For Christmas – Pecan Angel Slices

These are the cookies that I am baking today, to distribute to our friends and neighbors, and why I couldn’t stick around for the Chicagoboyz Zoom Call –

Pecan Angel Slices
(from Joy of Cooking – 1975 Edition)
Cream together until well-blended: ½ cup butter and ¼ cup sugar
Beat in well: 1 egg and ½ teasp vanilla
Combine and add to the above: 1 ¼ cup sifted flour and 1/8 teasp salt

Pat dough evenly into a greased 9×12 inch pan and bake at 350° for fifteen minutes. Remove from oven.

Combine: 2 beaten eggs, 1 ½ cup brown sugar, ½ cup flaked cocoanut, 1 cup chopped pecans, 2 Tbsp. flour, ½ teasp double acting baking powder, ½ teasp salt and 1 teasp vanilla.
Pour over cookie layer and return to oven for 25 minutes

Combine 1 ½ cup sifted confectioner’s sugar with sufficient lemon juice to make a smooth, runny glaze. Pour over warm cookie/pecan/coconut layer and allow to set.

When cool, cut into bars or squares.

Enjoy – and have a very Merry Christmas!

Good Eats #2

This, unlike the previous good eats, has a provenance, in that it is taken from Nava Atlas’ Vegetariana which I had ordered from a book catalog when stationed in Greece. I shopped in the weekly neighborhood street market, where the vegetables, fruits, eggs and cheese and all were inexpensive and often straight from the farm or orchard. We ate vegetarian, often for weeks at a time. This was one of our very favorite soups. Sometimes I have made up a gift basket for a friend or hostess of all the premeasured or prepped necessary ingredients and included this recipe with it.  

Winter Lentil & Brown Rice Soup

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Good Eats #1

For a number of years, I copied out interesting recipes by hand in a series of small books with lined pages and casebound covers. Many of them came from cooking magazines, such as Gourmet, but many came from the pages of various newspapers, to include the Stars and Stripes – from which I dimly recall reading one for a heavy, dark Caribbean Christmas fruitcake. It is in my mind that the woman who had originated it had a nice local business making and selling these fruitcakes – perhaps she had a cookbook published, and the S&S had merely published an extract from it. Anyway, I copied the recipe from a clipping, into the oldest of my hand-written books, which dates from my first hitch in the Air Force.

Caribbean Dark Fruitcake

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Finnish Pecan Balls

Winter has fully set in here in flyover country and we are in the midst of our first and hopefully only polar vortex of the season. This gives plenty of inside time, and time for me to dive into my grandmother’s recipe box.

Today we have Finnish Pecan Balls. I have no idea why the are Finnish, and honestly didn’t know what I was getting into when I started this one. When they were finished I said to myself “oh thooooose” when I realized that these where the dry, crumbly, sugary, tasty things that were on every single Christmas cookie platter I had ever seen since I was a wee lad.

1/2 lb. butter
4 tbsp sugar
2 cups pastry flour (I used regular flour and it worked just fine)
1 tbsp vanilla
2 cup pecans cut coarse (I used almonds as my spousal unit overbought and they turned out great)

Cream butter and sugar. Add flour, vanilla and nuts. Roll in hands size of butter balls (I went around an inch to an inch and a half). Bake 15 to 20 minutes in hot oven (come on grandma). I went 18 minutes at 350. Roll in powdered sugar while hot. Makes 3 doz.

I ended up with 29. Super easy and delicious. Have a napkin handy or eat over garbage can.