Now We’re Cooking!

In response to Kay’s prompting, here is my entry for The Grandma Mabel Memorial Recipe Box Show and Tell Contest.

Ain’t got no box, though.  My mom does, but I has a binder.


Just look at the cool Harvest Gold outside with Avocado and Tomato Red accents.   (It dates from the late 70s.)  The inside is pretty cool, too, as the binder has envelope pockets and looseleaf paper.  And on the inside front covers, handy-dandy conversion charts, tables of weights and measures, and common cooking times and temperatures for various baked goods.  (Click to biggify if either you would like to refresh your memory of what a ‘slow oven’* really signifies, or to see the hidden bonus recipe!)


But here’s the recipe I’m officially sharing.  Based on the handwriting, I wrote this down in high school.  It’s still a favorite, and oh so easy!  Even though right now we are all surfeited on cookies and bars (I tried to type bookies and cars, oops), it’s still appealing.  I love toffee….


Here it is transcribed and edited.

Toffee Bars

1/2 c butter

1/2 c shortening

1 c brown sugar

2 c flour

1 egg yolk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp salt

1 c chocolate chips

1 c chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Cream butter, shortening, and brown sugar.  Add egg yolk, vanilla, salt and flour and combine well.  Spread in 9″ x 13″ pan.  Bake 30 minutes at 300 degrees F.  Sprinkle chocolate chips on top while still hot from the oven, allow to melt, and spread. Sprinkle nuts on top if desired. 

Replacing half the chocolate chips with butterscotch chips is also rather yummy.  Not the best bar to take to a Fourth of July picnic as the topping gets melty, but then that’s true of most chocolate.  Tasty all times of year, however!


Speaking of recipes:  Here’s the Gothlet with one of her Christmas presents from my folks:  Joy of Cooking!  I got mine when I left home, but both girls enjoy helping their father cook (he’s the real cook in the house!) so they got their own copies already this year.  The Gothlet is snuggled up in her brand new Snug Sack, also from Grandma and Grandpa, reading her cookbook. 


*One of the cookbooks I used growing up was the “Household Searchlight“, still in my mother’s possession, which was owned by my great-uncle Jim when he was a cook for a Civilian Conservation Corps camp during the Depression.  The cookbook was full of terms like “slow-to-moderate oven”.  I remember the sugar cookies I made from it turning out rather inedible.  My fault, no doubt, as well as some things not translating so well into modern kitchens (my oven was probably not set at slow-to-moderate!).   But it had great household hints and some classic recipes.

5 responses to “Now We’re Cooking!

  1. cruisin’ through the MDK entries. I like your header a lot!
    And regarding that Household Searchlight cookbook? I’m convinced that the recipes were written pre-standardization of measurements.
    At least that’s my excuse for cookies not turning out so well. The only recipe I used from there was “rocks.” I found out later that that was how they were supposed to be, so maybe the sugar cookies are supposed to be *different* too.

  2. I have (somewhere) my mother’s Household Searchlight cookbook, too, black cover with an orange-red something on the cover and loose-leaf pages inside.

  3. I have that toffee bar recipe already. I LOVE those bars. That binder does scream 70s! rather nicely.

  4. We must be about the same age….I made my “e”s exactly like that as well. My signature actually still uses that kind of small “e” written large which often looks like “Cl”. I half think my signature should grow up, but then what I started in 3rd grade isn’t easily changed. So I continue with the interesting “e”. Thanks for helping me know I wasn’t alone in that phase.

  5. Toffee is sooooo good.

    I found a lot of Toffee recipes in the database at You may want to try some of them. The database has over 340,000 recipes.

    Also I am looking for articles to publish on the 4 websites that make up The Weekend Chef. Why don’t you submit some to the Culinary Directory on the site.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s