Neopolitan Cremes

 

I decided to make these for my moms birthday, but she beat me to it! So I just decided to make a batch and eat the WHOLE. DANG. PAN. myself. Yep, it happened. This is a favorite recipe of mine, and my grandma used to make it pretty often! As Coby describes these, they are “basically dessert crack”. It’s the truth! What I love most about these is that they require no baking and are super sweet so you don’t eat a whole lot! Or you eat a whole lot and then sit on the couch miserable because of the sugar overload.

These neopolitan cremes are basically my grandmas take on Nanimo bars. If you aren’t familiar with Nanimo bars, they are a Canadian dessert. Nanimo bars (according to Wiki) “consists of three layers: a wafer and coconut crumb-base, custard flavoured butter icing in the middle and a layer of chocolate ganache on top. Many varieties exist, consisting of different types of crumb, different flavours of icing (e.g., mint, peanut butter, coconut, mocha), and different types of chocolate.”

For the base, my grandma uses graham crackers and coconut, as well as cocoa powder. The middle consists of a delicious buttercream made with powdered sugar and vanilla pudding instead of a custard. And the top is an easy mixture of chocolate chips and butter!

These are a really delicious and easy dessert that will accompany any meal. You cut them pretty small because of their sweetness, so they actually make quite a few servings! I hope you enjoy this dessert as much as I do!

What is your favorite family recipe? Did you make this recipe? Let us know in the comments!

Print Recipe
Neopolitan Cremes
My grandma used to make these almost every family dinner, and they are still one of my favorite desserts today! They are quick, have a lot of passive time so you can work in between steps, and are no bake!
Course Dessert
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 3 minutes
Servings
pieces
Ingredients
Bottom
Middle
Top
Course Dessert
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 3 minutes
Servings
pieces
Ingredients
Bottom
Middle
Top
Instructions
Bottom
  1. Melt butter, sugar, cocoa, and vanilla together. Add 1 beaten egg and cook for 3 minutes and keep stirring (the mixture starts to form a weird consistency but cook the whole time)
  2. Add 2 cups of graham crackers and 1 cup of coconut to the mixture. (Betty usually uses less graham crackers to make it not so thick, I use about 1.5 cups).
  3. Press into the bottom of a 9x9 cake pan and put into the fridge until hard. (I recommend either lining the pan with parchment paper or greasing it, although you don't have to).
Middle
  1. Cream together the middle ingredients until fluffy. Layer over the bottom and chill until firm.
Top
  1. Melt ingredients together in saucepan and place on top. Put in the fridge until firm.

Hickey Cake- The Scanlan Tradition

I’m not sure about the rest of the Scanlan Clan, but in Larry’s family Hickey Cake is a summer tradition. Our side has an absurd amount of July birthdays, so every July we gotta make Hickey Cake!

My grandma (Betty, Larry’s wife) always told us it was called Hickey Cake, because of the colors. The pink, green, and white are the colors your skin gets when you get a hickey! Tell ya what, that sounded painful enough I never wanted to get a hickey! This is my grandmas version of the recipe, so you can imagine how… interesting it is to make this recipe!

Betty’s Hickey Cake Recipe

The Hickey Cake recipe can be tricky, so this year I made Cheater Hickey Cake Cupcakes. You can find the real hickey cake recipe in the box below, but this one is simple, delicious, and still super fun!

Cheater Hickey Cake Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 1 box Betty Crocker White Cake Mix
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 1/4 Cup water
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • Food coloring (pink and green)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1.5 egg yolks (or two small egg yolks)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 5 1/3 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. Mix cake mix, eggs, water, and oil together. Separate batter into thirds. Color one third pink, one third green, and leave one third white. Put liners into your muffin pan.
  2. Pour batter into piping bags. Cut the tip of the piping bags one at a time, and layer the colors into the cupcake liners. I usually do green, then white, then pink.
  3. Bake cupcakes according to box instructions. Let cupcakes cool.
  4. Time to prepare the filling! Mix the 2 cups of milk, 3 egg yolks, 1 tsp vanilla, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1/3 cup flour into a sauce pan. Cook until thick.
  5. Once your cupcakes are cool, it’s time to fill them. Put the filling into a piping bag, and insert the piping tip into the cupcake (I used a medium round tip). Squeeze the piping bag to fill the cupcake. (Check this out- Method #1).
  6. Time for the topping! Mix the 2 cups brown sugar, 1/2 cup cream, and 1 tsp of vanilla in a sauce pan and cook until you can form soft balls. Immediately frost the cupcakes.
  7. Serve, and enjoy!

If you have a bit more time, you can also try out the actual hickey cake recipe below!

Photos by Susan Scanlan (I was on the struggle bus making this! Plus hers looks so pretty!)

I hope you enjoyed this recipe of the Legacy Cooking Project, let me know if you try it! Have your own legacy recipes? We’d love to hear about them!

Print Recipe
Hickey Cake
Hickey cake is a Scanlan family tradition! It's a white cake, with a creamy filling and brown sugar penuche frosting!
Course Dessert
Cook Time 1.5 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Cake
Filling
Caramel Frosting
Course Dessert
Cook Time 1.5 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Cake
Filling
Caramel Frosting
Instructions
  1. Mix together the cake ingredients. Pour into three cake pans. Make one cake red, one green, and leave one white. Bake until done at 350ºF. When cake is done set it out to cool.
  2. Make the filling. Mix ingredients and pour into a sauce pan, and cook until thick. Once the cake is cool, put the filling in between the layers of the cake and stack.
  3. For the frosting, mix ingredients and cook in a sauce pan until you can form soft balls. Then frost the cake.
  4. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes

My aunt Susan told me that Grandma told her: "If the frosting isn't thickening up, put in some powdered sugar (as much as a cup!) and frost".

More On Ruby

Ruby Viola Strausburg was born in 1909 in Kansas. Ruby and her family moved to Fergus when she was 5 years old. Ruby’s father, Sam, was on the school board while Ruby was growing up. Sam and the school board built a new school in 1919, and Ruby’s class was actually the first class to graduate out of that new high school! Currently the Fergus County High School is known as the “Old Fergus High School” and is on the National Register of Historic Places (1985). The first two units of the high school were designed by architecht J.G. Link, who was actually born in Bavaria. He moved to Butte in 1896, then to Billings in 1902.

Ruby’s parents, Sam & Martha, with her oldest sister Birdie

Ruby married Harrold in 1932. Together, they enjoyed going dancing and playing cards, including Rummy and Cribbage. Ruby was a pretty good cribbage player! Harrold and Ruby were also quite the pair while dancing, and were great at polka and waltzing. Other hobbies of Ruby’s included being part of the Sunshine Women’s Club, cooking, and sewing.

Thank you Kate Powers for the photo!

We romanticize Ruby’s cooking and baking as being wonderful using the ingredients that were available. While she was an excellent cook, cooking was more of a necessity for her. She enjoyed cooking and sewing for her children, and made all their clothes as well as their meals. A family favorite was Ruby’s fried chicken, which she cooked in cast iron on a wood stove. The children also liked her macaroni and cheese, a recipe I couldn’t find but have made up below! On Sundays, the children were allowed to have store bought cereal for breakfast as a treat. My grandpa liked the cereal that came as giant hay bales, like frosted wheat without the frosting.

Because they didn’t have fridges, the family ate a lot of cured meat, mostly pork and chicken. Because of this, Ruby was NOT very good at cooking a steak. They often ended up overcooked and tough. Hey, not everyone can be perfect at cooking everything!

I hope you enjoyed a little bit about learning a bit more about Ruby! I really enjoyed talking to my grandfather about his childhood and bringing up some of those fun memories! I have adapted one of my favorite Mac & Cheese recipes to match the meal that my grandpa described to me. It reminds me of a very cheesy goulash! I hope you enjoy it!


Print Recipe
Tomato Mac & Cheese
A smooth cheesy mac and cheese, with a bit of an Italian flair
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions, then drain and set aside
  2. In a large pan or pot, melt the butter and cook the onion and garlic until lightly browned
  3. Add the flour to the onion mix and stir, mixing thoroughly
  4. Whisk in the milk, and stir until the mixture is thickened
  5. Add the tomato paste, oregano, and basil. Stir until mixture is warm
  6. Gradually stir in the grated and Parmesan cheeses.
  7. Add the pasta, and stir
  8. Serve with garlic bread and veggies, and enjoy!

The Legacy Cooking Project– The Introduction

Welcome to the Legacy Cooking Project! We have been writing a family cookbook for 2(+) years now, and it’s pretty slow going. But, like any good cookbook, we decided we needed photos of the recipes to go along with the cookbook! So, it was decided that I would cook my way through the family cookbook. Just like Julie & Julia, mom thought it might be fun for me to blog a bit about it! Share photos, some recipes, and a bit of family history.

I have always been in love with family recipes. To me it’s like history you can eat! I mean, what could be better? My family has a long standing tradition of keeping recipes, it seems like each part of family has a box full of them! Your family may collect coins, dishes, or something else, my family collects our history!

As some of you know, my grandma passed away this last November. It was then that I became even more obsessive with the family recipes. She used to cook so many things for me, and her food is my way of preserving her. It was the inspiration for our Recipe Towels that we love and cherish so much. Since then, I have been making more and more of HER food. But, why not be inspired by my WHOLE family? So, the Legacy Cooking Project is born!

The Scanlan Clan

Now, if you’re not a family member this might seem a little boring for you. However, I assure you the Scanlan’s are far far far from boring. During this project we will not only share some AMAZING recipes (what can I say? We are excellent cooks), but we will tell tales of romance, adventure, hard times, and courage. Our family is giant, and each person has a story to tell (or 10, knowing my family).

We will be *trying* to do a different recipe each week, but we all know how my blogging can be random and sporadic. So just check back each week to see something new! We would LOVE to hear your family tales and recipes too! There is a reason this isn’t called the “Scanlan” cooking project! We want to encourage people to share their stories and recipes! Even if you don’t want to share, take a minute and make a recipe of your grandmas, or great grandmas! Like I said, it’s family history you can eat!

Now hold on to  your seats, the first recipe will be coming out this week! Here’s a hint- we are going wayyy back to the beginning!

How To: Host Your First Friendsgiving!

Hey all! The time is coming near, to show all of our friends and family how thankful we are for them! Whether you can’t make it home for the holiday, or just want to show off what a good cook you are, Friendsgiving is the perfect solution! I’ve hosted a few Friendsgiving over the years, and I’ve got a great guide to hosting your first one!

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Step 1: The Event!

  • Pick a date. If you can’t make it home for Thanksgiving, host a small friendsgiving for your friends in the same situation! If you are wanting a larger group, I’d do the weekend before Thanksgiving! Most of our friends these days are on Facebook, so I recommend using a Facebook event to get your friends notified and RSVP. You could also do the old fashioned route and do paper invitations too!
  • People are the most important part of any Friendsgiving! You can have just the people you invited, but I always say the more the merrier! People like to invite their other friends, roommates, and significant others. Just make sure they RSVP any guests!
  • Party games! While you’re finishing cooking, guests don’t want to sit around awkwardly! Party games are fun, and they keep your guests from bothering you in the kitchen! We have a PS4, so we just set up Rockband Rivals and Jackbox. If you’ve never played the Jackbox games, you HAVE to try them! It’s the best party game ever! You can also do charades, hangman, Cards Against Humanity, etc!
  • Have some fun decorations! I love this Utensil Holder from Craftaholics Anonymous! It makes it easier for your guests to grab silverware in the buffet line!

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Step 2: The Menu

Ok, you have your date, guests, and games ready to go! Next up, you gotta get the food going! Figure out what you’re good at making, and practice it a few times so you have it down! Or, you could be like me, and just wing it!

  • I always have guests bring a dish to share. That way you don’t have to cook as much, and guests are sure to have at least one thing they like!
  • Remember to make yourself a snack while you’re cooking. My go to is crackers, summer sausage, colby jack cheese, pickles, and garden vegetable cream cheese! Mmm….

Snack Time

  • I always plan my day, and start about 2 hours earlier than you think you need to! I like to print out the recipes and hang them up. I also make sure to write or highlight the baking times and temperature so I can plan when to put them in the oven and what can go in with the other recipes.

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  • Get an assistant. I was lucky this time around, my best friend came to visit and helped me cook ALL DAY! I couldn’t have done deviled eggs or gravy without her!

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  • Don’t stress out! It’ll all work out. If something looks like it isn’t getting done on time, either skip it or have something new when people come back for seconds!

Jess’s Go-To Menu (w/ recipe links):

  1. Turkey
  2. Ham
  3. Green Bean and Corn Casserole
  4. Stuffing (This was new this year and it was SO GOOD)
  5. Mashed Potatoes
  6. Gravy
  7. Great Grandma’s Sweet Rolls (Recipe Below- EXCLUSIVE!)
  8. Vegetables of some sort (Salad, veggie tray, roasted veggies)

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Step 3: The Day Of!

Ok, you’re all good to go! Or so you think. You’ve gone grocery shopping, your friends are RSVP’d, and you’re ready to cook. Here are some final tips to make you the best host ever!

  • Plan out your serving dishes. Make sure you have enough serving plates and silverware for all your food and guests.

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  • Have a spare set of clothing, you’re going to get flour everywhere, guaranteed! Cook in comfortable clothes, then change right before your guests arrive.
  • Have some unusual recipes? That’s awesome! Label your dishes so guests know what they’re eating. This is good for guests with food allergies also!

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  • Make sure you learn how to cut a turkey! You do NOT want want to be standing there like a dummy trying to butcher that lovely bird. This YouTube video will help! PS- It’s best if you have a cleanup crew for all that turkey juice! 😉

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  • RELAX! It’s going to be ok. I can’t stress this enough! Relax when you have your turkey in the oven, and sit down with a glass of wine. You’re the host, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun too!

I hope this was helpful! Just remember- your friends will be happy just to hang out with you! If your style is ordering a pizza and wings, then do that instead of turkey and ham!

What are your go-to Friendsgiving tips, tricks, and foods?

Print Recipe
Great Grandma's Sweet Rolls
My great grandma had the best sweet dough! This dough can be used for rolls or cinnamon rolls!
Course Side Dishes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Passive Time 45 minutes
Servings
Rolls
Ingredients
Course Side Dishes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Passive Time 45 minutes
Servings
Rolls
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Scald milk
  2. Mix together sugar, salt, and milk. Cool to 90-100 degrees and add yeast.
  3. Let stand until yeast is dissolved, add shortening and eggs, mix.
  4. Add 4 cups of flour and mix until dough is smooth, then add one cup at a time until dough is light and sticky.
  5. Grease bowl and place dough in it and knead until smooth, adding a little more flour if needed.
  6. Roll dough into balls, then place in cake pan. Put in a warm place and let dough rise. Put a damp paper cloth on top of rising rolls to keep them warm.
  7. Bake at 400 degrees for 18 minutes until brown.
Recipe Notes

This is a family recipe, and the dough can be used for dinner rolls as well as cinnamon rolls!