Holiday bake sales and bazaars are brimming with treats created to satisfy a sweet-tooth craving.
Many of those treats are made with motherly handcrafting that make any family’s dessert legendary.
“This is why we believe America’s best dessert treasures are likely hidden among the butter-crusted index cards buried in boxes and cupboards across the country,” said Kimberly Reiner and Jenna Sanz-Agero, the authors of “Sugar, Sugar: Every Recipe Has a Story” (Andrews McMeel, $29.99). The two Sugar Mommas, on a mission to preserve the country’s most memorable treats, offer up recipes for cakes, pies, cookies, bars and candies in their book.
“Much like many of our technological inventions have been discovered by accident, we think home bakers throughout the ages have perfected the art of ‘making do’ when they didn’t necessarily have all the right ingredients.”
That necessity, as home cooks have made do with the ingredients in their pantry, make bake sales and bazaars a cornucopia of “Mom’s specials,” be they the unusual like fudge made with Velveeta or cookies with Chinese noodles. Other recipes have been lovingly tweaked and reworked and offered up by mothers and grandmothers in good times and in bad, to celebrate and to comfort.
“Mom’s best” has spawned a cottage industry of recipe contests and books. There’s the Taste of Home magazine and book franchise and the Cook’s Country magazine book series with homespun names like “From Our Grandmothers’ Kitchens” and America’s Best Lost Recipes: 121 Heirloom Recipes Too Good to Forget.”
“And a sweet tooth provides a strong motivation to be creative in the kitchen — you’ll do anything to satisfy it!” said the Sugar Mommas in an e-mail.
And let’s face it, the right sugar fix can propel us to a happy place. And we could all use a little more happiness these days.
Consider these recipes, several from the United Methodist Women’s annual Christmas Bazaar in Merced, Calif.