The Recipe Finder Files: A collection of obscure, lost and beloved recipes

Recipe Finder is your ticket to locating an old recipe you misplaced, figuring out the secret ingredient to that dish you just ordered at a local restaurant, and recreating classic meals from some of Baltimore's favorite gone-but-not-forgotten dining landmarks.

Recipe Finder: Chocolate mayonnaise cake is easy and delicious

This wonderfully light and moist chocolate cake was created, according to food legend, by the wife of a Hellman's salesman to help increase his sales.

Recipe Finder: Fried hard crabs, courtesy of 1960 Evening Sun

An old-school recipe for fried hard crabs, from an Evening Sun cookbook from the 1960s.

Recipe Finder: Doebereiner's chocolate cake

A few years ago, Janet Plum of Kingsville wrote wanting help locating the recipe for a favorite chocolate cake from her childhood; it was made by a German

Recipe Finder: Classic Baltimore rainbow cake

Rainbow cake is an iconic Baltimore food. While somewhat similar to the tricolored Italian almond cake, the Baltimore version often consists of four or six layers of thin, moist cake — each a different bright color — with a thin layer of jelly or fudge in between.

Recipe Finder: Petit Louis Bistro's mini madeleines

Travis Marley, the executive pastry chef for the Foreman Wolf Restaurant Group, which owns Petit Louis, graciously shared his recipe for the special little cake-like cookies he makes for the restaurants.

Recipe Finder: Rum raisin carrot cake perfect for Easter

The recipe for a rum raisin carrot cake with cream cheese frosting that I tested from the website produced a moist and delicious cake, chock-full of raisins and nuts.

Recipe Finder: Uncovering Silbers chocolate-topped cookie recipe in museum archives

In search of the recipe for the chocolate-topped cookies from the old Silbers in Baltimore, I uncovered binders filled with old recipes at the Baltimore Museum of Industry.

Recipe Finder: This fudge has a rich Baltimore history

Like so many other food specialties, it seems fudge has a long history in Baltimore

Recipe Finder: Cafeteria-style peanut butter cookies are pleasantly old school

This is a basic but deliciously wholesome-tasting, old-fashioned peanut butter cookie. Sadly, the days of finding homemade cookies like these in any public school cafeterias are long gone. So why not bake up a batch and take yourself back to those good old school days.

Recipe Finder: Cold sausage pie is simple and comforting

This is a no-frills recipe that yields a comforting and delicious sausage pie.

Recipe Finder: Pecan pie from Cacao Lane in Ellicott City

Nancy Eakin of Linthicum was in search of the recipe for the Cacao Lane pie that was served at the restaurant of the same name in Ellicott City back in the 1970s and '80s. She said the pie, made with pecans, coconut and raisins, and was absolutely divine and she has never tasted anything quite like it.

Recipe Finder: Ricotta cookies are a great holiday treat

These deliciously moist, cake-like cookies are quick and easy to make, and the recipe yields a large batch, which is great considering the baked cookies freeze beautifully.

Recipe Finder | Chicken and wild rice pinwheels perfect for a crowd

This dish can be prepared in advance and served warm or at room temperature. The recipe is easily adaptable to larger quantities.

Recipe Finder | German chocolate pie

The German chocolate pie is not available frozen, but thanks to this easy copycat recipe, you can whip up this luscious pie at home in no time.

Recipe Finder | Tuna burgers

Serve them up on a lightly grilled bun garnished with some pickled ginger and a dollop of wasabi mayo, and I'll bet no one will miss the red meat.

Recipe Finder | Chocolate chip cupcakes

In my opinion, these are closer to cookies then cupcakes. The sweet-lovers in my house thought they were delicious, but perhaps somewhat too large.

Recipe Finder | Black rice salad is delicious summer side dish

It's not surprising that this recipe for black rice salad originally came from a spa resort, as it is visually appealing, tasty and healthy — the very definition of spa cuisine.

Recipe Finder | Cheesecake has double the layers, double the delicious

Bonnie Nelson of Bend, Ore., was searching for a recipe she has misplaced for making a cheesecake with two distinct layers, with the top layer consisting of sour cream and sugar.

Recipe Finder | Chilled tomato and crab meat soup

Sue Dexter from Baltimore was looking for the recipe for the chilled tomato soup with crabmeat that is served at the Baltimore Country Club. I contacted the club on her behalf and unfortunately they were not willing to share their recipe for the soup.

Recipe Finder| Olive Garden's pineapple tiramisu

The dessert is ideal for summer entertaining; it is light and fresh tasting and can, and should, be made in advance.

Recipe Finder | Salmon mousse makes great cocktail party treat

The combination of the salmon and the tuna with the addition of chopped olives really gives this dish some zing.

Recipe Finder | Jell-O salad makes a refreshing, retro dish

"Sunset Salad" comes from a recipe booklet, "Joys of Jell-O," published by the General Foods Corp., one of the free recipe booklets that were commonly produced by many of the larger food companies in the '50s, '60s and '70s.

Recipe Finder | Mini cheesecake

Mini dessert likes these are all the rage now — not only for weddings but for just about any occasion. Give these a try and I'll bet you can't eat just one.

Recipe Finder | Pizza in a tunnel

The dish features traditional pizza ingredients inside the dough rather than on top

Recipe Finder | Guacamole is all about the avocado

Guacamole, the avocado-based dip that dates back to the Aztecs in Mexico, is extremely common in modern Mexican cuisine and has been fully embraced by Americans as a dip, condiment or salad ingredient.

Recipe Finder | Chocolate chip layer cake

Regardless of the number of layers you end up with, when put together with the delectable frosting you will have an impressive looking and delicious layer cake perfect for any special occasion.

Recipe Finder: Carmen's Greek-style dressing

Jack Ziegler of Baltimore was searching for the recipe for the continental salad that was served at the long-closed Carmen's restaurant on 25th Street in Baltimore. As luck would have it, Chris Carmen Ponticas of Timonium, the daughter of the original owners of Carmen's restaurant, happened to see Ziegler's request in this column.

Recipe Finder| Chop suey

This Americanized version of chop suey is surprising good and simple to make without a lot of fancy or pricey ingredients or time-consuming prep work.

Recipe Finder | Hess sugar cookies

I could not find any information on either the Hess country store or tea room, but I suspect they may have been the same place — or at least run by the same family and therefore likely to share recipes.

Recipe Finder | Eggplant Parmesan

"This is the kind of eggplant Parmesan that can make anyone an eggplant lover."

Recipe Finder | Osso buco not as intimidating as you may think

Osso buco has a reputation for being difficult and time consuming. But while it is true that, like most braises, it requires slow, gentle cooking to become tender, it is also quite forgiving.

Recipe Finder | Hot lettuce salad is an old world treat

This recipe is an example of a traditional, old-world sweet-and-sour recipe that the Pennsylvania Dutch were particularly well known for.

Recipe Finder | Mayonnaise cake

Thanks to the cake mix base, this simple recipe makes a super moist and delicious chocolate cake in under an hour.

Recipe Finder | Molasses sugar cookies

The cookies were "delicious and so flavorful," as the label promised, and had a wonderful chewy texture right out of the oven.

Recipe Finder | One-pot spaghetti

What could be better than a hearty, versatile one-pot dish that is both good and good for you and ready in less then half an hour?

Recipe Finder | Hutzler's cheese bread

The recipe for the delicious cheese bread that was served in the tearooms at Hutzler's department stores back in the day.

Recipe Finder | Tomato jam

As foolproof recipes go, there is nothing much simpler than tomato jam — just combine all the ingredients in a heavy, nonreactive pot and cook them down until they are thick and sticky.

Recipe Finder | Peanut butter cake

The cake is very rich, so cut the slices on the small side and don't forget your glass of cold milk.

Recipe Finder | Green tomato pie

This pie tastes surprisingly like an apple pie, only slightly tarter. I would never have imagined that hard, unripe green tomatoes could make such a delicious dish.

Recipe Finder | Sweet potato pie

This pie is so luscious, I don't see any reason why you have to wait until Thanksgiving to bake one.

Recipe Finder | Sour cream waffles

Don't let the convenience of store-bought frozen waffles prevent you from taking the extra time once in a while to make them from scratch. There simply is no comparison.

Recipe Finder | Hutzler's potato chip cookies

I baked up a batch of these salty, sweet and delicious cookies, using Utz potato chips, of course, and I'm missing Hutzler's department store all over again.

Recipe finder | Baked grits

Whether served for breakfast, lunch or diner, this straightforward, easy-to-prepare dish is the very definition of good, old-fashioned, stick-to-your-ribs Southern comfort food.

Recipe finder | Ricotta cheesecake

It has a graham cracker crust like many American-style cheesecakes, but this recipe calls for fresh ricotta cheese instead of cream cheese.

Recipe Finder | Lamb and white bean casserole

While one might not think of this deliciously hearty dish as all that fashionable, it is unquestionably comfort food at it's best.

Recipe finder | Skillet no-bake cookies

The Rice Krispies and nuts gave these no-bake cookies a nice crunch and a chewy, granola-bar-like texture.

Recipe Finder | Copycat Outback Steakhouse creamy onion soup

This recipe is for a creamy onion soup, not a traditional French-style onion soup with cheese on top.

Recipe Finder | Apricot-pineapple jam

Madeline Johnson from Kelso, Wash., was looking for a recipe for making apricot-pineapple jam. She said years ago she used to make it but she has been unable to locate the recipe. She said she is in her mid 80s but still likes to can and freeze. He husband of 65 years likes to help.

Recipe finder | Camp Louise sticky buns

Leslie Hayes, formally of Baltimore and now living in the United Kingdom, was in search of the recipe for the sticky buns that were served at Camp Louise located in the Catoctin Mountains in Western Maryland.

Recipe finder | Re-creating the classic Harley Burger

Donna Marsh of Hanover and Susan Zeiger of Baltimore both were looking for the recipe for the burgers that were sold at the Harley's sandwich shops in and around Baltimore back in the '60s and '70s.

Recipe finder | No-bake Twinkie cake

This cake can be assembled in no time and is perfect dessert to make and eat on a hot summer day, no oven required.

Recipe finder | No-boil pasta bake

Even an inexperienced cook should have no problem with this recipe — it's virtually foolproof.

Recipe finder | Crisco Breath o'Spring cake

I don't think I've ever made a cake with Crisco -- I'm a butter baker -- but I must confess this cake pleasantly surprised me.

Recipe Finder | Peach cake is a Baltimore summer classic

Peach cake is one of those uniquely Baltimore things, like coddies, that live long in people's memories.

Recipe Finder | Traditional coddies are purely Baltimore

Sometimes referred to as the poor man's crab cake, this uniquely Baltimore food could be found at neighborhood soda fountains and delis all over town beginning in early 1920s.

Recipe finder | Classic crab imperial

A classic Maryland-style crab imperial should have very few ingredients and requires minimum seasoning. It is the crabmeat that is the focus of the dish.

Recipe finder | Butter cake

Once baked and cooled, this recipe produces a sweet, slightly dense cake with pools of luscious butter running through.

Recipe Finder | A cheese ball to please all

Susan Fisher from South Bend, Ind., was looking for a recipe making a cheese ball like the one she would buy some years ago that was made and sold by a local sorority in Mishawka, Ind., as a fundraiser. She would purchase several of them each year and says that "These cheese balls were absolutely wonderful… Everywhere I took one people would ask me for my recipe…but of course I couldn't give it to them." The sorority stopped selling them years ago and she has been searching, with no

Recipe finder | Jell-O angel food cake, aka 'Great and Easy Dessert'

This simple and delicious dessert will serve a large number and would be an excellent thing to serve at a spring or summer gathering.

Recipe finder | Green goddess dressing

The classic mayonnaise-based dressing, boldly flavored with anchovy and tarragon, can today be easily prepared in a blender or food processor.

Recipe Finder | Gooey butter cake

This rich yeast cake underneath the all the gooey buttery goodness and crunchy topping was quite wonderful.

Recipe Finder | Harvey's cheese spread re-created

Amy Dickman from Owings Mills was hoping someone would have the recipe for the garlic herb cheese that was served with the breadsticks at Harvey's restaurant, which used to be located at Greenspring Station in Baltimore County.

Recipe Finder | Bottega's Salted Chocolate Caramel Pie

Ed Levy from Baltimore was hoping I would be able to get the recipe for the Salted Chocolate Caramel Pie that he and his wife so enjoyed at Bottega, the new restaurant located in the Station North neighborhood in Baltimore.

Recipe Finder | Rice Krisipies treat ice cream sandwiches

This recipe is proof that Rice Krispie treats can be easily adapted and used in many different ways, and are surely as popular today as they have always been.

Recipe Finder | Torta del re (Italian king's cake)

Not to be confused with the king cake common during Mardi Gras in New Orleans, this traditional, flour-less almond cake from the Piedmont region of Northern Italy is a popular choice for Passover dessert

Recipe Finder | Easy and delicious 7-Up cake

Veronica Robinson from Baltimore was in search of a recipe for making a 7-up cake. She had a recipe long ago for the cake but unfortunately she misplaced it. This cake is an oldie but a goodie. Based upon the number of people who kindly shared the recipe, it is still very popular.

Recipe Finder | Stained-glass candy

Doris Smithson from Greeneville, Tenn., was looking for a recipe for making "Stained Glass" candy. She said she used to buy bags of this colorful homemade treat at a church bazaar in Lexington, Ky., around the Christmas holidays and that it made great stocking stuffers.

Recipe Finder | Marzipan cake

Recipe Finder | Moist and sweet Marzipan cake

Recipe Finder | Chocolate Bliss Bites

Joan Metcalf from Westminster asked for help finding the recipe for Chocolate Bliss Bites. She had clipped the recipe from the February 2007 issue of Prevention magazine but said she was missing the complete directions. She liked the fact that the cookies had no fat.

Recipe Finder | Haussner's creamed spinach

Marie Cox from Bel Air was hoping someone would have the recipe for the creamed spinach that was served at Haussner's restaurant in Baltimore. Sadly, the restaurant closed a number of years ago, but many of their most popular dishes live on in people's memories. Cox said she has tried many recipes for creamed spinach but she has not been able to duplicate the special flavor of the restaurant dish.

Recipe Finder | Cornbread salad fit for a Super Bowl party

While it may sound odd, cornbread salad is a terrific dish for a potluck or picnic and is a great way to use up left over cornbread.

Recipe Finder | Rice and beans

Recipe Finder | Rice and beans

Recipe finder | Baltimore City Schools sticky buns

Sweet treats are reminiscent of cafeterias of the '60s

Recipe Finder | Fudge from P.S. 84 fundraiser

This is a fairly basic, unadulterated recipe that yields an extremely rich, dense fudge.

Recipe Finder | Eggnog, a seasonal favorite

Gene Green from Baltimore requested a recipe for making homemade eggnog.

Recipe Finder | Bacon appetizers are a party in your mouth

Roseanne Glick from Mt. Washington was looking for the recipe for a delicious appetizer that someone brought to a potluck cocktail party recently. She said it was a water chestnut wrapped in bacon and coated with some type of a barbecue sauce. She, along with many other guests at the party, found the single-bite morsels surprisingly irresistible.

Recipe Finder | Applesauce spice cake

Jan Griffn from Cary, N.C., was looking for a recipe for the spice cake that used to be made and sold at A&P stores across the country many years ago.

Recipe Finder | Polish pumpkin soup

Mary Mossman from Baltimore was looking for a recipe for making Polish pumpkin soup with dumplings.

Recipe Finder: Very Berry Coffee Cake

Recipe Finder: Very Berry Coffee Cake

Recipe Finder | Raisin nut coffeecake

Alisia Verdoorn from Cupertino, Calif., was looking for a recipe for a coffee cake that is made with raisin bran as the main ingredient. She said her grandmother had given her the recipe and she has lost it and she would like to be able to make it again.

Meatloaf Pinwheel is tasty and attractive

Kathy Blair from Somerset, Ky., was looking for a recipe she had clipped from a magazine years ago and has since lost for a unique meatloaf. She said in this recipe the meatloaf mixture was rolled out flat and then mashed potatoes and chopped celery leaves were spread over the mixture and then it was rolled up jellyroll style.

Recipe Finder: Good old pickled green beans

Barbara Daniel of Cross Lanes, W.Va., was looking for a "good old" recipe for making pickled green beans. She said that her grandmother always made them but most of her recipes are long lost.

Bubby's Noodle Kugel

Claire Green from Parkton was looking for a recipe for a noodle kugel like the one she remembers her grandmother making for the Jewish holidays when she was growing up.

Recipe Finder | Marconi's chopped salad

Joann Levin from Baltimore was looking for the recipe for the chopped salad that was served at the now-closed Maison Marconi restaurant in downtown Baltimore. Marconi's, which opened in 1920, was an institution in Baltimore, famous for being the favorite dining spot of H.L. Mencken as well as it's old world charm.

Recipe Finder | Mexicali cheddar bean salad

MC Savage from Baltimore said she is trying to find ways to get more nutrient-packed beans in her diet and was hoping for a recipe for a three-bean salad that was a little bit different from the classic versions that most commonly have a dressing made with vinegar, oil and sugar.

Recipe Finder: A delicious, sticky caramel mess of cinnamon bread

Recipe Finder | Cinnamon Swirl Loaf

Recipe Finder: Sweet, tart cranberry chicken

Sherri Trilling from North Chicago, Ill., was looking for the recipe for the cranberry chicken dish that was served at the Indian Trail restaurant in Winnetka, Ill. She said the restaurant is no longer open but that it was quite famous back in the day and had a very loyal following. She said the dinner entrees changed daily and many people would come in especially for the cranberry chicken that was sweet but tart and had the cranberry flavor all through the chicken.

Recipe finder: Sour Cream White Cake

A recipe for sour cream white cake using a box mix.

Recipe Finder: Old timey brown sugar pie

Linda Settles from Havre de Grace was looking for a recipe for brown sugar pie that duplicated the one her grandmother used to make.

Recipe Finder: Crave-worthy hashbrown casserole

Stanley Levy from Baltimore was in search of the recipe for the deliciously cheesy potato casserole that he enjoyed at a Cracker Barrel restaurant in Pennsylvania. He said it reminded him of macaroni and cheese but instead of pasta it was made with potatoes.

Recipe Finder: Oyster pie

Kira Eying from Baltimore was seeking a recipe for oyster pie. She said her husband's grandmother used to make it but no one in the family can find her recipe.

Recipe Finder: Hearty spaghetti casserole harks back to 1950s

Hearty spaghetti casserole harkens back to 1950s

Recipe Finder: Almond Cake

Recipe Finder: Almond Cake

Recipe Finder: Quickie sticky buns

Jeffrey Clayton from Baltimore was hoping someone would have the recipe for the sticky buns that were served in the cafeterias at Garrison Junior High and Forest Park High school back in the 1950s.

Recipe Finder: vegetarian "meat" loaf

Vegetarian "meat" loaf is savory, satisfying

Recipe Finder: Amaretto-almond pound cake

Rose Dodds from Bel Air was searching for a recipe for making a cake similar to one that she enjoyed at a fancy party. She said the texture was similar to pound cake and the almond flavor reminded her of Italian Amoretti cookies.

Recipe Finder | Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake

Steve Frazer from Reisterstown was looking for the recipe for the chocolate chip cake that used to be sold at Miller's Delicatessen in Northwest Baltimore in the 1970s.

Recipe Finder | Tomato basil soup

Viola Brown wanted a good and easy recipe for making tomato basil soup. She said she is 82 years old and has a hard time finding things she still likes to eat.

Recipe Finder: Puffed-up salmon patties

Recipe Finder | Salmon Patties

Recipe Finder | Decadent crab casserole

Mary Sloan Roby of Baltimore was looking for the recipe for the crab casserole from the old Robertson's Cafeteria in Charleston, S.C. She said it was very creamy and had cheddar cheese melted on the top.

Recipe Finder: Good old Louisiana Ring Cake

Mary Quinn from Baltimore was looking for the recipe for the Louisiana Ring Cake that was made by the long-ago closed Rice's Bakery. Recipe Finder | Louisiana Ring Cake

Recipe Finder | Back-of-the-box lasagna

Liz Williams from Newton, N.C., wanted help finding a recipe for making baked lasagna that she had lost. She said the recipe came from a box of pasta she was using probably around 20 years ago and it was the best lasagna ever.

Recipe Finder: Use up those plums with Pflaumenkuchen

Use up those plums with Pflaumen Kuchen

Recipe Finder: Incomparable tomato preserves

Anne Kilmurray from Pottsville, Pa., was looking for a recipe for tomato jelly or tomato preserves. She used to have an old recipe of her mother's but she has misplaced it and the farmers' market in her area used to sell a good one but no longer does. She said all she can remember about her mother's recipe is that it contained lemon peel.

Recipe Finder: Tasty and healthy cioppino

Jim Reichenberg of Rockville wrote for help locating a recipe that he said ran many years ago in The Baltimore Sun for Cioppino, an Italian-style seafood stew that was developed in the late 1800s by Portuguese and Italian fishermen who settled in San Francisco.

Recipe Finder: Cream of crab soup

Recipe Finder: Cream of Crab soup

Recipe Finder: Rhubarb Custard Pie

Recipe Finder: Rhubarb Pie is a summertime treat

Recipe Finder: Oven puff pancake

Recipe Finder: Oven Puff Pancake

Recipe Finder: Pillowy cheese dumplings

Kathy Stumer from Tuscarora, PA was looking for a recipe that her husband's grandmother used to make that she called cheese dough. She described it as pillow like dough squares filled with cottage cheese and topped with breadcrumbs and sour cream.

Recipe Finder: Grilled Scalloped Potatoes

Recipe Finder: Grilled Scalloped Potatoes

Recipe Finder: Seafood Boil

Recipe Finder: Seafood Boil

Recipe Finder: Old-fashioned banana cream pie

Mary Kilby from Timonium was in search of the recipe for the delicious banana cream pie that used to be served at Toddle House restaurants in the 1950s.

Recipe Finder | Rich blue cheese terrine

Brenda Stup from Ellicott City was looking for the recipe for a blue cheese pate or terrine that was served many years ago at The Kings Contrivance Restaurant in Columbia. It was served as appetizer on a bed of greens. She said it was absolutely delicious and she used to order it every time she ate there but it is no longer on the menu.