Plenty Sweet Life

Grandma's Recipes One By One!

Dessert #5

This recipe for Dessert #5 is just another in a long line of incredibly easy and incredibly delicious recipes that I found in Grandma’s file. This is such a classic “Grandma recipe”, that I was remembering her while making this, and had to share an old photo. This is so typical of the kinds of photos Grandma and Grandpa used to take. The photos were always sort of formal, but this particular one is a bit on the casual side – maybe because they’re standing next to the Snowball Bush that was in the middle of the yard. I love that the shed is in the background. That’s where Grandpa kept all of his equipment – tractors, farm vehicles, and his workbench area where you could find anything you needed for fix-it jobs without having to go to town! On the back corner of the shed was where the black raspberry bush was. Wow – were those fresh-picked berries good on a bowl of vanilla ice cream in the summertime!

We always had ice cream in the evenings when we stayed at the farm in the summer. That’s why I felt in the mood to make this dessert. We had such hot weather here in Minnesota, I decided to try this so we could cool off with a tasty treat.

This is just ridiculously easy to make.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Dessert #5

For the crust:

Crush:

2 rolls (about 60 crackers) Ritz Crackers

Add:

1/2 cup butter, melted

1/2 cup sugar

Blend and pat into 9″ x 13″ cake pan.

Keep out 3/4 cup for topping.

For the filling:

Mix together:

16 ounce Cool Whip

1 can sweetened condensed milk

6 ounces frozen orange juice concentrate (I just used a larger can of o.j. concentrate, let it thaw, and measured out 6 ounces)

1 large can pineapple tidbits or crushed pineapple, drained

1 large can mandarin oranges, drained

Spread on top of crust.

Top with the remaining crust crumbs.

Refrigerate (she says on the recipe that this also freezes well).

I didn’t want to crush the crackers in the food processor because I thought it would turn them to mush, so I used the old “rolling-pin and a zip top bag” system to keep the crumbs a bit larger.

This is essentially a graham cracker crust, only you’re using Ritz Crackers instead.

Using sweetened condensed milk in this makes it “plenty sweet”. Next time I think I’ll try tomake without it and see if it makes that much of a difference.

Grandma used to keep the juice when she drained canned fruit. You could drink it (I don’t know if they had fruit in its own juice yet back then, or if it all had the syrup!) or use it in iced tea or find some other use for it (I was thinking of using it for a cocktail). Grandma and her family survived the Great Depression, and you weren’t allowed to waste it.

Yes – this makes a full cake pan. It’s a big batch – enough for a party!

I kept 3/4 of a cup of crumbs to put on top – I think that was about right.

It seems a bit soft when you put this into the refrigerator, but it does set up nice. Leaving it in overnight helps it firm up better. I did put a piece into the freezer to see if would be alright, and it was. It was better just in the refrigerator, in my opinion. This is a delicious dessert that’s nice on a hot summer day. It would be nice on any day – or maybe a party day. You’re family and friends are going to love this Dessert #5!

Leave a comment »

Coconut Cookies

The recipe for Coconut Cookies is from one of Grandma’s old church cookbooks. I was perusing those old books one day, and this one struck me. I must have been in the mood for coconut. And cookies. These cookies fit the bill, even if they are a bit decadent. They’re crunchy, they’re crispy, they’re full of coconut, and we know that since the recipe came from an old church cookbook – it’s a GOOD ONE!! Give this recipe a try and just see if I’m wrong. I don’t think so.

For some reason, I felt like sharing a goofy photo today. This one is REALLY goofy. I know that when Gramp got a new camera, he took a lot of practice pics, and this is one of them. Just little ole’ me. Standing on the ottoman. Holding a doll. In front of my face. Ha. He must have been desperate for practice shots.

Again with the bangs cut up to the top of my head! Why?!!! Ha! So funny! Love my shoes, by the way.

Ok – back to the cookies.

I really like these cookies – but then, I really like coconut.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Coconut Cookies

Mix all together:

1 cup butter

1 cup white sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

4 cups oatmeal

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

pinch of salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla

Roll in small balls and flatten with hand.

Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

I’m grateful for my mixer every time I make something, especially when recipes like this just have you mix everything together!

I used my scoop to make the balls, and at first I tried flattening them with my hands like the recipe suggested, but in the end I used a glass to flatten the balls. It was seemed to work better, and then you also get a little sugary crust on top of the cookie.

Oh wow – golden and crispy and delicious!

As my husband is so fond of saying, “a handful of these and a big glass of milk” – heaven!

This cookie is something a little different because it’s full of coconut instead of the usual chocolate chips or raisins. Another recipe that’s very easy and very delicious! They’re another great treat to have for a snack, or your afternoon coffee or tea (they go GREAT with coffee)! I think you’ll like these Coconut Cookies – they’re “plenty sweet”!

 

1 Comment »

Heath Bar Crunch Ice Cream

My family has spent years working our way through the “Ben and Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book”. Seriously, the copyright on this particular book is 1987, and we have certainly been taking our time. Last weekend, after driving 21 hours straight through from Massachusetts to get home to Minnesota from vacation, we tackled the Heath Bar Crunch Ice Cream. We were totally exhausted from that drive, but that’s how easy these recipes are. My husband magnanimously offered to go to the store to pick up things for a no-cook dinner, and ice cream was just what we needed to end the vacation on a high note – he also got the ingredients to make this ice cream. Looking through the book, it wasn’t hard to pick which kind to make (even though I was surprised we haven’t made this recipe before now – we date them when we make them). We ALL love Heath English Toffee Bars, so Heath Bar Crunch it was! I thought I’d better share this recipe now – it’s supposed to be in the upper 80’s and 90’s for temperatures through the weekend and into next week here in Minnesota. Summer is coming on strong here in June! We’re all gonna need some ice cream. Lots of ice cream.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Heath Bar Crunch Ice Cream

Unwrap:

4 original Heath Bars (1 1/8 ounce each), or as many Fun Size bars as you want to stuff into the ice cream

Cut the candy bars into 1/2 to 1 inch chunks (about 1 cup).

Put into a bowl and freeze (I didn’t do this).

Whisk until light and fluffy (1 to 2 minutes):

2 large eggs (you can use pasteurized eggs if you’re concerned about using raw, but we used raw eggs and didn’t have a problem)

3/4 cup sugar

Whisk in the sugar a little at a time, then continue whisking until completely blended, about 1 minute more.

Pour in:

2 cups heavy cream

1 cup milk

2 teaspoons vanilla

Whisk to blend.

Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and freeze following the manufacturer’s instructions.

After the ice cream stiffens (about 2 minutes before it’s done), add the candy, then continue freezing until the ice cream is ready.

Makes a generous 1 quart.

Chop the candy bars as finely as you want. We like the chunks on the bigger side.

Put the ice cream mixture into your ice cream maker. When the ice cream is almost done, add the candy bar chunks. I use a Cuisinart brand ice cream maker with freezable containers. When I was growing up, we had an electric ice cream maker that used an inner container to hold the ice cream mixture and then you’d out that inside a larger one and put ice and salt around the inner container. Turn on the motor and away you go. My mother-in-law still has one that was even older than that – it has a crank. That one takes some work – it’s amazing what people will do for ice cream!

Once the ice cream is done, we put it into a container to put into the freezer. We have found that it’s also a good idea to have your container in the freezer before making the ice cream. You don’t have to do this, but the ice cream tends to melt a bit if you don’t. When the ice cream is done, put it into the container and put it back into the freezer for an hour or so to firm up. You can eat it immediately if you want to, but the ice cream is pretty soft.

After an hour or more, the ice cream firms up enough to make scoops. If you try to eat it right away, it’s is still tasty, just softer.

Oh my – this stuff is ridiculous!

Yes – we’re gonna need a lot of this stuff in the coming days and weeks. A lot. I highly recommend the “Ben And Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book” with its many delicious options, and I highly recommend cooling down with the Heath Bar Crunch Ice Cream – you won’t be sorry!!!

 

 

Leave a comment »

Chocolate Chip Dream Bars

This recipe for Chocolate Chip Dream Bars comes from one of Grandma’s old church cookbooks,  and I must say that it looks like it was a well used one! This is my mom’s writing that says she first made it in June of 1971, and that made me think of the old days, so I have to share a photo from the old days. This one goes back a bit farther than 1971, but it’s a good one. This is Grandma and Grandpa with my mom and her brother. By the looks of it, they must have just gotten a new car – and they’re darn proud of it!!

This is just so great – I love it! There’s my mom, being all prim and proper, and if you look close, you can see that my uncle is sticking his tongue out! Haha! Love it! This time period, the 1940’s, was the heyday of the church cookbook, and I still say – they’re just the BEST recipes! This one is no exception. You’ve been warned!

Oh wow – these are SO good!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Chocolate Chip Dream Bars

Mix together:

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 cup flour

Pat into 9″ x 9″ square pan (I didn’t have the size loaf pan they suggest here).

Bake in 325 degree oven for 10 minutes.

Combine:

2 eggs

2 Tablespoons flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup coconut

1/2 cup chopped walnuts (I used pecans)

Mix well and spread on top of first mixture.

Sprinkle chocolate chips on top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

I just used my hand to pat down the crust.

Then just mix up the next ingredients.

Spread the second mixture on top of the crust, or first mixture, and sprinkle on the chocolate chips.

These bars are so delicious – another perfect treat to have with your afternoon coffee or tea.

I’m just glad this recipe doesn’t make a bigger batch – it’s a nice small batch in a nice small pan. I guess I could double it, if I wanted a whole cake pan full of bars. Then I’d just have to eat all of them, because nobody else can have any. None. Hmmmm. It might not be a bad idea to make a double batch of these Chocolate Chip Dream Bars!

 

 

Leave a comment »

Sugar Cookies

This recipe for Sugar Cookies comes from another one of Grandma’s old church cookbooks. You remember those old church cookbooks – where all the church ladies send in their very best and favorite recipe?!! Well, this is the kind of recipe that this one is – someone’s very best and favorite! I have made several kinds of sugar cookies here on Plenty Sweet Life: Brown Sugar Cookies, White Cookies, Orange Sugar Cookies, and No Roll Sugar Cookies. They’ve all been just a little bit different, but all have been heavenly. Sugar Cookies appeal to everyone, and this recipe is particularly melt-in-your-mouth delicious.

Another perk – this recipe is incredibly easy!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Sugar Cookies

Mix in order given:

1 cup shortening, part butter (I used all butter)

3/4 cup sugar

1 egg

2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Roll in balls and press with glass dipped in sugar.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

This batch of cookies was for a friend, so I made them a cheery pink and green.

I rolled the dough into balls and then rolled the balls into the colored sugar. The first sheet of cookies was just baked as is – I forgot to flatten them. The second sheet of cookies were flattened with the bottom of a glass dipped in sugar (I used my greasy hand to rub the bottom of the glass so the sugar sticks to it better).

You can see the difference here. The cookies on the left were flattened with the glass, and the cookies on the right were just baked as a ball. You can do it which ever way you want.

I ended up with these beautiful, delicious, and same-sized cookies. These really melt in your mouth – they are absolutely delightful! You have to try this great recipe for Sugar Cookies – maybe even share them with a friend!

Leave a comment »

Rhubarb Custard Pie

This recipe for Rhubarb Custard Pie was on the back of the recipe for Rhubarb Crumble. I’m really glad I turned it over and looked on the back. The rhubarb is just about gone for this year, but I still have plenty of recipes left to try next year. There are at least 3 more rhubarb pie recipes in the bunch, not to mention all of the other desserts, and I think there are several rhubarb recipes from Grandma’s sisters. We’ll have enough to keep us in rhubarb treats for years yet!

This pie is full of rhubarb!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Rhubarb Custard Pie

Combine:

1 pound of rhubarb, cut into 1/4 inch slices

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup flour

Spoon into pie shell.

Beat:

3 large eggs

1/2 cup sour cream

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Pour over rhubarb.

Place pie pan on baking sheet so the pie doesn’t overflow and make a mess on the bottom of your oven.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.

Have a pie crust made and ready to go. I used Grandma’s recipe for Never Fail Pie Crust.

There are 2 parts to this filling – first the rhubarb with the dry ingredients, and then the eggs and sour cream mixture.

Before and after baking – you can see how it really does make a custard-like filling, and look at how loaded with rhubarb it is!

This is another beautiful and delicious pie to share with family and friends.

I have never made this one before, since I didn’t even know it was on the back of another recipe, but it’s easy and very delicious. The taste is less sweet than some other pie recipes, and the family liked that. The taste of the rhubarb really comes through because it IS less sweet. It’s very nice. Try this Rhubarb Custard Pie, and let’s continue to enjoy rhubarb season as long as we can!

 

 

 

2 Comments »

Rhubarb Upside Down Dessert

The card for this recipe doesn’t have a title, so I’m calling it Rhubarb Upside Down Dessert. I don’t know why,  but rhubarb recipes always remind me of Grandma, even if they aren’t from her. I wanted to share this photo today, of Grandma and Grandpa (on the left) and Grandma’s sister and her husband. Grandma and this sister had their birthdays on the same day, but 2 years apart. I just love this picture!

They look so young and so happy! These sisters were so close and such good friends, that I’m sure they spent many afternoons chatting over cups of coffee and some of these rhubarb recipes. This recipe is so easy and so delicious, that you’re ALL going to want to try this one!

This sounds like another weird one, but trust me, this one is really good!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Rhubarb Upside Down Dessert

Mix according to package directions:

1 yellow or lemon cake mix (I used lemon for this one)

Put in 9″ x 13″ pan.

Pour over cake mix:

5 cups chopped rhubarb

Then over that:

1 1/2 cups sugar

Pour over top of all:

1/2 pint whipping cream (I mistakenly bought Half-n-Half to make this and didn’t realize it until I was about to pour it on – it worked fine)

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Serve upside down with whipped cream (or ice cream).

This one takes a lot of rhubarb – that means a lot of chopping.

I know it sounds weird, but put the cake batter into the pan, sprinkle on the rhubarb, then on goes the sugar.

Pour the whipping cream over the top of everything.

After baking, it looks totally different. It’s ok – this is what it’s supposed to look like.

Don’t forget to put it on the plate upside down. You can see the how the rhubarb goes to the bottom of the pan and so do the sugar and whipping cream, so it makes a delicious custardy topping for the cake.

As far as I’m concerned, it’s delicious just the way it is, but Grandma always liked to gild the lily.

That means adding the whipped cream at the end. I used lemon cake mix instead of yellow for this cake, and it was delicious but a bit overpowering. I think the yellow cake mix lets the rhubarb flavor come through better. Either way is so easy and so tasty, that I hope you’ll all try this Rhubarb Upside Down Dessert.

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment »

Angel Sponge Cake

This recipe for Angel Sponge Cake comes from the tiny book I found at my sister’s house. I haven’t had any bad ones from this book, however, this might be the first one. This one was kind of weird. I looked online to see if there were any recipes on there for Angel Sponge Cake that I could look at, but I didn’t find any. Not one. At any rate, I tried it, and I’ll share it, but I warned you. I wanted to have this cake on today so there would be a beautiful and tasty dessert for you to make for mom this weekend. Boo. I’m not so sure about this one. You might want to try some other recipes I’ve posted. The ridiculously delicious Prune Cake is a great one, or the Chocolate Rose Cake for the chocoholic mom, or even the luscious Lemon Dessert #2. There are so many desserts and cakes to choose from – go crazy and pick one!

I think they ran out of room to write out the recipe – it’s a bit confusing.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Angel Sponge Cake

Beat:

6 egg whites

1/2 teaspoon salt

Add:

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup cake flour

Put in bottom of 9″ x 13″ pan (I think – there’s no size listed).

Beat until light:

6 egg  yolks

Add and beat until light in color:

3 Tablespoons water

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon salt

Sift together:

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

Combine with egg yolk mixture.

Pour over egg whites in pan.

Bake in slow (300-325 degrees – I had the oven at 325 degrees) 45-60 minutes.

Separate the eggs first – this recipe doesn’t take long if you have everything ready to go ahead of time. I used my big mixer, but I think it would have worked better with a hand mixer.

Here is the angel food layer in the pan first. Looks harmless enough.

The recipe doesn’t have everything in the instructions. Sift ALL the dry ingredients for the sponge cake layer together first.

Here is the sponge cake layer poured on top of the angel food layer. Ok . . .?

I thought maybe the two types of cake would assimilate and mix together more. Instead, there are definitely two separate layers with two totally different types of cake. Weird.

Whipped cream and fresh berries make anything delicious AND beautiful!

The cake is good – just a bit strange – and kind of tough. Not my favorite and possibly the first recipe from that tiny book that isn’t so great. Maybe I missed something here, I don’t know. Anyway, if you try this Angel Sponge Cake, let me know how it turns out for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment »

Rhubarb Crumble

Rhubarb Crumble is one of Grandma’s recipes that doesn’t seem to make sense. I think it’s more of a cake than a “crumble”. When I think of a “crumble”, I think of more of a “crisp”, but this recipe makes more of a cake. In fact, I’d say it reminds me of more of a coffee cake. It’s perfect for a Mother’s Day brunch or afternoon coffee. The recipe is a bit mixed up, so I had to figure out what to do with this one. Let’s get started and you’ll see what I mean.

This delicious crumble/cake is loaded with rhubarb.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Rhubarb Crumble

Topping:

Mix together and set aside:

3 Tablespoons, melted butter

2/3 cup flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts (I used pecans)

Mix together in order given:

1/3 cup margarine (I used butter)

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup orange juice

2 Tablespoons grated orange rind

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 1/3 cup self-rising cake flour (I never have cake flour OR self-rising flour in the house, so I had to go to Google and find out how to make a substitute: 2 1/3 cups flour, 1/2 heaping t. salt, 2 1/2 heaping t. baking powder – whisk together and sift 5 times to make it light.)

Fold in:

1 pound rhubarb, cut into 1 inch pieces

Spoon into greased 9 inch springform pan.

Add topping.

Bake at 350 degrees for 60 to 65 minutes.

I didn’t see the part about the rhubarb needing to be in 1 inch pieces until I had already cut it into 1/4 inch pieces. It was just fine.

You can see how full of rhubarb the batter is, and that bit of orange in there is really tasty.

The crumble topping goes on top and then after baking, it makes a delicious crumb top.

Not only is this a delicious cake – it’s beautiful! I put it on the glass plate pedestal I made a few years ago, and you can find the instructions for how to make that here.

The springform pan makes it easy to cut the pretty pieces, but I think you could also bake this in a 9 inch x 9 inch pan.

This beautiful and delicious crumble/cake would make the perfect brunch dessert for Mother’s Day. It would also be perfect for your afternoon coffee. Serve this Rhubarb Crumble with whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream and mom will be so glad – and proud – that you baked!

 

 

 

3 Comments »

Chocolate Cake (Cupcakes) with Chocolate Buttercream

The recipe for Chocolate Cake (which I decided to make into cupcakes) comes from the tiny book I found at my sister’s house. It was time to make my son’s birthday cake and he decided that this year he wanted chocolate. Well, are we glad I tried this recipe from that book! This is one of the family’s newest favorites. The front page of that little book said that the recipes were “tested” and I would have to say they did it right. All of the recipes from that tiny book have been absolutely delicious, and this one is no exception. I made this recipe for a birthday, but it would also be great for Mother’s Day, or any other celebration – especially if your mother is as much of a chocoholic as my mom is. In honor of the upcoming day to celebrate mothers, here is a photo of 3 generations: my mom, my grandma, and her mother – my great-grandmother.

It must have been a special occasion – they’re all dressed up and Grandma has a hat on! So let’s get back to the business at hand – Chocolate Cake!

This recipe is quick and easy to do – just the way we like ’em!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Chocolate Cake

Mix in order given:

1/2 cup shortening (I used butter)

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

2 small eggs

1 cup buttermilk or sour milk

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon (heaping) baking soda (add to the flour)

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup cocoa mixed with enough boiling water to make a paste

Bake at 350-375 degrees for 40 minutes (I baked the cupcakes at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes).

Chocolate Buttercream

2 sticks butter

4 cups powdered sugar

1/2-3/4 cup cocoa (depending on how cocoa-y you like it)

2-3 Tablespoons vanilla

3-4 Tablespoons milk

Blend well with a hand mixer, adding more milk if necessary to thin to perfect piping or frosting consistency.

This is what the cocoa paste looks like – nice and creamy.

Here’s before and after baking – very chocolatey.

I don’t think you can see it here, and I’m not sure why, but these cupcakes had a nice bit of a crust on top – it was delightful and we all loved that part.

I piped on the buttercream, but you can frost them with a knife also. The buttercream is delicious on these and it WAS a birthday – there HAS to be sprinkles.

This my new favorite recipe. They were just delicious. I use that word a lot – delicious. But they were – absolutely delicious. The whole family agreed. Try this recipe for Chocolate Cake for your chocoholic – it’ll be their new favorite, too!

 

 

Leave a comment »

Passion 4 baking

Jeg blogger om min passion for baking og matlaging og allt det spennende man kan finne på i kjøkkenet med kaker, cupcakes, cakepops og ulike frostinger

Cooking without Limits

Food Photography & Recipes

Pinch of Yum

A food blog with simple and tasty recipes.

Mrs. Twinkle

My Wonderful Little World

eASYbAKED

a collection of recipes