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Entries in history (40)

Thursday
Mar292012

Delicious Volume: Midwest Sweet Baking History by Jenny Lewis

Brownies: a midwest baking classic!

I'm fond of saying that "everything tastes better with a backstory". After all, isn't it more fun to eat a chocolate chip cookie while imagining Ruth Wakefield in a Massachusetts toll house, trying to take a shortcut making chocolate cookies by adding chocolate chunks, and inadvertently creating an American icon? Or picturing a hapless baker in St. Louis mixing up the sugar and flour in a recipe and ending up with Gooey Butter cake? 

If you find this sweet lore fascinating, then you should probably go ahead and invest in the new release Midwest Sweet Baking History: Delectable Classics around Lake Michigan by Jenny Lewis. It's published by The History Press. Did you know they existed? I didn't, but I am glad I do now--they have a ton of interesting books.

a book I like a lot

This volume is a comprehensive source for learning about the popular treats of the Lake Michigan region--but really, it goes beyond that. 

While you'll get plenty of sweet stories about specific foods, you'll also get a very interesting primer and backstory on the general history of baking in America.

There are chapters devoted to the development of popular baking ingredients (ever wonder when baking soda became a common pantry item?) and the developments in kitchen technology which played into what and how we ate. Author Jenny Lewis, who is a pastry chef, Certified Culinary Educator (did you know that was a thing? I didn't! I also didn't know all of these degrees existed!), and clearly One Smart Cookie, also gives some of the backstory on companies such as Kraft, Nabisco, and even smaller manufacturers in the Midwest such as Lessafre Yeast Company.

And then there are recipes. Yes! From historical--including one of the first printed brownie recipes, from the Chicago area, old fashioned doughnuts, and homespun pies--to contemporary, such as peach crumble with cornmeal cinnamon streusel, apple tart with salted caramel, and cherry whiskey cake.

Morever, what we learn is that recipes--and baking methods--aren't so much invented as they evolve--and so, the popular baked goods will reflect the immigration patterns of the United states, often the result of "old country" favorites getting a "new world" makeover based on the kitchen technology and ingredients available in the new surroundings. And it's a fascinating and delectable journey.

Buy the book here: Midwest Sweet Baking History: Delectable Classics around Lake Michigan; listen to an interesting interview with the author here.

Tuesday
Feb072012

Love Me Knot: The Story of the Calabrian Love Knot

Calabrian Love Knots

CakeSpy Note: I am reposting this recipe because it's featured on Serious Eats this week!


If there is one thing I love even more than a great baked good, it's a great story. And if it's a story about a baked good, well then, all the better.

So when I came across the following introduction preceding a recipe for Calabrian Love Knots in Judith M. Fertig's amazing tome (buy it--trust me--it's a great book!) All American Desserts

During the early 1900s, the height of Italian immigration...many people came from Calabria in the "toe" part of boot-shaped Italy, right across the Mediterranean from...Sicily. When women of Calabrian descent become brides, beautifully arranged platters of these almond-flavored cookies are often served at the reception.


...well, all I can say is that I had to try this recipe.
Calabrian Love Knots
It's not hard to see why these cookies are a time-honored tradition. They're simple to make, but the pleasure that they provide is tenfold: like a slightly drier and less sweet version of a sugar cookie, they taste delectable when dipped in strong coffee (or even wine!). They're truly the stuff of memories: as one Italian CakeSpy reader put it, "My grandparents had them at their wedding reception in the 40s. Nowadays only few families still know how to cook them and it is possible to buy them only in very small traditional bakeries in the countryside."

 

Now, I did make some alterations to the original recipe. First, because I happened to have a half wheat/half all-purpose flour mixture left over from a recent baking project, my batch was made with some wheat flour (we thought it tasted pretty good, actually!). And second, while the original recipe called for a light almond paste, sugar, and cream glaze, I served mine without--as hard as it is to admit this, they actually didn't need it. (Of course, if you don't believe me--and I don't blame you--the frosting recipe is written below).
Calabrian Love Knots
Calabrian Love Knots

 
adapted from All American Desserts by Judith M. Fertig
- makes about 2 dozen -
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/8 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 cup milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (I used a half-and-half mixture of wheat flour and all-purpose, which made them a bit nuttier)
Optional almond sugar frosting:

 

 

  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar

Directions:

 

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Either grease baking sheets or lay out some parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Beat together the eggs, oil, granulated sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl until smooth. Stir in the milk, almond extract, baking powder, and enough flour so that the dough becomes stiff. 
  3. Knead the dough either by hand or with a dough hook in a mixer until smooth. Pinch off about 1 tablespoon worth of dough for each cookie; roll into a rope and then twist into a pretzel shape, simple knot, or the letters of the name of your significant other. Place cookies on the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Bake until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer the cookies on to a wire rack to cool.
  5. If you're making them with frosting, go ahead and whisk the cream and almond extract together in a small mixing bowl. Beat in the confectioners' sugar bit by bit until it is smooth and of your desired consistency. Drizzle over the cooled cookies. 
  6. Either way, store in an airtight container. These cookies keep beautifully when frozen.

 For more, visit Serious Eats!

Tuesday
Jan102012

Sweet Discovery: Pasteis de Belem from Portugal

Pasteis de Belem from Portugal

The best kind of mail? The kind that comes with an introduction to a new baked good. And recently, I became friends with a new baked good with a fascinating history, via reader Sofia from Portugal, who is "married, have 2 girls, baked my first cake when I was 12 and never stopped since, work in the shipping business and am part-time cake designer since 2007 and I am totally and absolutely mad about chocolate." A true friend! Here goes Sofia:

I Live in Lisbon, Portugal and would like to tell you about some sweet pastries called Pastéis de Belém (baked since 1837).

Well, how shall I begin to describe these marvelous, wonderful and crunchy pastries? Let's start with a little historical context.

It all began early in the 19th century.

Next to the Jerónimos Monastery, there was a sugar cane refinery, but liberal revolution resulted in the extinction of the religious orders and convents, and monasteries were closed and the workers and the clergy were expelled.

Pasteis de Belem from Portugal

In an attempt to prevent eviction, a monk had the idea of selling some sweet pastries, which quickly gained success and began to be called Pastéis de Belém!

At that time Belém was still far from the city of Lisbon. However, the grandiosity of the monastery and the Tower of Belém attracted visitors who soon grew used to savoring the delicious pastries baked in the monastery.

Nowadays it is said that the recipe is still the original, some ingredients remain a secret, and the pastries are baked in the “secret room”.

Now the pastries…

Pasteis de Belem from Portugal

The outside is made of light, crunchy pastry with a slight pinch of salt. The inside is creamy and sweet. They are better when still warm and are served with powdered sugar and cinnamon.

If you’d like to come over and have a taste, prepare yourself for a long line.

In the Summer or in sunny Winter days one good thing to do is to buy the pastries and cross the street to eat them in the park sitting on a bench, if available, or on the grass (beware of sparrows that will approach to eat crumbs)!

Pasteis de Belem from Portugal

How I like to eat them: take little bites around until the filling is surrounded by a thin coat of pastry and then put it all in my mouth.

Note: In the same street, but one block away there’s a Starbucks and I can assure you, it all goes very well together.

Wednesday
Sep072011

Sweet Sleuth: Who Invented S'mores?

Is this how the S'moreo was born?Today, while eating a delicious s'more, I found myself thinking that if I could go back in time, at that moment my destination would be to visit the person who invented the s'more so I could thank them. With emotion and enthusiasm.

It was with deep sadness that I realized I would not know who that person was, so I hit the books to find out more about this sweet treat.

This s'more was made using a portion of Snickers Bar.The name seems self-explanitory enough: a slurring of "Gimme some more" would naturally become S'more. Why did it settle on this particular sweet treat? No idea, but I have the thought that it is like a nickname: this one just stuck.

As for who invented it? As What's Cooking America advises,

No one is really sure who invented S'mores, because the recipe has basically been passed around by word of mouth since then. The first known recipe appeared in the 1927 Girl Scout hand book called Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts.

The recipe is credited to Loretta Scott Crew, so happily I would at least have a person to go back in time and thank, because while she probably didn't invent the confection, hers is the first known published recipe for the delicious triple-threat of graham cracker, marshmallow, and chocolate.

So how did this trinity of awesome come together?

What seems pretty reasonable (to me, anyway) is that what really kept this treat going was the producers of the products. Concurrently, marshmallows were becoming commercially available for the first time; Graham crackers had gained much popularity after their invention by Sylvester Graham (described as "a New England health advocate with a passion for temperance and fiber"), and the recipe had been picked up and gained popularity (as well as evolving into a sweeter, more cookielike cracker) after being mass-produced by Nabisco. I must make a side note to wonder "What would Sylvester Graham think of S'mores?". Somehow I don't think it's what he envisioned his legacy to be.Sta-Puft could make so many S'mores.

But I digress. My theory about products coming together in the right place at the right time is supported by an article on Slashfood, which also brings up an interesting point on other popular confections which debuted in the same era:

The true origin of the snack is unknown, as camping recipes tended to be passed from person to person and family to family - often over the campfire itself. The first recipe for s'mores was published in 1927 in the Girl Scout Handbook and the event marked the official introduction of the s'more into popular culture.

The publication of the s'more recipe was not the first pairing of chocolate, marshmallow and cookies. In 1913, the Mallomar cookie was introduced to market, followed in 1917 by the Moon Pie. Both products have a graham cracker-like base - a sandwich, in the case of the Moon Pie - and are topped with marshmallow and a layer of chocolate.

 so, maybe it was a Girl Scout reaction to popular treats around the time, which themselves were the result of these new products?

As for their enduring popularity? As Liesl Schillinger (a documented s'more hater) says,

they're easy-to-make, guaranteed nostalgia-inducers, well within the reach of any parent's budget. Others may disagree, but I suspect that most us don't eat them for the taste. We eat them to relive our first s'mores experience, back when our taste buds were so rosy new that any sugar was ecstasy; back when our parents were the age we are now … and younger. S'mores take us back in time. You don't have to like them to love them.

Well put.

Want s'more? You may enjoy:

 

 

Saturday
Jul022011

Cookie Chronicles: Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Company, San Francisco

Now I am going to tell you about the strangest place I went in San Francisco. 

It was called the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Company.

I learned about this treasure from Anna Roth's new book West Coast Road Eats: The Best Road Food from San Diego to the Canadian Border , which is hot off the presses, which I leafed through in one of my new favorite bookstores, The Booksmith, on Haight Street. It's an ode to eating on the Left Coast, and it has plenty of sweet tips. One in San Francisco fascinated me beyond all others though:

and so the next day, SpySis and myself went down to Chinatown to find this place for ourselves. Ross Alley is a strange little spot, hard to find in spite of a fairly central location—it's kind of 'round the corner and very unassuming. But round the corner and there it is, smelling like vanilla and sugar.

You walk in and it's like walking into a David Lynch movie—a bunch of old Asian women (and one man, when we visited) pressing and folding fortune cookies in the back (and a stern sign that it is “50 cents to take a picture”--I paid up, there was someone strictly enforcing it) and a very straightforward (no cute displays here) retail area up front, selling fortune cookies by the bag, less than $5 for a huge bag. They had vanilla, chocolate, and swirl, and even ones that were filled with “adult fortunes”. We didn't pick up one of those, but a bachelorette party behind us did.

They had free samples of unfolded cookies too (pictured top), and they tasted...well, like Fortune Cookies. Personally I'm not a huge fan of fortune cookies, finding them to be too wafer-cardboard-sweet for my tastes, but SpySis said they had a leg up on regular varieties. Of course, it's very possible that this is because of the experience surrounding this cookie; it was definitely a unique sweet experience.

Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Company, 48 Ross Alley, San Francisco.

Also, buy the aforementioned West Coast Road Eats: The Best Road Food from San Diego to the Canadian Border book by Anna Roth here.

Wednesday
Jun222011

Pastry Profiles: Fisher Fair Scones of the Pacific Northwest

Recently, Fisher Flouring Mills celebrated their 100th anniversary. Why is this of interest, exactly?

Because, for anyone who has ever attended the epic Puyallup Fair in the Seattle area, you may know them as the makers of the famous Fisher Fair Scones. Let's take a few minutes to learn a bit of the backstory behind this company and their signature product, shall we? I'd like to thank Nick at Team Soapbox who was so helpful with getting me much of this information.

The Fisher Flour Mills opening invite, from 1911First off, why the Pacific Northwest? This company, which initially focused mainly on flour, settled in Seattle in 1911 because it was “the most promising city on the coast.”

The Fisher booth in 1923How did they start making scones as a fair food? William H. Paulhamus, president and general manager of the Puyallup Fair (Western Washington State Fair) pitched the scones idea to Fisher and said he’d donate jam made from his raspberry farm in Oregon. The scones debuted at the fair as a chance to showcase and promote the company's flour flour. They were a success, going for just a few pennies each. Today, they are still a Northwest favorite and a tradition of Washington fairs.

Current CEO Mike Maher has a long history with the company, too:

“My connection to the fair goes back three decades. As a teenager, I started working in fair operations for Fisher, driving the trailers to each venue, training staff and making scones for customers myself. I learned quickly about the magnetic appeal of a fresh-baked scone slathered with whipped butter and raspberry jam. It didn’t take long before I became hooked on the idea of delivering smiles to our customers, one fresh-baked bite at a time.”

Michael Maher began with the company in 1978 (then Fair Scones, Inc.) and has risen up the ranks as the company has grown over the past 30-some years.  

Current CEO MikeHow did current CEO Mike rise to floury fame? Mike’s career began as a high school student in Portland, OR when he was hired by Fair Scones, Inc. to work its concession booth at the Rose Festival.  From 1979 to 1984, he worked summers as a concession manager, operating various events in Oregon,Washington, and British Columbia.  After graduating from the University of Oregon in 1985, he came on board full time as the general manager, overseeing all festival operations.  In 1995 Mike became vice president—operations and directed the company’s expansion into retail scone products and wholesale baking to the airlines.  In the late 1990s Mike led three specialty food company acquisitions and expansion into private label products.  He was named president and COO in 1999.  He joined the Board of Directors in 2003, and was later promoted to his current post as president and CEO.

Old Fisher Flouring Mills truckHow did the scones gain such popularity? What started as a promotional tool eventually expanded to became a signature food item at 39 fairs and festivals throughout the Northwest, but the company is still family-owned (and even the Fisher family still has a stake in the company) committed to local community. Today, Fisher owns the raspberry farm in Oregon and still uses the same simple jam recipe (berries, sugar & pectin) to accompany the scones. The scone recipe has remained largely unchanged, except for a few tweaks to the salt and sugar amounts to accommodate modern tastes.

The scones represent the company’s commitment to a tradition of local, Northwest deliciousness by utilizing local ingredients and tastes—showcased at local fairs. This commitment has now come full circle in a world where people are thinking and shopping local.

Some more little tidbits of interest, sent along by Nick of Team Soapbox:

  • Fisher Scones debuted at the 1915 Puyallup Fair, in the very same corner booth under the grandstand where they are still sold today.
  • The scones originally were free or just a few pennies, promoting Fisher Flours.
  • Today, Fisher serves up more than 40 tons of raspberry jam each summer to top the scones.
  • 1.5 million scones are sold each year
  • This fall, Fisher will serve its 100,000,000th (yes, one hundred millionth!) scone at the Puyallup Fair. 
  • Mike Maher, Fisher’s CEO started out by making scones at the fair himself. Mike’s been with the company three decades. Nobody's sure how many scones he’s eaten.
  • Fisher supports Northwest farmers through a partnership with Shepherd’s Grain, a cooperative of 33 local farmers who use sustainable agriculture farming methods. They’re also connected with the Food Alliance of Oregon, which provides the most comprehensive third-party certification for social and environmental responsibility in agriculture and the food industry in North America.
  • For almost 100 years, Fisher Scones have been a tradition at fairs and festivals throughout the Northwestern United States. These triangular shaped biscuits, baked fresh and smothered in honey-whipped butter and tart raspberry jam, have created unparalleled loyalty.
  • Scones can be yours year round, at home. Fisher brand scones are available by a home mix line; on the mix subject, this year, the company plans on introducing new packaging for the scones (and new all-natural Pancake & Baking Mix, Biscuit Mix, and Cornbread Mix).

Want to continue getting sconed? Check out their website here, and find them on Facebook here.

Tuesday
Jun072011

Pass the Torchetti: Torchetti Cookies from Cle Elum Bakery, WA

The other day, I found myself in a magical land called Cle Elum.

Now, don't ask me how to pronounce the name of the town--but do ask me what I ate there, because I did find a magical place called Cle Elum Bakery.

I ate something called Torchetti, that's what. This is a traditional Italian cookie which I learned more frequently goes by Torcetti, which means "little twist"--which, you know, describes them pretty well. Physically they resemble Berlinerkranser or Calabrian Love Knots, but texture and taste-wise they are different; where aforementioned cookies are crumbly and buttery, these biscuits are more hearty and sturdier in texture with the addition of yeast, more like lightly sweet biscuits than butter cookies.

As I learned from this segment,

The recipe itself is very old, indicated by the use of yeast, not baking powder, for leavening.  These cookies are from the Piedmont region of northern Italy.  Turin, Piedmont's capital, was also Italy's first capital.  The city preserves remarkable architectural and cultural treasures.

They're a very nice snacking cookie, no matter what you want to call them or how you want to spell it.

Of course, if you can't make it up (or over?) to Cle Elum, you can try this recipe (adapted from Taste of Home):

Torchetti (or Torcetti)

  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm milk (110° to 115°)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • Additional confectioners' sugar

Procedure

  1. Place flour in a large bowl; cut in butter and shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk. Add the eggs, sugar, vanilla and 2 cups of the crumb mixture; beat until well blended. Gradually beat in remaining crumb mixture.
  2. Turn onto a floured surface; knead for 3-4 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  3. Punch dough down; divide into six portions. Shape each portion into twelve 6-in. ropes, about 1/4-in. thick; roll in confectioners' sugar. Shape each rope into a loop. Holding both ends of loop, twist together three times.
  4. Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Bake at 375° for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown. Roll warm cookies in additional confectioners' sugar. Cool on wire racks. 

 

 

 

Wednesday
Jun012011

Where I Want To Live: Taffy Town, Salt Lake City, Utah

Taffy Town, Population: YOU.

Or at least it could be. Because friends, this place actually exists. It is a candy factory, located in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Now, this company is magical in more ways than one. First of all, it opened my eyes to the fact that Saltwater Taffy, which I knew from growing up by the Jersey Shore, exists outside of the tri-state area. True, many accounts point to it being invented there (NJ pride!), but there are pockets of Taffy Territory elsewhere in the US: notably by the Oregon Coast, and also--news to me--in Salt Lake City.

I learned of this company in a roundabout way--while visiting a Bavarian Village in Central Washington. It's true. While visiting a Das Sweet Shoppe, a candy shop in Leavenworth, WA, I was impressed with the vast array of taffies in flavors from Buttered Popcorn to caramel to Cinnamon Bun (!) to Apple Pie to Huckleberry, and asked "are these made on premises?". 

No, the kind employee informed me, almost apologetically, the candies came from a company in Salt Lake City. 

Say what?

It's true, she said: these taffies were made by a company called Taffy Town, which had the best taffy she'd ever tasted--worth shipping, undoubtedly--made using salt from THE Salt Lake.

Well, that was interesting enough to get me to buy a half pound of the sweet stuff (one of which had a heart--no, really! I checked the site, and they don't usually), and to (with mouth full of taffy, which was, as hoped, salty-sweet-smooth and delicious) check out their website.

It's true, this company is like...Taffy City. Or at least Taffy Town, which makes their company name apropos. Apparently, after many years in the candy biz, they decided Taffy was their...ah, sweet spot:

For over 79 years we were known as Glade Candy Company offering individuals the finest in Gourmet Taffy.  In 1995, our name was changed to "Taffy Town"  to reflect our total dedication to taffy excellence.  We then expanded to serve a World Wide market.  Using a whipped process that produces a soft texture taffy that simply melts in your mouth, we then add the finest in domestic and imported flavors to obtain perfection in confection.

In case you didn't catch it, my favorite bit: "total dedication to taffy excellence."

While they make it VERY CLEAR IN ALL CAPS THAT THEY DO NOT GIVE TOURS OF THEIR PRODUCTION FACILITY, you can get the following from a visit:

Come in today and see over 60 different flavors of our rich tasting taffy to delight every palate.  In addition to our taffy, we offer you our NEW fresh creamy smooth fudge, and other gourmet candy creations.  We have all sorts of GIFT IDEAS:  including a Taffy Town Gift Certificate!  Also, we have a video playing on our big screen showing how we make the taffy.

Of course, if this alone doesn't seem worth a visit to Utah, here's a link to their retailers. Check out the Taffy Town website here.

Monday
May232011

Sweet Mystery: Lowry's Fudge Cake Recipe and Story

Recently, I came into contact with a new type of cake: Lowry's Fudge Cake. Or was it Lowery's? I'm not completely sure, because based on anecdotal evidence, I see it both ways.

To the best of my sweet sleuthing, this cake--really more like bar cookies, really--made a name for itself in the kitchen of the Lowry's Motel restaurant in Greenville, IL. I found this small recipe headnote on Recipe Circus:

No Greenville native of a certain age will ever forget the pleasure of biting into a piece of Lowery's Fudge cake. It was sold exclusively at the old Lowery's Motel. We still remember how it was cut into squares and neatly wrapped in wax paper. After the Lowery ladies died and the motel restaurant became but a fond memory, custody of the fudge-cake recipe was passed to another lady of the church. It still arrives for the reception in perfect squares, wrapped in the traditional wax paper, though now the ladies of the Pastoral Care Committee unwarp it and arrange it on a silver tray. It never lasts long.

...and yet when I tried to find "Lowery's Motel" I drew a blank, but I did find evidence of a Lowry's, as noted in the obituary of Mariam T. Lowry (which references a motel in the family), and this vintage postcard:

...so sadly, while I was unable to find out much more about who created this recipe, one thing is not shrouded in mystery: the cake's deliciousness. As previously noted, it really is more like a cross between a cake and a bar cookie, kind of like a chocolate gooey butter cake with a crumb topping. Very decadent, very delicious. Happily, I was able to find a recipe--here it is for you. The one I tried (pictured top, not baked by me) also had a brown sugar crumb topping. Feel free to leave any more lore about the cake in the comments section!

Lowry's (or is it Lowery's?) Fudge Cake

  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 4 squares semisweet chocolate
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup flour, sifted
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped

Recipe

  1. Preheat oven to 300F.
  2. Melt the butter and chocolate together. Add the sugar, Stir until melted. Cool slightly. With a wooden spoon, mix in the eggs, one at a time. Fold in flour and salt. Add vanilla and chopped pecans. Some people like alot of vanilla and a lot of nuts. I suggest 1 tsp vanilla and 1 cup chopped nuts. 
  3. Pour the mixture into a buttered 9X11 inch pan. Bake for about 40 minutes. Start testing at 30-35 minutes. To be a purist, your straw for testing should come out clean. Cool on wire rack.

 

Monday
May232011

Do the Mashed Potato: Chocolate Covered Potato Kisses Recipe for Serious Eats

Desperate times called for desperate measures, and in the 1930s, candy was often made using an unlikely ingredient: mashed potatoes. No, really.

Potato fondant, rolled candies filled with peanut butter, and Potato Fudge were among the potato-rich candies referred to as "depression candy."

Of course, even in less depressed modern-day kitchens, these recipes are worth revisiting: turns out, potato is a surprisingly versatile candy filling, working very well with a variety of flavors and textures and making for a texture that is surprisingly creamy. This recipe for Potato Kisses is one of my personal favorites, rich with sweetened coconut. And of course, like so many things, it tastes even better with a rich coating of dark chocolate.

For the full entry, more cute pictures, and the recipe, visit Serious Eats!

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