Jim Bars

These cookies are called Jim Bars in honor of the friend who got me hooked.  The children love them. My partner doesn’t agree they are a cookie and tends to call them candy or fudge.

No Bake Peanut Butter Bars

2 c. powdered sugar
2 c. graham cracker crumbs
1 c. peanut butter
3/4 cup butter, melted
2 c. (12 oz.) milk chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted.

Spray 9 x 9 in pan with Pam. Mix confectioners’ sugar, graham crackers, peanut butter and butter in medium bowl until well blended. Scrape into baking pan and press into even layer. Spread melted chocolate over top. Let sit 20 min and then slice into bars. Refrigerate until firm. Then cut again in the places you cut earlier.

Marzipan-Jell-o Style

Jell-o MarzipanMarzipan is hot these days. After years of being a creepy, foreign seeming thing (though my father loved it and my mother made real marzipan for him every other year or so), marzipan is popping up all over…even in some of our new grocery stores.
This recipe though is from long ago and is an easy-to-make marzipan that doesn’t require almond paste! If you are making this mainly for the pretty decoration and don’t like the heavy almond flavor you can even cut down or eliminate the almond extract or use vanilla instead. (oh the Marzipan purists will be horrified)


1 package Baker’s fine grated coconut
1 package (3 oz) Jell-0 Gelatin (any fruit flavor)
1 cup grated blanched almonds
2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract

Thoroughly mix all ingredients. Shape as small fruits, vegetables, hearts, Easter eggs or other forms. If desired, use food coloring to paint details on fruit and add stems of whole cloves or angelica. Chill until dry. Store, covered, at room temperature. Makes 2 to 3 dozen candies. From Joys of Jell-0, ~1960

For fruits use:

strawberry – strawberry gelatin
bananas, pears, lemons-lemon gelatin
green apples, leaves-green gelatin (err lemon-lime/lime)
oranges-orange gelatin
Cherries-cherry or black cherry gelatin

Glazed Apples

Easy, sweet and so very retro…not only that, they are perfect for October!
1 1/2 c sugar
1 1/2 c water.

Boil together. Add red coloring and boil 6 minutes. Drop in small Winesap apples that have been cored and peeled. Cook, turning occasionally until tender when tested with a fork. Remove apples from syrup. Add a lump of butter to the syrup and cook until thick. Pour over apples. These apples are especially good stuffed individually with a cream cheese and chopped nut mixture and served as dessert.

Popcorn Cake

Just because we really don’t go for cake in our house, and we do go for popcorn as well as Rice Krispie types of things….a popcorn cake…colorful and Christmas ready…or whatever festive gumdrop decked holiday where you need a dessert. You can also use this recipe to make the even more retro popcorn balls or bells but why chance your hands? I say go for the cake.
16-oz package marshmallows
1/2 cup butter
11 cups unsalted popcorn
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup small gum drops
1/2 cup ground peppermint candy ( can be done in coffee grinder as long as no one is looking…or blender or food processor or by kid with a rolling pin and ziploc bag who needs to work out some grouchiness and have mommy time)

Melt marshmallows and butter together in heavy saucepan. Mix in the other ingredients. Pack into a buttered tube pan. Once cool, remove from pan, decorate with gum drops kids have not eaten. Slice like cake to serve.

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