Recipe Blasts from the Past

OK so this week I’ve gotten some requests for recipes printed looong ago – some from 2006. So here’s 2 out of 3  – real Kentucky cream candy and cream cheese cookies. I’m hunting up the recipe for and fire & ice pickles. I’m pretty amazed how you remember – that’s what makes this site so fun to maintain.

You know if you are a regular reader of my column that the recipes I share are usually easy enough to duplicate by the home cook. I try to steer away from exotic ingredients that require a special shopping trip. But today I’m really veering off course by sharing the recipe for authentic Kentucky cream candy. I mentioned it in an earlier column and put it on my website but still have been inundated with requests for it. So here it is, and, as you will see from reading the recipe, this is not for the faint of heart. But you know what? I can’t think of a better gift than this special confection. So go ahead and try – and let me know how it turns out.
Ms. Lyde Simpson’s Real Kentucky cream candy 
In December, 1953, the then editor of the Cincinnati Post said this in her column: “In reading the recipe, I found out that having the recipe is only half the battle. The best thing is to SEE it made and be prepared for a series of fizzles before you finally turn out the perfect creamy white buttery candy which looks like fat pieces of pulled taffy, but which crumbles into meltingly sweet bits at the first gentle bite. Ms Simpson was a Nicholasville, Kentucky reader and was one of the most expert makers of this candy. So she told exactly how to make it, and here it is. You will need a marble slab and either a candy pulling hook mounted to a door jam or good sturdy wall or a second person to help with the pulling.”
3 cups sugar
3/4 cup cold water
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup cream (note from Rita: I would use whipping cream)
1/2 stick butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
Put sugar into pan and add cold water. Place on low and stir until all sugar is dissolved. Wipe grains from side of pan (note from Rita: use a brush dipped in water). Bring to boiling and cook to 238 degrees. Add soda which has been dissolved in a few drops of cold water.
Let boil hard for 5 minutes longer, then add cream, one teaspoonful at a time, so that the mixture never stops boiling.  Let boil about 10 minutes, then add the butter, a small piece at a time. In 5 minutes add 1/2 teaspoon salt, then cook to hard ball stage, 260 degrees.
Pour out onto cold marble slab and cool just enough so you can pick it up and pull.  Pull for about 20 minutes, or until you can no longer pull it and it is beginning to lose its glossy appearance.
Pull out into a long rope about 1” or a little less in diameter, and place on marble slab.  Very quickly cut into pieces with buttered scissors.
The “creaming” which transforms the candy from a taffy like consistency to its finished texture sometimes takes place practically as soon as the candy is cut, and sometimes it takes overnight.
Do not store the candy until it has “creamed”, then pack it into tin boxes with tight fitting lids.
Note: Don’t try to make this candy on a damp rainy day.  It’s best made on a clear, crackling crisp mid-winter day. You could try to make it in warm weather, and see if it turns out.
Cheesecake cookies
The reader didn’t leave her name but lost this favorite cookie. “I’d love to make these again”, she said. Thanks to all who shared, including Rosie Kennedy of Kentucky, Nancy and Joe, Bethel Journal readers, and a Loveland Herald reader.
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup flour
1/3 cup melted butter
8 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons milk
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
Mix brown sugar, nuts and flour. Stir in butter and mix until crumbly.
Reserve 1 cup of the mixture and press remainder into an 8-inch square pan.  Bake at 350, 12 to 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth.  Beat in egg.  Add lemon juice, milk and vanilla; blend.
Pour into baked crust and top with reserved crumbs.  Bake 20-25 more minutes. Store in refrigerator.

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