Cookies from cake mix molasses in rich fudge


March 11, 1998|By Ellen Hawks | Ellen Hawks,SUN STAFF

"I want a recipe for a cookie made with a cake mix, something quick and tasty for lunch boxes and snacks," wrote Mrs. H. Hefner of Baltimore.

Responses poured in, and tester Laura Reiley chose the Duncan Hines peanut butter cookies sent in by Shelley Silver of Baltimore.

Josephine C. Elsen of Wheaton, Ill., requested a recipe for Genessee chocolate -- "a rich fudge that has some molasses in it." The chosen response came from Gail Jones of Bend, Ore., who found the recipe "in the 'American Heritage Cookbook.' It was originally distributed in a booklet in 1905 by a chocolate manufacturer."

Peanut Butter Cookies

Makes 4 to 5 dozen 2 1/2-inch cookies

1 18-ounce package Duncan Hines chocolate cake mix

1/3 cup light brown sugar

1 1/3 cups peanut butter

1/2 cup salad oil

1/4 cup water

1 egg

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine all ingredients and mix well. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Press a crisscross on each cookie with fork prongs that you have dipped in water.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until light brown. Cool on cookie sheet for about 1 minute, then move to racks to finish cooling.

Tester Laura Reiley's comments: "I love these cookies. They have the texture of peanut butter cookies, but the flavor is a great melding of chocolate and peanut butter. I experimented with some and didn't press a crisscross pattern on the top. The cookies are even better when just formed into balls because they become perfectly round during cooking, with a crinkly top like gingersnaps. They are very homemade-tasting and -looking. No one would ever know the base was from a cake mix."

Genessee Chocolate

Makes about 1 1/4 pounds

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup molasses

1/2 cup light cream

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a saucepan, combine the two sugars, the molasses, cream and chocolate. Cook over medium heat, stirring until the sugar and the chocolate have melted. Continue cooking, without stirring, until the mixture reaches 238 degrees, or until a few drops tested in cold water form a soft ball. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the butter and vanilla, and cool slightly, until the fudge begins to harden. Pour onto a buttered dish, and cut it into squares before the fudge is completely hard.

Tester Reiley's comments: "Be sure to get the mixture all the way to soft-ball stage, because otherwise the sugar very easily becomes grainy when [the fudge cools]. The molasses and the brown sugar give this fudge a very old-fashioned taste."

Recipe requests

* Esther Seamans of Sioux Falls, S.D., writes, "I have eaten a no-bake fruitcake, and it was so good, with lots of fruits and nuts. Can you find this recipe for me?"

* Jackie Binetti of Baltimore is seeking a recipe like the one she and her husband "enjoyed at Fins Bar and Grill, which was in Canton on Fleet Street. It was their special Caribbean shrimp dish with a spicy sauce cooked for many hours and served with French bread."

* Leila Wolf of Rapid City, S.D., writes that she is looking for a recipe for pineapple jam, using pectin and canned crushed pineapple with no sugar added.

If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request for a hard-to-find recipe, write to Ellen Hawks, Recipe Finder, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278. If you send in more than one recipe, put each on a separate sheet of paper with your name, address and daytime phone number. Important: Please list the ingredients in order of use, and note the number of servings each recipe makes.

Pub Date: 3/11/98

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