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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Mincemeat Squares


I have this cookbook that I barely use anymore, but refuse to let go of. Me thinks that my sister Susanne gave it to me, (I thought for a wedding shower gift some 33 years ago), but seeing the publication date of 1979 (3 years after I married), I now wonder if she gave it to me for a birthday or Christmas gift. Anyhow, it is a self-published book called Jubilee Cookbook by the CWL of St. Stanislaus Parish here in Hamilton.

Every now and then I pull it off the shelves and leaf through the pages, which are now stained beyond belief with food, paint (somewhere along the way I had a green kitchen!), and whatever else floats about a kitchen during cooking,baking and frying, to eventually settle on any and all surfaces. The pages contain recipes for kuchens, brioche, baklava, stroganoffs, Hungarian cabbage rolls, plus the fashionable dishes of that time; example: 'lime cheese salad' (ingredients included Jello, Dream Whip, and marshmallows...mmmmm!). It gives me a chuckle to read the names and remember some of the dishes I prepared.

Coming back to December 14th, 2008....I was about to tell you that I
recently baked a batch of mincemeat tarts a few days ago. Leftover from the tarts, was about 1 cup of filling which I refrigerated, trusting that a revelation would appear in my sub-concious telling me what to do with the rest of the jar. So it was on page 143 of the Jubilee Cookbook, I re-discovered the recipe for mincemeat squares. With just a few adjustments, I created the following recipe. Results are * * * * (that's four-star!).

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup vegan shortening or margarine (Earth Balance makes both)
  • 4 oz. vegan cream cheese (Yoso or Tofutti)
  • 2 1/4 cups of sifted all-purpose flour (I split 50/50 all purpose + whole wheat)
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetarian mincemeat (I used 1 cup mincemeat + 1 chopped apple + 1 chopped pear)

Leave shortening or margarine and cream cheese at room temperature for at least 1 hour.
Mix and sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Add brown sugar and mix well. Add shortening (or margarine) and cream cheese and blend well with pastry cutter.

Spread 1/2 of mixture into bottom of 9" square pan and pat down lightly. Add mincemeat filling and spread evenly to edges of pan. Sprinkle remaining flour mixture on top, patting down lightly. Bake at 350F for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool and cut into squares or bars.

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