Aunt Dorothy’s Butter Cream Frosting

We went to Shipshewana this week.  I hadn’t been there in many years and I thought it would be fun to check out the shops and the Amish stores.  The Amish life is appealing to me for two reasons.  I like the simplicity and the sense of community the people share.

This frosting recipe has the name “Dorothy” written in the corner.  Dorothy was my father’s aunt, his dad’s sister.  She was one of the children that got split up when their mother died that I wrote about when I made Edna’s Butterscotch Cake.  I remember going to visit her home one time when we were on a family vacation.  She could have been Amish with her old fashioned clothes and furniture.  She and her husband owned a store that was connected to the side of their home.  The store itself was very anitiquated.  I remember it as similar to a “modern day” antique store.  Everything was very simple there.  I can imagine how she might have put together this simple “from scratch” frosting in her unadorned kitchen.

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Dorothy’s Butter Cream Frosting

  • 1 cup milk
  • 5 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar (granulated) or 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Cook milk and flour until very thick.  Cool.  Add to creamed sugar and shortening.  Beat until very fluffy and add 1 teaspoon vanilla.

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I combined the milk and flour in a pan and began to cook them over medium heat.

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I have never made frosting this way, so I was curious to see what would happen.  In a short time, the milk and flour got very thick, like the recipe said it would.

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While the milk and flour mixture was cooling, I creamed the sugar and shortening together (I decided to use half shortening and half butter.).  I used the powdered sugar, but I am curious to know how the granulated sugar would turn out since the recipe says you can use either one.

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I then added the milk and flour mixture into the creamed sugar and shortening mixture and beat until it was very fluffy.  I then added a teaspoon of vanilla.

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The frosting turned out very fluffy and spread easily on the cake.  It is different than other frosting.  My brother-in-law described it as similar to the filling in a twinkie.  My sister-in-law thought it reminded her of a frosting that has cool whip in it.  I thought it was similar to doughnut filling.

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I hope you have a chance to give Aunt Dorothy’s Butter Cream Frosting and the cake recipe a try.  I think you will find it a simple delight.

Happy Baking!

Amy

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Fluffy Icing

Grandma Wichtermans with Dad

The heritage of Grandma Dora’s cooking and baking skills.  Grandma Dora (standing on right), with her Mother (standing on left), her Grandmother (sitting) and my Dad (sitting on her lap).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My grandmother was always baking up desserts.  And, she made it look like the simplest thing to do.  My mom said she would watch her roll out a pie crust so quickly and perfectly, it was amazing.  So, I’m sure this fluffy icing was something she did quickly and with perfection.

On the back of the brown sugar loaf cake recipe there was the recipe for fluffy icing.  I decided my grandma must have thought this was the right icing for this cake since she put them together.  So, I decided I would try putting them together too.  I’m glad I did because it turned out to be just the right thing for the library bake sale.

Fluffy Icing

  • 2 unbeaten egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4  cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Combine in top of double boiler.  Place over rapidly boiling water and beat with rotary egg beater until mixture is light, fluffy and holds in peaks – about 7 minutes.  Remove from heat and add 1 teaspoon vanilla.  Beat until stiff.

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This frosting was tricky for me to make because I didn’t have a double boiler.  I put some water in one pan and set another pan inside it to improvise.

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Once the water began to boil, I combined the ingredients and began beating them with my rotary egg beater (I actually have one of these – my nephews like to use it as a toy.  I think, though that it would have been easier to just put a hand mixer in the pan and let it go.).  I think because I didn’t have a real double boiler, I had trouble getting it to hold in peaks.

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But, eventually I removed it from the heat, added the vanilla, put it in the Kitchenaid with the whisk attachment and beat it until stiff.

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It was important to frost the cupcakes right away before the frosting cooled.  Once it cooled it got a little harder to frost.

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The frosting turned out great for transporting because once it was cooled it hardened enough so that it didn’t stick to the bags when I packaged them up for the bake sale.  Even though it didn’t stick, it was still a soft and fluffy frosting.  It was such a beautiful white color too.

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This frosting was definitely worth the effort!  I hope my friends at the library enjoyed the cupcakes as much as I did!  I hope you’ll give them a try and let me know what you think!

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Happy Baking!

Amy

 

Cinnamon Rolls (or Sweet Dough)

Grandma Dora, Mother, Grandmother

Grandma Dora as a child with her mother (left) and Grandmother (right).

My Grandma Dora grew up as an only child.  She lived near her grandparents, so I would guess that she spent a lot of time cooking and baking with both her mother and grandmother.  Grandma Dora’s grandparents came to America from England as adults, so perhaps some of her cooking and baking skills had English roots.  Many of the recipes from Grandma’s recipe box came from friends and neighbors, but I am sure some of them came from her mother and grandmother as well.  In fact, some of them are written in her mother’s handwriting.  I like to imagine that this recipe for sweet dough is one that three generations made together.

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Sweet Dough

  • 2 packages yeast
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 cup lukewarm milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • Grated rind and juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • sifted flour – 7 cups or more

Pour water over yeast, stir and let stand about 10 minutes.  Scald milk and cool until lukewarm.  Cream together the butter, sugar and salt;  add eggs, lemon if used, and nutmeg.  Add lukewarm milk to softened yeast and blend this liquid with 3 cups flour.  Beat smooth, then add butter mixture and enough more flour to make a medium soft dough.  Knead smooth, but keep as soft as can be handled without sticking.  Let rise in a cozy warm place until fully doubled.

Filling:

  • 4 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 4 teaspoons cinnamon

After the dough has doubled in size, punch down and flatten out on a lightly floured surface.  Use a rolling pin to roll into a large rectangle.  Spread with 4 tablespoons butter or margarine.  Mix sugar and cinnamon together.  Sprinkle over the dough.  Roll dough up tightly;  pinch edge of dough into roll to seal.  Cut roll into 1-inch slices.  Place in 3 greased 9×13 pans.  Cover and let rise in warm place 1 to 1 1/4 hours or until double.  Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from pan to wire rack.  Drizzle vanilla glaze over warm rolls.

Vanilla Glaze:

Mix 3 cups powdered sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla and 2 to 4 tablespoons milk until smooth and thin enough to drizzle.

Grandma Dora’s recipe is only for the sweet dough.  I am sure it could be used to make different things such as sweet bread or even doughnuts.  I decided to make it into cinnamon rolls as I’m sure my grandmother did many times.  I used my own recipe for the filling and glaze.  I am used to making cinnamon rolls by dumping all of the ingredients into the bread machine and letting it make the dough for me, so this was a little different.

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I stirred the yeast into the warm water and let it set.  I scalded the milk on the stove and then let it cool.

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I creamed the butter, sugar and salt in the Kitchenaid.

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Then I added the eggs and decided to put in a tablespoon and a half of lemon juice (I didn’t have any whole lemons on hand.).  I don’t like nutmeg, so I didn’t add it, but I’m sure it would be fine to add.  I took the creamed butter mixture out of the Kitchenaid and put it in another bowl.  I then put the softened yeast and lukewarm milk into the Kitchenaid and added 3 cups of flour and then put the creamed butter mixture back in.

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After that mixed, I put the kneading hook attachment on and added about 4 more cups of flour (I could have kneaded it by hand, but decided to take the easy way out and use the kneading hook.).  The dough was nice and soft, so I put it in a greased bowl and let it rise.

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I covered the bowl with plastic wrap so the dough wouldn’t dry out.

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Once it was doubled in size,

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I punched it down and put it out on the lightly floured counter.

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I then rolled it out, buttered it, sprinkled on the cinnamon and sugar, and rolled it up!

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I cut it into 1-inch slices.  To do this, I used a piece of floss.  I put the floss under the roll, then brought it up and crossed it, so it would cut.  After all of the pieces were put into the greased 9×13 pans (this makes a BIG batch and they need space in the pans so they can raise) I covered them with plastic wrap again (I grease the plastic wrap so it won’t stick) and let them rise.  Once they were doubled, I popped them into the preheated oven and baked until golden brown.

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They turned out beautifully and were even more beautiful with the frosting.  Because they made such a big batch, I shared them with my family and even a neighbor.  All of these instructions may make them sound very complicated, but it really wasn’t too bad and it was well worth the effort!  I hope you give these a try.  You’ll have plenty to share, which is always fun!

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Happy Baking!

Amy

Brown Sugar Frosting

Grandpa Wichterman Guitar Cropped

My Grandpa in 1938, playing his guitar in front of the log cabin that he and my Grandma lived in as newlyweds. Brownie his dog listens, enjoying the music.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every year, on the fourth Saturday in September, we attend a Fall Festival held by one of the small towns in our area. It’s such a simple event. Sometimes we laugh because there is so little to do there, but we love it. We like the quietness, the slowness, like we’ve briefly stepped back in time. We walk along and look at the tractors and the small hit and miss engines that are on display. Then stand and watch the cast iron, campfire cooking. After we get our fill of smoke, we wait our turn to go on the horse and wagon ride. The highlight of the day is the dulcimer band, though they play more than just dulcimers. There are other instruments, like the spoons, penny whistle, guitar, upright bass, and mandolin. The same musicians come every year and every year they play the same songs.

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Tractors on display at the Fall Festival.

The Fall Festival starts at 11:00am.  We always arrive around that time, with a picnic.  We bring the old “Indian blanket” and lawn chairs and sit, eating our lunch, in the shade of the big, Wild Cherry trees. I had talked with Amy the day before about what we were bringing to share for our picnic lunch.  I told her I’d bring some cupcakes.  I’d been dying to try my Grandma Dora’s Brown Sugar Frosting recipe that I’d found leafing through her box.  It sounded “fallish” and what better place to try it, but at our annual Fall Festival outing.

Brown Sugar Frosting RecipeBrown Sugar Frosting

  • 2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Bring all ingredients to a boil, stirring constantly.  Boil hard for one minute.  Beat with mixer until stiff enough to put on cake, about 3 minutes.  Frost cake while frosting is still warm so it spreads easily.

Brown Sugar Frosting Ingredients

I had already made my cupcakes, caramel flavored, which seemed like they’d make a perfect taste combination with Brown Sugar Frosting!  I gathered my ingredients and got started.

Brown Sugar Frosting PanI simply measured all of the ingredients into my saucepan and began heating it up on the stove top.

Brown Sugar Frosting Boiling Soon everything was melted and mixed together.  I raised the temperature and while whisking constantly, brought it up to a hard boil.  Once boiling, I timed it for one minute. Wait until you smell this while it’s cooking.  If you’ve ever been to Mackinac Island, this smell will take you back!  —  NO, it doesn’t smell like the horses!!  It smells like the rich, sweet fudge shops with the sugary, caramelized scent that pulls you right in their front doors!  Our house smelled wonderful!  With an aroma like that, I knew the taste had to be incredible!

Brown Sugar Frosting Mixing

After it was done boiling, I removed it from the heat and poured the hot syrup into my Kitchenaid.  I used my whisk attachment and beat it on the highest setting for about three minutes.  At that point, the syrup was beginning to thicken.  I knew that it would get even thicker as it cooled, so I turned it off and let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes while I got my cupcakes ready to frost.

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It was late when I was frosting the cupcakes that night.  Our boys were in bed and my husband was in reading.  I was thinking and quietly frosting them in the calm.  After some dripped off of my spatula, onto the table, I tasted it.  As I licked my finger, I shouted out, “OH BABY!” which my husband later teased me about, but I couldn’t help it, it was just THAT good! This frosting is kind of delicate. I had to frost my cupcakes when it was at just the right temperature. If it cooled too much, it got rather fudge-like. (Not that it was a bad thing, but it was harder to spread.) I frosted the cupcakes when the frosting was still warm and it went on smooth and hardened with a beautiful, glossy sheen! A couple of times, I could tell that the frosting was cooling and thickening too much, so I popped it into the microwave, for less than 5 seconds to thin it back down. It worked perfectly!

Brown Sugar Frosting Cupcakes3 At the end of our Fall Festival picnic, I got out my caramel cupcakes topped with the Brown Sugar Frosting and placed them on the old “Indian blanket”.   I was excited to see what everyone thought.  I knew what I thought!  Not to my surprise, everyone LOVED it!  My husband has requested it for his next birthday cake.  I was told that it was hands down, the best frosting they had ever eaten!  (It would also be great on Edna’s Butterscotch Cake.)

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Decorating the top of a cupcake, Brown Sugar Frosting looks simple and old-fashioned, but there’s absolutely nothing simple about the taste!

Happy Baking!

Wendy