For a perfectly sweet topper, there's really nothing better than caramel frosting


"I want a caramel icing like the one my mother made when I was growing up," writes Lily Mae Romans of Baltimore.

"My sisters and I have never been able to duplicate it."

Allison Currie of Baltimore responded with a recipe that her mother made. "It was the only frosting I felt worthy of my birthday cake year after year," she wrote.

Currie's caramel frosting

2 cups packed brown sugar

1 tablespoon margarine

1 tablespoon corn syrup

1/2 cup milk

1/3 cup margarine

2 1/2 cups sifted confectioner's sugar

4 tablespoons hot milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

Boil first four ingredients to 235 degrees, or when a soft ball forms in cold water. Combine 1/3 cup margarine, confectioner's sugar, vanilla and 4 tablespoons milk. Beat until smooth. Pour hot syrup over mixture and beat until thick and creamy.

Chef Gilles Syglowski notes that he prefers to use heavy cream instead of milk for this recipe.

Jill Fandrich of Auburn, N.Y., sent in an easy-to-make caramel icing.

"It came from a woman named Clara Elsey in a boardinghouse in Detroit where my family lived 50 years ago.

"Although I never met Clara, my recipe box is full of her recipes," she writes.

Clara's caramel icing

1/2 cup butter

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/4 cup milk

3 cups, more or less, confectioner's sugar

Melt butter and add brown sugar. Cook over low heat 2 minutes stirring constantly. Add 1/4 cup milk and continue cooking and stirring until mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat and cool. Add sifted confectioner's sugar until icing is a consistency to spread.

Note: Other recipes called for 3/4 teaspoon vanilla.

Recipe requests

Mabel L. Campbell of Towson wants a recipe for a fried green tomato like the "one served at Micky's in Towson. It has a nice crusty top and seasonings and I think it is their specialty. I don't know where to find the recipe unless you can find one for me," she wrote.

Lois J. Lambie of Fayetteville, N.C., wrote, "On a recent trip to British Columbia, we were frequently served a delicious herb bread called focaccia with soup, salad or pasta. All my bread book says about it is that it is a small, round Italian loaf. Can one of your readers come up with a recipe?"

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

If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request, maybe we can help. Write to Ellen Hawks, Recipe Finder, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278.

If you send in more than one recipe, put each on a separate sheet of paper with your name, address and phone number. Please note the number of servings which each recipe makes. We will test the first 12 recipes sent to us.

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