Springerle (Anise Seed Cookies)

Dorothy found this recipe in her dad’s files — they were Uncle Bob’s favorite cookies. Don’t bake these too long or let them dry out — they get too hard to eat.

springerle-mold4 eggs, separated
2 c. sugar
4-5 c. flour
2 Tbsp. Anise seed
1 1/2 tsp Hirschhornsalz

  1. Beat the egg whites until they make stiff peaks.
  2. Add the sugar and the yolks and beat until it is stiff and foamy.
  3. Add the anise seed and salz, then flour, until it is very stiff and dry.
  4. Let the dough rest one hour.
  5. Roll it out with a springerle rolling pins or roll out and mold with springerle blocks. Don’t roll it out too thin or they will be more like crackers, not cookies.
  6. Cut cookies, place on cookie sheet and cover with a dishtowel. Let rest overnight.
  7. Bake at 325-350 degrees for 10-14 min. They’re done when they’ve puffed and are very slightly browned.
  8. Store in an airtight container with a piece of bread or an apple so they stay moist.

White or Red Sangria a la Jai Alai Restaurant

Norma writes: The Jai Alai Restaurant was one of the favorite restaurants. One night while sitting at the bar I watched the bartender make these. I copied it onto my napkin. We always ordered 1 of each for our table. I still can see him concoct these. P.S. No measurements — just use your eyes. I would say the seltzer which goes in last is just for fizz — perhaps ½ to 1 cup.

sliced lemons, oranges, limes and a strawberry in a quart pitcher; add:
5 squirts of each: Triple Sec & a cheap orange brandy; then add:
white or red wine, ice, seltzer in that order.

Peach Bowle (aka “Pereira Punch”)

3 lbs. ripe peaches (dipped in hot water & peeled then cut up)
1 ½ c. liqueur such as Cointreau, Grand Marnier, Kirschwasser, Courvoisier (mix to taste)
1 can frozen orange juice concentrate (don’t add water)

Mix and keep in frigidaire over night.

Next day:
2 bottles May wine
2 bottles Moselle or Rhine wine
1 bottle Seven up

For Strawberry Bowle, you can substitute 1 quart ripe strawberries for the peaches and add the juice of 1 large juice lemon.

Norma’s Frozen Margaritas

Norma says that she makes batches of these ahead of time for parties & just freezes them in her freezer. It works quite well.

Optional in separate saucers:
lemon or lime juice

1 12 oz. can frozen limeade concentrate
¾ c. tequila
¼ c. Triple sec
3 c. crushed ice or more (this should be thick)
lime slices

  1. Prechill blender
  2. Dip rims of glasses in juice & salt and refrigerate them.
  3. Combine limeade, tequila, Triple sec & ice and garnish with lime slices.

Grandma Pereira’s Health Elixir

Wanna live to 97? Grandma swore by this drink!

1 pint pineapple juice
1 bunch parsley
1 bunch cilantro
1 bunch watercress
8 pitted dates
2 Tbsp. chopped almonds

  1. Put in blender & liquefy.
  2. Fill a glass 1/3 of the way with the elixir, add another 1/3 of more pineapple juice, then add another 1/3 of skim milk.
  3. Drink 1 glass a day.
  4. Live a long, long time.

Mom’s Fresh Cranberry Relish

Mom invented this recipe for fresh cranberry relish; it’s as lovely to look at as it is delicious. I make it every Thanksgiving and hope there’s enough left over for putting on turkey sandwiches afterwards! It also tastes great with ham. Note: you will need a grinder or a mixer with a grinder attachment. Prep time: about 45 minutes; you will need a grinder to make this.

2 12 oz. packages fresh cranberries
1 navel orange, with skin on
2 granny smith apples, cored and diced into ½ -inch pieces
1 16 oz. can crushed pineapple in its own juice
1 cup sugar

1) Wash the cranberries and pull out stems and squishy berries.
2) Grind the berries on a coarse grind.
3) Quarter the orange (leave the skin on!) and feed through grinder.
4) Add the pineapple and diced apples
5) Add the sugar, mix.

Will keep for a week if refrigerated.

Split Seconds (Spitzbuben)

Connie’s Godmother Louise Clement got this recipe from Mom and she renamed them Mile-a-minutes because she ate them so fast!

2 c. flour
¾ c. sugar
¼ tsp. salt
¾ c. butter
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla

Plum or apricot jelly

  1. Add butter to flour, sugar and salt to make crumbs. Then add the egg and the vanilla.

  2. Divide the dough into 3 parts. Roll into 3 long cigar-shaped rolls (be careful that it doesn’t split), then make an indentation with the back of a spoon all down the center of the long rolls.

  3. Fill the indentation with jelly or jam beaten smooth.

  4. Bake at 350° until the bottoms are a gentle brown. Color is important as the sugar caramelizes!

Perfect Lemon Bars

 Another fabulous recipe from Cook’s Illustrated Magazine.These really are perfect!

The lemon filling must be added to a warm crust. The 30-minute chilling and 20-minute baking of the crust should allow plenty of time to prepare the filling. If not, make the filling first and stir to blend just before pouring it into the crust. Any leftover bars can be sealed in plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to two days. Makes about 2 dozen 1½- to 2-inch squares.

The Crust
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus extra to decorate finished bars
¼ cup cornstarch
¾ teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 ½ sticks), at very cool room temperature, 
cut into 1-inch pieces, plus extra for greasing pan

Lemon Filling
4 large eggs, beaten lightly
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons finely grated zest from two large lemons
2/3 cup juice from 3 to 4 large lemons, strained
1/3 cup whole milk
1/8 teaspoon salt

For the crust: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350°. Lightly butter [or spray with cooking spray] a 13-by-9-inch baking dish and line with one sheet parchment or wax paper. Dot paper with butter [or spray with cooking spray], then lay second sheet crosswise over it.

Pulse flour, confectioners’ sugar, cornstarch, and salt in food processor workbowl fitted with steel blade. Add butter and process to blend, 8 to 10 seconds, then pulse until mixture is pale yellow and resembles coarse meal, about three 1-second bursts. (To do this by hand, mix flour, confectioners’ sugar, cornstarch, and salt in medium bowl. Freeze butter and grate it on large holes of box grater into flour mixture. Toss butter pieces to coat. Rub pieces between your fingers for a minute, until flour turns pale yellow and coarse.) Sprinkle mixture into lined pan and, press firmly with fingers into even, ¼-inch layer over entire pan bottom and about ½ inch up sides. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, then bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

For the filling: Meanwhile, whisk eggs, sugar, and flour in medium bowl, then 
stir in lemon juice and zest, milk, and salt to blend well.

To finish the bars: Reduce oven temperature to 325°. Stir filling mixture to reblend; pour into warm crust. Bake until filling feels firm when touched lightly, about 20 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack; cool to near room temperature, at least 30 minutes. Transfer to cutting board by pulling up the wax paper lining, fold wax paper down, and cut into serving-size bars, wiping knife or pizza cutter clean between cuts, as necessary. Sieve confectioners’ sugar over bars, if desired.

Aunt Grace’s Anise Cookies

Mom made these every Christmas and used her beautifully decorated German cookie presses to stamp designs on the cookies. They harden quickly so it is a good idea to store them in an airtight container with an apple inside.

1) Set aside: 1 ½ c. sifted flour and ¼ tsp. baking powder.
2) Break 2 eggs into a large measuring cup, then add water to make ½ cup.
3) Beat 1 c. sugar and the egg liquid until golden yellow and fluffy. 
4) Add ¼ tsp. anise extract and beat a long time until no sugar crystals are left.
5) Sift the flour mixture ¼ c. at a time into the egg mix and beat well after each addition.
6) Drop by teaspoons onto a generously greased cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart.
7) Bake them one cookie sheet at a time at 350° for 5-6 min. on a high rack of the oven.

Oven-baked Caramel Corn

Connie learned to make this from Uncle Carl — they used to munch it in the summers she came to visit as a teenager, long before they turned to the religion of less sugar and fat. Connie makes it once a year at Christmas time to give as gifts or for a special holiday snack. It is food of the Gods.

2 c. brown sugar
1 c. margarine, melted
½ c. light corn syrup
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
8 qts. popped corn
2 c. nuts (optional)

In a heavy pan, boil sugar, margarine, corn syrup and salt for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add vanilla and baking soda; mix thoroughly.

Pour over popped corn in a large bowl; stir to coat well. Place on 2 large roasting pans. Bake at 200° for 1 hour. Stir every 15 min. When cool, place in covered containers.