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Texas Recipes

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Mexican Orange Candy


3 cups Sugar

1/4 cup Boiling water

1 cup Evaporated milk

2 teaspoons Grated orange peel

1 cup Chopped pecans

Dash of salt


Slowly sift one cup of the sugar into a hot, heavy frying pan, stirring constantly to caramelize. Add boiling water. When sugar is melted, add the two cups of remaining sugar, milk and salt, stirring constantly. Cook to 236 degrees or soft ball stage. Remove from heat and add orange rind. Cool until you can put your hand comfortably on the bottom of the pan. Add nuts and beat until candy holds its shape. Drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper. Cool. Makes about three dozen.


Christmas Pudding Candy (A Texas recipe from 1852)


Cook 3 cups sugar, one cup of light cream or milk and 1 teaspoon butter to softball stage. Beat until creamy. Then beat in 1 pound of dates, 1 pound or raisins, 1 pound of figs and 1 pound of coconut which have been run through the food chopper. ( You can use candied fruitcake mixture for part of fruit mixture). Add 1 or 2 cups of pecans and 1 teaspoon vanilla. When well mixed, roll into logs and wrap in damp cloth until cool. When the candy is cool, remove the cloth and wrap it in waxed paper and put away to ripen for at least two weeks. The longer it ages, the better.

If times are hard around your house, you might want to try this low budget recipe from 1850 Texas.


Cornmeal Pie


Mix 1 cup of sugar, 3 eggs, 3 tablespoons cornmeal, 1 tablespoon flour and a pinch of salt with 1/2 cup of milk and 1/3 cup of melted butter. Mix well. Pour into an unbaked pie shell and bake in medium oven until crust is brown and filling is set.


Old-Fashioned Kolache Dough

1 cup milk, scalded

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter

1 package dry yeast

3 eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon salt

5 cups all-purpose flour


Scald the milk, add sugar and butter, and stir to dissolve. Allow it to cool to warm, then add the yeast and let it begin to work. Add eggs.

Put the milk mixture in a large mixing bowl. Measure the flour and salt into another bowl. With an electric mixer, slowly work the flour mixture into the dough bowl. When the dough becomes too thick for the mixer to handle, start working in the flour by hand. When the dough starts to come together and leave the sides of the bowl it is just right. Form the dough into a ball and cover. Let rise in warm place until doubled.


Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and knead gently until it comes together and is soft and elastic. Divide the dough into egg-size pieces. Flatten and form into square or round. Make a depression in the center with your floured thumb. Fill the depression with 1 rounded teaspoon of filling. Let the filled kolaches rise about 20 minutes. Brush tops with beaten egg mixed with a little milk and sugar.


Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned.

This recipe will make enough for your family and the neighbors, too. Exact count depends on how big you make them.


Kolache Filling


Apricot - Place 1 pound dried apricots in a pan with cool water. Let soak several hours. Bring to slow simmer and add sugar to taste, if desired. Cook until very soft. Stir vigorously to get a smooth consistency or run them through the food processor. Re-cook until you get the desired consistency. You can add a few drops of lemon juice for a little added zip.


Prune - Made the same way as the apricot filling.


Pineapple - Simmer well-drained canned, crushed pineapple until it thickens.


Cottage Cheese

1 pound dry cottage cheese (Farmers cheese)

1/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon butter

1 egg, beaten

1/4 teaspoon lemon zest

Melt butter. Cool slightly. Add rest of ingredients, taste and adjust for sweetness.


Poppy Seed

1/2 pound ground poppy seeds

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Add enough milk to make a thick mix. Let stand overnight to absorb the liquid.

You can use just about any fruit filling in the kolaches. Just don't use jam or jelly. Jam and jelly will liquefy in the heat of the oven and make a big mess.


Real quick kolaches

Grab a can of biscuits. Separate and place on lightly greased cookie sheet. Make a depression in the center of each with your thumb. Add a teaspoon of filling, brush with beaten egg with small amount of sugar added. Bake until done to your liking. You might get away with using some no-sugar jam in this recipe. It doesn't break down like regular jam.

In all cases, sprinkle your fresh-out-of-the-oven kolaches with powdered sugar before serving.


Texas Baklava


1 lb. phyllo pastry

1 lb. chopped pecans

3 tablespoons cinnamon, divided

pinch of ground cloves

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 cup brown sugar

2 New Mexico Hatch chiles, roasted, skinned, de-seeded and chopped

lb. butter (3 sticks)

1 cup honey

Juice from 1 lemon

1 package fresh blueberries or 1 cup frozen blueberries, thawed


Mix the pecans, 2 tablespoons of the cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, brown sugar and the chiles. Divide into thirds and set aside. Divide the blueberries into thirds and set aside.


In a saucepan, melt together the butter, honey, lemon juice and 1 tablespoon cinnamon.


If you bought frozen phyllo dough, let it thaw in your fridge overnight.

Preheat your oven to 350F. Set up your work area with all ingredients, keeping the area dry. Butter a 9”x9”x2” or larger casserole dish. Begin layering the phyllo dough in the dish. With a pastry brush, brush on enough of the butter mixture to coat but not saturate each sheet of phyllo dough. After 4 layers of dough and butter, sprinkle one-third of the nut mixture in an even layer. Sprinkle one-third of the blueberries evenly the nut layer. You can alternate this (four sheets phyllo dough with butter between each sheet, then another layer of nuts and another layer of blueberries) two more times, finishing with a top layer of buttered phyllo sheets. Cut diamond shapes into the top layer. Do not cut all the way through. The scoring just makes it easier to cut.


Bake at 350F. After about 50 minutes, check the Baklava. It needs to be nice and brown, which can take up to an hour. When it is nicely browned, remove it from the oven and pour the rest of the butter honey mixture on top. Let it cool at least an hour before serving.

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