Mom’s Banana Bread
3 ripe bananas
1 c. sugar
4 tbsp butter
1 ½ c. flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
Chocolate chips (optional – really?)
Mash bananas, add sugar. Beat well. Add butter, beat well, then flour, soda and salt. Beat just until incorporated.
Bake at 350 F for 55 minutes. You may want to cover top with foil for last 10 minutes or so.
This is a classic “June” baking recipe. Easy, fast, dependable, takes any amount of chocolate chips you have on hand.
Grandma Kraft’s Shortbread
1 c. butter
1 ½ c. flour
½ c. icing sugar
¼ c. corn starch
Add dry ingredients slowly to butter and continue beating. Add a few drops of vanilla.
This is very soft. Divide into 2 balls and wrap in wax paper to chill.
Roll into balls and press down with a moistened spoon. Decorate.
Bake at 325 F for 10 minutes. Watch it, it burns and I like them nice and white.
I used to get to decorate these with mom. I cut up red and green maraschino cherries and made individual designs on each. Now I just use sprinkles.
Old School Bits and Bites
1 pkg. pretzel sticks
1 can of salted peanuts
4 cups of shreddies
½ c. butter
3 tbsp.Wooster sauce (Worcestershire, if you weren’t raised by June – insert funny story about phone call from Alexis from Loblaws)
1 tbsp garlic salt
1 tbsp onion salt
1 tbsp celery salt
Set oven at 225 F or very slow. Break the pretzels into smaller pieces and mix with the peanuts and shreddies. Melt butter and add remaining ingredients. Pour over cereal mixture and mix thoroughly. Cover and bake 1 hr. Remove cover and bake another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4 squares unsweetened chocolate
1/3 c. butter
2 c. sifted icing sugar
4 egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla
Melt chocolate and butter in a small heavy saucepan over very low heat (or microwave) stirring occasionally. Cool.
Stir in sugar until smooth. Beat in egg yolks, 1 at a time. Beat in vanilla. Chill until mixture is firm enough to shape.
Using 2 teaspoons (or your hands), scoop a rounded bit out and roll in cocoa, icing sugar or nuts until it is a ball. Chill until firm. Store in frig.
For pure decadence, melt some good chocolate and dip the truffle in that.
These are called “Alexis’ Truffles” because I disliked getting chocolate all over my hands rolling them out. Never minded eating them though.
Chipnut * Bars (aka The Classic)
1 c. margarine
1 2/3 c. brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 c. stirred flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 c. chocolate chips
Lightly cream margarine. Add brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, flour, baking powder and salt, and beat on low until blended, scraping down sides once and bottom once. (This is obviously an important part of the magic and one that I follow to the letter.)
Add ½ c. chips and beat on low until blended. Turn stiff batter into greased (or fairly new non-stick pan, as opposed to the crappy ones we all generally use for all-purpose roasting and baking). Spread into corners and cover with remaining chips (or use another packaged if you are like everybody else).
Bake at 350 F for 20-25 minutes, it really doesn’t matter; people eat these raw or burnt.
* I suppose in its original state, someone, somewhere actually put a nut in this.
** this is a very good beginner’s recipe and illustrates what the well-stocked baking pantry should hold. I also suggest you simply memorize this recipe and make it a part of any holiday tradition, in the Style of June.
Grandma Kraft’s Sausage Stuffing (point of origin much older than that)
1 lb. sausage meat
4 c. soft bread crumbs (although I found my sausage : bread ratio this year was off. Translation: Not enough dressing!! So I shall increase to 6+ cups)
1 c. celery (chopped fine)
½ c. onion (chopped fine)
3 tbsp. melted butter (or sausage fat)
2 eggs, beaten
½ tsp. salt
few grinds of pepper
1 ½ tsp. sage
pinch of baking powder
In large bowl, put crumbs, celery, onion, seasonings and powder. Mix with fork.
Fry sausage meat until nicely browned, stir occasionally. Drain all fat. Add sausage meat to the dressing. Mix with a fork, add melted butter and seasonings and lastly the beaten eggs. Mix well with a fork, should look moist and crumbly.
*I stuffed the bird rather loosely (as opposed to the pate-press style of my forbearers. It took off an hour of overall cooking time, thus ensuring a moist bird. Food for thought anyway.)
** DO NOT DICK WITH THIS RECIPE. Do NOT put apples in it. If you want chestnuts, give yourself a Mary Poppins shake and make Chestnut dressing. I need not even mention that the royal oyster deserves a dressing of its own at all times, and is a lovely complement to the humble sausage.
Aunt Marilyn’s Sugar Cookies (best ever for rolling and decorating)
1 c. margarine
2 c. white sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. Cream of Tartar (optional – I still can’t find it at the supermarket so I have no idea what it does)
1 tsp. vanilla
½ tsp. salt
3 c. flour
Cream together margarine and sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Mix dry ingredients together. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture, in small amounts, beating well after each addition. Chill.
Pre-heat oven to 325 F. Roll out dough to 1/4 inch (0.635 cm if you are Canadian) using small amounts of flour on the rolling surface to prevent sticking. Cut shapes. Bake on ungreased pan for 8 minutes. Watch it! They burn.
Makes enough for Halloween and Christmas.
Aunt’s Marilyn Play Dough (who doesn’t need this recipe at some time)
1 c. flour
1 c. water (tinted with food colouring)
1 tbsp. oil
2 tbsp. Cream of Tartar
½ c. salt (yes, you read that right. You (at least) aren’t eating this!)
Mix together flour, Cream of Tartar and salt in a large pot. Combine water and oil. Stir well (of course it won’t blend!). Add to mixture in pot.
Cook several minutes on low heat until it forms a soft ball. Tip out onto countertop and knead approximately 10 times. Store in a covered plastic container. Lasts well.
Chocolate Bombs (aka Poo Cookies)
I had to use these on both my children. Maybe eating the Play Dough isn’t such a good idea.
1 c. brown sugar
¼ c. butter
2 tbsp. cocoa
¼ c. milk
½ tsp. vanilla
1 c. rolled oats
½ c. bran
½ c. skim milk powder
½ c. sunflower seeds
Combine sugar, butter, cocoa and milk in a saucepan and stir over medium heat until butter melts. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients. Cool-ish. Form into palm-size balls.
*While you can obviously change up the ingredients (the idea is tasty fibre) I found that when I strayed too far from this it either didn’t have the appropriate consistency to make into “cookies” or just didn’t get eaten up the same way. And the goal was to get these in, and get them working!