The sweet smell of successful baking: raisin pound cake and sugar cookies


If the smell of something sweet baking in the oven gives a hefty boost to your taste buds, then raisin pound cake and sugar cookies will really make them bounce.

Julia Nelson of Baltimore asked for a raisin pound cake and wrote that she'd appreciate one that was made from scratch or from a mix.

Sugar cookies were the request of Beth Kerr of Monkton. "This baby boomer has been scanning recipes for the cookie from my childhood. Arthur's bakery in Waverly gave children, with their mothers, this cookie. It had a slight lemon and vanilla flavor, was thick and chewy with a crackled top sprinkled with sugar. I want to bake them for my children," she wrote.

Barbara Reier of Towson responded with Chef Gilles Syglowski's choice for the sugar cookies. She wrote that it "was published in The Sun many, many years ago."

Reier's old-fashioned soft sugar cookies

Makes 18 large cookies

1/2 cup butter

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon lemon extract

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon light cream

2 1/4 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Cut sugar to top cookies, (also called decorating, coarse sugar or sugar crystals)

Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, extracts and cream. Blend well. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Add to creamed mixture and mix well. Chill dough until firm enough to roll out on a lightly floured board. Roll to 1/4 -inch thick and cut with 3- to 3 1/2 -inch round cookie

cutter dipped in flour. Transfer to cookie tin and sprinkle with the cut sugar. Bake 8 to 10 minutes in a heated 400-degree oven. Cool on wire rack.


Nan Smith of Severna Park sent in the chef's choice for a raisin pound cake.

Smith's raisin pound cake

1 cup raisins

1 3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup soft shortening

3/4 cup undiluted evaporated milk

1 large egg ( 1/4 -cup)

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Rinse and dry raisins well. Sift flour, baking powder, cream of tartar, salt and sugar into a mixing bowl. Add shortening, evaporated milk, egg and vanilla. Beat 3 minutes with an electric mixer on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl frequently. Stir in raisins by hand and then turn into a well-greased and floured small loaf pan 8 1/2 -5-3-inches. Bake in a degree oven for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Cool thoroughly before storing.

Ms. Smith says the cake slices best after standing 4 to 5 hours or overnight. And, she notes, she doubles this recipe and bakes it for about 1 hour in a tube pan.


Chef Syglowski, with the help of chefs and students at the Baltimore International Culinary College, selected and tested these recipes.

Recipe requests

* Sharon Newman, Bel Air, wants a recipe for a butternut squash soup similar to that served at the Milton Inn. "It was thick and creamy and had ground hazelnuts as a garnish," she wrote.

* Mrs. S. T. Augustyniak, Baltimore, wants two recipes. She would like to make a bread pudding in a crock pot and also to have a 3-bean chili that has Italian sausage in it.

* Linda L. Wolford, Baltimore writes that she hasn't made a bacon gravy to serve over watercress in more than 13 years and would like the recipe for the gravy.

* Geraldine E. Campbell, Towson, remembers the vegetable salad served at Hochschild Kohn's Howard Street lunch counter and wants the recipe. "It was a mixture of grated vegetables served on whole wheat bread. I've had others but can't come up with the key to that delicious taste," she wrote.

* Jean Schofield, Highland Home, Ala., wants a recipe for a shrimp salad made with "Durkee's Famous Sauce, elbow macaroni and possibly undiluted tomato soup. This was perfect," she wrote.

* Marie Fiege, no address, wants a recipe for rhubarb jam which is not made with Certo and does not need to be refrigerated.

If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request for a long-gone recipe, maybe we can help. Please print each response or request clearly on a separate sheet of paper with your name, address and phone number. Send to Ellen Hawks, Recipe Finder, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278.

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