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Clinkerdagger, Biggerstaff and Pett Chocolate Mousse

-----Original Message----- 
From: molly
Sent: Sunday, December 21, 2014 6:57 PM
Subject: Chocolate Mousse Recipe

Dear Phaedrus,  I am looking for the recipe for Chocolate Mousse from
Clinkerdagger Biggerstaff and Pett restaurant that was in business in
Spokane Washington.  They used to give the recipe out on cards to anyone
who asked for it.  I have looked everywhere I can think of on the internet
myself.  My grandmother used to take me to eat there when I lived in
Spokane and she loved the chocolate mousse.  I know the restaurant was
there in the late 70's and 80's. We ate there in the 70's and early 80's
and I know they served the dessert then.
It still has a web site but I don's know if it is the same as it was.

I got to your site through a search for raisin filled cookies--great find.
Thank you very much.

Thank you,  Molly

Hello Molly,

I think it might be "BiCKerstaff," but I found it both ways. I found a few mentions of this restaurant or Public House, including mentions of their chocolate mousse, and I found raves and recipes for their "burnt crème" dessert. However, I did not find any recipes for their chocolate mousse. As you say, there is a website for a restaurant with the shorter name of "Clinkerdagger's", but there is no chocolate mousse" listed on their online menu (the "burnt crème" is listed on their menu, though).

I'll post this on the site. Perhaps one of my readers can help.


From: "Bridget" 
Subject: Clinkerdagger's Chocolate Mousse
Date: Thursday, December 22, 2016 4:24 AM

Hello.  My mother,  Monnie,  was the day bartender at Clinkerdagger's in
Spokane, WA for the larger part of my childhood.  We have had this recipe
for almost a lifetime it seems,  since the very early eightys. We share it
at Christmas time and it is still the best mousse I have ever had.  Enjoy!
(converted from weight by the pastry chef the worked there in 1981)

Clinkerdagger's Chocolate Mousse

16 oz Cream Cheese
2 cups superfine Sugar
2 tsp. Vanilla
1/3 cup cocoa powder
2 1/3 cups heavy cream (whipped)

Beat cream cheese,  sugar and vanilla until sugar is completely dissolved
and do granules remain.  (with a Kitchenaide  mixer on medium this takes
4-6 minutes)  Taste to be certain.
Beat in cocoa powder thoroughly,  scraping sides and bottom until uniform
Fold in whipped cream 1/4 at a time.
Chill at least 2 hours
Serve garnished with shaved dark chocolate.


School Cafeteria Chocolate Flying Saucers

From: Christine
Sent: Sunday, December 21, 2014 1:07 PM
Subject: School Cafeteria chocolate cookies

Thank you for this website.  I found it by accident searching for the chocolate cookie recipe.
I have been looking for this recipe for more than 10 year thinking that it would one day come up somewhere
but no luck.  Then I saw your website and thought my search was over... no luck.  I am writing to see if this
was ever answered.  It was sent on Nov 26, 2008 from Wendye.  I cannot find anything so it must still not be
an easy recipe to find.

I went to Nora Sterry Elementary School from 1959-65.  I was one of the monitors who sold these 
chocolate flying saucer cookies for a nickel in about the 2nd grade and then they must have gone up to 
dime a couple years later.  They were large about the size of a saucer for a cup, chewy and a bit crunchy
around the edges.  It had no butter flavor so I’m sure it was made from Crisco.
We also had oatmeal ones which I think I will try the recipe that you have found.

They had a very nice chocolate flavor.

Thank you.

Hello Christine,

The below recipe was published in the San Jose Mercury. The article said that this recipe was from someone who attended L.A. Schools.

I realize this recipe has butter, which you say the school recipe did not. Try substituting your Crisco for the butter in this recipe. It’s entirely possible that the lady who sent this recipe to the Mercury had decided to use butter for a richer cookie.


Chocolate Saucer Cookies

Makes 32

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 large egg
2 tablespoons milk
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, cut into 1/2-inch chunks

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2. Mix together flour, baking soda and cocoa.
3. Using an electric mixer, beat butter until softened. Beat in vanilla and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and milk.
4. On low speed, mix in dry ingredients. Stir in chocolate chunks by hand.
5. Drop dough by heaping tablespoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheets, no more than six per sheet. Using a fork dipped in water, 
   flatten tops slightly so cookies are 1/2-inch thick.
6. Bake cookies, two sheets at a time, for 14 to 15 minutes, switching position of pans halfway through, until cookies are lightly 
   browned but still soft. Let cookies cool on sheets 1 minute, then transfer to racks to finish cooling. 
Thank you for the recipe Phaed.  I wasn’t expecting an answer so quickly. Yes, I will try this recipe.
Thank you again. 

McDonald's Ranch Dressing

-----Original Message----- 
From: Debbie
Sent: Wednesday, December 24, 2014 5:50 PM
Subject: recipe request

Hi! My name is Debbie, and I am hoping you can help me. I am searching for 
the recipe for McDonalds very first Ranch salad dressing. It is one of the 
original 5 or 6 dressings offered when they first introduced salads on their 
menu, back in the 80s or 90s. I worked for them as a manager back then, and 
we were told that the dressings were made for McDonalds by Kraft. The Kraft 
Ranch dressing that was sold in the supermarkets back then didn't taste 
anything like the McDs did. I have done several internet searches and 
haven't turned anything up. If you could help I would be so grateful!

Thanks again,

Hi Debbie,

You're running into a problem that I have often come up against.

Big restaurant chains like McDonald's often contract out things like salad dressing. They develop their own recipe, which they then give to their contractors or else they work with a contractor such as Kraft to develop a new recipe for the dressing because they don't want their dressing to taste exactly like the contractor's usual product. They want something unique, with their own name on it. The contractor makes the dressing for them in one of the contractor's production facilities, puts McDonald's name on it, and sells the product to McDonald's. McDonald's then distributes the dressing to their stores and franchises around the country.

So, when a product is handled this way, who has any sort of recipe? Not your local McDonald's, as you would know. They just get the dressing in packets for sale. The only people who would know are:
1) McDonald's Home Office - Their Purchasing Department in particular. It's probably kept in a locked file or safe.
2) The Kraft Home Office - Most likely keeps a copy of the recipe on file.
3) The Kraft production facility where the dressing is made. They've gotta know the recipe, right?

None of these three groups would make the recipe public. They might lose their jobs. It's proprietary information. Who else would have the recipe? No one. It's on a "need to know basis", and employees of both companies are required to keep it secret.

Also, even if you had the recipe from the Kraft production facility, it wouldn't be something that you could use in your kitchen. It would be a recipe for making 50 gallons at a time, using industrial ingredients that you might not be able to obtain.

When you see a recipe for something like this on the Internet or in one of those "copycat" cookbooks, it's not the actual recipe. It's a recipe that someone has created by trial and error to taste like the commercially-made product. Sadly, I had no success finding anything like that for McDonald's Ranch Dressing, either for the dressing from the 80s or 90s or for the dressing they use now.

I'll post this on my site in case a reader can help. Someone might know of a commercial ranch dressing that tastes like the old McDonald's Ranch Dressing tasted.


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