Category Archives: Baking with Beckville

Just a Little Lefse*

Not long after I was assigned to the Southwestern Minnesota Synod, I had a realization that chilled me to the bone.

If we stayed in Minnesota for more than few years, my as yet unborn child would learn to play not “Duck, Duck, Goose” but “Duck, Duck, Gray Duck.”  (Pro Tip: all you Minnesotans are playing this game wrong.)

Luckily, Minnesota has other cultural delights.  Yesterday, Zoe got to experience a great one:

Lefse-making with some of the ladies at Beckville.  Zoe and I were not much help–I bagged the completed lefse while she ate candy corn, rearranged paper cups and toothpicks, and caused one piece of uncooked lefse to hit the floor.  You’re welcome, lefse makers!

This kind of cooking requires way more precision than either of us can handle.  I was mostly in it for the fellowship.  And the chance to taste some broken pieces hot off the griddle.  I can now confirm that this lefse is delicious, and everyone should come buy it at Beckville’s Fancy Cookie Sale on December 3rd.

See?  I helped.

*The post title was inspired by my dim memory of this song, which is actually anti-lefse (and pretty silly, as any song about lefse is bound to be).

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Holy Moly, Macaroons (Baking with Beckville report)

golden delicious

I love macaroons.  Upon reflection, I have a surprising number of fond macaroon-related memories.  At least two: the first time I brought Mike home to Chicago, my parents served macaroons from the Mexican bakery in the neighborhood.  These were enormous, decadent, delicious macaroons (I mean, especially so).  Mike and my sister Claire, who had been very polite all evening, duked it out over the last one.  Macaroons bring people together.

A few months later, after a solo visit home, I called Mike to tell him I was back in town (we lived in Milwaukee at the time).  He was happy to hear it.  When I told him I had brought macaroons from that Mexican bakery, his joy increased exponentially: “I love you!” he exclaimed with great feeling.  Lucky for him, this was not the first time he had made such a declaration.

Anyway.  Mike and I both love macaroons, but for some reason, it never occurred to me to make them myself.  Until I got my hands on Beckville’s Yellow Cookbook and found this very easy recipe for Jello Pudding Macaroons:

  • 1 pkg. vanilla pudding
  • 2-2/3 cup Angel Flake coconut
  • 2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract

Combine and drop on greased and floured baking sheet.  Garnish before baking with nuts, candied fruit or frosting beads.  Bake 325 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until edges are golden brown.  Remove at once and cool on rack.  Use wet spatula for easy removal.

I was delighted to find Angel Flake, the brand of shredded coconut specified in the recipe, at Econofoods (which, in case you are wondering, has a much better selection of “baking needs” than our local Wal-Mart).  They even had a bag with the exact amount of coconut required!

I bought that, plus a bag with more than twice the amount of coconut, because one day we are going to make granola.  I went home, sat Zoe, her Dolly, and her Chickie in the booster seat, and followed the recipe exactly.

Except I left off the garnish (on purpose) and used the giant bag of coconut (by mistake).

Now, I am no macaroon expert, but I think my mistake made these even more delicious!  I love sweetened condensed milk and vanilla pudding mix as much as the next person (okay, probably more than the next ten people), but I think the extra coconut kept those yummy things from overpowering the star of the show, the coconut itself.  So, if you use 5-1/3 cups of coconut instead of 2-2/3, you will not be disappointed.  

Plus, you will have more macaroons.  At least for an hour or two.

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Thick Pancakes (Baking with Beckville report)

This week I bragged about my new-to-me church cookbook, and gave you lucky readers the chance to choose the first recipe I would make out of that cookbook.  (Read that exciting post here.)  As you can see from the comments, I have three votes so far, one for each choice.  So this time, everyone’s a winner, and I’m going to try to make all three this weekend!

I started with the simplest recipe, which Zoe and I made for breakfast this morning: thick pancakes.  Here are the ingredients:

  • 5 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
I had all the ingredients on hand (I have a two-year-old who has just discovered, “I like eggs!”).  The directions are simple: “Beat together; pour into a 9 x 13 pan–hot and greased generously.  Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes.  Cut and serve with syrup.”
Yum, right?  We followed the directions exactly, but after 25 minutes the pancake did not look done.  We let it bake for probably 10 minutes more, and it looked . . . slightly more done.  It looked, in fact, about how you would expect 5 eggs, two cups of milk, and 1/4 of flour to look.
So, it was definitely more eggy than I would expect a pancake to taste, but it was good!  I thought syrup would be gross on the pancake because it looked more like egg bake, but it was pretty tasty.  In my experience, syrup is almost never a bad idea.
Next up: since Mike is nearly recovered from the stomach bug that’s been making the rounds at our house, I think we’ll celebrate with Jello Pudding Macaroons.  As my mother would say, “Festive!”

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Baking with Beckville: Welcome, Yellow Cookbook!

The coveted yellow cookbook.

Last week I hosted the Beckville book club at my house (we read Unbroken, and everyone is right: it is an incredible book), and something Amazing happened . . .

I received a copy of The Yellow Cookbook.

It may not look like much, but Beckville’s Favorites, the first of two cookbooks from Beckville Lutheran Church (one of the churches I serve) is a pretty spectacular prize.  Beckville is famous for their potlucks and church suppers, and rightly so: these folks can cook.  

The church has no more copies of either the yellow or the more recent blue cookbook, but people are constantly referring me to them.  It usually goes like this:

Me: “This is delicious!”

Cook: “Oh, it’s from the Yellow Cookbook.”

Me: “I don’t have the Yellow Cookbook.”

Cook: “You don’t?”

Me: “No!”

Cook: “Oh!  Well, I don’t have any extra copies.”

Me: 😦

So when one of the book club ladies discovered that she in fact did have an extra copy and presented it to me last week, you can imagine my great joy.  I have the Yellow Cookbook!!!

Sadly, the recipe I really want (for the simply and accurately named “Good Cookie”) is apparently in the still-at-large Blue Cookbook.  But there are plenty of potential gems in Old Yellow, and I’m excited to try them out.  Since I am a vegetarian, quite a few of these gems are not ones I’m likely to try, so I’m calling this feature Baking with Beckville.  Because lucky for me, most dessert does not contain meat.

To get things rolling, I invite you, dear readers, to choose my first recipe.  What should I make this weekend?

  1. Thick Pancakes
  2. Jello Pudding Macaroons
  3. Favorite Cookies
Vote for your vicarious weekend treat in the comments!

 

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