Dash of Class: A round up of favorites

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By Nora Sweat

Here we are at the end of the month and I have several recipes that were either given to me or requested of me. Remember, you can request a recipe that you have lost or one you have always wanted to try or you can share one of your favorites. I know you have some recipes that everyone asks for every time you take it to a family reunion, church pot luck or any gathering where favorites are served. Hopefully, you will want to add one of these to your favorites.


The first recipe was given to me by Brenda Carman of Vine Grove after a similar banana croquette salad recipe appeared in my column. The second is a favorite of mine; I just happen to love coconut. The Cherry Cheesecake Bites was requested by Ernestine Nall, a dear friend of mine from church and as far back as her days when she worked in The E’town Laundry on Main Street. The fruit pizza also is a recipe of mine that is so good served on hot summer days. Use your family’s favorite fruits and be creative. If you have small children, let them help put the fruits on the filling.

Two recipes, Easy Pull-Apart Garlic Bread and Date Bars #2 were incomplete in the Aug. 18 edition of Pulse.

Nora Sweat is a native of Hardin County and a retired home economics/family and consumer science teacher. She can be reached at norasweat@thenews enterprise.comor by mail at 408 W. Dixie Ave., Elizabethtown, KY 42701.

Dressed Bananas

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons flour

1 egg, well beaten

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1/4 cup vinegar

3/4 cup water

Combine the sugar and flour; add the beaten egg and mix well. Add the butter; then vinegar and water; mix thoroughly. Cook in a double boiler until this thickens. Remove from the heat and set aside and let cool completely.

Crush peanuts with a food processor. Cut bananas in preferred size for serving, such as cut in two and slice each half lengthwise. Dip each piece of banana in the cooled dressing and roll in the crushed peanuts. Best if served within a few hours of preparing, but they will keep overnight, although may turn a little darker in color.

Source: Brenda Carman, Vine Grove

Aunt Ma’s Coconut Cream Cookies

These cookies were my introduction to coconut. If you like the chewy kind like I do, don’t let them over bake.
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 and 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup butter or margarine
2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup rolled oats (not instant)
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup pecans

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugars, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a medium bowl, cream together the eggs, butter or margarine and vanilla. Stir mixture into dry ingredients until blended. Add the oats, coconut and nuts.

Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes.

Cherry Cheesecake Bites

22 vanilla wafers

2-8 ounce packages cream cheese, softened

¾ c. sugar

2 eggs

1 t. vanilla

1 T. lemon juice

1 can cherry pie filling

Cool whip

Place foil cup cake liners in a muffin pan. Put one vanilla wafer in each liner. Mix all other ingredients, except pie filling; and fill each liner half full. Bake fifteen minutes at 375 degrees. Cool; top with 1 teaspoon full of cherry pie filling. For a garnish, top each with a dollop of Cool Whip.

Fruit Pizza


1 stick margarine

¼ c. powdered sugar

1 c. flour

Melt margarine; add powdered sugar and flour and mix well. Pat dough into a pizza pan sprayed with food release. Bake at 350 degrees until lightly browned. Cool.


8 ounces cream cheese

¼ cup lemon juice

1 can sweetened condensed milk

Beat together until creamy. Spread over crust.


Top with seasonal fruits.

Nora’s Note: Be creative and artistic. I have used sliced strawberries, kiwi, peach slices, mandarin oranges, even star fruit. If you use apples, bananas or pears, dip in an anti-darkening solution or lemon juice.


1 jar apricot preserves

Melt in microwave. Spread all fruits using a pastry brush and preserves.

Refrigerate. Slice with pizza cutter. Better if served the day it is made.


Easy Pull-Apart Garlic Bread

1 pound frozen bread dough or frozen rolls
¼ cup butter
4 cloves garlic, mashed
1 teaspoon parsley
1 teaspoon Parmesan cheese, grated
1 egg plus 1 teaspoon water, beaten

Thaw the dough only enough to be able to slice it into 15 pieces; if using rolls, just until they break apart.

Melt the butter in a small pan; add the garlic and Parmesan cheese and cook on very low for 15 minutes. Add parsley and remove from heat. Roll each piece of dough in butter mixture and arrange in a single layer in a 9 x 5-inch pan or a round pan. Allow to rise in a warm, draft-free place for 2½ hours or until double in size. Pour remaining butter mixture over the bread.

Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes; remove from oven and brush with egg mixture. Return to oven for 5 minutes more or until golden brown. Serve immediately.


Date Bars #2

¾ cup margarine
1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon soda
1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats, uncooked

Cream margarine and sugar together until light and fluffy. Combine flour, salt and soda; add to creamed mixture. Stir in oats, blending well.

Pat half of the mixture into a lightly buttered 13x9x2-inch baking pan; spread with date filling then top with remaining crust mixture. Pat mixture lightly to smooth top crust. Bake at 400° for 30 minutes. Cut into bars while still warm; remove from pan. Makes 32 date squares or bars.


Date Filling

1 and 1/2 pounds dates, chopped
1/4 cup sugar
1 and 1/2 cups water

Combine dates, sugar, and water in a medium saucepan; cook over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes or until smooth and thick. Cool slightly before spreading on oat crust. Makes 3 cups of date filling for date squares.