Thursday, February 11, 2010

Valentine's Day: Recipes from 1938

Nobody has ever measured, even poets, how much a heart can hold. ~Zelda Fitzgerald

I have a Watkins Cookbook from 1938, which has some really wonderful recipes in it, though many of the products have been discontinued. I've used Watkins vanilla for years now, and love it. I thought I'd share a few dessert and cake recipes from the cookbook with adjustments.

Strawberry Tarts

6 individual pie shells, baked *see note
1 1/2 cups ripe strawberries
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
4 tbsp. red currant jelly
1 tbsp. cornstarch

Boil sugar and water for 3 minutes. Add jelly and the cornstarch which as been dissolved in a little cold water. Stir constantly until boiling point. Cook over boiling water until it thickens. Cool. Fill pastry shells 2/3 full of sweetened ripe berries, or cook berries in the hot syrup until tender then remove berries and cool. Cover the berries with cold syrup and chill.

Notes: I would suggest buying tart shells that you can prebake then use for this recipe. OR you can cover the bottom of inverted muffin tins with circles of pie crust, prick the crust several times with a fork, and bake at 400 degrees F. for ten minutes or so til lightly browned. Cool. I also think frozen berries would work fine for this recipe. It's asking for sweetened strawberries. Taste them, if they are too tart add a little sugar.

Cinnamon Pudding Sauce

1/3 cup butter
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
3/4 tsp. cinnamon

Cream the butter, slowly beat in the sugar and cinnamon, which have been blended together ahead of time, adding a little of the corn syrup at a time while beating in the sugar mixture. Beat well and chill before serving.

Notes: Drizzle this over waffles, cake, pound cake, or ice cream.

Cocoa Cake with Sour Cream

3 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tbsp. cocoa
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cup thick sour cream
1 tsp. soda
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla

Beat eggs well. Sift cocoa, salt and sugar. Add to eggs. Dissolve the soda in a little hot water, cool slightly and add to wet ingredients. Sift flour 3 times. Add to the mixture alternatively with the sour cream. Add vanilla. Mix thoroughly and bake at 350 degrees F. Bake 30 plus minutes, testing with toothpick or cake tester.

Notes: It doesn't list pans, but the other cake recipes say layer, sheet or loaf pan. I'm sure a 9x13 pan would also work. I use that most of the time. Thick sour cream- don't use lowfat or fat free. They don't seem as thick to me. I would also spray the pans with cooking spray and flour lightly before adding the batter to the pan. Any frosting will work, but here is a simple recipe:

Uncooked Frosting

2 cups powdered sugar
8 tablespoons cocoa
1 tablespoon butter
Enough coffee to blend
1 tsp. vanilla

Dissolve the cocoa in a small amount of hot coffee. Mix all ingredients to a smooth paste. Spread on cake layers.

For more Valentine's Day or entertaining recipes visit OFL:


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Valentine's Day Party Recipes

I love thee to the depth and breadth and height my soul can reach. ~Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Today I'm sharing some recipes from my Modern Priscilla Cook Book, published in 1924. Valentine's Day parties with kids are so much fun. Decorations are easy: hearts, heart and more hearts. Cut them from doilies and construction paper, add ribbons, a roll of crepe paper in pink or red and you are good to go. I have some neat recipes that will work for get togethers with kids or adults this weekend.

Sweet Cider Punch

1 cup sugar
1 pint water
3 lemons
1 quart cider
1 pint grape juice

Place the sugar in the water and boil for ten minutes, adding a little of the lemon rind. When cold add juice from lemons, then add cider and place in freezer. Freeze to a mushy consistency. When frozen, mix in the grape juice. Serve in tall glasses. Dilute with cold water if too strong. Serves 20.

Notes: I would serve this in small punch cups or even paper cups in a Valentine's theme. It would serve far more that way, and less chance of spills.

Raspberry Mint Punch

1 sprig mint
1/2 cup ripe raspberries
1 quart lemonade

Bruise the leaves and stems of the mint, and crush the berries, putting them in the ice cold lemonade at least two hours before serving. Strain before serving. 6 servings.

Notes: If you don't grow mint it's almost always in the grocery store. You don't need much. I see no reason not to use frozen raspberries.

Chocolate and Mocha Cake

1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour milk
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 cups flour
1 tsp. vanilla
2 squares chocolate
1/2 cup boiling water

Cream butter and sugar. Add beaten eggs, milk, flour mixed and sifted with the soda. Add vanilla then the chocolate, melted, to which hot water has been added. Bake in layer tins in a moderate oven, 350 degrees F. for 30 minutes. 12 servings.

Mocha Filling and Icing

1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons cocoa
2 tablespoons coffee infusion (very strong coffee)
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Cream sugar and butter. Boil cocoa and coffee for three minutes, cool, and add to first mixture. Add vanilla.

Cake Notes: Sour milk can be made by putting in a tsp. of vinegar to the milk and letting it sit for a few minutes. It doesn't say, but the cake is for two layers-- so bake in two round cake pans.

Frosting Notes: If you are making this cake for kids and don't want to use coffee you can make it the same and just use water. Or use a buttercream frosting instead.

Chocolate Cocoanut Cookies

2 tbsp. butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup cocoanut
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups flour
8 tsp. cocoa
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla

Cream shortening, add sugar gradually, cocoanut, milk and flour mixed and sifted with other dry ingredients. Add vanilla last. Drop by teaspoonfuls on greased tins and bake for 15 minutes in a 350 minutes. Makes 36.

Notes: I'd check the cookies at ten minutes. Ovens bake differently and 15 minutes will be too long for some.The spelling of coconut was how it was spelled in the cook book.

For more Valentine's Day recipes visit OFL here: