Buttermilk Chocolate Cake

Buttermilk Chocolate Cake

Makes 1- 9×13″ pan. This is a moist, heavy chocolate cake.

1/2 cup shortening (try with Butter-flavor Crisco)
1 3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 Tablespoons baking cocoa (Hershey’s Special Dark is especially good if you can find it)
2 cups buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Grease a 9×13″ pan.
Cream together shortening and sugar in a large bowl. Add the egg and vanilla, mix well.
In another bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk, until all the flour mixture and the buttermilk have been added. Stir until it is all mixed and moistened. This will be a thick batter.
Spoon into the 9×13 pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the center of the cake springs back when touched lightly.

This cake really doesn’t need frosting, but shake a little powdered sugar over the top before serving, if desired. Also excellent served warm with vanilla ice cream!

Grandma G’s Fudge








Here’s the first of our “collected” fudge recipes.

4 1/2 cups of sugar
1/8 tsp salt
3 Tablespoons butter
1 – 13 oz can evaporated milk
2 tsp vanilla
12 oz white chocolate chips
14 oz semi-sweet baking chocolate
1 – 16 oz bag mini marshmallows
2 cups of nuts

Butter a large cookie sheet with a rim.

Bring sugar, salt, butter, and canned milk to a boil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. You’ll think that it would cook faster over high, but that’s a good way to burn the milk. Stir constantly, boiling for 8 minutes; stir constantly or the milk will scorch even on medium heat.
Remove from heat, and add the vanilla, both kinds of chocolate, marshmallows and nuts to the pan. Beat until all the chocolate and the marshmallows are melted.
Pour onto the cookie sheet you got ready.
Allow to set before cutting, at least half an hour, which will be hard to do because it smells so delicious. Makes about 4 pounds. Excellent for gifts at the holidays!

Sweet Milk Doughnuts


These are different from the doughnut recipe on page 31 of the study guide.  Those on page 31 are raised doughnuts that require yeast.  These are cake doughnuts that do not have to rise.  The name “sweet milk” means that they use fresh milk, not sour milk like buttermilk.
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons butter, softened
3/4 cup milk
4 1/2 cups flour
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Oil for frying
Beat eggs and sugar in a large bowl.  Add vanilla, butter, and milk.  Sift flour, salt, spices and baking powder in an bowl; add to egg mixture and mix well.
Start oil heating in a sauce pan, two inches deep.  Heat the oil over medium heat. 
Roll the dough to 1/3 inch thick.  Cut for doughnuts and check the temperature of the oil.  The oil should 375°F.  (If you don’t have a thermometer, try dropping a single drop of water in the oil.  Stand back, if the oil is hot enough to fry the doughnuts, the water will pop).  Drop the doughnuts into the oil one or two at a time.  Fry until light browned on both sides.  Serve plain or roll in powdered sugar.

Mincemeat Cookies

We make mincemeat in the Just Across My Fence study guide. It’s in Chapter 16, on page 91 of the guide. For the study, we need to save some of the mincemeat for a pie in Chapter 20, but you should have enough left over to try this recipe too!

1 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1 pint mincemeat
4 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 400°F.
In a large bowl, cream together shortening and sugar. Stir in eggs and mincemeat. Add dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
Drop the batter by rounded spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets spacing them 2 inches apart. Bake 4 minutes, then flatten cookies slightly with a wooden spoon or spatula. Cook 4-5 minutes more. Let cool on cookie sheet a few minutes before removing to wire cooling racks. Makes 4 dozen.