Mennonite Girls Can Cook is a collection of recipes which were posted daily for a period of ten years from 2008 to 2018. We have over 3,000 delicious recipes that we invite you to try. The recipes can be accessed in our recipe file by category or you can use the search engine.

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Pumpkin Pecan Jelly Roll

Funny how a jelly roll always brings some signs of delight and this one did not disappoint. If you  have never tried rolling up a jelly roll, why not try it? It may just be a lot easier than you think, but if it flops, you can always put the whole thing in a trifle bowl and decorate the top. It will taste just as delicious.
Ingredients:
Jelly Roll
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/2  tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 Tbsp water
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
Filling
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup (loose measurement) brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 3/4 cup roasted pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups whipping cream
  • 4 tablespoons instant vanilla pudding powder
Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Prepare jelly roll pan or cookie sheet with edges (10" x 15" or 11"x17") by greasing well. Line with wax paper, then grease well again, all the way up the sides as well. I like to use shortening for greasing.
  3. In a small bowl mix dry ingredients and set aside.
  4. Beat eggs with hand mixer for several minutes, then beat in the sugar well, until thick and lemon colored. Stir in lemon juice, water and pumpkin.
  5. Stir dry ingredients into pumpkin mixture.
  6. Spread into prepared pan and bake 15 - 18 minutes.
  7. In the meantime, melt butter for filling. Stir in sugar and syrup and bring to boil. Cook on low to medium heat, stirring a few minutes, until it thickens and looks like caramel. Add pecans (roasted for about 10 minutes) and set aside to cool.
  8. Prepare a clean tea towel by laying it on the counter and dusting generously with powdered sugar, using a sieve. When cake is done and still hot, turn it onto the towel. Peel off wax paper and roll up the cake along with the towel (beginning at narrow end). Let sit for about 1/2 hour.
  9. Beat whipping cream until it begins to thicken, then add vanilla pudding powder mix and continue beating until thick for spreading.
  10. Unroll cake. Starting where you begin to roll up from, spread cooled caramel pecan mixture, randomly far as it will go and avoiding cracks. Then spread whipped cream all over the cake, keeping about an inch from the edges.
  11. Gently roll the cake back up again, starting from same end as before. Don't worry if it cracks a bit. When rolled up, carefully lift onto serving platter. Use left over cream to hide cracks and decorate the top if you like or just leave it. Freeze uncovered for 1 hour to set or longer if preparing days ahead. Once frozen, slip into plastic bag. On day of serving, refrigerate until ready to serve. Just before serving dust with icing sugar, using a small sieve.

 

Harvest Loaf


I have a feeling this will be one of the first of many pumpkin recipes posted, so you might want to make sure you have canned pumpkin on hand. It is one of my daughter’s favorite autumn loaves and is especially good when the chocolate chips are still soft. This recipe makes two loaves or you can cut it in half to make one.

Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup butter (soft/room temp)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar 
  • 4 eggs 
  • 2 cups cooked pureed pumpkin (398 ml can)
  • 3 cups flour 
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • ¾ cup chopped nuts (optional)
  1. Prepare two 9 x 4 inch loaf pans by greasing with shortening or cooking spray, and dusting with flour.
  2. Beat butter and sugar well. Beat in eggs until light and fluffy. Add pumpkin. 
  3. Mix dry ingredients with spices and chocolate chips. Stir into wet mixture until combined.
  4. Bake for 50 minutes at 350° F, until toothpick tests done. 
  5. Cool 10 minutes in pans and then remove to cooling rack.
Before baking, I sprinkled some chocolate chips in a row on top. You can combine nuts and chocolate chips if you like. Once cooled, a drizzle of about 1/4 - 1/2 cup icing sugar with maybe a teaspoon of water and a drop of maple flavoring is optional. Plain is great too.

Tip: do not use the whole can of pumpkin for one loaf just because you don't want to waste it. Too much pumpkin will make too moist and dense of a loaf. 

Pumpkin Pie


Pumpkin pie is my all time favorite pie in October. In Canada we celebrate Thanksgiving in October and pumpkin pie is a must for that meal. I have tried different recipes for pumpkin pie and I always come back to this one. I like using evaporated milk for a richer, creamy taste.
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup evaporated milk 
  • Unbaked pie shells
  1. Mix all ingredients until well blended.
  2. Pour into unbaked pie shells.
  3. Bake in a 400º oven for 10 minutes, reduce heat to 375º and bake for another 25 minutes.
  4. This is enough filling for three 8" unbaked pie shells depending on how deep you like your filling. If you like the filling deep you will get two 8" pies.
  5. Serve cooled with whipped cream and a dusting of cinnamon. And if you like, cut out and bake leaf shapes from leftover pie dough scraps for added decorations.

Salsa

Since there's an abundance of tomatoes and peppers out there right now, I thought I would share my salsa recipe. It's a recipe I got from my sister Kathy decades ago and is a staple at our home. I cook up a large batch in fall and we enjoy it year-round.  This is a zippy salsa; if you prefer yours on the mild side, remove all the seeds and ribs from inside the jalapeno peppers.
 

Salsa
  • 10 cups tomatoes (peeled, chopped and drained)
  • 8 small jalapeno peppers chopped (remove seeds for less heat) 
  • 3 cups chopped onions
  • 1 cup chopped green peppers 
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 1/3 cups vinegar 
  • 1 can 12 oz. can tomato paste 
  • 1 tsp. cumin 
  • 1 Tablespoon red pepper flakes 
  • 3 Tablespoons pickling salt 
  • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
  1. Combine all ingredients and simmer for 1 hour.
  2. Ladle into jars; tighten lids and process for 20 minutes in hot water bath.
*Optional : Stir in 1/3 cup cornstarch diluted in cold water and simmer for several minutes to thicken salsa before filling jars.

Yield: about 6-7 pint (500 ml) jars

This also makes a wonderful, tasty fresh salsa.  Place chopped veggies in a large bowl.  Mix vinegar, tomato paste, herbs and seasonings and add to chopped vegetables. Stir to combine.  Keeps well in the refrigerator for a week.


Queen Elizabeth Cake

Queen Elizabeth II
Our Gracious Queen

 April 1926 – September 2022

A recipe that Anneliese posted in 2016 in honor of her Majesty's 90th birthday.  We are reposting it today in honor of the Queen.  Rest in peace.  

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup dates, chopped fine and 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup butter, soft
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder 
  • 1/2 tsp salt
topping
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp cream
  • 5 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup shredded coconut or mix of coconut and thin slivered almonds
Method:
  1. In saucepan, bring dates and water to boil and continue simmering for about 3- 5 minutes until soft. Turn off heat and add baking soda, stirring to mash well. (it will bubble) Add vanilla, Set aside to cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 F and prepare 8 - 9 inch round or square pan by greasing and lining with wax or parchment paper. A spring form pan is ideal but not necessary.
  3. Cream butter, sugar and egg.
  4. Add dates and then stir in the dry ingredients, mixing on low if using mixer. 
  5. Bake for 45 minutes, or until toothpick test comes out clean.
  6. Meanwhile melt and warm butter and cream, adding sugar, coconut and nuts. Stir until well blended and set aside.
  7. When cake is done, gently spread with topping and return to oven to broil setting for about 2 minutes. Watch it so it does not burn. It should bubble and turn a nice golden color.
  8. Let cool. Loosen edges with knife. If not using a spring-form pan, remove by placing a piece of wax paper over the top along with a flat plate. Flip upside down and then right side up again onto serving plate. 


Thank you for your years of service Queen Elizabeth.

Orange Peach Jam


Combine this jam, slightly runny and rich in citrus flavor, with cream cheese on a bagel OR with a barbecue sauce to use as a glaze on baked meatballs. I have given quite exact numbers when it comes to the fruit, but it does depend on size of fruit.

Ingredients for one batch:
(the goal is approximately 7 cups raw fruit blended before adding sugar, equaling 8 cups cooked, for one batch. I recommend doubling the amounts and cooking two batches)
  • 9 ripe peaches
  • 3 seedless oranges
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 1/2 cups sugar, divided
  • 3 tablespoons Certo Light or 1 pkg regular pectin

 Method:
  1. Wash jars and lids. Place clean jars in 225° F oven to keep hot. Place lids in small pot with water to cover. Bring to a boil and turn off element, covering pot to keep lids hot.
  2. Peel peaches, quartering them to remove pit. In blender, blend only for a few seconds until barely smooth. Can have a few tiny chunks. Pour into large bowl. Stir in lemon juice.
  3. Peel oranges with potato peeler. Remove pith (white part) and discard. Blend orange segments with the orange rind until thick and smooth, for about 1 minute.
  4. Combine blended oranges and peaches. Measure out 7 cups (or at least 6) to pour into large stainless steel pot.
  5. Measure 1/4 cup of the sugar, blend with pectin and stir into fruit. Stirring constantly with wooden spoon, bring to boil on high heat.
  6. Add 4 1/4 cups sugar all at once and continue stirring until it comes to a full boil once more.
  7. The whole top layer should be bubbling before setting the timer. Boil for 3 minutes, while stirring and making sure it cooks hard the whole time. If it splatters quite a bit, turn down the heat just a tad.
  8. Using a canning funnel, ladle hot jam into jars and cover with lids to seal. Repeat process if cooking more batches.
  9. Cool sealed jars at room temp before storing. Jam thickens as it cools.
I prefer storing jam in the fridge or freezer, so that it keeps fresh tasting, but you do not have to if it is sealed. You can tell if it's sealed if the center of the lid is slightly inverted rather than rounded. Do not push it in by hand.

Peach Almond Scones

We are so enjoying the local peaches at this time of the year.  By local, I don't mean that they are grown in my neighbourhood but that they are British Columbia peaches.  Peaches are grown in the southern areas of the Okanagan, Similkameen, and Kootenay valleys, by about 800 peach growers.  BC produces 7 million kilograms of peaches...about 20% of the Canadian production, mostly sold as fresh produce.  I'll be sad when the peach season ends.

Here's a recipe for fresh peach scones you might also enjoy!


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup cold butter
  • 1/2 cups sliced almonds, slightly toasted, divided
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup diced peaches
Glaze:
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F. 
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, sugar, baking powder and baking soda.
  3. Cut in the butter, using a pastry blender...or grate with a coarse grater and combine with fingertips. 
  4. Stir in 1/4 cup of toasted almonds. 
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk and the almond extract. 
  6. Stir this mixture into the dry ingredients. 
  7. Add the peaches and stir just until well-combined. (This is a somewhat wet and sticky dough, perfect for drop scones.)
  8. Drop by large spoonfuls (ice-cream scoop) onto parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
  9. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup of sliced almonds.
  10. Bake until golden...15 to 18 minutes.
  11. While still warm, drizzle with glaze.
 Yield: 1 dozen large scones.



This is just one more way to enjoy our local peaches!

Fresh Okanagan Peach Pie

It is hard to decide what is my favourite summertime pie is but without question, fresh peach pie is up there at the top.  Okanagan peaches are grown a few hours away and every summer we wait with anticipation for the first loads of peaches delivered to our local markets.  

If you have never had a fresh peach pie, try this one because nothing goes better together than peaches and cream.  It tastes like summertime! 

Peach Filling
  • about 6 ripe peaches
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup water
Cream Filling
  • 1 cup softened cream cheese (light or regular)
  • 1/2 cup icing/powdered sugar
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 packet whipping cream stabilizer (Dr. Oetker)  or 1 tablespoon vanilla instant pudding
  1. Peel peaches and put 2 peaches into a food processor to mash or mash very well with a potato masher.
  2. Measure mashed peaches to make about 1 cup. (mash part of another peach if necessary)
  3. Combine mashed peaches, cornstarch, sugar and water in a microwave safe bowl.  Heat until bubbly.  Alternately, stir together ingredients in a medium pot, stir over medium heat until it is thickened and beginning to simmer. 
  4. Remove from heat.  Add the remaining peaches.  Set aside to come to room temperature.
  5. Beat together, softened cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla until smooth.  Add unwhipped whipping cream and whipping cream stabilizer or instant pudding and beat together with a mixer until thick and creamy.  
  6. Set aside 1/2 cup cream cheese mixture for garnishing the pie. 
  7. Line the bottom and sides of pie shell with the remaining cream cheese mixture.  
  8. Once the peach filling has completely cooled, pour the peach filling into a strainer over a bowl to remove about 1/2 cup of excess sauce.  (Refrigerate the extra sauce to serve with scones and cream.)
  9. Garnish the top of the pie by filling a piping bag with a large star tip. 
  10. Refrigerate a few hours until serving time.  


Old Fashioned Apricot Jam


There is nothing like old fashioned apricot jam on a piece of toast with some cheddar cheese to top it.   Everyone has their favorite way to dip into apricot jam and maybe you can suggest your favorite apricot jam treat for our readers.
This jam has no added pectin but it thickens and is still soft. I was taught by a fantastic Mennonite baker many years ago that if you wanted to bake cookies with jam inside it was best to use jam that had no pectin because it helps the jam to not absorb into the cookie which makes your cookie hollow.   So if you are planning on making jam jams this year for Christmas you may want to put up your apricot jam now.  I store my jam in the freezer where it always tastes as fresh as the day it was made.  If you want to store your jam in the pantry, it is recommended that you use a hot water processing bath.

  • 9 cups washed and diced apricots  (about 5 pounds whole apricots)
  • 6 cups white sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  1. You will need  10  - 1 cup / 250 ml jam jars.  Wash the jars and place them in a 225 F for 10 minutes to sterilize them. Sterilize the lids in boiling water. 
  2. Combine all the ingredients in a heavy large pot.  Stir together well and then turn the heat to medium high and stir until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture comes to a boil.
  3. Continue to boil the mixture.  Set the timer to 30 minutes and stir every few minutes to be sure the mixture doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot.  If your pot is a good quality you should have no problem with it burning on the bottom but if you are at all unsure, it is best to stir often to ensure all your hard work is not ruined by burned jam.
  4. At first the jam will foam on top but this will eventually go away and your jam will begin to thicken slightly.   Put a small plate in the freezer and when the jam is near the 30 minute mark.  Take the plate out after a few minutes and spoon a teaspoon of jam on the plate and allow it to cool.  When the jam slowly drips down and has a thickened consistency the jam is finished.  My jam usually takes about 30 - 35 minutes.
  5. Ladle the jam into jars leaving 3/4 inch space.  Place lids and screw tops on the jars and cool.  Once cool, store the jam in a refrigerator or freeze it.


Rollkuchen


 
Rollkuchen are a tasty, deep fried pastry that are a wonderful accompaniment to cold watermelon on a hot summer day.  How well I recall childhood picnics with big tubs of fresh Rollkuchen.  Let's just say that eating them is rather like eating peanuts...you can't stop at just one! Sometime over the years, Rollkuchen became paired with Roger's Golden Syrup (definitely a Canadian thing) on my table; they make a great team!

My mother-in-law made the best flaky, crispy Rollkuchen. Mine never quite measured up, so I have always made the thicker, softer variety and they have become a family favorite. Hers were all uniform in shape; mine are rather 'free-form'. Each recipe seems to differ slightly but I've never met a Rollkuchen I didn't like!

Rollkuchen

  • 5 - 6 cups / 1150 - 1350 ml flour
  • 3 teaspoons / 15 ml  baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon / 5 ml salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup / 250 ml sour cream
  • 1 cup / 250 ml milk
 
  1. Combine 5 cups / 1150 ml  flour, baking powder and salt.
  2. Beat eggs, sour cream and milk together and add to dry ingredients
  3. Continue to add flour to form a soft dough ... usually about 1/2 cup more.
  4. Allow the dough to chill for an hour or two before rolling, for easier handling.
  5. Divide the dough in half and roll out quite thin on a floured board ... if you prefer them soft, then not quite so thin.
  6. Cut strips of dough about 2x4 inches / 5x10 cm ... with two slits cut in center of each.
  7. Stretch the pieces somewhat before dropping into the hot oil.
  8. Fry in deep hot oil over medium heat until golden on one side. Turn and brown the other side.
     

The rollkuchen puff up beautifully while cooking and are really mostly air pockets by the time they are ready to eat. A totally a healthy choice!  Who am I fooling?


Serve with cold watermelon and Roger's golden syrup.  Grilled farmer sausage is also a nice touch!