Thursday, May 1, 2008

May Day May Day, Recipe Box Swap!

swap blogpost

It's the first Thursday, so it must be Recipe Box Swap Day! The monthly Recipe Box Swap is Randi's brainchild, at i have to say... . At the bottom of her luscious looking lemon bar recipe today is Mr. Linky with the names and recipes of everyone participating in the swap this month. Keep checking back, as that list will continue to grow in the next few days. If you've not been to Randi's blog before, you're in for a treat. She's a sweetheart, and she's super talented and creative!

The first recipe is a cookie I've baked countless times over the years. I first started baking Snickerdoodles when I was a young teen. I can't remember who I copied the recipe from, but I think it was my dad's mom.

I still have the sheet of stationery on which I hand copied it. The pale blue sheet has yellowed with age, and is covered with stains. The pencil writing is barely legible in places. The writing is loopy and flowery, as if a young teen girl wrote it..which she (I)did. No doubt, I could find the same recipe or one quite similar throughout the internet or in other cookbooks, but I always pull out this one when we want Snickerdoodles. There's something comforting about things which are old and familiar.
I got the recipe for Aunt Jo's Cream Cheese bars from Aunt Jo, obviously. I may have to whip up a batch this week. Yum!
Aunt Jo's not really my aunt. She's my stepbrothers' aunt. I think she's everyone's aunt. If you met her, you'd want her to be your aunt. She's a zany, nutty character who's entire life has been a series of comical events, most of which were comical by accident rather than intent. She just does funny things.
Some of Aunt Jo's escapades have been near disastrous, such as the time she took a wrong turn at DFW airport and ended up driving around on a runway. Talk about some upset airport personnel! She just laughed. All who know her, know her as someone who is always laughing. Some day, I'll devote a post just to her, and tell some of my "Aunt Jo" stories. Every family gathering generally includes at least a dozen of them. Though we've heard them many times, and told them many times, we still always laugh until we cry. She's a card, I tell you. And now, for the recipes...
Mix together:
  • 1 cup soft shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
Sift together and stir in:
  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 tsp cream of tarter
  • 1 tsp soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Chill dough
Roll into balls the size of small walnuts
Roll balls in a mixture of ...
  • 2 TBSP sugar & 2 tsp cinnamon
Place 2" apart on ungreased baking sheet
Bake at 400 degrees 8-10 minutes, until lightly browned
While baking, they puff up at first, then flatten out and crinkle
Cream Cheese Bars

By hand, mix together until crumbly:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) softened butter
  • 1 yellow packaged cake mix

Press into a 9" x 13" baking pan

Mix together:

  • 1 16oz box powdered (confectioners) sugar
  • 1 8oz package softened cream cheese
  • 2 eggs

Spread over the top of the mixture in the baking pan

Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes

Let cool completely before slicing

Hubby and I pulled our 5th wheel up to Minnesota last fall. On our way back down the map, we stopped over in this small town in Iowa to set up camp overnight in their city park. If I recall, it only cost us $10 to park there overnight, and that included water and electricity. I thought this old water tower was rather quaint looking. I think it made a nice picture with the bright red tower against the beautiful blue autumn sky.
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Wool Winder said...

Snickerdoodles are my favorite!

I bet DFW airport marked their roads better after your aunt Jo's ride around the runway.

Nancy said...

Thanks for sharing the recipes: the cream cheese bars sound divine and would make a perfect treat on a summer evening.

Firefly Nights said...

Thank you for sharing your history connected with the two recipes. I especially enjoyed that. Snickerdoodles have always been high at the top of my list of favorite cookies. We always had them at school and they were great.

randi said...

Driving around on the runway? Yikes! Your Aunt Jo is making me chuckle. She sounds wonderful!

I LOVE anything with cream cheese. I am definitely trying the Bars!

cinnamongirl93 said...

Mmmmm, what a great recipe for snikerdoodles. Yum, yum! I also love the story of the Aunt in your family. I'd love for you to post about her wacky stories! We also have a zany great aunt. Tons of stories here too! You last recipe sounds good too. Do you really need a whole box of confectioners sugar?
Thanks for the swap info. I checked out "I have to say" and enjoyed reading through it.

Kathy said...

What a great post. My husband's mother used to make Snickerdoodles - I haven't had them in years. Can't wait to try your recipe...Kathy@ Mimi's Garden

Jane @ What About Mom? said...

Oh! I used to make Snickerdoodles with my dad! I felt so grown-up as I rolled them carefully in the sugar/cinnamon mixture. Thanks for bringing back great memories!

MSM said...

I want those cream cheese bars. TODAY.

I love the picture of the water tower! The colors are perfect and it is so nostalgic.

Sharon said...

Well, Girl, Snickerdoodles are ALWAYS a favorite, and those cream cheese goodies will be good this weekend! Thanks for sharing!