Gumdrop cookies are sweet blast from past

Recipe Finder

March 26, 1997|By Ellen Hawks | Ellen Hawks,SUN STAFF

"A very large group of children and grandchildren," writes Teri Carabello of Fort Bragg, N.C.,"were responsible for this request. I am the proud grandparent who wants to make some cathedral or stained-glass-window cookies, which they love. The original recipe was on the Dixie Crystal Brown Sugar box but it disappeared in the '70s and I can't get a recipe or response from the company."

There are many names for this cookie, such as cathedral, stained glass, gumdrop, hidden jewels or sugar plums.

Laura P. Curran of Baltimore responded with chef Gilles Syglowski's choice. She wrote that her recipe came from her mother, who baked them for men in the service in World War II. "They were supposed to ship and keep well and they have also become a tradition at Christmas for our family."

Curran's gumdrop cookies

Makes about 3 dozen

1/2 cup shortening

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 egg, well beaten

1 cup small gumdrops cut in half

1/2 cup grated coconut or 1/2 cup chopped nuts

1 cup quick-cook or regular oatmeal

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream shortening, add sugars and beat until fluffy, and add vanilla. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt and soda. Combine gumdrops, coconut (or nuts) and uncooked oatmeal. Sprinkle 1/4 of the flour mixture over gumdrop mixture. Add the remaining flour mixture to the shortening mixture alternating with the beaten egg. Stir in gumdrop mixture. Blend well after additions.

Pinch off small pieces of the dough and roll into 1-inch balls. Place on well-greased cookie sheet and flatten with spatula. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden.

Curran says she most often doubles this recipe it is such a favorite with her family.

Oysters in a pie

"An oyster pie recipe that isn't too runny," was requested by Catherine M. Mudd, address unknown, who noted that her grandmother's oyster pie is delicious but far too runny and she'd like to surprise her grandmother with a recipe "that would spare her from my uncle's teasing."

Mary Heim of Dundalk answered with a recipe which she likes and which came from "the Chesapeake Collection cookbook," she writes.

Oyster pie

4 medium potatoes

1 pint oysters

2 stalks celery, chopped

1 small onion, chopped

2 teaspoons flour

2 tablespoons butter plus 1 tablespoon

salt and pepper to taste

2 cups medium white sauce

1 pie crust

Heat oven to 450 degrees.

Peel and slice potatoes. Place one half of the potatoes in the bottom of a 2-quart casserole. Simmer oysters in oyster liquor until oyster edges curl.

Saute onions and celery in two tablespoons butter and add flour and salt and pepper. Place onion mixture over potatoes in pan and add oysters with 1/2 cup oyster liquor. Cover with remaining potatoes. Add white sauce mixing slightly and dot with 1 tablespoon butter. Cover with the pastry and bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and cook for 45 minutes.

Note: Chef Gilles Syglowski blanches the sliced potatoes for 1 minute in boiling water before using. For the sauce, he prepares a bechamel sauce as follows:

Chef's bechamel sauce

1 ounce flour

1 ounce butter

2 cups milk

salt and pepper to taste

pinch of nutmeg

Heat butter and flour slowly to make a roux to thicken the milk. Stir milk slowly into the roux bringing to a simmer, stirring constantly, 8 to 10 minutes.

Season to taste.

Recipe requests

Mary G. Keller of the Keller Law Office in Huron, S.D., writes that "During the Democratic National Convention in Chicago last summer we lunched at the Art Institute and greatly enjoyed a fruit gazpacho appetizer. It was splendid, not too cool and not too sweet. Could you locate the recipe?"

Paul B. Williams of Parkville wants a recipe for "turtle soup like that served at the Tavern on Route 40."

Chefs Syglowski and Kent Rigby, with the help of chefs and students at the Baltimore International College, tested these recipes.

If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request, maybe we can help. Write to Ellen Hawks, Recipe Finder, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278.

If you send in more than one recipe, put each on a separate sheet of paper with your name, address and phone number. Please note the number of servings which each recipe makes. We will test the first 12 recipes sent to us.

Pub Date: 3/26/97

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