Use this to search the site!
Just type your request in the
blank and click on "Search"!
Custom Search


Italian Cookies with Molasses

From: Fran
Sent: Thursday, November 28, 2013 2:11 PM
Subject: recipe for molasses italian cookies

Hello there,
my family is desperately looking for an old recipe that our Nonna used to make.   It sounds like Puparatta.  
made with molasses, candied fruits and walnuts.  shaped into a log and then twisted into a donut shape.  
then baked and cut into smaller slices.  we have been searching unsuccessfully. if you can help it would be
most appreciated. she was from southern Italy near Foggia. she is long since deceased , would have been 
over a 100.  
Thank you.


Hello Fran,

I have searched the Internet, our Italian dessert files, and our Italian food dictionaries and encyclopedias and cookbooks. I cannot find any Italian desserts that are made with molasses except for a couple of molasses pies. If she used molasses in that pastry, she may have been using it as a substitute for honey or wine syrup or some other ingredient. It’s apparently very, very uncommon for molasses to be used in authentic Italian cooking.

I also looked at recipes from Puglia, which is where Foggia is located, but I found nothing like your description.

The only Italian pastry that I can find with a name anywhere close to “puparatta” is “puppata,” but “puppata” are doll-shaped cookies with no nuts from Molise that are wrapped around a boiled egg at Easter.

One thing that you must consider when looking for Italian pastries or desserts is that a particular recipe may be called by different names from region to region, from town to town, and from family to family. You must also consider that pastries and desserts that have the same name may have different ingredients from region to region, from town to town, and from family to family. It’s possible that there may not be a recipe anywhere with exactly the same name and/or ingredients as what she used to make. It may have existed only in her family in that form.

My Italian cookies page is here: Italian Cookies

I’ll post this on the site in case one of my readers recognizes it.


School Cafeteria Peanut Butter Cake

-----Original Message----- 
From: Janet
Sent: Friday, November 29, 2013 12:58 AM
Subject: Peanut Butter Cake

The Milwaukee Public Schools used to serve this dense, moist Peanut butter 
cake with a crumb topping. From grade school to high school, this was always 
the best dessert.

I have looked for what looks like a similar recipe, and have tried to 
experiment my way there. No luck.

I really want to surprise my brother, sister and their kids with this 
shared, yummy memory.

Good Luck and God Speed!

Hi Janet,

I had zero success finding a peanut butter cake recipe that even mentioned Milwaukee Public Schools. I found a couple of mentions that Milwaukee public schools published a cookbook years ago. If you can locate a copy of that cookbook, the recipe might be in it. I'd check the Milwaukee Public Library.

As for a similar recipe, I'd have to have more information about the cake and topping to be able to find something that I could say was similar. There are recipes on these sites for peanut butter cake with crumb topping:

Our Table for Seven


Try These Family Recipes

There are recipes on these sites for peanut butter cake, but they have icing, not crumb topping:

Milwaukee Public Library recipes- 4 for peanut butter cake, but they all have frosting, not crumb topping.

This one is a school cafeteria peanut butter cake recipe, but it has frosting.

Peanut Butter Cake with frosting, not crumb topping.

This will be posted on my site in case a reader can help. Check back.


Rich's Pecan Pie

From: "Karen" 
Subject: Rich's Department Store Pecan Pie
Date: Tuesday, November 26, 2013 7:49 AM

While searching through the internet this morning, I stumbled upon your
website and popular Rich's Department Store recipes. My family, long time
Georgians, often made the 4 hour trek from their home in Southern Georgia
to Atlanta to shop at Rich's and eat there. My mother still talks about
their salt rising bread. My mother also bought her wedding dress at the
store downtown. In going through my mother's recipes, I found the attached.
She tells me that this was the 'original' card from Rich's that my father's
mother got and used. I can't verify that it is an original but as you can
tell by the picture, it has certainly been used over the years! I can also
verify that the card is over 46 years old since my grandmother got it
before I was born! Enjoy and please share with others!

Staunton, Virginia

A Rich's Recipe (Transcribed from a photo of the recipe card - Ph.)

Georgia Pecan Pie

3		whole eggs
2 TBSP 		melted butter or margarine
2 TBSP		flour
1/4 tsp		vanilla
1/8 tsp 	salt
1/2 cup 	sugar
1-1/2 cups	dark corn syrup
1-1/2 cups	broken pecan halves
1		unbaked 8-inch pie shell

Beat eggs, blend in melted butter, flour, vanilla, salt, sugar and syrup.
Sprinkle nuts over bottom of unbaked pie shell. Now gently pour over 
syrup mixture and bake in hot oven (425° F.) 10 minutes. Reduce heat to
slow (325° F.) and bake about 40 minutes. Yield: One 8-inch pie to
serve six.

Very Best Brownies

From: "Donna" 
Subject: The Very Best Brownies
Date: Friday, November 22, 2013 3:38 PM

source: Marcia Adams  Cooking from Quilt Country [I think]

The Very Best Brownies
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
2 cups sugar
7 tablespoons cocoa
4 eggs
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans or English walnuts
Preheat oven to 350* F.
In a large mixer bowl, combine the melted butter, sugar, and cocoa.
Add the eggs, one at a  time, blending after each additions.
Add the remaining ingredients and mix just until combined. 
Pour into a greased 9x13 inch glass dish and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the 
top is firm to the touch.  Do not over bake or the brownies will be dry.  
Allow to stand 15 minutes, then cut into 32 squares.

Please read the Instructions before requesting a recipe.

Please sign your real first name to all recipe requests.

Please don't type in all capital letters.

If you have more than one request, please send them in separate e-mails.

Send Requests to

Copyright © 2012, 2013 Phaedrus