Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Recipe Experiment

For Week 3 of the experiment, I decided to do a dessert. The recipe comes from one of my mother’s cookbooks, which is a treasure. It’s the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, published in 1953. Mom was an exceptionally good cook – the country kind – and collected recipes pretty much the same as I do (guess that’s where I got it!). She tended to look in her magazines and write on the cover the names and page numbers of recipes she wanted to try. Her cookbook has a couple of notations as well. But many of her recipes were written on index cards and in notebooks.

I had intended to try a meringue pie, but ran out of time and quickly found this one. Ingredients and instructions as written in 1953:

1 cup  enriched flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons melted shortening
3/4 to 1 cup chopped California walnuts
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1 3/4 cups hot water
Sift together flour, baking powder, granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons cocoa and salt. Add milk, vanilla and shortening; mix until smooth. Add nuts. Pour into 8x8x2-inch pan.
Mix brown sugar and 1/4 cup cocoa; sprinkle over batter. Pour hot water over entire batter. Bake in moderate oven (340 degrees) 40 to 45 minutes.
From Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook.
My 1965 edition has the same recipe in it, but changed the shortening to either melted shortening or “salad” oil. And the flour was changed to “all-purpose” rather than enriched.
The changes I made were:
Use sugar and brown sugar blends to cut down on sugar.
Use pecans instead of walnuts.
Baked in a 7x11-inch dish. To find if the dish holds same amount as the 8x8x2-inch dish, I filled the 8-inch dish with water, then poured it into the 7x11-inch dish – held same amount.
Photos: Before adding hot water, after adding hot water, when removed from oven, a serving of goodness. (Where’s the ice cream??)
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Give this one a try – it’s quite yummy!
That’s the recipe experiment for this week. I have several cookbooks on my table to go through for this week, so check back.
Your comments and suggestions are always welcome. Thanks for reading!

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