Three Favorite Childhood Treats
Inspired by Natalie Mikles' recent "Get Cooking" article, I wanted to share some of my favorite recipes from childhood.
This month (August 2018), TulsaKids’ Get Cooking article by Natalie Mikles featured “Foods to Make You Feel Like a Kid Again” (not to be confused with “Kids to Make You Feel Like a Food Again,” which I almost typed!). Naturally, that got me thinking: What foods would I put on this list?
The first recipe that sprung to my mind was my dad’s Cream Cheese Pound Cake with Berry Compote. My dad is an incredible baker (one of the highlights of Daniel’s and my wedding was the reception, which featured hundreds of homemade cookies and a Chocolate-Coffee cake, which were made by my dad!).
My step-sister and I also helped with reception goodies: cupcakes and Daniel’s zombie-themed, red-velvet groom’s cake. Photo by Christi Tom.
I don’t remember exactly when or why my dad first got into baking, but I do know I never complained! There were a couple years where my family hosted Christmas parties, and the highlight of those (at least, for me) was also the spread of homemade treats, most of which came from the Joy of Cooking Christmas Cookies cookbook.
But at some point, my dad discovered a recipe for Cream Cheese Pound Cake in a magazine, and for awhile this was a family staple for special occasions or just because. The recipe below is probably not the exact recipe he used, but had received good reviews on All Recipes.
Cream Cheese Pound Cake with Berry Sauce
- 1 8 oz. package cream cheese
- 1 1/2 c. butter (Although simple to make, this cake will probably never be a staple in our house–butter is expensive!)
- 3 c. white sugar
- 6 eggs
- 3 c. all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour standard bundt cake pan.
- Beat butter and cream cheese together in electric stand mixer until smooth. Beat in sugar, one cup at a time. Beat in eggs, two at a time. Add flour, then add vanilla.
- Place batter in prepared pan, taking care to get it evenly distributed. Bake for about 1 hour and 20 minutes; start checking for doneness at the 60-minute mark and go from there. Remove from oven and let cool.
- 3 c. frozen mixed berries
- 1/4 c. fresh-squeezed orange juice
- Ground ginger or cinnamon to taste (optional)
- 1 tsp. sugar, or to taste (optional; I did not use this, but depending on how sweet or sour your berries are, you may want to)
- Place berries and juice (and, if using, spice and sugar) in small saucepan over medium heat.
- When the mixture begins to bubble, turn down heat and start stirring, using the back of a wooden spoon to muddle the berries.
- Cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring/muddling occasionally.
- Remove from heat and let cool.
Spending the night at Grandma Ruth and Grandpa Harold’s house was always a treat, and we always knew what we’d be eating for breakfast the next morning: Pancakes and grapefruit. Grandma’s pancake recipe came from another relative, Vera Kyte, and, while pancakes may seem pretty generic for a “tastes of childhood” list, this recipe is different from most in that they are very thin and use 1/4 cup of vinegar (to simulate buttermilk), which gives them a slightly tangy taste. Grandma Ruth always made homemade sugar syrup as well (but I’m not that ambitious at the moment!).
If you were lucky, you’d get a Mickey Mouse or Dollar Bill-shaped pancake!
Vera Kyte’s Pancakes
My Grandma collected a ton of family recipes into a spiral-bound cookbook–some typed out, some handwritten!
- 2 c. flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 2 Tbsp. sugar
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1/4 c. vinegar
- 1 3/4 c. milk
- 1/4 c. oil (Because I avoid shortening and rarely have it on hand!)
- Mix dry ingerdients (flour, soda, sugar and salt).
- In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, vinegar, milk and oil.
- Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir just until blended.
- Cook pancakes as usual.
The final recipe I want to share with you today is a no-bake recipe we discovered long, long ago on Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood and that our family always called “Daddy’s Cookies.” These are simple cookies even a young child can help with. Although, as Joss said, growing weary of scooping out balls of dough: “Can you help me? Sometimes this is hard.”
There are so many variations on “Daddy’s Cookies,” some with oats, some with wheat germ, etc., but I based ours on this recipe because it came from the Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood PBS website. If there is a peanut allergy in the family, you should be able to swap out the peanut butter with almond butter, etc., although I haven’t tried this.
- 1 c. graham cracker crumbs (plus extra if you want to roll the finished cookies in graham cracker crumbs to give them a nice finish)
- 1/2 c. dry milk powder
- 1 c. peanut butter
- 1/4 c. honey
- Mini chocolate chips or raisins, optional
- Mix together graham cracker crumbs, dry milk powder, peanut butter and honey. Add chocolate chips or raisins to taste, if using.
- Scoop cookies into balls (Optional: Roll balls in graham cracker crumbs) and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes . Enjoy!
The big cookie is the “Daddy cookie,” the medium-sized one is the “Mommy cookie,” and the smallest is the “Baby cookie.” Not pictured: the “Snowman cookie.” Baking with kids is always entertaining 🙂
Feel free to share some of your favorite childhood recipes in the comments below, or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org! Always on the lookout for new favorites!