Family Thighs

Better ’n Godiva Chocolates

CREME:

  • 1-lb. bag fondant mix (this is like powdered sugar - buy it at candy-making stores for about $2.50)
  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp. cream (or half-and-half)
  • Flavorings colorings (See requirements in 3rd paragraph below)

Melt butter in cream in a medium pan, over low heat, just until butter melts. Remove from heat. Dump in entire bag of fondant mix. Stir with fork until lumps are gone, then knead with your immaculately clean hands.

Hannah’s Royal Rusks

Great crunchy treat – good for dunking into coffee or hot chocolate.

  • 1 cup butter or margarine
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. almond flavoring
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 4-1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup ground almonds or other nuts
  • milk as needed if too dry

Mix margarine and sugar in a bowl. Add eggs, flavoring, baking soda, nuts and flour.

Form 3 loaves, approx. 1/2-inch high.Bake at 350°F for 25-30 min. Cut into 3/4-inch strips, and turn onto cut side. 
Toast at 250°F for 4 minutes.

Mimi’s Apple Pie

  • 1 pie crust (graham cracker or frozen)
  • apples (peeled, cored, thinly sliced)
  • butter
  • sugar
  • ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • Prepare crust if necessary.

Place a layer of sliced apples in crust, top with 5-6 pats butter and sprinkle sugar and cinnamon to taste. Repeat with 3-4 more layers until apples are about an inch higher than the top of the pie dish (they settle).

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Caramel Brownies

Adapted from a recipe by family friend Pat Kennedy.

  • 12 oz. Kraft caramels
  • 6 oz. evaporated milk
  • 3/4 cup margarine
  • 1 German chocolate cake mix
  • 6 oz. chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Caramel sauce: Melt caramels and 1/3 cup evaporated milk in double-boiler, stirring constantly.

Almond Crescents

Makes 25-30 crescents.

  • 1 pkg. (10 oz.) almonds, shelled
  • 1-1/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, optional.

Measure 1-2/3 cups almonds. Grind them in a blender or with a rolling pin and bag until fine. Finely chop remaining almonds and set aside for later.

Mix flour, sugar and ground almonds.

With fingers work in butter and vanilla until mixture "cleans" the bowl. Chill about an hour. 

Honey Mousse

Adapted from Bon Appetit magazine by my friend Nancy. It can be made a day in advance of need and then taken from the freezer.

  • 6 egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup dark honey
  • 1 cup chilled whipping cream
  • fresh fruit

Using electric mixer, beat yolks and honey until texture of meringue, about 10 minutes. Beat cream in another bowl until soft mounds form. Fold into honey mixture. Spoon into six cups and freeze three hours. Before serving, top with fresh berries, or canned peach or apricot slices, or orange marmalade. Serves six.

Florida Key Lime Pie

It seems every Floridian has a recipe for Key Lime Pie; in fact, a book sold at the Historical Museum of South Florida lists about ten of them. Here is one that is delicious, quick and reliable, culled from three different recipe boxes. 

Note that Key Lime Pie is supposed to be yellow, not green as some Yankees might have thought.

Chocolate Pie

  • 9 oz. chocolate bar with almonds
  • 9 oz. tub of cool whip
  • 2 tbsp. water
  • 1 tsp. dry instant coffee
  • 1 graham cracker pie shell

Break chocolate into large frying pan - add 2 tbsp.water and 1 tsp.instant coffee. Stir over low heat until water and chocolate are mixed. Remove from heat. Put spoonful of cool whip into chocolate mixture. Stir and keep adding cool whip until mixed.

Pour into Johnston's graham cracker pie shell. Freeze and remove a few minutes before serving.

– Marion Adams

Kahlua Pound Cake

Tia Maria also works well instead of Kahlua.

  • 1 pkg. dark chocolate cake mix or devil's food cake mix.
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup Kahlua coffee liqueur
  • 1 pkg. instant chocolate pudding mix

Mix all ingredients at medium speed. Pour batter into greased and floured Bundt or tube pan (10 inch). 

Bake at 350°F for 45 minutes or until cake tests done. Cool.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar, or drizzle with glaze, below.

GLAZE

Rum Balls

From a vice president at Coconut Grove Bank, where Gigi works.

1-1/2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs (about 50 cookies)

1/4 cup Bacardi Dark Rum (80 proof)

1/4 cup honey

8 oz. (2 cups) ground walnuts

confectioner's sugar

Combine all ingredients except sugar. Blend thoroughly and then shape into small balls - about one inch in diameter. Roll in powdered sugar, store in a tightly covered container.

– Gigi Enchelmayer