Kitchen Mailbox: Holiday recipes from readers

December 20, 2011 12:00 am

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Finished with your Christmas baking? Hopefully not, because today's Kitchen Mailbox is featuring a tasty selection of holiday goodies from our readers. Starting with Coconut Cranberry Delights from George Dolan of Bethel Park: "My brother Jack started the Party Cake Shop in Brookline in 1961. I worked alongside him mostly as a cake decorator. He retired in 2001. I took over and we opened our second location at 297 Beverly Road in Mt. Lebanon."

These cookies are so good that my husband and I were grabbing them off the cooling rack!

The next recipe, Large Date Cake, began as request for a lost recipe that the reader later found, but it's one we're sure you'll like. Here's how Gloria R. Natale of Irwin described her lost recipe: "It starts out with at least a cup each of dates, raisins and walnuts in a large bowl ... then pour boiling water over them and set aside until cool. The walnut mixture is mixed with a batter then baked. It is served topped with whipped cream cheese and warm lemon sauce."


Former Pittsburgher Barbara Mann of Punta Gorda, Fla., writes: "This spring I lost my dear mother. The holidays this year are going to be tough. One of the best things my mom baked were her 'Hunky Cookies.' My son asked me for the recipe and I could not find it. I would love some help finding this cookie recipe that I know many Pittsburghers still make. My mom usually made with apricot and nuts, but I remember as a little girl my grandma sending me to the store for a jar of apricot and this black stuff in a jar. I think it was prunes ... gross!

"I would so appreciate your help. Thank you and have a blessed Christmas. Love to Pittsburgh!"


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3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour1 teaspoon baking powder1/2 teaspoon salt1 1/2 cup butter (3 sticks), room temperature2 cups sugar2 tablespoons vanilla extractZest of 1 orange1 egg1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut1 1/2 cups dried cranberries

Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Mix together flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. On medium speed cream butter, sugar, vanilla and orange zest. Scrape down the bowl. Add the egg. Scrape bowl again. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and mix 3 to 5 minutes on low speed. Add coconut and cranberries and mix just until incorporated. Form cookies into 1-inch balls and bake 350 degrees for about 16 minutes or less for chewier cookies.

1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts1 cup chopped dates1 cup raisins2 cups boiling water3 1/3 cup all-purpose flour2 teaspoons baking soda1/2 teaspoon salt1 cup shortening (or butter)2 cups sugar2 eggs2 teaspoons vanilla 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened1 tablespoon or more confectioners' sugar1 teaspoon vanilla extractAbout 3 tablespoons milk 1 cup sugar2 tablespoons cornstarchPinch of salt2 cups boiling water2 tablespoons lemon zest4 tablespoons lemon juice (about 2 lemons2 tablespoons butter 2-ounce cake yeast1/2 cup warm water1 teaspoon sugar1 pound (4 sticks) butter or margarine6 eggs, slightly beaten2 1/2 cups of milk scalded1 teaspoon vanilla1 1/2 cups sugar1 tablespoon salt (optional)10 to 12 cups pre-sifted flour (start with 10 and add until dough is not sticky) 4 to 5 cups ground walnuts1 1/2 cups sugar16-ounce jar honey2 cups milk, scalded 2 egg yolks, thinned with a little water
To request a recipe or send a recipe or question to Kitchen Mailbox, write the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, c/o Arlene Burnett, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15222 or .
First Published 2012-02-09 18:30:15
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