Strawberry bars

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for pan
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 large egg, beaten to blend

For the filling:

  • 3 cups hulled, quartered strawberries (about 1 pound)
  • 1 (12–13-ounce) jar strawberry preserves
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

For the bars:

  • Powdered sugar (for dusting; optional)

Preparation

Make the crust:

Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter a 9x13" baking pan and line with parchment paper, leaving a 1" overhang on both long sides.

Pulse all-purpose flour, buckwheat flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, and baking powder in a food processor until well combined. Add 1 cup butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add egg and pulse until well distributed. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and mix with your fingers until clumps form; it should look like crumb topping at this point. Chill dough while you make the filling.

Make the filling:

Combine strawberries, preserves, cornstarch, and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until preserves are melted and cornstarch is dissolved, 2–3 minutes.

Press half of dough into prepared pan, patting with your knuckles to an even thickness. Pour strawberry mixture evenly over dough. Sprinkle remaining dough evenly over top. Bake bar until fruit is bubbling and top is golden brown, 40–45 minutes.

Let cool on a wire rack. Lift bar out of pan using parchment overhang and cut into 24 squares. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired.


Pecan Shortbread Squares

Ingredients

For the Crust

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 1/2 cup Confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces

For the Filling

  • 12 tablespoons (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Generous pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 3 cups coarsely chopped pecans

Instructions

For the Crust

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cover a 9-inch square baking pan with heavy duty aluminum foil. Push foil neatly into corners and up sides of the pan, using two pieces if necessary to ensure it overlaps all edges (the overhang will help removal from pan). Spray foiled pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Place the flour, corn starch, confectioners sugar and salt in a bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse a few times to mix. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal with pea-size clumps of butter within. Dump mixture into prepared pan and press firmly with your fingers into an even layer over the bottom. Refrigerate for 15 minutes, then bake until crust is set but not browned, about 17 minutes. Set on rack to cool. Leave oven on.

For the Filling

In a heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat, combine butter, brown sugar, honey, vanilla and salt. Stir with a wooden spoon until sugar dissolves. Turn up the heat and boil gently for 3 minutes. Stir in heavy cream and chopped pecans.

To Assemble and Bake

Pour pecan mixture over crust (it's fine if crust is still warm). Bake until filling is bubbling and caramel in color, about 20 minutes. Cool completely on rack. To cut, use the foil overhang to lift baked square out of pan and onto cutting board. Loosen the foil from the edges, then cut with a sharp knife into 2-inch squares. Store finished pecan squares in air-tight container and serve at room temperature.


Fig Bars

  • 16 ounces Mission or Calimyrna Figs, stems trimmed and figs coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup rum or orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons hot water
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 cups old-fashioned oats

METHOD

Heat oven to 350â F. Coat a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with cooking spray.

Combine figs, walnuts, sugar, rum and hot water; set aside.

Beat together butter and sugar until creamy. Add egg and mix until smooth. Stir in flour and baking soda; blend in oats to make a soft dough. Reserve 1 cup dough.

With floured fingertips, press thin layer of remaining dough in bottom of prepared pan. Firmly pat fig mixture over dough. Drop reserved dough by teaspoonfuls over top, allowing fig mixture to show between drops. Bake 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely in pan. Drizzle with rum glaze*.

*Rum Glaze: Stir together 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 3-4 teaspoons rum or orange juice until smooth.


Quick Coffee Cake

Colleen Dineen Wellwood

  • 2 C flour
  • 1-1/2 C sugar
  • 3/4 C butter
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 C milk
  • Cinnamon to flavor

Mix flour, sugar, butter, baking powder until crumbled. Reserve 1 cup of this mixture for topping. Add vanilla, eggs, and milk to remaining mixture and beat. Place in an 8″ square pan and cover with reserved crumb mixture. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake 20-25 minutes at 350.


Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Rita Dineen Roberts

  • 1/2 lb. butter
  • 2 C sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 C sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 C flour
  • 1/4to 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 4-5 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3/4 C chopped pecans

Grease and flour large bundt pan. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each. Mix sour cream and vanilla together. Sift flour, salt, and baking powder together. Add flour mixture to butter alternately with sour cream. Pour 1/3 to 1/2 of batter into prepared pan.

Combine cinnamon, brown sugar, and nuts. Lightly sprinkle over cake batter. Spoon remaining batter into cake pan. Bake at 350 for 60-65 minutes. Cake will rise, then fall slightly. Cool until pan can be held comfortably. Sift powdered sugar over to of cake, if desired.


Zucchini Brownies

Mary Dineen Jankowski

  • 1-1/2 C plus 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 C margarine
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 C flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp cocoa
  • 2 C grated zucchini
  • 1 C chocolate chips

Cream together 1-1/2 cups sugar, margarine, and eggs. Mix in dry ingredients and zucchini until well blended. Stir in chocolate chips and spoon into a greased and floured 9 x 13 inch pan. Sprinkle remaining 2 tsp sugar over top. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until done.


Toffee Cake

Margaret Dineen Prendergrast

Topping:

  • 1/2 C brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon

Cake:

  • 2 C flour
  • 1 C sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 package instant vanilla pudding
  • 1 package instant butterscotch pudding
  • 1 C water
  • 3/4 C oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 eggs

Cream eggs and sugar. Add pudding mixes, water, and oil. Sift in dry ingredients. Pour 1/3 of batter into greased 9 x 13 cake pan. Spread with 1/3 of topping. Repeat twice, ending with topping. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes.


Zucchini Cake

Beth Dineen Engel

  • 1-1/2 C flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1-1/4 C brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 C oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1-1/2 C shredded zucchini, shredded
  • Whipped cream topping

Combine flour, baking powder, salt, soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Set aside. Beat together sugar, eggs, oil, and vanilla. Add zucchini. Stir dry ingredients into egg/sugar mixture Pour batter into a greased 10 inch fluted pan. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool. Serve with whipped cream.


Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Nita Bates Dineen

  • 1-20 oz. can pineapple (crushed or sliced)
  • 1/2 C butter or margarine
  • 1 C sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 C flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 C milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Cream together butter or margarine and sugar. Add eggs. In a separate bowl, mix flour and baking powder. Add dry ingredients alternately to sugar/butter mixture with milk and vanilla.

Melt 2 tbsp butter or margarine in a large frying pan. Spread 1 cup brown sugar over melted butter. Add well drained pineapple.

Pour cake batter over fruit. Bake at 350 about 40-45 minutes. Turn upside down on serving dish.


The "Best" Cheesecake

Judy Dineen Erwin

Crust:

  • 2 packages graham crackers
  • 1/4 C butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp sugar

Crush graham crackers to crumbs. Add butter and sugar. Press mixture into springform pan (that’s a stupid name for a pan, but it works), bringing the mixture up on the sides of the pan. Let crust chill while making the filling.

Filling:

  • 3 packages cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 C sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 C unwhipped whipping cream

In a large bowl, mix cream cheese, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Mix well and gently stir in unwhipped cream (this is the key ingredient). It’s OK if the batter is a little lumpy. Pour into prepared crust, but do not overflow to cover crust. Bake at 325 for 55 minutes. You know it is done if there is no movement in the middle of the pan. The edges may get a little brown, but tha’ts OK. You’re going to cover it with the topping. Remove cooked cheesecake from oven and let stand about five minutes.

Topping:

  • 1 pint sour cream
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Combine topping ingredients and spread over cooked cheese�cake. Return to oven for five minutes. Cool cooked cake for at least 20 minutes before refrigerating. Chill for 3 hours before removing from pan.

Note: This makes a deep cheesecake. If you don’t have a deep springform pan, you can revise this and make it in a pie pan.

Use two packages of cream cheese and two eggs and bake at 325 for 30-40 minutes instead.


Dr. Bird's Cake

Margie Scanlon Dineen

  • 1 can crushed pineapple
  • 1 can Comstock apple slices
  • 1 pkg. white or yellow cake mix
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cube margarine, sliced into small pieces

In a 13x9x2 dish, layer ingredients in the above order. Do not mix. On the very top, slice the margarine and “dot” the top of the cake. Bake at 325 for one hour. Serve while still warm with vanilla ice-cream or cool whip.