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Get Fuzzy Spanish Dessert?

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Sue 
  Sent: Saturday, February 14, 2009 3:57 PM
  Subject: Spanish olive cake with cloves and lemon peel

Hello Uncle Phaedrus

This week a national comic strip, Get Fuzzy, has had a subject that has many cooks wondering: is 
there such a thing as a 'traditional Spanish dessert (cake?) made with olives, cloves, and lemon 
peel' as ingredients. Sounds plausible to me. I 've tried googling all manner of variation on the
ingredients, no luck. Thought you might be interested. There is a discussion on's 
forum 'General Chowhounding Topics. '  Inquiring chowhounds want to know.



Hi Sue,

Well, it was interesting enough for me to spend several hours on it. I looked up the "Get Fuzzy" strips on the web so I could read them first hand. "Traditional Spanish Cakes" and "Traditional Spanish Desserts" yielded nothing like that. Searches of dozens of Spanish recipe sites also yielded nothing. Searches for cakes or desserts with flour, olives, cloves, and lemon peel got me zilch. Searches for "olive cake" turned up some savory recipes, but no desserts or dessert cakes.

Perhaps, as someone said on the message boards, that cake is only traditional in some small area of Spain, or maybe it is a very old recipe that is almost forgotten today. As "Bucky" suggested, maybe there was a mis-translation, and "crushed olives" is really "crushed almonds" or something similar, since almonds are very common in Spanish desserts. Maybe Darby Conley is pulling everyone's leg and it's just something he made up.



----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Glen" 
Sent: Tuesday, February 17, 2009 5:58 PM
Subject: Cracknells

> Hi Phaedrus, Many years ago here in San Francisco there was a company 
> called Mission Biscuit Company which made cookies and crackers and such 
> like ... which they sold by weight in their retail shop on Sutter street 
> near Polk. Among their products, something called Cracknells which were a 
> dry crisp not sweet tea biscuit. As I remember about 3/8 inch thick. 
> round, 2 inches in diameter, lightly glazed surface with an indented 
> center just waiting for a daub of jam for a small bite with your tea. The 
> texture very dry ... stick to your mouth dry ... crisp not salt not sweet. 
> very white inside light tan glossy surface. I loved them and miss them. 
> Also possibly spelt cracknel crecknel , etc.  Help, please!  thanks  glen 
> black  .... really truly my name.

Hello Glen,

I cannot find any recipes from the Mission Biscuit Company. I can find plenty of cracknel recipes, but I have doubts that any of them will be like the commercial product that you purchased. Cracknels have been around since the Middle Ages in Europe. They seem to be boiled and then baked, but more recently the term has come to be applied to a kind of butter cookie or sugar cookies or "tea biscuit". They appear to be quite popular in Europe, particularly Holland and the UK. Some are ring-shaped and some are shaped like pretzels. Some are not sweet, but savory. Some are cheese-flavored. Some are more like a cracker than like a sweet biscuit.


Dutch Taste


See below for recipes.


Cracknel Biscuits.

3 1/2 lbs. flour, 3 ozs. butter, 6 ozs. castor sugar, 13 eggs, 2 drs. voil. 
Rub the butter in the flour, make a bay, put in the sugar in powder with the 
eggs and voil, make the whole into a dough of moderate consistence; break it 
well and let it be quite clear and smooth; roll out a quarter of an inch 
thick, cut out with an oval cutter, or one in the form of an oak-leaf, dock 
them in the centre, lay them on a tray in rows, cover them with a damp 
cloth. Have a copper on the fire boiling, throw them into the water one at a 
time face upwards, and after they have risen to the top be careful to turn 
each biscuit face uppermost. Let them remain this way for two or three 
minutes for the edges to turn up. When ready take a skimmer and throw them 
into a pail of cold water. When they have been in the water for about an 
hour put them in a sieve to strain, and bake on buttered tins in a moderate 
oven. When baked they should be placed in the drying stove for a few hours.
Cracknell Biscuits:

Mix llb. flour, 4 tablespoons butter, 5 tablespoons sugar, half a tea? 
spoonful of lump ammonia dissolved in a little warm water, and with 4 eggs 
make a stiff dough. Knead well, roll to a quarter-inch thickness and cut 
into rounds. Have a large pan of boiling water ready on the stove, and a tin 
of cold water. Drop the biscuits into the boiling water a few at a time, and 
when they swim and curl at the edge's, lift them out and drop into Me cold 
water. Leave for a few minutes, then take out, place on a greased tin, and 
bake in a fairly hot oven for about a quarter of an hour.

Two cups of rich milk, four tablespoonfuls of butter and a gill of yeast, a 
teaspoonful of salt; mix warm, add flour enough to make a light dough. When 
light, roll thin and cut in long pieces three inches wide, prick well with a 
fork and bake in a slow oven. They are to be mixed rather hard and rolled 
very thin, like soda crackers.

Rub six ounces of butter into three pounds and a half of flour -- make a 
hole, and put in six ounces of powdered loaf sugar -- wet up with eight eggs 
and a quarter of a pint of water -- break your dough smooth; make them and 
dock them like a captain's biscuit -- form them on your reel; drop them into 
a stewpan of water boiling over the fire -- when they swim take them out 
with a skimmer, and put them into a pailful of cold water; let them remain 
full two hours before you bake them -- you may drain them in a cloth or in a 
sieve -- bake them on clean tins in a brisk oven, or on the bottom of the 

225g (8oz) Fine Flour
225g (8oz) Sugar
50g (2oz) Butter
2 Eggs
Few Caraway Seeds

Sift the flour.
Rub the butter into the flour.
Add enough egg yolks to slacken the mixture.
Mix in the sugar, butter, eggs and caraway seeds together.
Add the flour, mixing thoroughly.
Roll out as thinly as possible.
Use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes.
Place on to buttered greaseproof paper.
Bake in a low oven.
Eat with chocolate.

Radio Rolls

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Karin  
  Sent: Tuesday, February 17, 2009 8:57 PM
  Subject: Radio Rolls Recipe Request


I am looking for a recipe for "Radio Rolls."  They were made at the Royal Bake Shoppe in 
Centerville, SD (I understand it is a somewhat well-known German pastry).  They are relatively 
flat, less than 1/2" tall, about 5" across, and a continuous coil of pastry with chopped walnut 
in the coils.  They have a light golden color, and may have some sugar sprinkled on top (but 
not much) as they had a bit of a gloss.  They were topped with a drizzle of an almond glaze, 
and sprinkled with more chopped almonds.  Dale Merritt was the original baker of them at Royal, 
but he sold the business to Keith Ellis, who didn't devote much time to it, and the business 
slowly dried up and he moved what was left to Tea, SD.  He may still live in Centerville though. 
I haven't been back there in years, since my grandparents passed away.  They were great with 
butter on top, or with a little peanut butter mixed into the butter.  You had to reserve them 
if you weren't there when they opened.  I would love to try making them for my dad for his 
next birthday (75!) since he loved them so much.

  Any help will be greatly appreciated!


Hello Karin,

I cannot find any recipes from the Royal Bake Shoppe at all. If "radio rolls" are truly German, then they must have another name in Germany, as there is nothing like that in our German cookbooks or on the German recipe sites that I checked. They may be German-American, and unknown in Germany itself. I did find a couple of recipes called "radio rolls, but they do not have almonds and do not sound like your description. See below. Phaed

  Radio  Rolls

   1/2 c. shortening
  1 tsp. salt
  1/4 c. sugar
  1/2 c. hot water
  1 pkg. dry yeast
  1/2 c. lukewarm milk
  1 egg, beaten
  2 1/2 c. flour
  2 c. All Bran


  1 stick margarine
  1 c. brown sugar
  1 c. chopped nuts

Pour boiling water over shortening, sugar and salt; allow to cool. Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup 
lukewarm water.  To the cooled ingredients add yeast, egg, flour and All Bran.  Mix well. 
The dough will be soft.  Place in refrigerator overnight.  When ready to bake, roll out dough 
into 1/4 inch sheet.  Spread melted margarine, sugar and nuts on top. Roll like a jelly roll. 
Cut into 2 inch slices.  Place on a cookie sheet pressing each piece down with palm of hand. 
Let rise until puffy.  Bake at 375 degrees until golden brown.  While warm, glaze with melted 
margarine, brown sugar, powdered sugar and bit of hot water to form spreading consistency. 
  Radio Rolls 

  2 eggs, beaten 
  1/2 c sugar 
  1 c mashed potatoes 
  1/2 c warm water 
  1 yeast cake 
  1/2 c milk, scalded and cooled 
  1 ts salt 
  1/2 c butter or margarine 

  To beaten eggs add sugar, potato, milk, water and yeast. Mix in flour to make a 
  dough that will drop from spoon. Let rise 3 hours. Add salt, butter and flour to 
  knead. Rise until doubled, about 1-1/2 hours. Knead lightly, roll thin, spread 
  with melted butter, cut with cutter and fold over. Let rise 2 hours, bake. Brush 
  tops with melted butter. 

Serbian Torte

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Peg 
  Sent: Wednesday, February 18, 2009 9:46 AM
  Subject: serbian torte recipe?


I'm trying to help an older friend (70s) who lost all her old cookbooks and old family recipes 
in a fire. She especially would like a torte recipe from her Serbian mother-in-law, but cannot 
recall all of it. It included 10 eggs, separated, and cream and coconut. The finished torte had 
many alternating layers. The egg whites and coconut were used in one set of layers. Egg yolks 
and cream in another set (sounds like butter-cream filling, maybe), and my friend also mentioned 
a yellow sponge cake being involved somehow. Any ideas out there?

Thank you.


Hi Peg,

Sorry, I had no success finding a Serbian recipe for a torte with coconut. I need the name of the torte to have a chance. A description of how it's made isn't much help. You might try posting a request on a Serbian message board.


Crustless Pie

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Linda 
  Sent: Tuesday, February 10, 2009 5:50 PM
  Subject: Mock Lemon Pie

  Greetings Phaedrus !  

  The title  "Mock Lemon" is mine not the "official" name for the pie. I found it in an old 
American heritage type cookbook back in the ' 80's . What was so unique is that it did have 
cornmeal ,eggs , and vinegar in the recipe but no pie crust. The cornmeal settled to the 
bottom forming the crust ! The filling was very much like a vinegar or chess pie or just a 
custard pie with lemon overtones. I remember the recipe talking about how women on the prairie 
would make it as stocks were low. I've looked for years for this recipe , including on the net. 
I've found dozens of similars , But none with the cornmeal making its own crust. Any help is 
appreciated !

Thank you in advance .
Subject: Crustless Vinegar Pie
From: Karen
Date: 5/17/2020, 8:59 AM

Hi again Phaed,

I just found your blog this week, and I've been reading it every day. Not only have I gained 
several new 'old' recipes from your work, but my curiosityhas also been peaked to find even 
more. Thank you for keeping this blog going for so many years!

In 2009, Linda asked you to find a crustless vinegar pie that she called a mock lemon pie with 
"cornmeal ,eggs, and vinegar in the recipe but no pie crust". I just found a recipe that meets 
her description:This Florida Mom. 
I think this pie is perfect for right now for folks with limited ingredients on hand.

Thank you again for your blog!

Southern Chess Pie


1 1/4 cup sugar
3/4 stick butter softened
3 eggs slightly beaten
1 Tablespoon white vinegar
1 Tablespoon flour or cornmeal (whatever you have on hand)
1 Tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

In your mixer or large bowl, combine the sugar and butter. Add the eggs and mix well. 
Next add the vinegar, milk, flour, and vanilla. Mix until all ingredients are well 
incorporated. Pour into a pie dish  double the recipe if you want a deep pie. Bake 
at 350 degrees for approximately 50-55 minutes. Pie should be golden brown on top and 
mostly solid in the middle when done (make sure to check with a toothpick or it will 
be difficult to cut). Cool before cutting.

Hi Linda,

Sorry, no luck. Need that "official" name.



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