Orange Slices candy

Most people probably think I knew how to cook when I got married, but they are so wrong. Looking through some old cookbooks brought back memories of a young bride who depended on those special recipes on wrappers, the back of the box, or on cans.

You can understand why "The Back of the Box Gourmet" cookbook by Michael McLaughlin is a favorite. One of the recipes that caught my attention was the classic German Chocolate Cake. For many years, I kept the wrapper from a German sweet chocolate bar because it was the only place I could find that wonderful recipe.

Another cake recipe that makes my mouth water just to read it is Milky Way Bar Swirl Cake. I have put this one on my list of recipes to try. (I noticed that the recipe calls for an 18 ½-ounce box of cake mix, and the ones now are smaller. However, I don't think that will be a problem with this recipe.)

Even though the Milky Way candy bar was introduced in 1923, evidently the cake recipe is not that old; it calls for a Bundt pan, which became popular after it was used in the Tunnel of Fudge Cake, which was a winning recipe in the Pillsbury Bakeoff in 1966.

The Easy Orange Slice Cookies are not a back-of-the-box recipe, but a reader requested it and this seems like the time to share it, because candy is a major ingredient. This is one of my original recipes made with pie crust mix. I started using pie crust mix for cookies in 1970, when I won my third trip to the Bake-Off. That year it was held in San Diego.

MILKY WAY BAR SWIRL CAKE

  • 2 Milky Way bars (2.23 ounces each), sliced
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 package (18 ½ ounces) pudding-in-the-mix yellow cake mix
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Stir the 2 sliced Milky Way bars and 2 tablespoons water in a medium saucepan over low heat until melted and smooth; let cool slightly. Meanwhile, generously grease and flour a 12-cup Bundt-type pan. Mix the cake mix, 1 cup water, oil and eggs in large bowl and with an electric mixer beat at low speed until combined. Beat 2 minutes at high speed. Add ⅔ cup batter and flour to the Milky Way bar mixture and blend. Pour the remaining plain batter into prepared pan. Spoon the Milky Way bar mixture onto the batter. Do not allow it to touch the sides of pan. Run a knife through the batters to swirl. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until cake tests done. Cool cake in pan on cooling rack 25 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely. Sprinkle cake with confectioners’ sugar, if desired, then drizzle with glaze (recipe follows). Makes about 12 servings.

MILKY WAY BAR GLAZE: Stir 2 Milky Way bars, sliced; 2 tablespoons butter and 2 teaspoons water in small saucepan over heat until smooth. Let cool slightly to reach a glaze consistency.

EASY ORANGE SLICE COOKIES

  • 1 box (11 ounces) pie crust mix
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon coconut flavoring
  • ½ cup chopped candy orange slices
  • ½ cup chopped dates
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • Confectioners’ sugar for coating cookies

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine pie crust mix, baking soda and brown sugar. Stir to mix. Add eggs and coconut flavoring and beat until mixed. Stir in orange slices, dates and pecans. Drop from a spoon onto an ungreased baking sheet, spacing cookies about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from cookie sheet and coat well with confectioners’ sugar. Cool on rack.

Contact Prudence Hilburn at prudencehilburn@aol.com.