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American Girls doll series inspires recipes

Wednesday, March 19, 2003


Now that the weather is warmer and days are longer, we are having our neighborhood children playing at the house more often. Each afternoon, as we arrive home from school, it is a race to see who can get their creek clothes on first and head to the creek on their bicycles. Our neighbor, Robert, is so cute with his short pants and knee-high rubber boots, ready to look for crawdads. Robert's sister, Elaine, is so quiet, polite and cute as a button. She wanted to share a cookbook with me last week, and I enjoyed talking with her about some of the recipes.

Her cookbook is from the American Girls doll series. Molly's Cookbook is based on life about 50 years past, and all of the recipes are written with children in mind. Elaine was so excited to share a couple of her favorite recipes with me, I wanted to pass them along to you.

The quick coffeecake is not only one of her favorites, but of her four siblings as well.

Quick Coffee Cake

Shortening to grease pan

1 1/2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons shortening

1/3 cup sugar

1 egg

2/3 cup milk

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan with shortening. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt into a medium-sized mixing bowl. In a large mixing bowl, add the 3 tablespoons shortening. Beat with electric mixer until it is creamy. Slowly add the sugar and beat until fluffy. Scrape down the sides and add the egg and milk. Beat well, scraping sides as necessary. Add all dry ingredients and stir them in with a wooden spoon just enough to get them completely wet. Pour this mixture into the greased pan. Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat or in the microwave. Add in the brown sugar and cinnamon and stir well. Sprinkle this mixture over the cake batter. Bake at 425 degrees for 25 minutes or until cake tests done. Allow to cool for a few minutes; cut into pieces and serve.

There were two other recipes I borrowed from this cute book to share with you. The frozen fruit cups was another one Elaine said she wanted to try. So, maybe she and I can do that together real soon.

Frozen Fruit Cups

12 5-ounce drink cups.

1 cup fresh orange juice

1 (15 oz.) can crushed pineapple, in its own juice

1 (7 oz.) can mandarin oranges

1 pint fresh strawberries

2 bananas

1 1/2 cup ginger ale

Measure the orange juice into a mixing bowl. Add the pineapple and its own juice. Drain the mandarin oranges and cut into small pieces. Wash strawberries, remove stems and cut into small pieces. Add the berries to the bowl. Peel the bananas and cut them into small pieces and add to the other fruits. Stir well to mix. Stir in the ginger ale. Fill 12 5-oz. drinking cups evenly. Cover each with a small piece of plastic wrap. Freeze for several hours or overnight before serving. Before serving, take out of freezer to allow fruit to partially thaw.

French Toast

2 eggs

1/4 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup milk

1 tablespoon butter

6 slices bread

Favorite syrup

Crack the eggs into a bowl and beat with a fork. Mix in the salt and milk. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Dip each piece of bread into egg batter. Place in skillet and add pieces until your skillet is full. Cook each piece until it is golden brown then turn over to cook the other side until golden brown. Remove from skillet to platter. Serve hot with your favorite syrup, cinnamon sugar, whipped topping or fruit.

With Easter just about a month away, the Easter candy is out and Easter is on our minds. Jodi Thompson shared a quick-and-easy fudge recipe that uses jelly beans. I cannot imagine how sweet this would be, but it would be cute on a tray.

Jelly Bean Fudge

2 cups white chocolate chips

1 (16 -ounce) container vanilla frosting

2 cups assorted jelly beans

Line a 9-inch square pan with foil and grease lightly. Melt chips; add frosting and stir until smooth. Remove from heat and cool. Add jelly beans and stir to mix well. Spread mixture into prepared pan. Cool to room temperature. Cover tightly and refrigerate 2 hours. Remove foil and fudge from pan and place on a cutting surface. Carefully remove foil and cut fudge in small pieces. Makes approximately 3 dozen pieces of candy.

Jodi also shared a couple of other recipes this week, and of course I wanted to pass them onto to you.

Tuxedo Brownie Hugs Cookies

About 60 Hershey's Hugs chocolates

1 package (1 lb., 6.5 oz.) original supreme brownie mix with syrup pouch

1/4 cup Hershey's cocoa

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 eggs

Remove wrappers from Hershey's Hugs. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour cookie sheet or line with parchment paper. Stir brownie mix, pouch of Hershey's Syrup, Hershey's cocoa, water, oil and eggs in medium bowl until well blended. Drop by scant teaspoons onto prepared cookie sheet. Bake 8 minutes or until set. Cool 1 minute. Press Hershey's Hug chocolate into center of each cookie. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

Sunday Brunch Omelet

3 medium potatoes, diced

1/4 cup butter

1/3 cup finely chopped onion

1 cup diced cooked ham

6 eggs, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 tablespoons milk

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

1/2 cup finely chopped mushrooms

1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese

Place the potatoes in a saucepan; cover with salted water and cook 10 minutes, or until barely done. Drain well. Melt the butter in a large skillet with flameproof handle. Sauté the onion in skillet until tender. Add the potatoes and ham and cook 3 minutes. Combine the eggs, salt, pepper, milk, and parsley and pour over potato mixture. Cook over high heat, stirring with a fork until all mixture starts to coagulate. Cook until underside is browned. Sprinkle with the mushrooms and cheese and place under a preheated broiler to melt the cheese.

Apple Coffee Cake

1 yellow cake mix (2 layer size)

1 (19 oz.) can apple pie filling

3 eggs

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup margarine

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup flour

Mix apple pie filling, cake mix, eggs, cinnamon. Pour into greased 9-by-13-inch cake pan. Mix margarine, sugar, and flour together until crumbly. Sprinkle over top of cake mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 50 minutes.

I'm about out of space, but I do have one recipe request this week. Lori McGuire of Jackson recently enjoyed some stuffed mushrooms with sausage and cheese. She would like your favorite recipe for stuffed mushrooms. Personally, I would like to have the recipe served at Celebrations in Cape Girardeau. They are so delicious, and everyone enjoys them when dining at Celebrations. Please send in your favorite recipe to help Lori find the perfect stuffed mushroom for her.

Enjoy your week and the rapid approach of spring. Cook up a storm, share your recipes, and until next time, happy cooking.

Susan McClanahan is administrator at the Cape Girardeau Senior Center. Send recipes to her at smcclanahan@semissourian.com or by mail at P.O. Box 699; Cape Girardeau, Mo. 63701. Recipes published have not been kitchen-tested by the Southeast Missourian staff.

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