Monday, March 28, 2011

Memory Monday: Sweets

I wish I could pretend that I was one of those strong, disciplined, superior people who can take or leave sweets - mostly leave - but I am not. I am a craven, undisciplined, weak slave of sweets. In fact, a humiliating number of my “memory” posts here have centered around or at least prominently featured sweets. Heck, even some of my genealogy foray posts involve “fortuitous” trips to candy establishments (“Knoxville Sights”). Some of the “sweets and candy” posts are:

"Family Food"
“Memory Monday: Sopping the Bowl” (wherein you learn that my family’s taste for sweets was so voracious that we sometimes ate them “raw”)
“Advent Calendar Day 14: Fruitcake”
“Memory Monday: I’ll Have Mine with Sugar”

This last post reveals how truly absolute my family’s addiction to sugar was. I mean, a family where major breakfast selections are cinnamon toast and peanut butter with syrup - that’s ... extreme.

There is even a post dedicate to a sweet drink: “Memory Monday: Iced Tea.” My entry for the GeneaBloggers Cookbook is a supercharged combo of fudge and oatmeal cookies called simply “Snack Bars.” Maybe I should just call this blog “Greta’s Genealogy and Sweets Bog.”

The sweet tooth was inherited from my father, and his was ferocious. Or, come to think of it, part of it might have come from my mother’s mother (“Grandma Moore, Banana Pudding, and the Telephone: An Evening of Terror”). Even my brother had a weakness for sugar cookies that landed him in the humiliating situation of having to ingratiate himself with his little sister (me - see "I'll Have Mine with Sugar" above).

As I have gotten older, the need for a high sugar content has leveled off somewhat, and my tastes have shifted toward subtle/subdued rather than rich. Even so, there are a few sinful, luscious, and adipose-adding items that are still irresistible: my Aunt Rene’s Candy Balls, my mother’s Easy No-Cook Divinity, and my Ho Ho Cake (adapted from a recipe given to me by a friend at church). Here are the recipes:

Candy Balls

Mix together 1 stick oleo, 1 can Eagle milk, 2 boxes powdered sugar, 2 cans coconut, 4 c. pecans; chill 2 hrs. Take out & roll into balls. Rechill. Melt in double boiler 2 packages chocolate chips, ¼ lb. paraffin. Stick toothpicks into balls & dip them into hot chocolate. Rechill. Dip them over as long as there is any chocolate left. For variety, dip balls into cherry juice before dipping in chocolate.

Easy No-Cook Divinity

In small mixer bowl, combine frosting mix (Fluffy white Betty Crocker dry mix), 1/3 cup corn syrup, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1/2 cup boiling water. Beat on highest speed until stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes. Transfer to large mixer bowl; on low speed, blend in 1 lb. confectioner’s sugar gradually. Stir in 1 cup nuts. Drop mixture by teaspoonsful onto waxed paper. When outside of candies seem firm, turn over. Allow to dry 12 hours or overnight. Store candies in airtight container. Makes 5 to 6 dozen candies.

Ho Ho Cake


1 box German Chocolate Cake mix (pudding in the mix)
1 bar Baker’s German Chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
8 oz. sour cream
1/3 C. oil
1 C. water
6 oz. chocolate chips

Mix cake mix, chocolate, sour cream, oil, and water together. Mix well. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour into greased and floured pan (I use a 13x8 glass pan). Bake for 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees. (I leave it in the pan.) Cool completely.


5 Talespoons flour
1 8-oz. stick butter, softened
1/2 C. Crisco shortening
1-1/4 C. milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 C. granulated sugar

Cook flour and milk in pan until thick. Let cool. Place in mixer bowl with softened butter, vanilla, Crisco, and sugar. Beat on high until light and fluffy, about 8 to 10 minutes. Spread evenly over cooled cake to about 1/4 inch from edge of pan. Chill.


4-1/2 squares (1 ounce each) unsweetened chocolate
1-1/2 sticks (12 ounces) butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
2-1/4 cups powdered sugar
6 Tablespoons light cream
1/8 teaspoon salt

Melt 1-1/2 sticks butter and chocolate. Let cool. Add vanilla and salt to it in mixer bowl. Heat cream slightly, add, and beat. Add powdered sugar gradually. Beat until smooth; don’t let it get lumpy. Spread evenly over filling.

Keep cake refrigerated.

This Memory Monday was written in response to a prompt from Amy Coffin’s 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History:

Week 13: Sweets. What was your favorite childhood candy or dessert? Have your tastes changed since then? What satisfies your sweet tooth today?


  1. that ho ho cake sounds so yummy! i've had to cut so much sugar out of my diet because of blood sugar issues and i keep trying to tell myself that a piece of fruit is as good as a candy bar. ;)

  2. Oh wow. I'm the same as you. I have no willpower when it comes to sweets. I'm just terrible! So! I loved your blog. The recipe's sound great. I'll agree with Gen Story Girl, the ho ho cake mounds marvelous.

  3. I have to admit that I am genetically predisposed to sugar! I am copying your recipes Greta.

  4. Okay, your family receipes are making their way into my family cookbook...I'll credit your family for them, and have visions of my granddaughters squinting in years to come, muttering, "Did we have an aunt Greta?"

  5. Mmmm... from one sweets-addict to another, thank you! :)

  6. Oh MYYYYY, so, are there any carbs in any of these decadent recipes??

    And, I love dee-burris' comment, nearly rolled off the chair, Aunt Greta!


  7. I have a sweet tooth too : ) The recipes all sound good. Who knew you could make instant divinity!

  8. Your family's fascination for sweets sounds just like mine! I make cinnamon toast for my grandson when he visits, and I made it for my children, too. Thanks for another enjoyable post and for the wonderful recipes.

  9. Gen Story Girl - I know how you feel - I try to make most of my experiences with sweets these days "viewing only"!

    mjhellman - I think willpower is definitely a quality I lack, too!

    Linda - Hope you get a chance to try the recipes out!

    Dee - I will be honored to be "Aunt Greta" in your family cookbook!

    Karen - At least we can dream about those sweets!

    Carol - I like to think that the cake makes me so hyper that I'll use up all the calories....

    Tipper - I think "instant" is a relative term here - I still remember it taking a bit of time.

    Janice - I can still remember the effect that the smell of cinnamon toast had on me. I can hardly walk past a Cinnabon without being severely tempted!