DEAR SOS: On a trip to Ayrshire, Scotland, we enjoyed an absolutely heavenly treacle shortbread cookie at Turnberry Hotel. Is a recipe possible?
DEAR SHEILA: Executive Chef des Cuisines, D.S. Cameron, sent us the recipe without hesitation, giving credit to "Chef McQuade." Treacle syrup, an imported molasses that gives authenticity to the cookie, is available at most gourmet food stores or shops where food products from the British Isles are sold. If you can't find it, use regular dark molasses.
TREACLE NUT SHORTBREAD
3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons treacle syrup or molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/3 cups rolled oats
1 cup cake flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup ground almonds
Beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in treacle syrup and vanilla.
Mix together oats, flour, cocoa powder and almonds. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture, mixing well. Form into ball and refrigerate 1 hour.
Roll out dough 1/4 inch thick and cut with cookie cutter to desired shapes or rounds. Place on cookie sheets and bake at 350 degrees until firm, about 10 minutes. Cool slightly, then remove to wire racks to cool.
Makes 3 dozen (3-inch) cookies.
Each cookie contains about:
81 calories; 41 mg sodium; 10 mg cholesterol; 5 grams fat; 9 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram protein; 0.15 gram fiber.
Visions of Sugarplums
DEAR SOS: You once printed a recipe for Sugarplum Cake. I'd love a replacement for the one I lost.
DEAR SHERRY: This is what the sugarplum fairies pulled out of our files. The recipe was sent by a reader, Linda Bartlett of La Crescenta, in 1975.
2 cups self-rising flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup oil
3 eggs, beaten
1 (7 3/4-ounce) jar junior baby food plums or 1 cup pureed plums
1 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons light corn syrup
1/4 cup butter
Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, oil, eggs and plums in large bowl. Mix in nuts. Pour into greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake at 350 degrees until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 45 to 60 minutes.
Remove from oven and immediately pour Glaze over cake. Let stand 1 hour. Remove from pan and serve.
Combine sugar, buttermilk, vanilla, lemon juice, corn syrup and butter in saucepan. Bring to boil.
Makes 1 (10-inch) tube cake or 8 to 10 servings.
Each serving contains about:
801 calories; 100 mg sodium; 95 mg cholesterol; 45 grams fat; 98 grams carbohydrates; 9 grams protein; 0.35 gram fiber.
DEAR SOS: I'd like the recipe for Red Devil's Food Cake like that once served in our high school cafeteria in Los Angeles. Can you help?
DEAR CAROL: We've printed this school recipe for Red Devil's Food Cake many times. Enjoy.
CITY SCHOOL RED DEVIL'S FOOD CAKE
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 cup hot coffee or water
1 teaspoon red food coloring, optional
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons cake flour
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Beat shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs. Mix cocoa into coffee or water and then stir in red food coloring. Beat into creamed mixture.
Sift together salt, baking soda and cake flower. Add sifted dry ingredients to creamed mixture, alternating with buttermilk. Add vanilla. Turn into greased 13x9-inch pan and bake at 350 degrees until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Frost with favorite frosting, if wished.
Makes 12 servings.
Each serving, without frosting, contains about:
258 calories; 229 mg sodium; 36 mg cholesterol; 10 grams fat; 40 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams protein; 0.13 gram fiber.
Send requests to Culinary SOS, Food Section, Los Angeles Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles, CA 90053. Include restaurant address when requesting recipes from restaurants. We are unable to answer recipe requests by mail.
To order Dosti's "DEAR SOS: Dessert Recipe Requests to the Los Angeles Times," send check for $15.95 plus $3.50 shipping and handling to SOS Desserts, Los Angeles Times, Department FS, Box 2348, Chatsworth, CA 91313-9799. Or call (800) 246-4042, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday to use Visa or MasterCard. The original "DEAR SOS" cookbook can be ordered in the same manner for the same price.