Back in a time before baking on the quick, folks made things from scratch.
Sure, it takes a little more time but you might just find that the food tastes better – especially since you’re in full control of what goes into your creation. And more importantly, what goes into your belly!
All Aboard The Chocolate Choo Choo
As one who loves chocolatey greatness, my earliest creations used Hershey chocolate powder mixed into a cold glass of milk. But it wasn’t until the likes of Messy Marvin kicked his way into my life when my sights on chocolate really took off. Before we dive into Marion’s recipe let’s have a peek at some of my favorite vintage chocolate TV spots from the 50s – 80s:
So what’s makes these brownies so good? Real chocolate made with TLC. Thanks for the tasty treat, Marion! If you make a batch of these, let me know how you liked them. :)
foodie tips ~
❤ Don’t forget to let the chocolate cool after melting.
❤ I like my brownies soft and chewy. So if you’re making me a batch, you know what to do!
❤ A cold glass of milk or some ice cream is brownie’s BFF. Just sayin’.
¾ cup | flour, sifted
½ teaspoon | baking powder
½ teaspoon | salt
1 cup | sugar
½ cup | shortening
2 | cage free eggs, unbeaten
1 teaspoon | vanilla
2 squares (2 ounces) | unsweetened baking chocolate, melted and cooled
1 cup | nuts. And in Texas “nuts” = pecans.
ii. what to do
0. Preheat oven to 350°F.
1. In a large bowl sift together the first 4 ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt and sugar).
2. Add the next 3 ingredients (the shortening, eggs, and vanilla). Beat for 1 minute, making sure to scrape the bowl to ensure a smooth blend.
3. Add the cooled and melted chocolate and the pecans. Beat for 30 seconds longer.
4. Pour the brownie mixture into a greased pan (about 8″ x 8″) and bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes.
Cut brownies into squares while they are still warm.
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook
Who is “Marion”
I did some Googling and found recent obituaries for both. After reading a bit more into their lives I learned that they lived a few minutes from me where I lived in Dallas for 20 years! My heart sunk knowing that Marion’s brownie recipe was sitting in Mom’s cookbook within reach. And if I had researched this post a little sooner our paths may very well have crossed.
My hunch is that Marion and Bob met my Mom and Dad when they lived in San Antonio. The connection didn’t end there – I learned that Marion was a member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Dallas for over 50 years. And if memory serves correctly my Mom was a member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in San Antonio, where I was born… and I believe how I came into my name.
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.com. But 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 ~
♥ 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.
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
You Say “Potato” …
I Say … “Get out of my way, It’s mine!”
There have been some great “home run” recipes in Mom’s cookbook and this is one of them. While blue cheese sometimes makes my nose turn and run for the hills, this dish isn’t smothered with the sharp and salty taste.
With the arrival of the microwave to modern cooking, potatoes were often “zapped” because who wants to wait for an twice-baked potato!?
After I made this recipe, I’m reminded of the slow-baked potatoes Mom used to make … they arrive on your plate super soft all the way through! And well worth the wait.
Cheers To My New Spud Bud
to coat | shortening
4 | baking potatoes, medium
½ cup | sour cream
¼ cup | blue cheese, crumbled
¼ cup | milk
4 tablespoons | Falfurrias brand butter (per Nanny)
¾ teaspoon | salt
dash | black pepper, freshly ground
4 slices | bacon, crisp-cooked, drained and crumbled
ii. what to do
0. Preheat oven to 400°F.
1. Rub each potato with shortening. Place them in the oven uncovered or wrapped and cook for 1 hour, or until done.
2. Remove potatoes from the oven. Cut a lengthwise slice into each potato (the potatoes are hot so be careful)! Scoop out the inside of each potato and mash the innards (yup, I wrote “innards”) in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
3. Add sour cream, blue cheese, milk, butter, salt and pepper to the potatoes then beat with an electric beater until fluffy. Some remaining potato lumps are OK.
4. Spoon the blue cheese potato mixture back into the potato shells.
5. Place potatoes on a baking sheet and return them to the hot oven for 15 minutes or until heated through.
6. Remove from oven and sprinkle with the crumbled bacon.
Yields: 4 Servings (or 1 meal, if you’re me)
foodie tips ~
♥ It may take some practice but try and keep the potato from breaking into 2 separate halves. 1. When slicing, don’t cut it all the way through top-to-bottom. 2. When scooping, you can leave about an 1/8″ of the potato’s inside with the skin to give it a happy but hollow foundation.
♥ This is a great sidekick for this steak diane recipe that I also made on the 2 year anniversary of BCN. It’s also a good side for this barbecue pork chop recipe. Come to think of it, it’s really just a great recipe all by itself!
♥ Note below that this recipe hails from Better Homes and Gardens, March 1968. Why, I was just a young tot of one way back then!