Responding to a request from Lydia, “loyal reader” Jeanne Luster of Medina, Ohio, shares a recipe for a sweet and salty bar cookie for cookie swaps. It mimics the taste of Payday candy bars, and is quick and easy to make. Because I will inevitably be asked, you only use the dry cake mix, not the ingredients called for on the box to make a cake.
Katherine McNeill asked for help replicating a cookie her grandmother made called Lucky Stars. They were “shaped like a star that came up over a filling that tasted like pecan pie,” she wrote.
“I’ve been making these delicious and fun morsels since I was in high school in the 1950s,” Donna Craig of Miami responded. “These look pretty and are absolutely delicious,” wrote Linda Cowie. “Thank you for the good old memory of this cookie,” added Betty of Medina, Ohio.
Cowie traces the origin of the recipe: “This is exactly how it appeared in a Pillsbury Bake-Off cookbook from the late 1950s or early ’60s.”
Barbara wrote to ask about a recipe that called for sweet Hungarian paprika. “Where would I be likely to find that spice? I haven’t found it at my local grocery.”
There are three basic types of paprika: sweet, hot and smoked. If a recipe doesn’t specify, use sweet paprika, often labeled simply “paprika.” The generic type you get in the grocery store is usually from Spain and isn’t as intense in flavor as the paprika from Hungary, but you can certainly substitute it.
Use smoked or hot paprika when you want to add those qualities to a dish. You can find Hungarian in large supermarkets and online at many sites including deandeluca.com.
If you’re planning an “end of the world” party on Friday pegged to the supposed Maya calendar prediction, why not go with a Maya theme? Flavors of Belize (McNab, $39.95) explores the ancient history, culture and cuisine of the Central American nation, with emphasis on Maya influences. A team from Flavors of Belize magazine collected the recipes; flavorsofbelize.com.
Tried and New
Beanitos is a flavorful take on chips with redeeming nutritional value. Made from beans and whole-grain rice, the chips ($3-$3.50 per 6-ounce package) have 6 grams each protein and fiber per serving. They are gluten-free and have a low glycemic index for diabetics and others who have to watch their blood sugar. The newest flavor, black bean chipotle barbecue, packs a punch and needs no dip, my tasters agreed.