Monday, December 21, 2009

Please Pass the Blog: Remembering Molly

Contributed by by Joanne Ritter

All I have to say about this guest post is that yep, this is what Fare to Remember is all about. The memories we have surrounding food sustain us perhaps as much as the calories; the connections and relationships built in the kitchen or at the table are some of the most enduring. I never knew Molly, but am honored to pass along her legacy in true Fare to Remember fashion. Thank you for sharing Joanne. -Mo

When my mom died last week, my sister and I decided the best way to commemorate her spirit was to bake some of her favorite cookie recipes. Frankly, I was surprised at how cathartic and appropriate this was. As we baked, we were flooded with memories of the vivacious, creative and talented person she had been, and we appreciated the richness of our lives together. The later years of dementia were pushed into the background where they belonged. Yes, this is how we want to remember our mom.

Molly grew up on a farm in Upstate New York, one of eight children in a first-generation Italian family. They had a pastry business, and homemade breads and pasta, cakes decorated with sugar roses, pasties, canolies and other specialties were a matter of course. She loved to experiment and was always coming up with new creations. I hope you’ll make some of Molly’s recipes a part of your heritage this Christmas.

You can honor the late, great cooks in your family by starting a new Christmas tradition of baking together with your siblings. The smells and tastes of your childhood will make memories come alive. And you’ll be giving your children and grandchildren a priceless gift by letting them listen in to the stories of your family’s history.

Molly’s Italian Chocolate Cookies
(Makes 4 dozen)

Sift together:
  • 3 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/8 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Take a tablespoon-full and roll mixture into small balls. Place on ungreased pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

Chocolate Frosting
Will coat a DOUBLE recipe of Italian Chocolate cookies.
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup of oil
  • 2 16-ounce boxes of powdered sugar
Mix cocoa with sugar and add the water. Place in deep pan and bring to a bubbly boil. Let cool. Add oil, blending well. Add powdered sugar. Place pan in a larger pan of hot water to keep frosting warm. If the frosting is too thick, add some of the following mixture until you get a good consistency (air temperature and humidity will affect the glaze):
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 cup water
Place several cookies in the frosting. Spoon them out on to waxed paper until frosting hardens into a shiny glaze.

Molly’s Macaroon Surprise Cookies
Makes approximately 3 dozen

Pasti Dough
  • 11 tablespoons sugar
  • 10 tablespoons shortening
Beat together in a separate bowl:
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 5 tablespoons wine (white dry vermouth)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
Blend both mixtures together.

In a separate bowl mix together:
  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
Blend both mixtures together. Knead dough until smooth (flour your hands to keep dough from sticking).

Coconut Filling
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup sugar gradually and beat until stiff.
Stir in:
  • 2 cups coconut
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoons flour
Mix well.

Take a spoonful of pasti dough and roll into a small ball. Flatten with your palms and place a half spoon of coconut filling into the center. Fold the dough around the filling and roll between your palms gently. Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.

Molly’s Chocolate Cherry Bars

  • 2 eggs
Add and mix by hand:
  • 1 box chocolate cake mix
  • 1 can cherry pie filling
  • 1 teaspoon almond flavoring
Spread into greased and floured 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until center springs back to the touch.

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons margarine
  • 1/3 cup milk
Bring to boil and boil for one minute. Remove from heat and add one 6-ounce bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips. Spread on bars while warm.

1 comment:

  1. What a lovely tribute! Thank you for sharing.
    Best in the New Year.