By CYMBRE FOSTER, Special to the Record-Eagle
TRAVERSE CITY — When Caroline Bardenhagen was too sick to cook, the parishioners of Holy Rosary Church near Cedar brought her family food. They loved the recipes so much that Bardenhagen thought it would be a great idea to compile them into a cookbook.
She formed a cookbook committee and solicited the parish for their favorite recipes. More than 500 were submitted and "The Heavenly Favorites" cookbook debuted this summer.
"The whole parish really came through," said Bardenhagen. "It's a wonderful recipe collection. There are a lot of really great Polish recipes and really good gluten-free recipes."
It's not unusual for churches and other organizations to compile their recipes into cookbooks that serve both as fundraisers as well as a way of sharing potluck, family and ethnic favorites.
Holy Rosary's includes sections for appetizers, beverages, vegetables and side dishes, main dishes, breads and rolls, desserts, cookies and candy. It's also full of bread recipes, from quick breads like chocolate banana to coffee hour and beer bread. There's also a Christmas cream cheese cookie recipe perfect for cutouts. The "This and That" section includes recipes for inedible goodies like play dough, modeling clay and life advice.
"There are a lot of Catholic tidbits throughout and even our bishop submitted a recipe," said Bardenhagen.
Holiday recipes can be found throughout the book, including several of Polish origin like Chrusciki, or Angel Wings. A strip of sweet pastry, it's quickly fried and dusted with a little confectioners sugar or a drizzle of honey.
"There are quite a few eggs in it and a little brandy," said Bardenhagen. "It's really popular around the holidays."
The church is hosting a bake and coat sale Dec. 8 after the 4 p.m. Mass and Dec. 9 after the 8 a.m. Mass until 1 p.m. The books will also be available for purchase for $18 and are sold at Bunting's in Maple City. All cookbook proceeds go to the church's capital campaign for parish building improvements.
The Jordan River Arts Council Cookbook, "Flavors and Visions," was first published in 2006 and includes more than 200 recipes from members. It also offers reproductions of members' original art work, from paintings to pottery, on every page.
The book encompasses appetizers, soups and salads, entrees, beverages, breads, desserts and a section titled "Chefs of the North," which mainly includes recipes from Charlevoix County restaurants, said Nancy Carey, a founding member of the arts council and member of the cookbook committee.
"My husband's baklava recipe is in it," said Carey. "He makes it every Christmas and he makes it a little lighter than the traditional recipe."
She suggested a recipe for Iced Almonds as ideal for a party.
"They include sugar, butter and vanilla, then baked," said Carey. "They're a nice little treat."
"Flavors and Visions" also includes a Tips and Tidbits section with craft project ideas and other advice like how to fold napkins and make fancy garnishes.
The 250-page cookbook was laid out by a graphic designer and is a work of art itself, said Carey. It is $25 and available at the JRAC office at 301 Main in East Jordan or at www.jordanarts.com. Proceeds are used for operations and scholarships.
The Long Lake Friends Church in Traverse City put together their "Hometown Favorites" cookbook in 2010 and still have some for sale, said church secretary Linda Rider. It includes appetizers and beverages, soups and salads, vegetable and sides, main dishes, breads and rolls, cookies, candy, desserts and "This and That." One of the recipes, Florence Tanner's peanut butter fudge bars, was a first-prize sweepstakes winner at the Northwestern Michigan Fair.
"The recipes come from our congregation, their friends and families," Rider said.
In book form or on CD, the book sells for $10 at Oleson's on North Long Lake Road in Traverse City and at the Long Lake Friends Church, 4172 Church Road, on Fridays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. or by appointment at 946-5289.
Christmas Cream Cheese Cookies
1 (8-oz) package cream cheese
¾ c. sugar
1 c. butter or margarine
2 c. flour
¾ c. walnuts, finely chopped
8 to 10 maraschino cherries, chopped
½ c. shredded coconut, optional
Cream together the cream cheese, sugar and butter. Add flour, walnuts, cherries and coconut (if using) and mix well. Make small balls or drop by teaspoon full onto cookie sheet. Bake 18 minutes at 350°.
-- Carole Jones, "The Heavenly Favorites," Holy Rosary Church
Bavarian Christmas Cookies
2﻿½ sticks butter
1 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla
4 c. flour
1 c. ground almonds
Strawberry or raspberry jam
Mix all ingredients; knead dough. Roll out to about ¼ inch thickness. Cut out with circular or star-shaped cutters. Cut out an additional small circle (using an apple corer) in the center of half of the cookies. Bake at 350° for 10 to 13 minutes. Spread strawberry or raspberry jam on the solid cookies. Cover with cookies with holes in them. Dip tops of cookies in granulated sugar.
-- "The Heavenly Favorites," Holy Rosary Church
Mint Meringue Cookies
2 egg whites
¼ t. cream of tartar
¾ c. sugar
⅛ t. vanilla extract
1 (10 oz.) package mint chocolates (Andes brand preferred)
Beat egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, 1 T. at a time. Beat in vanilla extract. Fold in mint chips. Drop by teaspoons onto greased cookie sheet. Bake at 250° for 30 to 35 minutes.
-- Rebecca Belanger, from "The Heavenly Favorites," Holy Rosary Church
1 c. brown sugar
¾ c. butter or margarine
1 t. vanilla
2 c. flour
½ t. baking soda
Dash of salt
½ c. chopped nuts
½ c. coconut (shredded)
½ c. maraschino cherries
Cream together the sugar and butter/margarine and add egg and vanilla. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt and add to creamed mixture along with nuts, cherries and coconut. Mix well. Drop spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes.
-- Riverview Terrace, "Grandma's Favorite Comfort Foods"
Peanut Butter Fudge Bars
1 c. oleo
2 c. brown sugar
¼ c. peanut butter
2 c. quick cook oats
2 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
¼ t. salt
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12-oz.) package chocolate chips
2 T. peanut butter
½ c. chopped walnuts
Beat together the oleo, sugar, ¼ c. peanut butter and eggs. Add oats, flour, soda and salt. Mix well. Reserve one cup of the mixture for topping. Spread remaining mixture in an ungreased 9-by-13-by-2-inch pan.
To make topping, in a saucepan, combine sweetened milk, chocolate chips and remaining two tablespoons of peanut butter. Cook over low heat until chocolate is melted, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in nuts. Spread mixture over the crust. Drop reserved oat mixture by teaspoon over chocolate mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool. Cut into bars.
-- Florence Tanner, Long Lake Friends Church "Hometown Favorites"
Sweet Potato Soup
2 T. canola or other oil
1 sweet onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 t. ground cumin
3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1﻿½ quart chicken broth
1﻿¾ c. plain yogurt
2 T. chopped parsley or cilantro
¼ c. toasted pumpkin seeds (optional)
Heat oil. Add onions, garlic and cumin and saute 3 to 4 minutes. Add potatoes and chicken broth. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 20 to 25 minutes. Puree soup with 1﻿½ c. plain yogurt and parsley or cilantro. Garnish individual bowls with yogurt and pumpkin seeds.
-- "A Forever Keepsake," Church Women United of the Greater Grand Traverse Area
Pecan Upside-Down Cake
½ c. butter, melted
½ c. packed brown sugar
¼ c. dark corn syrup
1﻿½ c. pecan halves
1 (18﻿¼ oz.) package butter pecan cake mix
⅓ c. unsweetened applesauce
1 c. sour cream
1 t. vanilla extract
2 egg whites
Preheat oven to 350°. In a small bowl, combine the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and pecans. Spread evenly into a 13-by-9-inch baking pan coated with cooking spray. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients; beat with a mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Transfer to the prepared pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before inverting onto a serving platter. Serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 20.
— Mary Gore, "Favorites from Our Family," Traverse Bay United Methodist Church
Holiday Walnut Cake
3 c. all-purpose flour
½ t. baking soda
½ t. salt
1 c. butter, softened
2 c. sugar
2 eggs, separated
1 c. plus 1 T. milk, divided
1 t. vanilla extract
1 t. almond extract
1 lb. finely chopped walnuts
1 t. cream of tartar
¼ c. powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease 9-inch tube pan. Sift flour, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Combine butter, sugar and egg yolks in a large mixing bowl. Beat with a mixer at medium speed until creamy and smooth. Reduce speed to low and gradually beat in flour mixture alternately with 1 c. milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Add extracts; beat well. Stir in walnuts. Place egg whites in a small mixing bowl. Beat with mixer at high speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold egg white mixture into batter. Pour batter into pan. Bake 65 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Invert onto a plate. Combine powdered sugar with 1 T. milk in a small bowl and stir until sugar is dissolved. Drizzle evenly over warm cake. Garnish with whole walnuts, if desired. Flavors improve overnight.
-- "NMCAA's Annual 2011 Gift of Warmth Gala Recipe Book"
1﻿½ c. blanched whole almonds, pecan halves, walnut halves or cashews
1﻿½ c. sugar
2 T. melted butter or margarine
½ t. vanilla
Line a baking sheet with foil. Butter foil and set aside. In a heavy 8-inch skillet, combine nuts, sugar and butter. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for approximately 9 minutes or until mixture turns a rich brown color. (Mixture may splatter). Remove from heat and immediately stir in vanilla. Spread over prepared baking sheet and let cool completely. Break into small clusters. Store completely covered. Makes about 2﻿¾ cups.
-- "Flavors & Visions," Jordan River Arts Council