notes I added it should be wrapped in rum soaked linens and placed in a bag to absorb the liquor. I didn’t add that note on the other fruit cake and I don’t know why. Enjoy they are fun to make. You will note that the picture is the same as the previous one. I think I got mixed up when I added the pictures.

From here we move on to the last of the cakes. She had a maple cake, and raisin cake recipe along with two spice cakes and a strawberry cake. See you at the next posting.