fudge

A fudge recipe from Betty's Cook Nook
Oh, Fudge: How Sweet It Is

This recipe is long overdue making its debut on Betty’s Cook Nook.

I was supposed to make this fudge during my big getaway to Italy in 2012-2013 but I wasn’t able to score all the ingredients while in Tuscany so the recipe sat here online without pictures or a story behind it … until now.

Out of all of my Mom’s recipes that I’ve been intimidated to make, I think it was this one takes 1st place because of the special note Mom included on the recipe: “Call Inez for help when making 1st time.” If Mom needed counsel the first time making this fudge, I was surely destined for a foodie fail – especially after my run-in with the red candy apple on a stick disaster from 2011.

Turns out I was right!

foodie tips

  Eureka! I learned something significant that you probably already know – the difference between condensed milk and evaporated milk! I always knew these as “milk in a can” but if you asked me the difference I would have said one is evaporated and one is not. Bad guess.

It turns out that both milks have the majority of water removed from them but condensed milk is sweetened milk (a.k.a. sweetened condensed milk or “SCM”) and evaporated milk is not. Since this recipe calls for sugar, I can create confidently knowing that “cold milk” (per the original recipe below) would have been shorthand for evaporated milk. My culinary cred just rose by +1!

I’m not sure why the recipe calls for the milk to be cold only to heat it up in step one, but hey, don’t mess with instructions, right?

  Even though the recipe doesn’t call for it, I enlisted the aid of my candy thermometer to try and prevent another culinary wreck. Turns out I would need the aid of the entire Justice League to try and save this mess.

I’m not sure what I made but I think it was a cross between a Texas praline, a chocolate crepe, and a brick (translation: FLAT and HARD). After two candy-coated foodie fails I think I’ll be trading in my Sur la Table candy thermometer for something more reliable. Maybe a digital candy thermometer!

Sur La Table Candy Thermometer

  I distinctly remember Mom making this fudge at the holidays when divinity, rum balls and ribbon candy made special appearances. While we had the fudge with chopped nuts, Mom made the fudge with pecan halves on top most often so that’s the way I made them (hint hint).

  Here in Texas “nuts” is an abbreviation for Texas Pecans. Y’all can trust me on this!

  On the next “go” of this recipe I’m going to try it in a deep glass dish then cut it into squares. Seems like many of the modern day recipes call for that technique and maybe I’ll be luckier in the end.

  Fudge Lover? Get in line! Here’s another fabulous fudgey find from Mom’s cookbook.

fudge recipe ingredients

i. ingredients

½ cup | cold canned milk (evaporated milk)
2 cups | sugar
½ cup | karo corn syrup
2 squares | chocolate
2 tablespoons | butter (go big with unsalted Falfurrias Brand)
1 teaspoon | vanilla
a handful or 2 | nuts (a.k.a. texas pecans), *halves* or chopped

ii. what to do

1. Put all of the ingredients (except the butter, vanilla and nuts) into a large pot.

how to make fudge

2. Cook over very low heat, stirring occasionally, until melted.

3. Turn up the heat and bring to a boil, boiling for 3-4 minutes. Cook to the “soft ball” stage (about 235°F – 240°F).

4. Remove the mixture from heat and add the vanilla and butter.

5. Place the molten pot into a sink filled with water. Beat by hand until creamy.

6. Drop by spoonfuls (I think onto a glass or ceramic dish would work best). Top with your pecan halves (if using), let rest… then dig in! Enjoy!

~ Patrick

Betty’s Son
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook

your best fudge recipe

A Scan Of Mom’s Fudge Recipe From Our Neighbor Inez

Who is “Inez Eversole”?

I grew up living in a house on a corner lot at 2927 Trailend in San Antonio. The house right behind us sat on a large piece of land that was one acre in size; ten houses were neighbors to a slice of this great space. The yard was meticulously beautiful with plush grass and large shade trees that made it look like a plantation dropped in the middle of San Antonio.

Inez and Herb Eversole were a wonderful older couple who lived in a charming 1951 stone house that sat right in the middle of the tiny world all its own. I’d climb our fence and peer over it to see what was going on with our backdoor friends. Mrs. Eversole was always kind to me and I’d often visit to have a chat about the goings on at school and home. Mr. Eversole had a riding lawnmower that I thought was just about the neatest thing I had ever seen.

Looking back I think Inez and Herb were our family’s adopted grandparents – not just because of their geo proximity – but because of their genuine awesomeness and willingness to help us out with time-tested tips and tasty dishes.

So there you have it – this is Inez’s very own fudge recipe! I have one or two other recipes from Herb and Inez in Mom’s cookbook and will gladly add them soon.

Cheers to you, Inez and Herb – Thanks for the sweet fudge recipe! And the great memories.


chocolate pecan ritz pie

Chocolate Pecan Ritz Pie Recipe From Bettys Cook Nook

Sweet Formations

In honor of my brother’s birthday today (Betty’s son Tim), I’m making pie.

I broke away from my recent sequence of making recipes in the order I find them in Mom’s two cookbooks by skipping right to the dessert section of the green index card file that has about 100 recipes in it. A funny little recipe (see below) caught my eye because it had no name. So I chose it without doubt.

I almost named this “no name pie,” but I thought I could do better than that so “Chocolate Pecan Ritz Pie” seemed suitable enough.

Tim is the oldest of 3 of Louis and Betty’s kids. I’ve known him to be a fan of hunting and fishing, sports and good Tex Mex. Shown here is a picture of Tim as a yell leader at MacArthur High School from the 1970s – a time when our family was eating many of the recipes here at Betty’s Cook Nook.

I hope you enjoy this pie as much as I did. Hats off to you on your sweet day, big bro!

MarArthur Cheerleaders & Yell Leaders, 1975

Here’s a pic of my brother Tim when he was a Yell Leader at MacArthur High School. He’s the 3rd Yell Leader from left to right. #PerfectPosture

 

foodie tips ~

  Whipping cream or whipped cream? So whipped cream is whipping cream after it has been whipped. I’m not sure if this recipe really called for whipping cream to be poured on top, so I whipped mine. I prefer my whipped cream with tall, thick peaks – not flimsy and runny rivers which is what I associate with canned whipped cream.

I suppose I’m a bit of a whipped cream snob as I have a gourmet whipper that I, ahem, whip out when it’s time for the best. It only takes a few moments to make fresh whipped cream and I can sweeten and flavor the cream to my liking. Chocolate whipped cream? I’ve done it, and so can you!

  Here in Texas “nuts” is an abbreviation for “Texas Pecans.” Giddy up!

  If you also top the pie with more chopped pecans, I’m likely to high five you. #ThisIsTexas!

i. ingredients

| egg whites
1 cup | sugar
1 teaspoon | baking powder
1 cup | nuts, chopped (see above for cooking tip)
21 | Ritz brand crackers, crushed
to line pie plate | butter – better make it Falfurrias (my Grandmother’s favorite)
1 cup | whipped cream
to top | hershey chocolate bar, shaved

Chocolate Pecan Ritz Pie Recipe

ii. what to do

0. Preheat oven to 350°F.

1. Beat the egg whites until stiff.

2. Stir together the sugar and baking powder and add to the egg whites and gently fold in.

3. Add the pecans and the Ritz crackers and fold in.

4. Pour your mix into a buttered pie plate and bake in your preheated oven for about 25 minutes. Nobody likes charred pie so please watch carefully so that you don’t overcook this sweet dish!

5. Remove the pie from the oven and let it cool thoroughly. Use a cooling rack if you’re in somewhat of a hurry.

6. Top the pie with some fresh whipped cream and chocolate shavings and chill in the fridge for 1-2 hours. Serve chilled.

Yields about 6 – 8 servings

~ Patrick

Betty’s Son
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook

Chocolate Pecan Ritz Pie Recipe

A scan of Mom’s pie recipe. It was penned without a name so I coined it “Chocolate Pecan Ritz Pie.”

 

Chocolate Pecan Ritz Pie Recipe From Bettys Cook Nook

Flashback 1970s

I thought it would be fun to have a look at some vintage 60s and 70s whipped cream advertising.

While we often had Reddi-wip at the ready in our fridge, it looks like they didn’t run commercials in the good ol’ days (just print). Here’s one of the most peculiar print ads I found which seems to promise that serving Reddi-Wip will get you a man or sex. Or both. (Sous Chef‘s Note: We all know sex is really guaranteed after serving the Pineapple Cheese Salad recipe cleverly included in the ad. Um, NO thank you!

Reddi Wip Mate Bait

Since my family also enjoyed the fresh non-dairyness of Cool Whip Whipped Topping, here are some of their funny commercials:

I don’t have the heart to tell Little Susie that with Cool Whip “Swiggle” she really CAN keep her cake forever – that stuff surely lasts the test of time! #cardboard. Enjoy this 1970s spot:

Gomer Pyle and Cool Whip make for the perfect promotion for all Americans*. *Except those in Wisconsin.


mississippi mud pie

From MS to TX. With Love.
A Mississippi Mud Pie Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

This recipe is dedicated to Lou Bodin and Louis Kiker.
I wish y’all had met in person.

~      ~

In this crazy world there are few things that shake the heart in a great way.

This recipe is one of them.

My sister-in-law’s sister-in law “Dollie” may sound like a far distant relative but I can assure you she is loved family through the heart. And through this recipe.

Dollie gifted me one of the most amazing presents ever – a handmade cookbook of her Mother-in-Law’s recipes. Each page of the cookbook was made with the beauty only time and artistic grace can create – picture recipes and family photos adorned with layers of shiny jewels, custom cutouts, ribbons and more surprises with every turn of the page. The cookbook sits on my highly coveted shelf of Betty’s Cook Nook recipes.

What I find amazing is that Dollie really had no reason to make me a cookbook but as she crafted some books for her family she included me, which means a lot. Her prized recipes helped bolster the family recipes I have from my Mom “Betty” so a new culinary door has been opened!

This pie? I think of it like a super tasty brownie with a magical middle. We ate every last bit of it! If you like chocolate and marshmallow, scroll down now and get started!

Lou Bodin's Cookbook Made By Dollie Bodin

Lou Bodin’s Cookbook Lovingly Made By Dollie Bodin

foodie tips ~

  In Texas, “nuts” is an abbreviation for pecans. If you think I’m joking, just ask the squirrels. They are crazy for ’em as our doggies Boomer and Harley.

  Butter vs. margarine differences aside, my Grandmother Nanny insisted on Falfurrias brand butter so it’s a staple in my kitchen. I have 3 boxes in my fridge right now – just so I don’t accidentally run out. :)

i. ingredients

for the cake

| cage free eggs
2 cups | sugar
2 sticks | butter, melted
1 ½ cups | flour
⅓ cup | cocoa
1 teaspoon | vanilla
2 cups | nuts, finely chopped
1 cup | coconut (optional and suggested)
1 jar | cream of marshmallow

for the icing

1 stick | butter
6 tablespoons | milk
⅓ cup | cocoa
1 teaspoon | vanilla
1 box (1 pound) | powdered sugar
2 cups | nuts, finely chopped

ii. what to do

1. Heat It Up: Preheat your oven to 350°F.

2. Make Dough:
 Beat eggs until “lemoney.” Add sugar, a little bit at a time, and beat two minutes with an electric mixer. Add to this the two sticks of melted butter.

3. Mix It Up: Sift the flour and cocoa together. Add gradually to the egg-sugar mixture. Add the vanilla, nuts, and lastly the coconut (if used). PS ~ I used coconut!

4. To Bake: Pour the dough into a greased and floured 9″ x 13″ pan (or close to that size). Bake your preheated oven for 30 minutes. While still warm, spread the marshmallow cream over the top of the cake. Oooey gooey awesomeness!

5. To Frost: Mix together the butter and milk and warm it all together. Add the cocoa. Gradually add the powdered sugar and the vanilla. Top with the nuts.

Serves: 18 or more servings, depending on the size of your cut 

Thank you, Lou, for this recipe! And thank you, Dollie, for your generous gift!

~ Patrick

Betty’s Son
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook

Here’s a scan of Lou’s recipe that Dollie included in her cookbook gift – click the image to zoom-in on detail of the recipe instructions … and the crafting skills of Dollie. :)

A Scan Of Lou Bodin's Mississippi Mud Pie Recipe

 If you’re still reading why not check out another recipe of Lou’s? Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Balls!


pineapple cookies

A Pineapple Cookie Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook
Fabulously Fruity

I had never heard of a pineapple cookie before but when Joe found this recipe in Mom’s cookbook I was excited; we had all the ingredients in our kitchen meaning treat consumption was near. We just needed to get the featured ingredient – the pineapple.

A quick trip to the store and back we started cookie production … Lah de dah … I was following the recipe and noticed that it ended at the bottom of the page Mom tore out of a magazine and there was no continuation of the recipe – no extra page! Click here to hear the sound in my head when I realized the recipe was incomplete!

I scoured the front and back of the page (below) containing the recipe and noticed a small callout for folks to send their old-fashioned family recipes to “Southern Living” – and if their recipe was used they would receive $5/each. Note to self: Southern Living. I also noticed a Lemon Jell-O Peachy Cream Salad recipe with a copyright of 1979. Note to self: 1979. With these two data nuggets I should have been lucky enough to find the recipe but the interwebs did not produce; I couldn’t find any record of the recipe – not even on SouthernLiving.comBut I found this one, which helped me interpret and fill-in the gaps.

Pineapple is one of my most favorite fruits of all. I hope you give this recipe a whirl!

foodie tips ~

Morton Iodized Salt ~ When It Rains It Pours

 I added the nuts. “Nuts” is an abbreviation for Texas Pecans, y’all.

I read several online complaints about cookies like these being soggy and wet. Follow these instructions! Make sure and DRAIN the pineapple. I had no problems with soggy cookies!

 I recently purchased a cookie scoop which makes forming cookies a snap. Give it a squeeze and see!

 I’m confident iodized salt was used back in the day. Today I’m a salt lover and have five salt varieties in my kitchen. I used a kosher salt for these cookies and was treated to a little kick of salt in-between the pineapple nuggets. I liked.

i. ingredients

1 ¾ cups | all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon | soda
¼ teaspoon | baking powder
¼ teaspoon | salt
½ cup | brown sugar, firmly packed
½ cup | sugar
½ cup | shortening
1 | cage free egg
1 teaspoon | vanilla extract
½ cup | crushed pineapple, drained
½ cup | chopped nuts (these are not optional says me)

ii. what to do

0. Preheat oven to 375°F.

1. Combine flour, soda, baking powder and salt; set aside.

2. Combine sugars and shortening in a large mixing bowl (I used my Kitchen Aid); cream until light and … [ here’s where I pick up with the rest of the instructions ] … chunky.

3. Beat egg and vanilla into creamed mixture.

4. By hand stir-in the pineapple and nuts.

5. Fold-in half of the dry ingredients from step 1 above into the creamy mixture. Hand mix until well blended. Add/mix/blend the last half of dry ingredients.

6. Drop rounded tablespoonfuls of the cookie dough onto a greased cookie sheet.

7. Bake until light golden brown, about 12-15 minutes. If the first tray turns out a bit crispy, reduce the baking time on the next go.

Yields: About 24 cookies

A Scan Of Mom's Pineapple Cookies Recipe From A 1979 Issue Of Southern Living


pearl’s macaroons

Get Mom's recipe for Pearl's MacaroonsSweet Up

I don’t know who Pearl is, but her macaroon recipe found its way into Mom’s cookbook.

Since Easter is synonymous with coconut, let’s whip-up a batch of these sweet, sweet treats.

Go Coconuts!

i. ingredients

| egg whites, beaten stiff
1 cup | sugar
1 cup | coconut
1 cup | nuts
1 teaspoon | vanilla
3 cups | corn flakes

ii. what to do

4 Egg Whites, Beaten Stiff

0. Preheat oven to 400°F.

1. Grease a large cookie tin and set aside.

2. Beat egg whites to a stiff peak.

3. Fold in the remaining ingredients.

4. Drop rounded tablespoons of the macaroon mixture onto the cookie tin.

5. BEFORE placing macaroons in oven, reduce heat to 150-170°F.

6. Cook for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Set aside to cool.

Ingredients for Pearl's Macaroonsfoodie tip ~

  “Nuts” = Texas Pecans, folks! This. Is. Texas.

A scan of Mom's recipe for Pearl's Macaroons


banana nut loaf cake

The Finished Piece ~ Banana Nut Loaf CakeFresh From The Family Archives!

My cousin Julie revved-up her scanner and shot me some recipes from her San Antonio kitchen last week. This tasty banana nut loaf cake recipe was one of them… and hailed from Delores’ kitchen (her handwriting on the recipe is below).

Julie’s mom “Delores” was mom’s sister… and “magically,” the Kiker family always referred to her as “Sister”… and her husband, “Uncle Bill.”

Julie said: “This is another recipe I thought my mom got from your mom.  She made it several times and then taught Jeannette how to make it. Jeannette made it probably a zillion times for her! My father just loved that banana bread ~ or at least my mother thought he did!

Let’s Go Bananas!

the cast of ingredients for banana nut loaf cake


i. ingredients

1½ cup | sugaralways sift your flour, folks!
½ cup | falfurrias brand butter (per Nanny)
2 | cage free eggs, beaten well
3 | bananas, mashed well
½ cup | nuts, finely ground (I like pecans)
½ teaspoon | baking soda
4 tablespoons | buttermilk
1½ cups | flour
1 teaspoon | baking powder
1 teaspoon | vanilla

ii. what to do

banana nut loaf cake : batter up

0. Preheat oven to 350°F.

1. In a large bowl, mix the first five ingredients.

2. Dissolve the soda in the buttermilk; add to the first five ingredients.

3. Mix the flour with the baking power; add to the ingredients along with vanilla and mix well.
hero shot

4. Grease the bottom of a baking pan then line the bottom of the pan with wax paper.

5. Pour batter into baking pan and bake at 350°F for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Foodie Tips ~

This was surely a family favorite ~ the measurements for how to make *three loaves* is noted below (in the circles)!

Julie says this recipe is a good use for almost-bad bananas.

Who’s Jeanette? Click here and learn more about her and her famous oatmeal cookies!

Delores' Original Banana Bread Recipe

 





rum balls

delicious rum balls... YEAH!Aside from the Grinch, who celebrates the holidays without rum balls?

Exactly!

Rum balls are a nostalgic favorite.

This no-bake recipe will surprise you with its super-amazing taste; a nutty, chocolatey mouth-watering sweet that tickles your tongue with the delightful dismount from a pleasing punch of rum. Yeah. Makes me want to “scarf” a dozen.

Let’s roll!

i. ingredientsgetting ready to mix it up

1/2 cup | evaporated milk
1 cup | semi-sweet chocolate morsels
3 tablespoons | corn syrup
1/3 cup | light rum
1/2 cup | powdered sugar, sifted
1 cup | finely cut nuts (I used Texas pecans)
2 1/2 cups | vanilla wafer crumbs
1/2 cup | powdered sugar (for coating)

ii. what to do

1. Stir evaporated milk, chocolate morsels and corn syrup in a 2-quart saucepan over low heat until the chocolate melts.

2. Remove from heat and mix in the rum and 1/2 cup powdered sugar until smooth.

3. Stir in the nuts.

making these rum balls is a messy project. but clean-up is easy. 4. Add the vanilla wafer crumbs about ¼ at a time, mixing well after each addition.

5. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.

6. Shape with wet hands into 1-1/2 inch balls.

7. Roll balls, one at a time in 1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar.

8. Chill at least 1 hour.

Yields about 3 dozen rum balls and up to 3 dozen fans, depending on how generous you are with their serving size.

Enjoy these yum balls! Er, rum balls!

Foodie Tips ~

Don’t be stingy with the rum. If you feel the need to add a bit more, I won’t tell.
To make the wafer crumbs, I put the whole cookies in a ziploc bag and used a rolling pin. Don’t pulverize the wafers into powder; small chunks add texture to these tasty treats.
Make sure and keep your hands wet (like the recipe calls for). I left the kitchen sink water running and wet my left hand before rolling each ball.
After rolling the balls, they may be a little deformed. No worries. I popped them in the fridge for about 10 minutes and they firmed-up. Then I rolled them in the sugar and was able to get them shaped perfectly round. If they still aren’t to your liking, you can put them in the fridge to chill again, then roll and coat with more sugar.
Use plenty of powdered sugar for the coating; I used 1 cup (vs. 1/2 cup).

mom's yum yum rum balls recipe