Brownies In A Jar

Tim Dineen

  • 2 wide mouth canning jars
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup butter, or margarine
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped

Sterilize, two 1 pint straight-sided wide-mouth canning jars lids and rings by boiling for 10 minutes (keep the lids and rings in the hot water until ready to use) and set aside. In a small bowl stir together flour, sugar, baking soda and cinnamon. Set aside. In a medium saucepan combine butter or margarine, water and cocoa powder; heat and stir until butter or margarine is melted and mixture is well blended. Remove from heat; stir in flour mixture. Add buttermilk, egg and vanilla; beat by hand until smooth. Stir in nuts. Pour mixture into the prepared canning jars; place jars onto a cookie sheet.

Preheat oven to 325-dcgrees. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a pick inserted deep into each cake comes out clean. Remove cakes from the oven, one at a time. Place a lid then a ring onto the jars and screw down tightly. Place jars onto counter to cool. You’ll hear a “plinking” sound. If you miss the sound, wait until the cakes are cool and press on the lids, they shouldn’t move at all, that means they’ve sealed. They should last up to a year–l don’t know, they’ve never lasted that long around here!

If you’d like to decorate them, place a wad of cotton in the center of each lid, then place a piece of decorative cloth, about 3-inches larger in circumference than the lid, (cut with pinking shears) on top of the cotton. Screw the ring back on (by this time the rings can be removed as the lids should be sealed). Use your imagination when decorating — a hot glue gun works wonders (dried flowers, ribbon, etc). These make WONDERFUL Christmas gifts!

Aunt Ruth's Brownies

Colleen Gentleman Minturn

  • 1 stick oleo or butter
  • 3 heaping tbsp cocoa
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 scant cup flour
  • ½ cup nuts (or raisins or chocolate chips)

(I always double the recipe and bake in a 9×13 pan.)

Melt oleo in saucepan – stir in cocoa, then sugar, vanilla & eggs. Add flour and nuts and put in greased 8×8 pan and bake at 350°F about 15 minutes or so. Don’t overbake. Sprinkle with powdered sugar or ice with chocolate frosting.


  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp cocoa
  • 2 tbsp oleo
  • brewed coffee to moisten

(Almost) Better Than Sex Cake

Kate Kelly Hodsdon

This dessert is best served at church potluck dinners with many priests and religious present. My friend, Sr. Joan persistently asks, “Is it? Is it?”

  • 1 pkg. Chocolate butter cake or deep chocolate cake mix
  • ½ C toasted, chopped pecans
  • 12 oz semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 – 4oz pkg. Instant chocolate pudding
  • 1 c sour cream
  • ½ c oil
  • ½ c water or part coffee
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 4 large eggs
  • Dark Chocolate Glaze

Grease well and flour a tube, bundt or 13x9x1½” pan. Coat nuts and chips with 1 T cake mix and set aside.

Combine cake mix, pudding mix, sour cream, eggs, oil, water and vanilla and beat at medium speed for 3 minutes. Fold in chocolate chips and nuts.

Turn into pan and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until cake tests done with cake tester. Cool for 15 minutes and, if tube or bundt pan is used, turn onto a rack. Cake should be cool before glazing.

Dark Chocolate Glaze

  • 1 lb. Semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 C water
  • 1 t vanilla

Combine chips and water in top of double boiler over simmering water. Stir until smooth, shiny and well blended. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Cool to room temperature or chill until slightly thickened. Pour over cake or apply with spatula.

Jerry's Birthday Cake

Claire Dineen Fitzsimmons via Betty Fitzsimmons Seymore

My mother – Claire Dineen Fitzsimmons – always made this cake for my brother Jerry’s birthday… July 4th!

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 squares Baker’s Chocolate, melted
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk
  • 2 tsp. soda
  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Cream butter and sugar, beat eggs in one at a time. Add melted chocolate. Put soda in buttermilk and add alternately with flour until well mixed. Add vanilla. Bake at 300 degrees for 35 minutes in 9″ round pans. Frost with chocolate icing or whipped cream.

Pumpkin Cake

It just dawned on me that I came up with this recipe six years ago!  Jon and Ken were transferring to Wilmington to open a new store there and I made this as their going away cake - because Jon really liked the pumpkin butter.

It's still really good all these years later.  While I made a sheet cake back then, I usually make it in a tube pan - we have a great square tube pan that makes a perfect cake every time - or as a layer cake.

This time around I frosted it with just cream cheese whipped with a bit of pumpkin butter.  Yum.

Pumpkin Cake:

  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 3/4 cup Pumpkin Butter
  • 1/3 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350F. Line half-sheet pan or 2 9" pans with parchment paper. Butter and flour. Sift  flour and next 5 ingredients into medium bowl. Whisk pumpkin, yogurt, honey and vanilla in small bowl to blend. Using mixer, beat butter in large bowl until fluffy. Gradually beat in sugar. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Mix dry ingredients into butter mixture alternately with pumpkin mixture.

Spread batter evenly in prepared pan(s). Bake about 30 minutes or up to 45 minutes if using tube pan. Cool in pan on rack.