Alisia Verdoorn from Cupertino, Calif., was looking for a recipe for a coffee cake that is made with raisin bran as the main ingredient. She said her grandmother had given her the recipe and she has lost it and she would like to be able to make it again. She said she remembers that the cake was very moist and was made with buttermilk and orange juice in addition to the raisin bran and that it had a nutty crumble topping.
I did not receive the exact recipe she was looking for but I did some research and found a similar-sounding coffeecake on Post foods website (postfoods.com). Their recipe for Sunny Raisin Nut Coffeecake seemed to have most of what Verdoorn recalled about her grandmother's original recipe. The biggest difference was that the Post recipe was made with fat-free milk, not buttermilk. I decided to test the recipe substituting low-fat buttermilk for the fat-free milk and I was pleased with the result. The buttermilk paired with the orange zest gave the cake a nice moist texture and slight tang. The Post recipe has an optional orange glaze that I omitted as I thought it might make the cake a tad too sweet. Instead, I added a tablespoon of freshly squeezed orange juice to the batter, which made for a relatively low-fat coffeecake full of bright citrus flavor. If you are not going to use a glaze, the cake is best enjoyed warm from the oven.
MC Savage from Baltimore would appreciate a recipe for making a bean salad that is different from the traditional three-bean salad.
Doris Smithson of Greeneville, Tenn., is looking for the recipe for making what she calls "stained glass candy." She said in the mid 1980s the ladies at Trinity Hill United Methodist Church in Lexington, Ky., made and sold the candy at Christmas time. She has moved away from the area and would like to be able to find the recipe so her church youth group can make it as a fundraiser. She said the candy was broken into thin brittle pieces and the pieces were various colors and flavors.
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Raisin nut coffeecake
(Adapted from http://www.postfoods.com)
Makes 24 servings
2 cups flour, divided use
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups raisin bran cereal
1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
8 tablespoons margarine, divided use
1 1/3 cups firmly packed brown sugar, divided use
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup chopped pecans, divided use
Orange glaze, optional (recipe follows)
Mix 1 3/4 cups of the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
Mix cereal and buttermilk in a small bowl; let stand 5 minutes.
Beat 4 tablespoons of the margarine and 1 cup of the brown sugar in a large bowl of electric mixer on medium speed until creamy. Add egg, orange zest and orange juice; mix well. Alternately stir in flour and cereal mixtures just until blended. Add cranberries and 1/2 cup of the pecans; stir just until blended.
Pour batter into a greased 13"x9" baking pan.
Mix remaining 1/4 cup flour, 1/3 cup brown sugar and 4 tablespoons margarine until crumbly; stir in 1/2 cup pecans. Sprinkle evenly over batter in pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes or until toothpick in center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack. Serve warm or cooled with the orange glaze.
To Make Glaze:
Stir 1 tablespoon orange juice into 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar until well blended. If too thick for drizzling consistency, stir small amount of additional orange juice until glaze is desired consistency. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.