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Aunt Bill's Brown Candy

---- Original Message ----- 
  From: Cathy
  To: phaedrus 
  Sent: Wednesday, September 19, 2001 2:46 PM
  Subject: Skillet Candy

  I have a talk show with my hubby every Wednesday and a woman called 
  about "Skillet " Candy--says her Mom used an iron skillet to brown 
  the sugar then she added carnation milk --but not sure how much sugar 
  or milk--and wasn't sure if there was any other ingredient as she keeps 
  making Carmel topping lol---please answer thanks Cathy 

Hi Cathy,

Without more info, it's hard to say, but this sounds like "Aunt Bill's Brown Candy". See the recipe below. I'm sending two other recipes that might be it, but they are basically just caramel recipes.


  Aunt Bill's Brown Candy

  6 cups sugar -- divided  
  2 cups Carnation milk or half-and-half 
  1/4 teaspoon baking soda  
  1/2 cup butter or margarine  
  1 teaspoon vanilla  
  2 pounds pecans, broken -- (about 8 cups) 

  Combine 4 cups of sugar and the milk or half-n-half in a large, 
  heavy saucepan. (Rub the sides of the saucepan with butter, to 
  help prevent graininess.) Stir and set aside.

  Put the remaining 2 cups of sugar in a large iron skillet over 
  medium heat. Stir constantly until the sugar starts to melt. At 
  that time, place the sugar-milk mixture over low heat, stirring 
  occasionally until the sugar dissolves. 

  At the same time, continue melting the sugar in the skillet, 
  stirring, until all is melted and it is the color of light brown 
  sugar. Melting sugar scorches VERY easily, so watch carefully. 
  The entire process may take almost 30 minutes; at the end, you want 
  one pan of light-brown melted sugar AND the milk-sugar mixture at 
  a very light simmer.

  The next step requires family teamwork. Pour the melted sugar into 
  the simmering milk-sugar mixture in a stream "no bigger than a 
  knitting needle". Stir constantly! This step may take five minutes, 
  and works best if someone strong pours the melted sugar 
  v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y.

  Continue cooking the combined mixture to the firm ball stage 
  (246 degrees; higher at high altitudes), do not stir, other than 
  to scrape the sides of the pan occasionally.

  Remove from the heat at once. Stir in the baking soda--the candy will 
  foam vigorously, so call the children to watch this step. Plop the 
  butter into the foaming mixture, and let everything stand without 
  stirring for 30 minutes.

  Add vanilla and beat with a wooden spoon until the mixture stiffens and 
  loses its gloss. This process may take 10 to 15 minutes, so beat in turns 
  with your helper . Add the pecans, stir to mix, and turn the candy out 
  into a buttered 13-by-9-inch rectangular pan.

  Let the candy cool until barely warm; cut in smallish pieces--it's rich. 

  Makes 4 1/2 to 5 pounds.
  Caramel  Candy

   Ingredients : 
   2 c. sugar
   1/2 c. Carnation milk
   1/4 c. butter
   1/2 c. water

   Preparation : 
 Put sugar in a skillet or pan and let about 1/4 of it brown.  
 Pour the water and milk over this.  Stir this until the lumps 
 are melted.  
 Cook until it forms a soft ball when dropped in water.  Remove 
 from heat and beat in butter.  Pour into a greased platter.  
    Caramel  Candy

   Ingredients : 
   4 c. white sugar
   1 c. white syrup
   1 lg. can Carnation milk
   1/4 lb. butter
   1 tsp. vanilla

   Preparation : 
 Boil in a skillet until forms a soft ball in cold water.  
 Take from fire; add vanilla and nuts.  Beat; pour into greased 
 pan. Refrigerate.

Italian Boil 'n Bake Cookies

----- Original Message -----
From: Mrs. Mitchell
To: phaedrus
Sent: Monday, September 17, 2001 2:22 PM
Subject: italian cookie recipe

> I am looking for an italian cookie recipe.  I have one from a daughters
> of columbus italian cookbook, they are called Ravasanie cookies in that
> cookbook.  But I suspect this is not a traditional italian spelling.  I
> have also heard them called, Ragasani (not sure of spelling), but have
> searched the internet to no avail for either spelling.  The cookie is
> made with flour, eggs, crisco, sugar, and a handful of anise seed, they
> are mixed first then dried for a couple hours then boiled then let dry
> then rubbed with egg whites, let dry again then baked for 45 mins.  The
> cookies I've had are cut like an "x" shape and are very crunchy.  The
> problem with my recipe is, it calls for 12 cups of flour, 3 dozen eggs
> (way to big a recipe) and calls for it to be taken to your local bakery
> and have dough kneaded, (not too convenient) and then it just says to
> roll and cut into cookies (recipe doesn't say how thick to roll or what
> shape to cut).  All in all not a very "cook friendly" recipe.  Hope you
> can help me locate the name an recipe for this cookie.
> thanks
> Mrs. Mitchell

Hi Mrs. Mitchell,

This sounds to me like a variation of "taralli." See the recipe below. I have checked John Mariani's "Dictionary of Italian Food and Drink", and there are no cookies at all that begin with the letter "R". The only boiled and then baked cookie in my database and in my "Preserving Our Italian Heritage" Cookbook is taralli. There are many variations of taralli, but the one below sounds closest to the recipe you have - but in smaller portions, of course. Also, they aren't always made in x's sometime's it's circles, and sometimes little pillows. These recipes are slightly different in different parts of Italy, and they have different names in different provinces.



 Ingredients :
 1 pkg. dry yeast
 1 c. water
 2 tbsp. sugar
 1 egg, slightly beaten with 1 tbsp. water
 1-1/2 tsp. salt
 1/4 c. olive oil
 3-1/4 to 3-1/2 c. flour
 Melted butter
 Anise seed

 Preparation :
    In a large mixing bowl soften dry yeast.  Add sugar, salt and
 oil.  Stir to dissolve sugar.  Gradually add 3 cups of flour.  Turn
 out on floured surface, form into ball, cover and let rest 10
 minutes.  Knead in remaining flour.  Place in lightly grease bowl
 and turn once.  Cover and let raise in warm place until double -
 about 1-1/2 to 2 hours.  Turn out on a lightly floured surface; form
 into ball.  Cover and let rest 10 minutes.  Roll dough in a
 rectangle and brush with melted butter and sprinkle with anise seed.
  Cut lengthwise into strips 1-1/2 inch wide.  Turn around buttered
 wooden spoon handle.  Push twisted dough off handle, bring ends
 together to form circle.  Place 2 to 3 inches apart on greased
 baking sheet; brush with egg mixture and sprinkle with additional
 anise seed.  Let rise until double, 45 to 60 minutes.  Bake at 375
 degrees for 20 minutes.
From: "Janice" 
Subject: Scavurati  (or Ragusannie cookies from Ragusa, Sicily)
Date: Thursday, March 26, 2015 9:20 PM

Hi Phaedrus –

Below is a picture of the Scavurati (sometimes called Boiled Cookies or Ragusanne cookies) we made recently.  A Mrs. Mitchell asked about this
recipe in a post on your site from  2001.  The recipe she referenced was in fact in the local Daughters of Columbus Italian  Cookbook from Kansas City, MO.   

I had been looking on line for a reference and information about this cookie for many years, but without success.  Because of genealogy I am in contact
with a distant cousin who still lives in Ragusa and I managed to communicate to her my question…”what do they call this cookie in Ragusa?”   That’s when
I learned they are called Scavurati or Boiled Cookies – not taralli .   

My husband’s Kansas City, MO, aunts made these cookies for family get togethers and weddings for many years and he learned to make them from his
aunts.  Their mother, Carmela Baglieri Leggio, was born in Ragusa Ibla and brought this recipe with her when she came to the US in 1914.  We no longer
take this very, very stiff dough to the bakery to knead but did invest in a bakery “dough roller” in order to work this dough for us.  Also the rolling
and the cutting is much better served by watching it done more than once by the Aunts…..and therefore the exact process has been left out of the recipe.
Also, if you search the internet for scavurati there are a number of different shapes these cookies are make into.  Our family mostly used the shape shown 
in the picture and did not know about these additional shapes until I was able to search the internet for the correct term or name of the cookie.

I hope you are happy to have this recipe and name of this cookie and can possibly help others that may have tasted the cookie and searched for it.



Following is a reduced version of this recipe.  

Ragusanne Cookies   (small batch)    Scavurati

3 cups flour                                       
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar                                      
3 eggs
1/8 pound lard plus some               
anise seed
1/4 cup boiling water

By hand with pastry cutter cut lard into flour and salt.  Transfer this mixture to large Kitchenaid mixing bowl.  Place regular beater onto machine.

In mixing bowl (preferably with a pour spout) mix boiled water with sugar until sugar is dissolved.  Beat eggs.  Add beaten eggs & anise seeds to
sugar and water mixture.

With beater going (on #2 setting or lower) slowly add the liquid to dry ingredients till mixed.  Soon you will have to change over to dough hook. ).
You must watch how dough looks and add/sprinkle flour in small amounts till dough pulls away from sides of bowl.  It should have the “look” of dough &
not batter.  You may have to continue to add/sprinkle flour.  Remove dough from bowl and divide the dough into small 12 ounce “loaves”.  Knead the
loaves through a dough roller - each loaf 40 times thru the roller.  (if you don’t have a dough roller you can use a pasta machine set on the widest
setting but the pasta machine takes a lot longer.

When kneading (or rolling) is done, place little loaf on floured counter and knead by hand about three times.  Knead each piece with the heel of your
hand, roll back into small loaves, with the seam side down into pan or bowl. Put some lard on each small loaf and let rest.  Go have a cup of coffee.
Let dough rest for about an hour.

Cut each loaf in half along seam line

Roll these pieces out on board into long roll about 3/4 inch in diameter

Cut this long roll/rope into 1 1/2 inch lengths, then cut these lengths cross their bottoms about half way thru, pinch and pull the legs apart slightly;
repeat this process for each of your small loaves.

Boil in groups in water till they come to top

Drain on t- towel covered racks, cool for a couple of hours

Cut cookie "legs" once again

Dry on towels over night

Egg white the tops

Bake 40 minutes at 350….(these cookies are better if baked in a gas oven)

Bay Scallops 'n Linguine

----- Original Message -----
From: barbara
To: phaedrus
Sent: Tuesday, September 18, 2001 7:44 PM
Subject: scallop recipe

> There was a wonderful recipe in either Bon Appetit or the magazine that
> preceeded it. It was for bay scallops, lots of garlic, small shells and
> a sauce. I'd love to find it again. Thanks for the beau monde recipe.
> I've been going crazy trying to duplicate it.
> Barbara 

Hi Barbara,

I couldn't find this on the Bon Appetit site, which is here:

Bon Appetit

However, while there, I did find a great-sounding recipe (with pictures) for bay scallops with linguine, which is here:

Bay Scallops & Linguine

Searching elsewhere, I found way too many recipes containing bay scallops, garlic, and pasta. I need to be able to narrow it down some. Can you remember any other ingredients? What was in the sauce?


Jello Pudding Pie

----- Original Message -----
From: Cecil
To: phaedrus
Sent: Sunday, September 16, 2001 9:28 PM
Subject: Jello Chocolate Pudding Pie Filling Too Thin

> Hi Phadedrus,
> My wife has made three pies per the instructions on the "Jello Cook &
> Serve Pudding & Pie Filling" box. The filling in the first was
> acceptable, but slightly thin. The second pie was excellent. The filling
> in the last pie was much too thin and "runny".  She followed the
> instructions in each case.  I suspect the thickness of the filling is
> probably related to the time that it is cooked?  Do you have any
> suggestions?  What is the primary cause of "runny" fillings?
> Thanks.
> Cecil

Hi Cecil,

Well, as you say, the cause of runny fillings is too much liquid, either from undercooking or adding too much milk, etc. I checked several of the chocolate pie recipes in my files that use Jello pudding, and they all said:

Bring the pudding mixture to a full rolling boil while stirring constantly. Beat if necessary to remove lumps. Cool for 5 minutes before pouring into pie shell.

When cooking a custard or pie filling, you should cook it until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon dipped into it.


What is Heavy Cream?

----- Original Message ----- 
  From: de 
  To: phaedrus 
  Sent: Tuesday, September 18, 2001 8:57 AM
  Subject: heavy cream


  can you tell me what is the difference between heavy cream and sour cream?
  thank you in advance!

Hi De,

Well, let's see:

Heavy cream is also known as heavy whipping cream. It's sweet cream with between 36 and 40 percent butter fat. Heavy cream is not quite the same as ordinary whipping cream. Ordinary whipping cream is usually what is called "light whipping cream", and it contains between 30 and 36 percent butterfat. Heavy cream is not ordinarily available at the local supermarket. It's usually sold only in specialty shops, although some large supermarkets that carry a lots of specialty items may have it.

One taste will tell you that sour cream is not the same as heavy cream. Commercial sour cream contains between 18 and 20 percent butterfat, and it has been treated with lactic acid bacteria culture to give it its characteristic sour taste.

If you have a recipe that calls for heavy cream and you can't find it, use the highest % butterfat whipping cream that you can find.



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