Vi’s Fruitcake

This recipe was developed by my friend Judy Begley Trimarchi’s mother, Violet (Vi) Begley.

Don’t be afraid!

Yes, it’s fruitcake, but not the kind of fruitcake that your parents warned you about. This cake is full of raisins, dates, and walnuts with some candied fruit, held together by a moist spice cake flavored with molasses, apple jelly, coffee, cinnamon, nutmeg & cloves.

Try it, you will be surprised! When I was first offered a piece of this fruitcake, I was reluctant to try it, but I quickly changed my mind and ate two more pieces.

Servings: 48 cupcakes

1 cup shortening
2 cups brown sugar
6 eggs
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp cloves
1 tsp nutmeg
¾ cup brewed coffee
½ cup apple jelly
½ cup molasses
1 lb raisins
½ lb currants
½ lb dates, chopped
½ lb nuts, coarsely chopped
1 lb candied fruit

  1. Cream shortening and sugar.
  2. Beat in eggs.
  3. In another bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt & spices.
  4. Stir in flour mixture alternately with liquids (coffee, jelly & molasses) until well combined.
  5. Stir in fruit and nuts.
  6. Pour into greased and floured loaf pans or lined cupcake pans, filling almost to the top.
  7. Bake at 300℉ until a toothpick comes out clean. Cupcakes about 25 minutes, 2″x 4″ loaf about 45-50 minutes.
  • You can substitute other dried fruit for any of those listed. This year we used dried pineapple & dried cherries instead of the candied fruit – yum!
  • You can substitute another mild-flavored jelly if you prefer.

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Peanut Butter Glaze

adapted from the glaze used on Peter Pan’s Peanut Butter Pound Cake. I felt their recipe did not make enough glaze for my Triple Chocolate Bundt Cake and it was thinner than I wanted.

2 – 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
6 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
3-4 Tbsp milk

  1. Combine 2 cups powdered sugar,  peanut butter, and vanilla in medium bowl.  Add about 3 Tbsp milk.  Beat together until creamy, adding more sugar or milk to get the desired consistency.
  • I prefer this glaze to be fairly thick – pourable, but not so thin that it pools at the bottom of the cake.

Starlight Cakes

This recipe is from my friend Patty Davis Grigsby’s mother, Virginia Davis.  She made these beautiful, delicious cakes every Christmas.

Cake

3/4 cup shortening
1  1/2 cups sugar
1  1/2 tsp vanilla
2  1/4  cups flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk
5 egg whites

  1. Heat oven to 375.
  2. Cream shortening and sugar.  Beat in vanilla.
  3. Combine flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. Add dry ingredients alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Beat for 2 minutes after the last addition.
  5. Beat egg whites until stiff.  Fold into batter.
  6. Pour into a well-greased and floured 9×12 pan or in 2 1/2 to 3 inch individual cake molds.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes or until center springs back when touched.
  8. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan.
Icing

6 cups powdered sugar
1/3-1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt

  1. Add milk to powdered sugar until icing is a pouring consistency.
  2. Add vanilla and salt.
  3. Spoon over cakes until well coated.
  4. Decorate with silver metallic candy balls (dragées).
  • Virginia had cute star-shaped molds that she used for these cakes, making them especially beautiful.

Banana Orange Frosted

Betty Crocker’s Boys and Girls Cook Book
This is the cookbook that I was given when I was 10 years old and given permission to cook by myself.

1 ripe banana, peeled & sliced
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup milk
2 cups orange sherbet

  1. Combine banana, orange juice, milk and 1 cup sherbet in blender. Blend until smooth.
  2. Pour into 2 tall glasses.
  3. Top each serving with a scoop of sherbet.
  4. Garnish glasses with orange slice and a banana slice.
  • Makes 2 servings.

Amish Friendship Bread – Instructions for Friends

Do not refrigerate.  When air gets in the bag, let it out – this will also allow new yeast spores to get in.  It is normal for the batter to thicken, bubble and ferment – this is what we want it to do.

Day 1 – You receive the bag from a friend.
Day 2 – Squeeze the bag several times.
Day 3 – Squeeze the bag several times.
Day 4 – Squeeze the bag several times.
Day 5 – Squeeze the bag several times.
Day 6 – Feed the starter: add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk. Squeeze the bag several times to combine.
Day 7 – Squeeze the bag several times.
Day 8 – Squeeze the bag several times.
Day 9 – Squeeze the bag several times.
Day 10 Pour the batter into a large non-metal bowl. Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk.

Sharing
  1. Pour 1 cup starter each into 4 gallon zipper bags. Keep one for yourself and give three starters with instructions to friends.
  2. Use the remaining batter to make Amish Friendship Bread.
  • For a successful fermentation process, the starter should not come in contact with any metal (spoons, bowls, etc.)
  • After fermenting for 10 days, you can freeze this starter for later use. Frozen starter will take at least 3 hours at room temperature to thaw before using.

Amish Friendship Bread

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
5 oz pkg instant vanilla pudding mix
1 cup Amish Friendship Bread Starter
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup milk
3 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Lightly grease 2 large loaf pans. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
  3. Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pudding mix.  Make a well in the center.
  4. Add Amish Friendship Bread Starter, oil, milk, eggs and vanilla; mix well.
  5. Stir in nuts.
  6. Pour batter into pans.
  7. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top.
  8. Bake until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean, about 1 hour.

Variations:

  • Lower fat: substitute ½ cup oil and ½ cup applesauce for 1 cup oil.
  • Apple Cinnamon: add 2 apples. peeled, cored and finely chopped when you add the nuts.
  • Banana Nut: reduce cinnamon to 1/2 tsp and add 3 large ripe bananas, mashed.
  • Chocolate: substitute chocolate pudding mix and “flour” the pans with cocoa – omit cinnamon or leave it in for a Mexican chocolate flavor, omit nuts if desired.
  • Lemon Poppy Seed: substitute lemon pudding mix, reduce cinnamon to 1/2 tsp, omit nuts and add 2 Tbsp poppy seeds.
  • Muffins: pour into greased muffin tins and reduce the baking time to 23-25 minutes.
  • Pistachio: substitute pistachio pudding mix and pistachios.
  • Raisin or Date: add 1 cup raisins or dates.

Amish Friendship Bread Starter

This recipe was passed along to me years ago by a friend at work. I have also been given a new starter by my daughter, Marissa Davis Hefner, after mine expired in the refrigerator from neglect.

This is a sourdough starter and can be used for other sourdough recipes also.

1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk

Mix flour & sugar. Stir in milk. Pour into a gallon zipper bag several times.

Growing the Starter

Do not refrigerate. When air gets in the bag, let it out – this will also allow new yeast spores to get in. It is normal for the batter to thicken, bubble and ferment – this is what we want it to do.

Day 2 – Squeeze the bag several times.
Day 3 – Squeeze the bag several times.
Day 4 – Squeeze the bag several times.
Day 5 – Squeeze the bag several times.
Day 6 – Feed the starter: add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk. Squeeze the bag several times to combine.
Day 7 – Squeeze the bag several times.
Day 8 – Squeeze the bag several times.
Day 9 – Squeeze the bag several times.
Day 10 – Pour the batter into a large non-metal bowl. Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk.

Sharing
  1. Pour 1 cup starter each into 4 gallon zipper bags. Keep one for yourself and give three starters with instructions to friends.
  2. Use the remaining batter to make Amish Friendship Bread.
  • For a successful fermentation process, the starter should not come in contact with any metal (spoons, bowls, etc.)
  • After fermenting for 10 days, you can freeze this starter for later use. Frozen starter will take at least 3 hours at room temperature to thaw before using.

Rice Pudding

adapted by Alycia Davis from several cookbook recipes

1 cup uncooked rice (or 3 cups cooked)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 can evaporated milk
2 cans water (only 1/2-1 can if rice is already cooked)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup raisins (optional)

Directions

  1. Mix all ingredients in oven proof bowl.
  2. Bake at 350 degrees about 45 min or until top is lightly browned.
  3. Serve hot or cold.
  4. Refrigerate leftovers.
  • You could try another dried fruit instead of raisins.

Chocolate Banana Milk Shake

My Dad introduced these to me years ago (we won’t say how long ago), but now scientists says they are good for you, too! Yeah!!!

Bananas may not be a major brain food, but they offer significant doses of vitamins B6 and C — both of which may promote brain health. Plus, dark chocolate increases blood flow to the brain as well as to the heart, so it can help improve cognitive function. Dark chocolate also helps reduce your risk of stroke.

This is a lower fat version, using frozen bananas instead of ice cream.

1 frozen banana
1 cup milk
1 Tbsp cocoa powder
honey to taste

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in blender, blend until smooth.
  • You can add one or more of the following:
    • 2 Tbsp malted milk powder
    • 2 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
    • dash cayenne pepper
    • 1 tsp. espresso powder
  • Substitute soy or almond milk.
  • Substitute agave nectar or maple syrup for the honey.

Mocha Silk Pie

adapted from The Pioneer Woman | Ree Drummond

My daughter, Marissa Davis Hefner, found this recipe for us & my daughter, Alycia Davis has modified it slightly.

Crust

1 cup pecans, toasted & finely chopped
½ cup packed brown sugar
2 oz semisweet chocolate, grated
2 Tbsp Kahlua

Filling

1 cup butter
1 ½ cups sugar
1 Tbsp instant espresso powder
1 Tbsp Kahlua
3 oz semisweet chocolate
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs

Directions

  1. Crust: combine pecans, brown sugar, and chocolate. Stir with a fork, then drizzle in Kahlua, stirring until combined. Press mixture into a pie pan, bringing it up the sides a bit. Do not bake. Set aside or refrigerate until needed.
  2. In small microwave safe bowl, melt 3 ounces of unsweetened baking chocolate until stirable (about 45 seconds on high). Set aside to cool.
  3. Beat butter, sugar, instant coffee, and Kahlua until fluffy, about 1 ½ minutes. When melted chocolate is cooled, drizzle it into the butter/sugar mixture as it beats on medium speed. Add vanilla. Beat the mixture thoroughly until combined, scraping the sides if necessary.
  4. On medium speed, add the eggs, one at a time, beating about 5 minutes after each egg.The sugar should be completely dissolved – no granules left.
  5. Pour filling into the pie crust.
  6. Smooth out the pie filling and place pie in the refrigerator to chill for at least two hours (preferably longer).
  7. Serve with whipped cream and more grated chocolate.
For a nuttier flavor, we decided to toast the pecans. For a stronger mocha flavor, we increased the instant coffee granules (and changed to espresso powder) and Kahlua in the filling.