Happy holidays all - I'm sure I'm not the only one here who gets lonesome for the departed at this time of year. One of the ways in which love survives is in the recipes left behind. Here are a couple of my family's that I thought mighe be of interest --
My second cousin once removed by marriage, Clara's, peanut brittle - transcribed from the file card my mom gave the recipe to me on, with a few clarifications ():
2 c sugar
1 c corn syrup
1 c water
3 c mixed nuts or peanuts
2 tb butter
2 t vanilla
2 t baking soda
Mix sugar, syrup & water in large (and deep sauce-) pan. Cover, heat to boiling point. Uncover and cook rapidly to 236° or (a bit of) syrup in cold water makes a soft ball. Stir in nuts bubbling all the time. Cook raspidly to 280° or syrup dropped in water makes a hard ball. Stir in butter (and 1/2 tsp or so of salt if nuts are unsalted). Continue cooking to 300° (when dropped in water it makes threads that are brittle and hard). Stir in vanilla. Sprinkle soda over top quickly then stir vigorously 15 seconds until mixture is puffy. Pour into jelly-roll pan at once (line it with lightly-buttered foil for easiest cleanup). Cool completely. Break into pieces. Very good. I use peanuts with skins on (Spanish). /Mom
The lady who helped my MIL around the house when my husband was a kid - among many other things - Mrs. Edith K's sand cookies (you have to use shortening and cream of tartar in these for the texture to be right)
1 1/2 c white sugar
1 c Crisco - creamed together
Beat in 3 egg yolks, 1 tsp vanilla.
Add 2 c unsifted flour, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp cream of tartar, dash salt (I use 1/2 tsp or so)
Batter will be quite crumbly.
Roll into balls (about 1 tb per), roll in sugar.
Bake at 350° until (golden) brown (about 15 mins or so).
Makes about 7 doz cookies.
(I roll these in finely-chopped nuts sometimes and if I'm really feeling fancy, form them around a piece of chocolate or a Hershey's kiss, Special Dark is best in these.)
Currant sugar crinkle cookies - my mom's recipe
These were my father's favourites BUT with half brown sugar (I use 1/3)
1/2 c butter
1/2 c shortening
1 1/2 c sugar, half or 1/3 light brown
Cream fats and sugar, beat in egg until fluffyish, add 1 tsp vanilla
Sift together 2 1/2 c sifted ap flour, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp baking soda, 2 tsp cream of tartar
Stir into creamed mixture. This makes a lovely, friable, nice-handling dough.
Stir in 1 c (dried Zante) currants that have been rinsed and dried, form into 1" ball, roll in granulated sugar.
You can also do the chocolate and nut thing with this.
Bake on parchment 20 to a half-sheet for about 8-10 mins at 400 deg F for about 15 mins, until risen, collapsed (thank you baking soda), crinkled, and lightly brown on the bottoms.
Nice hot and lovely cooled - sandy and crisp.
These all came out of my ancient avocado-green (that tells you how ancient) filecard box. There are tons more. What treasures are lurking in yours?