Making progress on the recipe collection — I came across a small scrap of paper, maybe 3 1/2″ square. At the top was written 1975 and it was underlined. Then listed below are what I would estimate was my previous step-mother-in-law’s count of the cookies and cakes she’d baked for giving that Christmas.
60 — Filled cookies
54 — Magic Cookie Bars
65 — Pineapple Raisin (wish I had this recipe of hers… might find it in the Medora, KS cookbook)
45 — Casserole Cookies
90 — Peanut Butter Scotchies
65 — Crunchy Sandwich Cookies
6 — Fruit Cakes & 1 larger one,
Double batch of (Chex?) Party Mix
Arlene was difficult at times — she was an only child and after marrying, never had children. She was a widow when Dad W. met her through shirt-tail family members. They had several things in common — both lost their spouses in the last year, they enjoyed the same hobbies (cards, camping and church). She was into crafting and he enjoyed toying with it from time to time. She was generous and thoughtful to all, and she was dead serious about her cards when we played Hand & Foot. At least once Robert and I refused to play anymore because of her attitude. But she finally came around and we cautiously picked up where we left off.
The following recipe for “Best Ever Chocolate Cake” is one I’m sure she would have enjoyed making. No idea where it came from, but the photo sure looks good.
3/4 C. butter
2 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. milk
1. Allow butter and eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Lightly grease bottom of three 8×1 1/2-inch round cake pans. Line bottoms of pans with waxed paper. Grease and lightly flour waxed paper and sides of pans. Set pans aside.
2. Preheat oven to 350 deg. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, set aside.
3. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar, about 1/4 cup at a time, beating on medium speed for 3 to 4 minutes or until well mixed. Scrape side of bowl, continue beating on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition (about 1 minute total). Beat in vanilla.
4. Alternately add flour mixture and milk to beaten mixture, beating on low speed just until combined after each addition. Beat on medium to high speed for 20 seconds more. Spread evenly into prepared pans.
5. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean. Cool cake layers in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans. Peel off waxed paper. Cool completely on wire racks.
6. Prepare Chocolate Frosting, fill and frost cake layers. If desired, top with chocolate curls and candied nuts. Store cake in the refrigerator. Makes 12 to 16 servings.
Chocolate Frosting: In a large saucepan, combine one 12-ounce package (2 cups) semisweet chocolate pieces and 1/2 cup butter, heat over low heat until melted, stirring often. Cool for 5 minutes. Stir in one 8-ounce carton dairy sour cream. Gradually add 4 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar (about 1 pound), beating on medium speed until mixture is smooth.
Back to draining the swamp …