Susie’s Four Layer Dessert

Four Layer Dessert

Makes one 9 x 13 pan

Heat oven to 350º

Layer 1:
1/2 cup soften butter
1 cup flour (5 ounces)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, or almonds all work)

Layer 2:
8 ounces softened cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 container Cool Whip

Layer 3:
2 small packages chocolate pudding
3 cups cold milk

Layer 4:
1/2 container Cool Whip

Optional final topping: chocolate shavings or chopped nuts

Combine layer one ingredients and press into the 9 x 13 pan. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes. Let it cool off completely.

Mix the second layer ingredients together and spread over the first layer, then do the same for the third layer.  Finish with the final (Cool Whip) layer. If using the optional nuts/chocolate shavings, add them. Let this chill for several hours before serving.


LaVera Churchill’s Date Nut Pudding

AKA Christmas Epoxy

Set oven to 350º
Serves 6


1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
2 Tbl flour

2 eggs separated, whites beaten to stiff peaks stage.
1 cup dates
1 cup walnuts (lightly toasted preferred)

Mix dry ingredients and yolks until thoroughly combined – it will be crumbly.  Stir in dates. Fold in the beaten egg whites, then fold in the nuts.

Line a 9 x 13 pan with parchment paper. Pour mixture into pan as spread evenly. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.

New Foolproof Method For Pie Crust

Image result for pie crustMaking pies is a Haines family tradition. While Grammy and Aunt Cheryl always favored Coco’s Harvest Pie, many of us went with Grandma Haines’ pumpkin.  Aunt Maureen took it a step further with her rhubarb (don’t muck it up with strawberries!).

Either way, pie needs a proper crust.. Flaky, buttery, but most importantly – foolproof!

Make 1 standard crust

2 tsp cornstarch
3 Tbl water
159 grams (1 1/2 cups) all purpose flour
2 tsp sugar
1/4 salt
10 Tbl cold butter cut into small pieces
2 Tbl sour cream, regular, not light

Combine cornstarch and water. Microwave 15 seconds, stir, heat 15 seconds more. Chill in freezer for 10 minutes.

In food processor, combine sugar, flour, salt and process until combined. Add cold cornstarch gel, and pulse until dispersed evenly.  Add butter and sour cream.  Process until dough comes together, about 30 seconds. Take the dough, form into a 4 inch disk, then wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour at least, up to 24.

Heat oven to 375º. Roll and fit dough to pie plate. Crimp edges. Freeze for 15 minutes to set it.

Blind baking: line with foil and fill with weights (rice, beans, or pennies). Bake until light brown on the edges, about 25 minutes. Remove weights and foil and bake for 6-10 minutes longer or until the bottom starts to brown.

Tip. I love using a pie crust bag for rolling out dough. It is so much neater.

ChefLand Easy Baking Pie Crust Maker Bag, Set of 2
Set of 2 – Easy Baking Pie Crust Maker Bag
by ChefLand
Link:Easy Baking Bag, Amazon
Tip:  dedicate a bag of rice or beans for your pie weights. Let them cool off before storing for reuse. Always fill the pie pan all the way up with the weights. It keeps the dough from shrinking while baking.

Aunt Phyllis’ Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookies

Aunt Phyllis, Grandma’s sister in Washington, found this recipe on the side of a box of sugar in 1963 and has been making them ever since. She and her daughter Denise make a quadruple batch of these cookies, along with Great Grandma Stuewe’s Pfeffernuese cookies.

These sugar cookies are not too sweet, with a touch of “pie crust cookie” taste.

Preheat oven to 375º

1 cup sugar

1 cup butter

1 egg, well beaten

1 ½ teaspoon vanilla

½ cup milk

1 teaspoon baking powder

3 cups flour

½ cups salt.


Cream butter and sugar.  Add egg to milk. Sift flour with baking powder, combine mixtures and work into smooth dough.  The dough will be soft.

Flour the workspace generously. Roll the dough thin to ¼ inch. Cut with cookie cutters. Bake until light brown and crisp.

Chocolate Supreme Cake, aka Ration Cake

Chocolate Supreme Cake

Ration cakes were made popular during WWII when sugar, butter and eggs were rationed.  They used minimum ingredients, yet maximized taste.

This is Grandma’s quick and easy “go to” dessert. Simple, yet wonderfully tasty, it does together quickly with simple pantry ingredients.

Makes 1 8×8 pan

Preheat oven to 325º


1 ½ cups flour

1 cup sugar

3 Tablespoons cocoa

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda


6 tablespoons margarine, melted (or salted butter)

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 Tablespoon white vinegar

1 cup cold water

Sift all the dry ingredients into an ungreased 8×8 baking pan. Make 3 depressions in the dry ingredients. Add melted butter in the first depression, vinegar in the second depression, vinegar in the third depression.  Pour water over and stir just to combine.


Bake for 30-35 minutes.  Serve with ice cream.

Chocolate Chip Date Cake

Chocolate chip data cake

Uncle John always asked for this cake for his birthday. Grandma Haines would always make this to bring camping because it stays nice and moist for several days,

Serves 8

Preheat oven to 350º

1 cup dates

1 ¼ cups boiling water

1 teaspoon baking soda


¾ cup shortening

1 cup sugar

2 eggs


2 cups flour

¼  teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon cocoa


¼ cup sugar

1 small package chocolate chips

½ cup walnuts


Combine dates, boiling water, and baking soda in a small bowl.  In a mixer, cream together shortening, sugar, then 2 eggs.  Add date/water/soda mixture. Sift together flour, salt, and cocoa. Add to mixer and stir to combine.

Pour cake into greased 9 x 13 pan.  Combine topping ingredients (sugar, chocolate chips, walnuts) into a small bowl. Sprinkle evenly over cake.

Bake 40 minutes.



These cookies were made by ”Mutter”, Grandpa Stuewe’s mother, every Christmas. When she passed away, Grandma Stuewe would make them and mail them to each family.  There is a hot family debate on the proper softness of these cookies.  Freshly made, they are a firm spice cookie with a soft center. However, SOME prefer them rock hard – as in “you should be able to break a window when thrown” hard.

This family recipe was recovered from Aunt Phyllis who makes over 200 of these cookies each Christmas for her family. She and her daughter, Denise, get together for a weekend of wine, baking, and lots of “catching up”. If you can ever make it to her farm house in Ellensburg for this event, bring an extra cookie sheet and some Ziplock bags, cuz you ain’t leaving home without a bag of Pfeffernuesse and their wonderful sugar cookies.

Makes 100 cookies

Preheat oven to 375º

2 cups molasses
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups shortening, melted

2 eggs, 2-3 grated lemon rinds

1 teaspoon ginger

2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1 teaspoon allspice

½ teaspoon nutmeg

½ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 cup of wine any kind, flour to stiffen at least 11 cups.

Combine all ingredients until smooth– this makes a VERY STIFF batter. Roll into 11/2 teaspoon balls and place tight against each other on baking sheet (these cookies do not spread).

Bake for 20 minutes. Store in air-tight container to keep soft, or store in paper bag to dry. Cookies will harden and are intended to be dunked to soften.

Kahlua Bundt Cake


Originally a Grandma Haines special recipe, this cake is a favorite with the Correll family and has been featured at many a birthday party.

Serves 6 – 8
Preheat oven to 350º

Butter for coating the punt cake pan

1 package yellow cake mix
1 small vanilla instant pudding mix
1 cup Kahlua
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 Tablespoons melted butter

Kahlua Glaze

2 cups powder sugar

2-3 Tablespoons Kahlua

Mix all ingredients together and stir until smooth. Pour into a generously buttered bundt pan. Bake for approximately 50-60 min. Cool for 1 hour. Mix powdered sugar and Kahlua glaze is pourable. Drizzle over cake and let harden.

Serve with ice cream.

Grape-Nut Pudding

Grapenut pudding

Pawtucket, Rhode Island, the birthplace of Robert Francis Haines, aka Grandpa Haines. As a young boy, Grandpa would learn to eat New England classics (boiled meat dinner anyone?) that would make a Yankee proud.  Grape-Nut pudding was one of those dishes that Grandma makes for him on his birthday as an alternative to his much beloved blueberry pie.

Serves six

Preheat oven to 350º

1 cup Grape-Nuts cereal

4 cups (1 quart) whole milk

¾ cup sugar

3 large eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon. vanilla

Sprinkling of ground nutmeg

Mix thoroughly and pour into an oven safe bowl or 9 x 13 baking dish. Sprinkle with ground nutmeg. Bake 30 – 40 minutes until outside is firm, but middle jiggles slightly.  Let rest for 1 hour.

Serve with whipping cream