A Snickers bar cake to send your taste buds into orbit and a jar of bread-and-butter pickles for the perfect gift is the intent of this offering.
Patricia Cox of Ellicott City requested the pickle recipe, which she has used to make holiday presents. One was given to her many years ago by her husband's aunt, but it has been lost. "It had lots of turmeric, mustard and celery seed. Also, our family loves them," she wrote.
Doris Weisert of Shady Side sent in Chef's choice, which was from the 1944 Kerr Home Canning book. She notes that she and her husband, Kenneth, who have "six children between us and 14 grandchildren, have enjoyed these pickles for a long time."
Weisert's bread-and-butter pickles
Yields 8 to 10 pints
25 to 30 medium-sized cucumbers
8 large white onions
2 large sweet peppers (optional)
1/2 cup salt
5 cups cider vinegar
5 cups sugar (2 1/2 pounds)
2 tablespoons mustard seed
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cloves (whole)
Wash cucumbers and slice as thin as possible. Chop or slice the onions and peppers very thin. Combine with cucumbers and salt and let stand 3 hours covered in ice cubes. Drain.
Combine vinegar, sugar and spices in large preserving kettle and bring to a boil. Add the drained cucumber mixture and heat thoroughly, but do not boil. Pack while hot into sterilized jars and seal at once.
Mrs. Weisert notes that when she makes potato salad or coleslaw, she uses the liquid from the bread-and-butter pickles as the vinegar. "I don't add the pickles to the salad or slaw," she says.
Other variations from responses to the pickle recipes included using garlic. Molly Moore of Timonium added 3 cloves of garlic to the cucumber and onion mix and removed them when she drained the mixture. And she was inventive, soaking her soon-to-be pickles in a picnic cooler with ice. Donna Becker of White Marsh added 3 cloves of chopped garlic, which she did not remove from the mixture.
Carol Park of Kelso, Wash., requested the Snickers bar cake. Chef chose a recipe from Susan Manning of Cockeysville.
Manning's chocolate candy bar cake
Serves 12 to 14
3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 cups cold water
1 tablespoon vanilla extract, divided
1 cup heavy cream
6 ounces (or one cup) semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup milk chocolate chips
15 snack-size Snickers candy bars cut into thin slices
1/2 cup chopped peanuts.
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
In large bowl, mix flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Whisk in the oil, vinegar, 2 teaspoons vanilla and 2 cups cold water, blending well.
Divide batter evenly into two greased 9-inch round cake pans. Bake for 25 to 28 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Let cakes cool in pans for 15 to 20 minutes, then put onto racks to cool completely.
In a 2-quart bowl, combine cream, semisweet and milk chocolate chips and heat in a microwave oven on high for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, or until melted and smooth when stirred. Stir in remaining teaspoon of vanilla. Remove 3/4 cup of the chocolate mixture and set aside to cool. While remaining mixture is still warm, add the Snickers pieces and stir until combined. Some will melt and others will remain chunky. Set aside to cool.
When mixture is firm enough to spread, put half on one cake layer, put other layer on top and spread remaining ingredients on top. Frostsides with the reserved 3/4 cup of chocolate mixture and spread remaining on top of cake. Sprinkle peanuts on top and around top edge of cake to make a border. Refrigerate cake until an hour before serving.
Note: Chef advises that when a microwave is called for, the mixtures may be melted in a double-boiler.
Chef Syglowski, with the help of chefs and students at the Balti
more International Culinary College, selected and tested these recipes.
* Gloria Kohlhepp of Baltimore wants a vegetable soup recipe similar to the one served at Hutzler's in Westview Mall. "It had no meat, just vegetables and a tomato broth," she wrote.
* Mrs. William H. Warring of Baltimore also wants a recipe for vegetable soup without meat.
* Vicki Graves of Kelso, Wash., wants a recipe for a red cabbage salad similar to one she had at the Northwoods Inn in Pasadena, Calif. "It was the best salad I have ever eaten," she wrote.
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, Md. 21278.