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Passover Ribbon Cookies

From: Micki 
Sent: Thursday, March 07, 2013 7:42 PM
Subject: Passover recipe for ribbon cookies

dear uncle Phaedrus,

I am not looking for a lost recipe, instead I am trying to find any recipe for Ribbon Cookies( a.k.a tricolor or I have even heard them called seven layer cookies)  
that I can use for a Passover dinner.  I currently can make them but they are not for Passover use.  I do not know how to exchange the amount of flour needed into 
the correct amount  of matzoth cake flour.  If you can help me I thank-you.  I can bake by either weight (grams and/or ounces) or the American method of cups and 

When I lived in NY I could by them from every bakery but here in the Southwest  getting anything for Passover is an impossibility.  I can get some of the ingredients 
needed and the rest I improvise.  I would like to try these because my family has been requesting them.

Below I am going to include the ingredients that I currently use--just for reference.

This cookie has a deep almond flavor, apricot jam filling and chocolate icing on both the top and bottom layers.  They take 2 days just about to make.


4 eggs                                                   
1/2 tea salt
1 cup sugar                                         
red and green food coloring
8 oz almond paste                           
12 oz apricot preserve. strained
1 1/4 cups butter                              
7 oz bittersweet or 86% dark chocolate..not unsweetened
1 tea almond extract                      
2 cups flour ..........that need to be replaced with matzoth cake flour

**soy, corn, grains, peanuts and their by-products are not allowed during this time

I hope you can help me.  I have been all over the internet and through my many cookbooks to try to come up with something.  



Hello Micki,

This site:Chowhound
Gives this substitution:
For 1 cup of flour, substitute 5/8 cup matzo cake meal or potato starch, or a combination sifted together.

There are cookie recipes here for ribbon\tricolor\rainbow\7 layer cookies:

Italian Tricolores

New York Rainbow Cookies


Italian Africani Cookies

Africani are light Italian cookies from Greve in Chianti, in Tuscany.

From "Celebrating Italy: Tastes & Traditions of Italy as Revealed Through Its Feasts, Festival, and Sumptuous Foods" By Carol Field


8 egg yolks, warmed to room temperature
1/2 cup (100 grams) superfine sugar

Mix the egg yolks and sugar in an electric mixer at maximum speed about 40 minutes, until the sugar completely dissolves and leaves no gritty feel between your fingers. 
Preheat the oven to 300°F. Fill mini-muffin baking cups slightly more than halfway, arrange them on a baking sheet, and bake 10 minutes. Turn the oven down to 275°F and 
bake 30 minutes. Once again, turn the oven down to 200°F and leave for an hour. No matter how curious you are, do not open the oven door. At the end of cooking, turn the 
oven off and open the door, leaving the africani to cool very slowly for 2 hours.

Eddie's Pastries Butter Top Coffee Cake

From: Picola 
Sent: Saturday, March 09, 2013 2:57 PM
Subject: Please Help me!

I recently had posted a request for a long-loved Cairo, Illinois recipe from the 60s (or perhaps earlier?). The recipe I am in dire need of is the 
"original butter top coffee cake" from Eddie's Pastries in Cairo. 
In my previous post, I had a kind person offer one recipe and another suggest a St. Louis Gooey Buttercake option. Unfortunately, I have tried every 
recipe offered on the web and each time my husband tells me it is still not the right recipe.

Also, it is nothing like a Gooey Buttercake or even a coffee cake. It is supposedly a legend of its own. After years of trying to bless my husband with 
the cake of his childhood, I am pleading with someone from Cairo, Illinois, to please offer the original recipe, and not one already on the web. I also 
know that a lady sells these cakes in Illinois, but I do not live close, nor could I afford such luxury at this time.

My name is picola and this was posted by another woman who is obviously looking for the same recipe that I am . I sent you her post because I couldn't 
say it any better myself.

The lady that used to sell the cakes is no longer with us and her name is Jean Thomas. If there is any other information that you would need for me to 
provide for you I would more than happy too and thanks for your help.


Hello Picola,

There is a description of this cake on this site: Chicago Reader

To wit:

“The Saturday-morning gooey goodness of a butter-top coffee cake from Eddie's Pastries, the greatest breakfast food ever invented, period. It was a doughy bottom covered with a coagulated mixture of butter and sugar on top, bagged so that when you bought one you couldn't tell if you were unlucky enough to have got the much hated and much drier corner pieces. Whenever you went to visit a former Cairoite, you had to bring along several butter-tops.”

I saw your requests for this posted on other sites like this one: Thrifty Fun

The recipe below was posted on Facebook in response to the request there at: The Hungry Mouse
That may be one that you’ve already tried. If not, you should try it before you reject it.

It’s highly unlikely that Eddie’s Pastries’ actual recipe is anywhere to be found, even among Cairo residents. Eddie’s name was Edward Grueninger, and he passed away in 2007 after being retired for several years. It’s very unlikely that he would have given his recipe to anyone outside his own family. His obituary is here: SE Missourian

You might have better luck posting your request on Cairo-specific message boards such as this one: The Cairo Times

I’ll post this on my site, but it will be about a month before it will appear.


Butter Top Coffee Cake

1 pkg (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 cup milk
1/4 cup shortening
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
4-5 cups of flour

1. Dissolve yeast in warm water.
2. Scald milk and melt shortening in hot milk and allow to cool.
3. Beat eggs then add salt and sugar and mix well, by hand or by mixer.
4. Add yeast and mix.
5. Mix Flour into batter one cup at a time.
6. After all the flour has been added, scrap sides of bowl and cover with wax paper. Let rise two hours or overnight.
7. When doubled, put on floured cloth or board and knead 200 strokes.
8. Divide the dough into two pieces. Roll each pieces to fit a 9x13 pan.
9. put topping on dough and let rise in warm place two hours.
10. Bake 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees on middle shelf of oven. (If using glass baking pans reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.

3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup powdered milk
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Cream butter until light and fluffy.
2. Add sugar as you continue beating.
3. Add eggs, one at a time.
4. Add milk, then flour and vanilla.
5. Beat until light and fluffy.
6. Spread topping on dough in two 9x13 pans.
7. Let rise about two hours in warm place.
8. Bake as in above directions. 
From: Gina 
Sent: Thursday, July 11, 2013 9:04 PM
Subject: Butter top coffee cake from Cairo I'll.

Could u please find this recipe for me. Thks gina

Hello Gina,

I just researched this a few months ago. See: 4-08-2013

The recipe on that page and the two below appear to be the same, albeit with the text slightly rearranged. This recipe was printed in the Cairo Times and is supposed to be like the cake sold at Eddie’s in Cairo. It is the only recipe for this that I can find with any compelling provenance. See these sites also:


Yahoo Groups


Eddie’s Bakery, Cairo, Il Butter Top Coffee Cake

1/4 cup shortening
1 package of yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1 tea. Salt
1/2 cup sugar
4 to 5 cups flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Scald milk and melt shortening in hot 
milk. Cool. Beat eggs and add salt and sugar and mix. Add milk and 
shortening and mix batter a cup at a time. Do all this mixing with a 
mixer. After all the flour has been added scrape the sides of bowl 
(cover with waxed paper and let rise 2 hours or overnight).

When dough has doubled, put on floured cloth or board and knead 200 strokes.

This makes enough dough for 4 coffee cakes. Divide the dough. Roll the 
dough to fit two 9 x 13 pans. Put topping on dough and let rise in warm 
place for about 2 hours. Bake 15 to 20 minutes at 350 on middle shelf.

3/4 cup margarine
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup powdered milk
2 tbsp. Flour
1 tsp. vanilla

Cream shortening until light and fluffy. Add sugar as you continue 
beating. Use mixer and continue beating. Add eggs one at a time, add 
milk, then flour and vanilla. Beat some more. Topping should be very 
light and fluffy. Spread topping on dough in the 2 8x13 pans.
Butter Top Coffee Cake (From the Cairo Times)

1 package yeast
1 1/4 C warm water
1 C milk
1/4 C shortening
2 eggs
1 tsp salt
1/2 C sugar
4 to 5 C flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water.
Scald milk and melt shortening in hot milk.
Cool and beat the eggs.
Add salt, then sugar and mix.
Add milk/shortening and mix.
Add yeast and mix.
Mix flour into batter 1 cup at a time (use mixer).
After all the flour has been added, scrape sides of bowl, cover, and let rise 2 hours or overnight. 
When dough has doubled, put on board or floured cloth and knead 200 times.
Divide the dough in half and roll each half to fit pans.
Put dough in greased pans and put topping (see recipe below) on dough, let rise in warm place about 2 hours. 
Topping should be light and fluffy.
Bake 12 to 15 minutes at 3S0' F on middle shelf. Just bake till top starts to brown slightly, don't overcook.

3/4 C butter (better with butter)
1 1/2 C sugar
1/4 C powdered milk
4 eggs
4 tbs flour
2 tsp vanilla
Cream the butter until light and fluffy.
Add sugar and continue beating.
Add eggs, one at a time.
Add milk, then flour, then vanilla.
Beat it more.  

Lentil Soup with Bananas

From: ===Claudia=== 
Sent: Saturday, March 09, 2013 11:00 PM
Subject: Lentil Soup with Bananas

My dad used to make a wonderful lentil soup.  I thought he got the recipe from the San Francisco Chronicle but I have not been able to find it there in their archives or 
on the net.  It would have been published in the 1980s or 1990s.

I know it contained cumin, chicken stock, lentils of course, onion and a tomato among other things.

It had a couple of techniques I have never heard of before, like charring half of the onion in a hot frying pan, and cooking the tomato whole in a frying pan to make a paste 
before adding it to the soup.  Finally, it was supposed to be served over a banana cut in half.  I am not sure if my father substituted banana for plantain.

Anyway, I can find recipes for lentil soup with plantains but none that include the unusual techniques.  Maybe you can help me...


Hello Claudia,

Sorry, I had no success finding a recipe fitting your description.


-----Original Message----- 
From: Sally 
Sent: Tuesday, June 11, 2013 4:48 PM
Subject: Lentil soup w bananas

Claudia asked about Lentil Soup w bananas. The onion and tomato techniques sound familiar-I think perhaps a search for "dal" with plantains or bananas 
may lead to what she is looking for. I hope this yields results,
Take care,

Hello Sally,

Thanks for the tip, but I had no success finding a dal/dahl/lentil soup recipe with plantain or banana that called for "charring half of the onion in a hot frying pan, and cooking the tomato whole in a frying pan to make a paste before adding it to the soup". The onion, yes. I found a few recipes that called for something similar like sauteing the onion, but nothing with a whole tomato cooked like that. All of the recipes that I can find call for chopped or canned tomatoes with nothing like that technique used.


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