Nori’s Favorite Recipes

I really love baking and cooking.  Most of my favorite recipes are handed down from family members or from other people and sources.  I often make slight changes, though, according to my likes and what I have on hand.  I try to give credit to my sources and would appreciate your doing the same if you should decide to share these recipes.  I will be including helpful tips now and then as well as more recipes and photos as time goes by, so check back often.  Happy baking!

Wholegrain Jam Squares

Fresh from the Oven

Fresh from the Oven

This recipe is adapted from The Quaker Oats Wholegrain Cookbook, 5th ed., June 1979, p. 59. I used my homemade pomegranate/grape jelly instead of preserves. I also made a batch with gluten-free all-purpose flour. The texture was more lumpy, but the taste was great! Also see Variations at the end of the recipe.

2 cups Quaker Oats (Quick or Old Fashioned, uncooked)
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup butter or margarine (sticks)
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. (fine sea) salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 cup preserves (jam or jelly)

Combine all ingredients except preserves in large mixing bowl; beat at low speed on electric mixer until mixture is crumbly (I use a pastry cutter instead). Reserve 2 cups mixture; press remaining into bottom of greased 13X9-inch baking pan. Spread preserves evenly over base; sprinkle with reserved mixture. Bake in preheated hot oven (400 degrees F.) 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool; cut into squares (or bars).
Variation: Omit nuts in oat mixture; add 1/4 tsp. nutmeg and 1/8 tsp. ground cloves to oat mixture. Substitute combined 1 cup applesauce, 3/4 cup raisins and 1/2 cup nuts for preserves.

Sour Cream Cookies

Ready for Santa

Ready for Santa

This cookie recipe came from my Grandma Isaak. This cake-like cookie is not your typical sweet sugar cookie. The sour cream gives it a distinctive tartness with the vanilla filling the house with its tantalizing aroma. This recipe makes around 4 dozen large cookies. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes (lightly browned bottoms).

Cream margarine and sugar

Cream margarine and sugar

First cream 1 cup (two cubes) margarine (not butter) and 1 cup cane sugar in a large mixing bowl.

Add 2 beaten eggs

Add 2 beaten eggs

Next add 2 beaten eggs and 1 cup sour cream.

With sour cream

With sour cream

Moderately stiff dough

Moderately stiff dough

Mix 5 cups unbeached all-purpose flour and 2 teaspoons baking soda in a bowl. Add 2 teaspoons vanilla to the sour cream mixture. Then add the flour mixture a little at a time and mix to a moderately stiff dough. You may need to add the last of the flour mixture by hand.

Mound of dough

Mound of dough

Rolled dough

Rolled dough

Place about 1/2 of the dough onto a floured board and roll out to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut with a floured 3 inch round cutter. Place onto a greased cookie sheet 2 inches apart.  If dough is sticking, use a floured spatula to remove from board and place onto cookie sheet.  Sprinkle with colored sugar crystals and place in oven.  Bake for 8 – 10 minutes at 400 degrees F.

First Batch

First Batch

Lightly Browned Bottom

Lightly Browned Bottom

Cool on Racks

Cool on Racks

Useful tips: I use three baking sheets and prepare the next batch while one batch is baking. I also clean the sugar crystals off the sheets and re-grease them before starting another batch. Of course you could use parchment paper.  If you try this recipe, please let me know how you like it.

Persimmon Cookies

This is one of my family’s favorites. I don’t know the exact source, but I think I got it from Mike’s mom. She probably got it from her mother-in-law. The soft Hachiya variety of persimmon works best for this recipe. They need to be very ripe (mushy). I usually use walnuts, but this time I only had pecans on hand. They worked just fine. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, depending upon the size of the cookies. This recipe makes about 3 1/2 dozen cookies.

First mash 1 cup persimmon pulp with 1 teaspoon baking soda and set aside.

1 cup cane sugar                                 Cream sugar and shortening until fluffy.
1/2 cup shortening or butter                    Beat in egg until well blended.
1 egg                                                      Stir in persimmon pulp.
2 cups flour                                         Sift flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, salt
1 tsp. nutmeg                                      and baking powder directly into mixture.
2 tsps. cinnamon                               Add nuts and raisins.
1/2 tsp. cloves                                     Mix to a moderately stiff dough.
1/2 tsp. salt                                         Drop by teaspoons in mounds on lightly
1 tsp. baking powder                         greased baking sheets (or use parchment).
1 cup each nuts and raisins

Moderately Stiff Dough

Mounds of Dough

Cool on Racks

Freezing Whole Persimmons

The following tips were cut from the Fresno Bee newspaper’s food section November 19, 1984. I usually just use the freezing whole method for baking.

Either the soft (Hachiya) or the crisp (Fuyu or Maru) persimmons can be successfully frozen whole.
Let the soft persimmons ripen until almost jelly-like. Wash the fruit and place on a flat tray in the freezer; freeze until firm. Then wrap persimmons individually and place in plastic bags for freezer storage.
Remove persimmons from freezer about 20 minutes before you plan to serve them [or until thawed to use them for baking]. Peel back the skin and eat the pulp with a spoon. Partially defrosted frozen persimmons are similar to a fresh fruit ice.

Freezing Persimmon Pulp

All of the fruit except the blossom end and the thin skin can be processed in blender or food processor to a smooth puree. Measure puree and add 1 Tablespoon lemon juice to each 2 cups puree; pack and freeze immediately. Or mix 1 cup sugar with each 6 cups puree; freeze. [Note: One large Hachiya persimmon makes about one cup of pulp.]

Davidsun Peach Cobbler

This is adapted from the Log Cabin Grub Cookbooks (June 1999) Fresh Mountain Blueberry Cobbler recipe.  I like it because the texture and crust are closest to Mike’s mom’s cobbler recipe except she used Bisquick and tapioca instead of cornstarch.  You can use any fruit for this cobbler.  The one in the photo was made with Davidsun yellow peaches from our farm.

1/2 cup sugar                                                 In a medium sauce pan, blend sugar and cornstarch.

1 Tblsp. cornstarch                                       Stir in fruit and lemon juice. Cook stirring

4 cups peaches (or other fruit)                      constantly until mixture comes to a boil and goes

1 tsp. lemon juice                                           thick.  Remove from fire and let cool while you prepare the crust.

Cobbler Crust

4 Tblsp. sugar                                              Measure flour, salt, baking powder and sugar into a bowl.

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder                             Cut butter into mixture, add milk and mix until

1/2 tsp. salt                                                  dough forms a ball.  Spoon on to the hot fruit.  Bake at 450

1 cup flour (sifted)                                        degrees for 10 minutes or 425 for 15 minutes until topping is

3 Tblsp. butter                                               golden brown.  Serve with whipped cream or ice cream or just

1/2 – 2/3 cup milk or cream.                          plain.

* For added spice sprinkle cinnamon, nutmeg and/or sugar on top of the fruit mix.

Help Yourself

Grandma Carlson’s Applesauce Fruit Cake

I only remember Grandma making this recipe with raisins, but you can turn it into a fruit cake by using candied fruit instead. The texture is dry and crumbly, but that’s how I remember it. You could experiment with another egg or add milk or more applesauce, perhaps. I use walnuts, but you could use pecans or try other nuts, too.

2 cups flour, 1/2 tsp. salt                             Sift and measure flour; sift again with salt and spices.
1/2 tsp. baking soda                                     Cream shortening; add sugar gradually and continue creaming
2 tsps. baking powder                                  until light and fluffy; beat in egg.
1 tsp. cinnamon                                             Add applesauce and flour mixture alternately;
1/2 tsp. nutmeg                                             beat until smooth.
1/4 tsp. cloves                                               Add fruit and nutmeats.
1/4 tsp. allspice                                             Pour into well greased rectangular 7″ X 9″
1/2 cup shortening                                       metal pan and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 egg
1 cup unsweetened sieved applesauce
3/4 cup seedless raisins or 1 cup
candied fruit
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Grandma’s Fingerprint Peanut Butter Cookies

What makes these unique is using your three middle fingers to press the dough down before baking. Grandma always used Skippy brand peanut butter.

1 1/2 cup sifted flour. 1/2 cup shortening

3/4 teaspoon baking soda. 1/2 cup peanut butter

1/2 teaspoon baking powder. 1/2 cup cane sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt. 1/2 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

Sift flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside. Cream shortening and peanut butter in large bowl. Add sugars and mix well. Add egg and beat mixture well. Add vanilla, mix. Add dry ingredients gradually and mix thoroughly. Shape dough into 1 – 2 inch oval-shaped balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Press down with three middle fingers.

Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 12 minutes depending on the size of cookies.

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