Butter Horns (Cold Set)

In the world of butter horn recipes, there is a lot of variation. Some doughs use sour cream, cottage cheese, or just butter. Some have fillings, some don’t. Some chill overnight and bake immediately afterwards, others chill, raise and then bake. I could not find a lot of information on the history of butter horns, although one site claims they originated in Austria in the 18th century as a way to celebrate the removal of the Ottoman Turks from the area. The crescent shaped sweet was a way to “eat their enemies.” Butter horns may be of Jewish origin, or maybe German, Hungarian, Austrian…many places lay claim to this treat.

This particular recipe is a “cold set” meaning the dough will rest overnight, then be allowed to raise again before baking. Modern recipes would likely have you rest it in the refrigerator overnight. Also, most recipes I have seen have you roll out the dough like a pizza or pie crust, then slice it into wedges. It isn’t completely clear if that is what the recipe wants or if this lady had some other method.

Butter Horns (cold set)

4 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 pound butter (or half lard and butter)

1 1/2 cups milk

2 eggs

2 cents yeast (probably 2 teaspoons)

Put all dry ingredients together. Add butter, mix like pie crust. Beat eggs. Then put eggs, milk, and yeast in (the yeast having been standing in a little milk and sugar). Whip for 13 minutes. Let stand over night. Take a small amount of dough and roll very thin. Cut into a triangle, spread with butter (melted) and roll up, wide end first. Put on tin. Let raise for 2 or 3 hours. Bake in moderate oven (350) 10 to 15 minutes. Spread with butter frosting.

None Better Waffles

I have to admit my waffle failure. I received a waffle iron early in my marriage, and I fondly remembered my mother making waffles on a special occasion or random weekend breakfast. Excited, I told my husband I would be making waffles for breakfast. With great anticipation I made them…and made an enormous mess. The batter squeezed out of the waffle iron and the waffles themselves were soggy & undercooked in the middles while being close to burnt on the edges. Discouraged, I quickly turned the rest of the batter into pancakes. I tried one other time. I again had the oozing batter. The actual waffles were cooked evenly. Regardless, I figured waffles were too dang messy to make and I eventually got rid of the waffle iron. These days we have Eggo’s. It’s a shame really. I suspect if I tried again with a better (not cheap) iron they might come out better.

This recipe for the None Better Waffle is a sour milk waffle recipe. My friend and occasional site commenter Diane B has told me that sour milk waffles are delicious. She apparently has mastered the waffle iron. :-)

None Better Waffles (Virginia Schabel)

1 cup flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

2 egg whites

2 egg yolks

1/2 teaspoon soda

1 cup sour milk

3 tablespoons melter butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

Stir flour, salt, baking powder and sugar two times and put into bowl. Add soda to sour milk. Add egg yolks, vanilla and milk to dry ingredients and mix well. Add melted butter, cooled, and mix again. Fold in beaten egg whites. Bake in a hot iron until golden brown. (Sour milk should be thick and glossy for best results)

Mountain Snow Puffs

This recipe for mountain snow puffs starts off with a choux base – meaning a cream puff. Next comes a filling of pineapple and coconut. The structure of the recipe is similar to our modern format, but the method reads a bit like your grandma is telling you over the phone what to do.

Mountain Snow Puffs

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup shortening

1 cup water

4 eggs

Bring water and shortening to a boil, add flour and beat well. Cook until mixture leaves sides of pan, stirring constantly. Remove from fire, cool and add unbeaten eggs one at a time. Beat well after each egg is added. Drop from spoon on buttered pan 2 inches apart. Mold dough in neat round balls. Bake 10 minutes at 450 degrees then reduce to 400 degrees and bake 1/2 hour. Now prepare filling as follows:

1 can crushed pineapple

1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in small amount of cold water

1 cup sugar

2 eggs well beaten

1 cup cocoanut

1/2 teaspoon salt

Boil until thick, and cool.

Cut puffs through center. Fill with pineapple mixture. Cover entire puff well with whipped ream to which you add a little sugar. Take another teaspoonful cream, slide if off so as to form a peak on top. Now take 3 red cherries, ut in halves and place cut side down around the puff. Then place one whole cherry on top, and you have a fine looking mountain. Serves 12.

A page from home economics, circa 1930

There is quite a lot of information included on these pages concerning cereals. The entries are not about boxes of cereal purchased from a grocery store, but about the actual grains rice, wheat, oats, corn. It’s easy for us to forget that in the early 20th century, while processed cereal was available in the store, these grains were also available in the whole grain state for various uses. Young women were taught the nutritional value of the various grains, as well as how to use them.

This knowledge of food values would help women as they entered their adult life with a family to cook for and presumably helped them select the most nutritious foods.

Toward the end of this section you will find general cooking information for grains, which includes “cook them a long time” and “wash them before cooking”. Some of these instructions are common sense still, but for those who have never cooked rice on the stove, for instance, they might be good pointers. I thought this section was interesting because of the nutritional and general information, but also you can just imagine Irene sitting in class writing down what the instructor said as the lecture progressed. Considering that many other sections did not have a comprehensive definition or description of cooking methods, I wonder if this lesson was early in the class and eventually Irene stopped taking notes.


Banana Layer Cake

This is another recipe with little information, and does not include a baking temperature or time. I believe this falls back again on a cook’s knowledge. So often I find vintage recipes that don’t include these pieces of information and I think women just knew based on their experience. Of course, modern women are not full time housewives for the most part, so we don’t bake cakes every day or even every week. We have modern conveniences like cake mixes to rely on and we don’t have to remember optimal baking temperatures because for the most part recipes and mixes have the information printed out for us. I suppose a time when girls attended trade school and home economics was a popular class in school, the knowledge such as the optimal temperature to bake a round cake vs a loaf cake might have been easily accessible or just known. (By the way, I don’t know either so don’t worry!)

Banana Layer Cake

Cream 1/2 cup butter, add 1 1/2 cups sugar, mix well, stir in 2 egg yolks. Sift 2 cups of cake flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt three times. Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon soda in 1/2 cup sour milk, add alternately to mixture. Add 1 cup mashed bananas and lastly fold in 2 stiffly beaten egg whites.


There’s a lot to unpack there! Let’s reframe it.

Banana Layer Cake

1/2 cup butter

1 1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs, separated, whites stiffly beaten

2 cups cake flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup sour milk

1 cup mashed bananas

Cream butter and sugar well. Stir in egg yolks. Sift flour, baking powder and salt. (Modern flour is less likely to clump, so you don’t have to do it three times) Dissolve baking soda in sour milk. Add flour and milk mixtures to butter mixture a little bit at a time, alternating between flour and milk. Make sure it is all combined well. Add the mashed bananas. Finally add the stiffly beaten egg whites and gently combine, being careful not to knock out any loft.

Pour into two greased 8″ round cake pans. (Or more depending on how much batter, I have not made this yet! Fill them half full.) Bake at 350º 30-35 minutes, checking for doneness with a toothpick. When the toothpick comes out clean the cake is done. Set on racks to cool, and turn out of the pans after 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool completely before moving on.

Make a filling – vanilla icing or even a cream cheese icing would be nice

When cakes are completely cool, split them in half to make four layers. Put a dab of icing on the cake plate, then a layer of cake, then a layer of icing, then a layer of cake, etc. until all layers are stacked. Ice the top and sides if enough icing remains. Bonus points, add some chopped nuts on top.

500 Cake

I’m not really sure what the 500 in 500 Cake means. Possibly $500, but why not put the dollar symbol? I have a recipe for Oscar’s $100 Cake that dates from this general era, so a $500 banana cake recipe seems a bit of an expense! The town of Cudahy is a small one located in Wisconsin. The house is modest, on a  corner, with a view of fields. It doesn’t appear much changed from the time when Mrs Albert Ollmann was making this cake. I found a lovely and very complete history of the town on the Cudahy Historical Society page. Seems like a sweet, small town.

500 Cake

1/2 cup butter

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup sour milk

1 cup mashed bananas

1/2 cup chopped dates

1/2 cup chopped nuts

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 cups flour

Cream shortening (i.e. butter) and sugar, then add eggs. Beat all together and add sour milk with soda, mashed bananas, dates and nuts, then flour and baking powder.

Bake somehow… Try: pour into greased loaf pan and bake at 350º for 30-45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Puff Ball Do-Nuts

From Mrs Ervin Eilers, today we have Puff Ball Do-nuts. They sound a bit like donut holes to me. Yum!

I have not tested this recipe and rarely use hot oil for cooking. If you decide to try it, use caution with the oil or fat that you use. Maybe even use a donut fryer, that may be safer.

Puff Ball Do-nuts

Two eggs, well beaten, mixed with 1 cup sugar, 1 cup milk, pinch of salt, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 2 1/2 cups flour and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Have the lard smoking and drop in by very small teaspoons. When too large teaspoons are put in they will not bake through.


2 eggs, well beaten

1 cup sugar

1 cup milk

Pinch salt

2 t baking powder

2 1/2 c flour

1 t vanilla

Lard or oil for frying

Combine all ingredients. Heat fat. Drop by small teaspoons into the hot fat (possibly use a teaspoon measure rather than a spoon from your silverware). Test one and see if it comes out right. Adjust amount of dough and cooking time as needed.