Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Apple Crisp

4 cups pared and sliced apples
2/3 to 3/4 cups brown sugar (packed)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cups rolled oats
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened

Heat oven to 375F. Grease square pan or baking dish 8 x 8 x 2" with butter. Place apples slices in pan. Mix remaining ingredients thoroughly. sprinkle over apples.

Bake 30 minutes until apples are tender and topping is golden brown. Serve warm and with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream if desired.

 Notes: I usually double this recipe and bake it in an oblong baking dish when all my kids are home. It's yummy and wonderful and disappears fast around this house. Sometimes I add a little oat bran or wheat gem just to make it seem like it's healthy and I have been known to eat the leftovers for breakfast! 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Oven Caramel Popcorn

3 3/4 quarts (15 cups) popped corn
1 cup brown sugar (packed)
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup light corn syrup (or real maple syrup)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda

Heat oven to 200F. Place popped corn in a deep roasting pan or divide between 2 cookie sheets. Heat sugar, butter and corn syrup and salt in a small saucepan, stirring occasionally until bubbly around edges. Continue cooking over medium heat for 5 minutes.

Remove from heat; stir in soda until foamy. Pour on popped corn; stir until corn is coated. Bake 1 hour stirring every 15 to 20 minutes.

Note: This is a family favorite that I usually make at Christmastime and give away to family and friends as gifts. The original recipe calls for stirring every 15 minutes but I have discovered that I can get away with stirring every 20 minutes (or 2 times during the hour) instead. I then give it a final stir and pour it out into a large steel bowl to cool afterwards. I usually use the light corn syrup but was dismayed one year to find that all the "corn syrup" being sold also had High Fructose Corn Syrup in it. This made the caramel corn have a different texture. It was not so crunchy and more plastic-like. So, I now check my corn syrup before I buy it and I use pure maple syrup if necessary or in a pinch!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Baked Alaska

First, bake cake.

Chocolate Cocoa Cake

2 1/4 cups flour
1 2/3 cups sugar
2/3 cups cocoa
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 cups water
3/4 cups shortening
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 13 x 9-inch pan (or use Pam). Measure all ingredients into mixer bowl. Blend 1/2 minute on low speed, scraping bowl constantly. Beat 3 minutes on high speed scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into pan.

Bake 45 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake.
For Baked Alaska, remove from pan by cutting along edge of pan with flat knife and inverting cake onto cookie sheet lined with tin foil. Place brick of ice cream in center of cake and trim cake to 1-inch edge around ice cream. Freeze cake and ice cream.


8 egg whites
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1 1/3 cups brown sugar

Heat oven to 500 degrees.

(Note: be sure beaters and bowl are free of grease or egg whites will not beat up right)
Beat egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy. Beat in brown sugar 1 tablespoon at a time; continue beating until stiff and glossy. Completely cover cake and ice cream with meringue, sealing it to foil on sheet. (If desired cake can be frozen up to 24 hours at this point)

Bake on lowest rack of oven for 3 to 5 minutes until brown. Trim foil to edge of meringue; transfer to serving tray. (I never do this last part but you can if you want to look really fancy). Cut into slices and serve immediately.

Note: this used to be a family favorite for birthdays. It looks so impressive but is surprisingly easy to make. You can experiment with different cake and ice cream combos. One difficulty nowadays is that ice cream is no longer sold in 1/2 gallon bricks, so one needs to find a new way to get the ice cream into that shape. I have used an oval box of ice cream and just shaved off bits to make it square. Another thought I had but have not tried is to soften the ice cream and re-freeze it in a square or rectangular container a day ahead of time.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Jelly Roll

3 eggs (1/2 to 2/3 cups)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup water
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 cup cake flour or 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
about 2/3 cups jelly or jam

Heat oven to 375F. Line jelly roll pan (or cookie sheet) 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 x 1 inch with tin foil or waxed paper; grease. In small mixer bowl, beat eggs about 5 minutes or until very thick and lemon colored. Pour eggs into large mixer bowl and gradually beat in sugar. On low speed blend in water and vanilla. Gradually add flour, baking powder and salt, beating just until batter is smooth. pour into pan spreading batter to corners.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes until toothpick inserted n center comes out clean. Loosen cake from edges of pan. invert on towel sprinkled with confectioners sugar. Carefully remove foil; trim off stiff edges if necessary.

While hot roll cake and towel from narrow end. cool on wire rack. Unroll cake; remove towel. Beat jelly slightly with fork to soften; spread over cake and roll up. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar. Slice and serve.
About 10 servings.


  • Lemon Cake Roll: Omit jelly. Spread unrolled cake with cooled clear lemon filling (below). Roll up; sprinkle with confectioners' sugar. Chill at least 1 hour. Serve with sweetened whipped cream.

  • Strawberry-filled roll: Omit jelly. About 1 hour before serving beat 1/2 cup chilled whipping cream and 2 Tablespoons of confectioners' sugar in chilled bowl until stiff. Spread on unrolled cake. Arrange 2 cups of slices strawberries over whipped cream. roll up and sprinkle with confectioners sugar. Chill. Serve with sweetened whipped cream.

Lemon Filling

3/4 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cups water
1 Tblsp grated lemon peel
1 Tblsp. butter or margarine
1/3 cup lemon juice

Mix sugar, cornstarch and salt in saucepan. Gradually stir in water. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thicken and boils. Boil and stir one minute.

Remove from heat; add lemon peel and butter. Gradually stir in lemon juice. Cool thoroughly. If too soft, refrigerate until set.

Notes: It's been years since I have made one of these, but when my children's former babysitter contacted me the other day asking if I still made these and if she could have the recipe I decided to post this recipe next. It's nice to know she still remembers me making this treat. She was a good babysitter.Now she is a good mom! This one's for you Tammy! 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Ginger Snaps

3/4 cups of shortening
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp. salt
 Granulated sugar

Mix thoroughly shortening, brown sugar, egg, and molasses. Blend in remaining ingredients except granulated sugar. Cover; chill 1 hour.

Heat oven to 375F. Shape dough by rounded teaspoonfuls into balls. Roll in granulated sugar. Place on lightly greased cookie sheets 3 inches apart. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or just until set. Immediately remove from baking sheets.

Note: These cookies are a family favorite. They are especially good for shipping to children who live far away at Christmastime. I sent some of these to my son, Alex when he was fighting in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I've taught my grandchildren to eat them dipped in milk and my grandson, Xavier won't eat them any other way. When my granddaughter Brooklyn was about 18 months old and we lived in Maine I taught her how to dip ginger snaps in milk and I can still see her with her hand in the glass of milk up to her knuckles as she dipped away!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Pineapple Carrot Cake

3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups salad oil
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup grated raw carrot
3 eggs
1-8 oz can crushed pineapple
1/2 cup pecans (or walnuts)
1/2 cup coconut

Preheat oven to 350F. Sift together dry ingredients, add the rest of the ingredients and mix well with mixer. pour into greased tube pan and bake for 1 hour. Cool before removing from pan. When completely cool frost with cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

2-3 oz. packages of cream cheese
1 stick butter or oleo
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 box of confectionery sugar

Blend cream cheese and butter, add vanilla and sifted confectionery sugar. Mix until smooth.

From the 1976 Brooklyn, CT Bicentennial Cookbook. Recipe submitted by Evelyn Spencer.

Note: I have copied this recipe as written except for moving the oven temp info to the beginning of the instructions. I like to make this recipe with walnuts. This used to be my husband's favorite cake and I always made it for his birthday. He didn't like coconut, so I left that out, then I decorated the top of the cake once it was frosted with a circle of walnut halves. It always looked so pretty and it tasted so yummy!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Apple Popover Pancake

1 Large Apple
2 Tblsp Butter
2 Tblsp Cinnamon-sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt

Pare, core and slice apples into sixteenths. heat butter in oven safe skillet (I like cast iron) and add apples slices. Sprinkle with 1 Tbsp cinnamon-sugar. Saute over medium heat for 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Beat together eggs, milk, flour, and salt. pour mixture over apples and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes until firm and puffy. sprinkle with remaining cinnamon-sugar and serve hot.

From the 1976 Brooklyn, CT Bicentennial Cookbook. Recipe submitted by Edna Kunkel.

Note: I usually double this recipe and cook it in a large cast iron pan, then sprinkle lemon juice and powdered sugar on my slice!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Easy Cream Cheese Spread

1 block of Cream cheese
1 package Good Seasons Italian dressing mix (regular or zesty)
A few drops of milk.
Soften cream cheese by leaving at room temp for an hour.  Put into mixing bowl.
Sprinkle Italian dressing mix on top of cream cheese.  With mixer beat into cream cheese adding a few drops of milk to soften.  Scrape into serving bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Store in fridge for at least an hour to allow spices to permeate cream cheese.  If desired, top with chopped nuts.  Spread on crackers, bread, celery, etc.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Hot Spiced Cider

Hot Spiced Cider

1 gallon cider
2 tsp whole cloves
2 tsp. whole allspice
2 three inch cinnamon sticks
2/3 cups sugar
2 oranges studded with cloves

Heat cider,cloves, allspice, cinnamon and sugar to boiling; cover and simmer 20 minutes.  Strain punch and pour into bowl. Float oranges in bowl.

32 servings (about ½ cup each).

Note: For a quick single serving of fresh hot spiced cider take a coffee mug, fill it with cold cider and add an orange-spiced tea bag to it and warm it in the microwave!

Monday, December 2, 2013


Baking Powder Biscuits

2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
¼ shortening
¾ cup milk

Heat oven to 450 degrees.  Measure flour, baking powder and salt into bowl.  Cut in shortening thoroughly, until mixture looks like meal.  Stir in milk. 

Round up dough on lightly floured surface. Knead lightly 20 to 25 times.  Roll ½ inch thick. Cut with floured biscuit cutter. Place on ungreased baking sheet and bake 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown.

For drop biscuits increase milk to 1 cup and dropped by rounded tablespoon onto greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 450 for 10 to 12 minutes.

For Dumplings: drop biscuit dough by spoonfuls onto hot liquid in soup or stew.  Cook uncovered at a simmer for 10 minutes.  Cover and cook 20 minutes longer. 

Biscuits can be used on top of a casserole and baked in the oven for a one-dish supper.  Especially good with chicken or turkey stew.

Southern Biscuits

2 cups flour
2 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking soda
1/3 cup shortening
2/3 cup buttermilk

Heat oven to 450 degrees.  Measure dry ingredients into bowl.  Cut in shortening.  Stir in almost all of buttermilk.  If dough is not pliable, add just enough milk to make a soft, puffy, easy to roll dough.

Round up dough on lightly floured surface.  Knead 20 to 25 times.  Roll ½ inch thick. Cut with floured biscuit cutter.  Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown.

Sunday, December 1, 2013


Popular Muffins

1 egg
1 cup milk
¼ salad oil
2 cups flour
¼ cup sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt

Sweet Muffins

1 egg
½ cup milk
¼ cup salad oil
1 ½ cups flour
½ cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt

Heat oven to 400 degrees.   Grease bottoms of 12 medium muffin cups (or line with muffin papers).  Beat egg.  Stir in milk and oil.  Mix in remaining ingredients just until flour is moistened.  Batter should be lumpy.

Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.  Immediately remove from pan.


·         Apple muffins: Stir in 1 cup grated apple with oil and add ½ tsp. cinnamon with flour. Sprinkle with nut-Crunch topping: mix 1/3 cup brown sugar (packed), 1/3 cup broken nuts and ½ tsp. cinnamon.  Bake 25 to 30 minutes.

·         Blueberry Muffins: Fold 1 cup fresh blue berries of ¾ cup well drained frozen blue berries (thawed) into batter.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Pumpkin Muffins

Pumpkin Muffins

1 ½ cups flour
½ cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
½ cup milk
½ cup canned pumpkin
¼ cup butter, melted
1 egg
½ cup raisins (if desired)
½ cup chopped walnuts  (if desired)

Recipe X 4 to serve more!

6 cups flour
2 cup sugar
2 Tblsp. + 2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. nutmeg
2 cups milk
2 cups canned pumpkin
1 cup butter, melted
4 eggs
2 cups raisins (if desired)
2 cups chopped walnuts  (if desired)

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease bottoms of 12 medium muffin cups.  Mix all ingredients just until flour is moistened.  Batter should be lumpy.

Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Sprinkle ¼ tsp. sugar on top of batter in each cup.  Bake 18 to 20 minutes.  Immediately remove from pan.

Note: I usually multiply this recipe so I can use up the whole can of pumpkin. If necessary, I then freeze the leftover muffins to eat at a later date. Or, you can just share them with your family and friends. In my family I am the only one who likes them with the raisins and walnuts, so I usually make up the batter and pour a few into the muffin cups before adding them to the rest of the batter for myself!

Thursday, November 28, 2013


Mix together:  1 cup milk or buttermilk
1 egg
2 Tablespoons salad oil

Add:                1 cup flour
                        1 Tbsp. Sugar
                        1 tsp. baking powder
                        ½ tsp. baking soda
                        ½ tsp. salt

Mix until moistened.  Pour batter onto heated and greased skillet.  Flip pancakes when bubbles appear on top of batter.  Serve with butter and/or syrup.

Note: While this is just a simple recipe, I use to makes these for breakfast all the time. When I had all four kids at home I would have to quadruple this recipe to feed them all! I also use to add wheat germ and/or bran to make them healthier, and when two of my kids developed milk allergies, I made them with apple juice instead of milk! You can also add a tablespoon of organic soy flour or powdered milk to boost the protein if you like. I always use unbleached flour and nowadays I often use organic flour.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Buttons and Bowknots

2 cups flour
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt                 
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup shortening
2/3 cup buttermilk (or milk with 1 tablespoon vinegar added to sour it)
1 egg

¼ cup butter, melted
½ cup sugar

Heat oven to 450 degrees.  Combine dry ingredients and shortening in bowl.  Cut in shortening until mixture looks like meal.  Add milk and egg.  Beat 20 strokes.  Round up dough on lightly floured board.  Knead 5 times.  Roll ½ inch thick.  Cut with floured donut cutter.  Twist rings into bowknots.  Use centers for buttons.  Place on cookie sheet and bake 8 – 10 minutes.  Immediately after baking dip in melted butter, then sugar. Yum!

Note: Perfect for a Saturday or Sunday morning!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Butter Dips

½ cup butter
2 ½ cups flour
4 tsp. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. salt
1 1/3 cups milk.

Heat oven to 450 degrees.  Melt butter in oblong baking pan 13 x 9 inches.  Remove from oven.

Measure dry ingredients into bowl.  Add milk; stir just until dough forms.

Turn dough onto well flour surface.  Roll dough around to coat with flour.  Knead 10 times.  Roll into oblong shape.  With flour cover knife, cut dough length wise, then cut crosswise into strips.  Dip each strip into melted butter, coating both sides.  Arrange strips in baking pan and bake 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown.  Serve immediately.

Note: I use this recipe when I want to make something quick and easy to go with soup or stew. Sometimes I add a bit of oat bran or ground flaxseed to make it just a bit healthier. My kids love this one!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Christmas Eggnog

6 eggs
1 cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 pint whipping cream
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pint milk

In large bowl beat eggs until light and foamy.  Add sugar and salt, beating until thick and lemon colored. Set aside.  In a separate bowl with clean beaters beat whipping cream and 1 tablespoon sugar until it forms soft peaks.  Beat in vanilla.  Pour beaten eggs into pitcher or serving bowl. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Slowly stir in whipped cream and milk. Refrigerate at least 2 hours. Stir before serving and sprinkle with additional nutmeg if desired.

Note: Nothing speaks of Christmas and the holidays like eggnog. I adapted this recipe long ago to create a foamy whipped cream top and it is a family favorite. Yes, I use raw eggs. Do so at your own risk!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Pumpkin Pie

(Prepare pastry for one crust pie)

9-inch                                                                          10-inch
2 eggs                                                                          3 eggs
2 cups pumpkin                                                         2 ¾ cups canned pumpkin
¾ cups sugar                                                              1 cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt                                                          ¾ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon                                                1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon ginger                                                     ¾ teaspoon ginger
¼ teaspoon cloves                                                      ½ teaspoon cloves
1 2/3 cups evaporated milk or light cream              2 ¼ cups evaporated milk or light cream

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare pastry.  Beat eggs slightly; beat in remaining ingredients.  Pour into pastry lined pan.  Bake 15 minutes.

Reduce oven temp to 350 degrees. Bake 9-inch pie 45 minutes longer and 10-inch pie 55 minutes longer or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool.  If desired, serve with whipped cream.

Pastry      10-inch one crust pie

1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup shortening or ¼ plus 3 Tablespoons lard
3 – 4 Tablespoons cold water

Measure flour and salt into bowl.  Cut in shortening.  (Chill in fridge a few minutes for flakier crust)  Sprinkle in water 1 Tablespoon at a time, mixing until all flour is moistened and dough almost cleans side of bowl.  Roll out on flour covered surface.  Fold into quarters and ease into pan.  Crimp edges.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Boston Creme Pie

Bake Dinette cake (for 1 pie) or Golden layer cake (for 2 pies) in round layer pan(s).

Cool and split into 2 thin layers.  Fill with Cream filling. Spread top with chocolate glaze.  Refrigerate any remaining cake.  Tastes best when made a day ahead and refrigerated over night.
(For 2 pies double the cream filling and chocolate chip glaze.)

Dinette Cake

(Measurements in parentheses are for altitudes below 4,000 ft)
1 ¼ cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder  (1 ½ tsp.)
½ tsp. salt
2/3 cup milk (3/4 cup)
1/3 cup shortening
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour round layer pan.
Measure all ingredients into large mixer bowl.  Blend on low speed ½ minute scraping bowl constantly. Beat 3 minutes on high speed scraping bowl occasionally.  Pour into pan.  Bake 35 to 40 minutes until wooden toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.  Cool.

Golden Layer Cake (for altitudes between 4,000 to 6,000 ft)
2 1/3 cups flour
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
½ cup shortening
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
1 ½ tsp. vanilla
2 eggs

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour round pans. Measure all ingredients into large bowl.
Blend on low speed ½ minute scraping bowl constantly. Beat 3 minutes on high speed scraping bowl occasionally.  Pour into pans.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes until wooden toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.  Cool.

Cream Filling

1/3 cup sugar
2 Tblsp. Cornstarch
1/8 tsp. salt
1 ½ cups milk
2 egg yolks slightly beaten
2 tsp. vanilla

Blend sugar, cornstarch and salt in medium saucepan.  Combine milk and egg yolks; gradually stir into sugar mixture. Cook over medium heat until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir 1 minute. Remove from heat.  Stir in vanilla, cool to room temperature. 

Chocolate Chip Glaze

½ cup semi sweet chocolate chips
2 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon light corn syrup

Heat all ingredients over low heat, stirring constantly until chocolate is melted. Spread on cake/pie immediately.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Whoopy Pies

Whoopy Pies
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
5 Tablespoons cocoa
1 cup milk
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
½ cup oil
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix all ingredients well. Using ungreased cookie sheet, drop batter by teaspoons onto sheets. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven and cool well.


6 Tblsps Crisco (no substitutes)
1 cup sugar
4 Tblsp flour
1 stick butter  (1/2 cup)
2/3 cup milk

For the filling, mix all together and beat on high speed for 15 minutes. Fill cookie part. Unused portion of filling may be stored in fridge for up to 1 week.  (I often double the filling recipe for fatter whoopy pies.)

Note: I got this recipe from a friend when I was a young wife and made these for my family all of my life. They are a big hit with my kids even though they are all grown and I have grandkids now. I especially remember making them when we lived in Idaho and I would ave the brown cookie parts spread all over the kitchen counters. 


I've been thinking about this blog for a very long time. Originally I was going to try to publish a cookbook for my family but that was too expensive and too time consuming. I am the mother of four kids and numerous grandkids now. I have been cooking from "scratch" since I was a teenager in the late 1960's and 70's. Once I had kids, it was only natural to have them help me in the kitchen, and like many families, we have some of our fondest memories from cooking together. I wanted to name this blog "The Brown Family Recipes" but after googling that title I discovered it was already being used by some "sister wives!" Well, there are no sister wives here, just me and my kids and lots of food cooked with love in our family kitchen. Now when my kids call and ask me, Mom, what's the recipe for...? I will be able to tell them to just look it up online and if it is not there already, I can type it up quickly and they and anyone else can access it! Whenever possible I will try to connect the recipes to a memory, but mostly I hope to keep this blog simple and easy to use. There will be an archive in the sidebar as well as a labels list so that if you are looking for a certain recipe or subject you can easily find it. Enjoy! And welcome to my kitchen! (Photos will be added when possible.)