So Many Holidays, Such Delicious Recipes

Cookie Stagman and co-author Arlene Bronstein (who is also the author of the lovely children’s book “How Did Nonnie Get to Heaven,” now offer “Beautiful Buffets II,” spiced with special recipes from America’s top fashion designers. For more than 25 years, cooks all over the United States have been enjoying the delicious recipes of “Beautiful Buffets,” a revolutionary, quick and easy cookbook that combined the world of fashion with simple, beautiful and delicious cuisine. This new updated version brings new life to culinary classics by reintroducing old favorites from the original cookbook and an additional 50 new recipes you won’t find anywhere else. Delve into the favorite dishes of designers from Oscar de la Renta, to Judith Leiber and Donna Karan, as well as Cookie’s own kitchen.

Chocolate Chews

What could be easier? If you have these ingredients in your pantry, you can whip these up in no time flat.

1 (12-ounce) package of chocolate chips

4 tablespoons butter

1 can Eagle Brand Sweet Condensed Milk

1 cup flour

1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Melt the chips, butter and milk in top of a double boiler over simmering water.  Remove from the heat.  In the same pot, add the flour, nuts and vanilla, and mix well.

Drop by teaspoons on a cookie sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray or a piece of parchment paper.  Bake for 7 minutes.  Cool cookies on a wire rack.

Makes about 24 to 36 cookies, depending on the size.

Klarika’s Sour Cherry

This recipe never fails to impress. It has a delicious flavor and a smell that fills the home. I almost ate the whole thing myself! I always have a jar of Morello cherries in the pantry, and within 45 minutes there can be a freshly baked sour cherry slice.  It is perfect for afternoon tea, or anytime.

Klarika’s Sour Cherry recipe is from the amazing, warm-hearted book “Monday Morning Cooking Club: The Feast Goes On” (Harper Collins) authored by a sisterhood of six amazing women who were drawn together by food. It is the sequel to “Monday Morning Cooking Club.” In 2006 this group of Sydney Jewish women, Lisa Goldberg, Merelyn Chalmers, Natanya Eskin, Lauren Fink, Paula Horwitz and Jacqui Israel, came together to share recipes and talk about food. They cooked, ate, drank endless cups of tea, and discussed the merits of different recipes.  The Monday Morning Cooking Club was born, and a legacy of food and recipes spanning many cultures and generations began to take shape.  Each recipe begins with a short story of the cook and their history of the dish.

The recipes are from precious family recipes that have been lovingly handed down through the generations, to new classics that will become instant family favorites.  There are more than 100 recipes to suit every occasion, from everyday eating to feasting, light lunches to fressing, comfort food to traditional dishes.  This is a cookbook of rich, wonderful ideas and flavors to nurture, nourish and inspire.  It will feed your body and soul.

1 2/3 cups self-rising flour

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon superfine/caster sugar

10 1/2 ounces sour cream

2 egg yolks

finely grated zest of 1 lemon

9 3/4 ounces drained, pitted Morello cherries

confectioners’ sugar sifted for dusting, optional

Preheat oven to 325°F.  Grease and line an 11-x7-inch rectangular baking pan.

Place the flour, sugar, sour cream, egg yolks and lemon zest in a bowl and mix together with a fork; you can also do this in the food processor.

Pour or spoon the mixture into the prepared pan.  The mixture will be quite thick and hard to spread.

Place the cherries over the mixture, gently pushing them partially into the batter. Bake until done and golden, 35 to 45 minutes.

Cool in the pan, then cut into squares, and dust with confectioners’ sugar if using. Number of pieces depends on size of squares.

Editor’s note: For more edible delights by Sheilah Kaufman, go to