Archive | 5:53 am

Baking Nostalgia

18 Dec

This is the first Christmas with both my parents gone and It has made me a little nostalgic. I’ve been thinking about the mountain of Christmas cookies Mom used to make. Watching reruns of the Great British Baking Show, I’ve been thinking about fruit cake and Dad. He loved a good fruit cake. He sold and gifted Shriner’s fruitcakes, and I remember one year when Mom & Dad made one and it sat, wrapped in brandy soaked cheesecloth, in the fruit cellar in the months leading up to Christmas.

So, feeling nostalgic, I baked this weekend.

First, I made Mom’s “Sweet Marie Bars on Saturday.


Sweet Marie Bars 


1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 tbsp butter
2 cups Rice Krispies
1 cup salted peanuts
1 package semi-sweet chocolate chips


In a medium pot over medium-low heat melt peanut butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and butter; once melted allow to gently bubble.

Remove from heat and add Rice Krispies and salted peanuts. Mix well then press into a greased (I use butter) 8- or 9-inch square dish.

Pour semi-sweet chocolate chips onto the still-hot peanut layer and wait a minute for the chips to soften – then, as they melt, spread evenly to create a chocolate top layer. Let cool and cut into 20-25 squares before the chocolate gets too hard.

As tempted as I was to make a fruitcake, I took an easier route. A few years ago I discovered an excellent recipe from Ina Garten called “Fruitcake Cookies”.  They have everything I love about fruitcake, but are finished in hours, not months. I think Dad would have enjoyed them. I don’t think I can paste the recipe in here for copyright reason, but if you are interested, here is the link to the recipe. They are delicious.


Wishing you all the best for the holidays.


%d bloggers like this: