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!

Great Grandma Ruby’s Cornbread

Harrold & Ruby Scanlan

Written & researched by Patti Scanlan

 

Our Scanlan family story began August 9, 1899 with the birth of Harrold. Harrold was born in Fargo, North Dakota to Ole and Martha (Katie) Winger. A couple of weeks after Harrold was born, his mother passed away. We are told that being newly widowed and with a small child, Harrold was given up to John and Della Scanlan. John worked as a policeman in Fargo. The Scanlan family moved to Kansas right after the time of Harrolds “adoption”. Adoption is used as a loose term in this case, as there was no legal adoption. In fact, Harrold did not even know he was adopted until he was around 5o years old!

There are several different stories as to when, why, and how Harrold came to Montana. One story is that Harrold jumped on a train when he was 13 and ended up in Montana. The first time Harrold shows up on a Montana census is in 1930, when he was living in Fergus county.

Ruby Strausburg was born in Kansas on September 27, 1909.  She moved to Fergus when she was 5 years old. Harrold married Ruby on May 26th, 1932 in Lewistown, Montana. They lived in Fergus/Roy area until they moved to Kinsey, Mt. They had 9 children! Harrold and Ruby passed away in 1978, just days apart. Harrold passed on February 21st and Ruby on March 3rd. Harrold was 78 and Ruby was 68.

Random Tidbits of Info:

  • Harrold’s nickname was “Flunky”
  • Harrold’s father (Ole) immigrated from Norway in 1873
  • Harrold’s father (Ole) was remarried to Anna Johnson in 1905
  • Harrold had a natural brother named Clarence, and three Scanlan siblings Walter, Harry, and Ruth. Harrold was the youngest of the Scanlan clan.
  • Harrold’s brother Harry had a son named Karl Marion Scanlan (this is important in the future!). Karl was born in 1910 and died in France during WW2.

I hope you liked learning a little bit about how we started out! Enjoy making Great Grandma’s cornbread, and think about your own family legacy! Next week we will be making another of Ruby’s recipes (one of my favorites!), and learning how Harrold and Ruby ended up in Kinsey, Montana!

If you make this recipe, we’d love to see pictures and hear about it! Have your own family legacy recipe you want to share? Let us know!

 

 

Print Recipe
Great Grandma Ruby's Cornbread
Ruby's cornbread is a moist, simple cornbread! I had to tweak this recipe a bit from the original, but it's still delicious!
Course Side Dishes
Prep Time 8 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings
pieces
Ingredients
Course Side Dishes
Prep Time 8 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings
pieces
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Boil water. Slowly add cornmeal to the water, stirring constantly.
  2. When smooth, cool.
  3. Add eggs, butter, salt, and sugar.
  4. Sift flour and baking powder together. Alternately add milk and flour/baking powder mixture.
  5. Grease a 9" x 9" pan. Pour in cornbread mixture.
  6. Bake at 400deg F for 30-35 minutes. It should be golden brown on top!
Recipe Notes

I did have to tweak the recipe a bit, but it turned out wonderful! This cornbread isn't the dry, crumbly cornbread that I am used to. It was moist, and had good flavor! If you wanted a dryer cornbread for chili and such, you could reduce the amount of boiling water in the first bit. Don't go less than 1 cup though! Top it with honey and butter for a tasty experience!