Some of the world's great recipes are printed on the sides of boxes and bags. The Tollhouse Cookie recipe comes to mind, or the formula for Rice Crispies Treats or Libby's pumpkin pie.
Lost sugar bag
Those are old stand-bys, though. You know when you go to the store to pick up the ingredient, you'll get the recipe. So why save it?
But what of less famous recipes, the type that show up, say, on the C&H Sugar bag, and then are replaced by something new a few months later? You bake it off the bag, it comes out great, you think you'll have it forever and then you throw away the bag.
This is where Diane Thomas comes in. She is the keeper of C&H recipes, past and present. All have been entered into a computer data base, which she can search a number of ways to come up with a requested recipe.
Just give her a clue: part of the name of the recipe, or a key ingredient. Be reasonable, though. "Sometimes people will call and say, 'There was a great cookie recipe and it had flour and butter and sugar in it.' That can be hard," Thomas says.
It took her a matter of seconds to produce a recipe sought by Laurel Pogue for a pineapple pie. Pogue remembers getting it off of a sugar bag in the mid '80s and did actually copy it down, but lost it in a move.
"We all loved that recipe," she says.
She remembers the filling going into a regular baked pie shell. This one -- and Thomas says it's the only C&H pineapple pie recipe on record -- goes into a baked meringue shell, but since they are prepared and cooled separately, I don't see why the filling couldn't go into a standard shell.
That meringue shell, by the way, could also be used to hold cream fillings or fresh fruit and whipped cream, C&H advises.
To make pie shell: Beat egg whites with cream of tartar, salt and vanilla until foamy. Gradually beat in sugar until stiff and glossy peaks form. Spread in a greased 9-inch pie pan, piling it higher near edge, but not touching side of pan. Bake at 275 degrees for 1 hour, until creamy in color. Cool away from draft.
Pineapple Angel Pie3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 20-ounce can crushed pineapple, packed in juice
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons butter
2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 cup whipping cream, whipped
Meringue Pie Shell:
2 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
(Note: Meringue crusts will be at their puffiest if made on a dry day. This recipe may be doubled, but if more than 2 crusts are needed, begin a new recipe.)
To make filling: In medium saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch and salt. Stir in pineapple, lemon juice and butter. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened. Stir 2 tablespoons pineapple mixture into egg yolks. Beat eggs back into hot liquid. Cook 2 minutes longer, stirring constantly. Chill. Gently fold in whipped cream so as not to reduce volume.
Pour filling into into meringue shell. Chill 2 to 3 hours. Serves 8.
Among Thomas' favorite C&H recipes, and one of the most requested, is for Gingersnaps. It's a recipe that came in handy the other day, when the 4-year-old said, "I want to make gingerbread-man cookies."
My first thought was, "Can I put him off until December?" But, as I mentioned, he's 4 years old.
And so we set out in October to test this C&H formula and can personally attest that it is a great recipe. In fact, I was lucky to save enough from the snapping jaws of my kids to pull off this photograph.
Using the dough to make gingerbread men is an unauthorized application of the recipe, but it does work, provided you allow for spreading. It doesn't puff up like regular gingerbread; rather it flattens out. So, our ginger-dinosaur, a long-tailed, slender-necked diplodocus, came out resembling a fat cow.
Cream together brown sugar and shortening until fluffy. Add egg and molasses; beat well.
Gingersnaps1 cup brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup molasses
2 cups flour
2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon EACH ground ginger, cinnamon and cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons white sugar
Combine dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture; mix well. Chill dough.
Shape dough into 1-inch balls and roll in white sugar. Place 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 12-15 minutes. Makes 4 dozen cookies.
Nutritional information unavailable.
Thomas says she gets hundreds of recipe requests each year, the most coming in around the holidays. So if you've been beating yourself over the head for throwing out the C&H bag that carried your favorite recipe, call her at (800) 234-5708 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The company also offers free pamphlets full of baking ideas -- for example, "C&H Sugar's Favorite Recipes," "Just Cakes," "Fast & Festive Recipes from Our Private Collection" and "14 Old-Fashioned Cookie Recipes." Send a self-addressed, stamped envelope specifying the pamphlet you want to C&H Sugar Kitchens, 830 Loring Ave., Crockett, Calif. 94525.
Food Stuffs: Morsels
Send queries along with name and phone number to:
By Request, Honolulu Star-Bulletin Food Section,
P.O. Box 3080, Honolulu 96802.
Or send e-mail to email@example.com
Asterisk (*) after nutritional analyses in the
Body & Soul section indicates calculations by
Joannie Dobbs of Exploring New Concepts,
a nutritional consulting firm.