Dessert Week with the Fillies — Day Two


Home on the Range Christmas Cookies

By Victoria Bylin


3/4 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking power
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 c. oatmeal (regular not instant or steel cut)
1 c. Rice Krispies
1/2 can shredded coconut (3 oz or so)
1 small bag chocolate chips
1/2  large box raisins
1/4  lb. walnuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Cream butter and sugar and vanilla. Add beaten eggs. Cream well. Add dry ingredients (sugar, brown sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt). Mix well. Add coconut, chocolate chips and nuts.  Flatten into small cookies with wet hands.  Bake for 10-12 minutes.  Makes approx. 8 dozen cookies.


Grandma Rosa’s Caramel Cookies

By Tracy Garrett


Since my Grandma Rosa played an important part in my first western historical, I thought I’d share one of her recipes with you. Every Christmas you would find some of these in Grandma’s freezer.

4 cups dark brown sugar
1 cup shortening
6 cups flour
4 eggs
1/4 cup molasses
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cream of tartar
8 tablespoons water
1/4 tsp salt 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Cream sugar and shortening. Add eggs, slightly beaten, and  molasses and mix well. Add dry. Mix well. The dough will be very stiff. Form dough into two 2-inch rolls. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill overnight in the refrigerator. Slice thin and bake for 10-12 minutes. 

Grandma’s recipe calls for a “very slow” oven, which is 275-325 degrees. If your oven runs hot, go for a lower setting.


4 Teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup sugar

1/2  cup sifted all-purpose flour

1 cup yellow cornmeal

2 eggs

1 cup milk

1/4 cup shortening

Sift flour with sugar, baking powder, and salt; stir in cornmeal.  Add eggs, milk, and shortening.  Beat with rotary or electric beater till just smooth. (DO NOT OVERBEAT.) Pour into greased 9x9x2-inch pan.  Bake at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Butter and serve warm.  Good with soups, chili, beans–ANYTHING.

Corn Sticks:  Spoon batter into greased corn-stick pans, filling 2/3 full. Bake in 425 degree oven 12-15 minutes.

Corn Cakes: pour onto hot griddle as you would pancake batter.

You can also use a cast iron skillet.  My grandmother used to pour a small amount of oil in the bottom of a cast iron skillet, heat it in the oven, then when it began to smoke, pour the batter into it.  It will bubble up around the edges, and this makes it “crusty” on the bottom and sides.  Then put it into the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes or so. If you do this, make this easy substitution: rather that using 1/4 cup of shortening, use 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in the batter, and 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in the bottom of the cast iron skillet when you heat it.  This is equivalent to 1/4 cup of shortening. 

(My mom used to break up leftover cornbread into a glass of milk for a treat and eat it with a spoon. This was a habit from when she was growing up–in her large family, their “dessert.”)

To comment on Stacey Kayne’s recipe, click here.

Roasted Lone Star Pecans by Patricia Potter


pecans1         I love cooking and I usually cook to taste, so recipes are difficult to share.  A touch of this and a touch of that is my usual explanation when asked for quantities. I test along the way and add a spice here, more salt there.  In this I take after my grandmother who never measured anything in her life.

       But here goes my best effort.

       One of my favorite recipes is for roasted butter pecans.  I make tons of them during the holiday season and give something around 15 tins to editors, friends and family.  I generally make a huge dent of the Lions Club annual pecan sale. They love me.

          I also take them to every family party.  I think I would be barred without them.  And every year I take several pounds to RWA National which makes my room very popular.

          The recipe is ridiculously simple for the subsequent rewards, but it does take some time and attention. And since Texas is a great source of pecans, I’m delighted to include the recipe in the Fillies’ collection. texas-flag

           Ingredients: pound and a half of pecans.   One and a half stick of salted butter.   Salt.  

           I usually roast about a pound and a half of pecans in a shallow cake-size baking pan.   You don’t want more than that in any one pan because you want to coat them all with layers of butter and salt.     Did I tell you they are fattening?    Frightfully fattening?   And addictive?

            But I digress and here’s the recipe.

            Turn oven on to no more than 200 degrees.  Place pecans in the baking pan along with a three quarters of a stick of butter.    Once butter is melted, move the pecans around until coated in butter.   Add salt.   Make sure every pecan is butter and lightly salted.    Bake for forty minutes in 200 degree oven, then add the rest of the stick of butter, tossing the pecans until once more coated.   Salt lightly again.   Bake at very low temperature for another thirty minutes or forty minutes.    Add just a little more butter and salt, reduce heat to warm and let sit for thirty more minutes.

pecan-stamp          By adding butter in stages, it seeps into the pecans and bakes inside.    

           Taste frequently.  (Alas, keep a larger sized pair of jeans or slacks handy.)

          When finished, dry pecans on paper towels.

          Patience and continuous stirring is the secret here.  I usually take two hours per batch.  If you use a higher oven temperature, they will burn. 

          Enjoy and be prepared to be invited to parties more often.