Rounding up the makings for a tasty Cowboy Cake


E. Tallant of Fayettesville, N.C., was seeking a recipe for Cowboy Crumb Cake that she had seen in a thick green book used by the Lenape High School in New Jersey. It was fabulous, she wrote.

Bruce Davie of Elkridge sent in a recipe for Cowboy Cake which, he said, "came from my mother, but I don't know where she got it. We did live in Philadelphia during the 1940s, where I first remember it." He said he still makes the recipe two or three times a year.

Cowboy Cake

Serves about 8

12/3, cups all-purpose flour

1 1/3 cups brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

2/3, cup shortening

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 eggs, beaten

2/3, cup "sour" milk (see note)

Mix flour, brown sugar, salt and shortening into a large bowl, and rub or work to fine crumb. Remove 1/2 cup of crumbly mixture and reserve to sprinkle on the top of the cake.

To the remaining crumbs, add baking powder blended with spices and baking soda, and mix thoroughly. Add the beaten eggs to the sour milk, then stir both into the dry mixture until it is very smooth. Grease and flour a deep 9-inch-square pan. Add batter and sprinkle top with reserved crumbs.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes in preheated 375-degree oven. Test for doneness using a toothpick in the center. It should come out clean. Serve hot from the pan.

Note: To "sour" milk, add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup of milk and let stand at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes.

Tester Laura Reiley's comments: "Like a classic coffeecake, this has a soft, crumbly interior and a crunchy top (although the interior is darker in color than a regular coffeecake). The flavor is delicate with cinnamon, and the texture is very appealing, especially when the cake is still warm. It is a perfect brunch dish, although leftovers make a nice snack or dessert with a dollop of whipped cream."

Recipe requests

* Stacy Randolph of Nanty Glo, Pa., remembers a brown-sugar drop cookie with a glaze, which she made in the eighth grade. She returned to her school, but the home-economics teacher didn't remember the recipe after 10 years. "I would like to have the recipe," she wrote.

* L. James of St. Augustine, Fla., is looking for a recipe for Fried Turkey Nuggets. She says the turkey is marinated in beer and possibly dipped in batter and deep-fried in peanut oil. The result is golden-brown nuggets, she wrote.

If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request for a hard-to-find recipe, write to Ellen Hawks, Recipe Finder, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278. If you send in more than one recipe, please put each on a separate sheet of paper with your name, address and daytime phone number. Important: Please list the ingredients in order of use, and note the number of servings each recipe makes. Please type or print contributions. Letters may be edited for clarity.

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