Monday 19 December 2011

Caker Christmas 2011

I’ve got a fridge full of congealing leftovers, the curtains smell all ground beefy and I’ve passed enough wind today to power a turbine. That can only mean one thing, folks – another Caker Christmas has come and gone.

This year saw some caker culinary highs. And, sadly, some new lows. Here’s a rundown of what was made, what was enjoyed and what met the trashcan.

Pickle Puffs
Who doesn’t love a hot pickle? These were a hit.

¼ cup softened butter or margarine
1 cup sharp grated cheese
½ cup flour
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon paprika
24 small pickles, stuffed olives, onions or nuts

Blend cheese with butter. Stir in salt, flour, and paprika. Place dough on square of waxed paper and form into 6” roll. Dry pickles. Slice roll into ¼” slices and wrap around pickle covering completely. Arrange on ungreased cookie sheet. Store in refrigerator until party. Bake at 400 for 10-12 minutes. May be frozen before cooking.

Source: Favourite Recipes, Bloordale United Church

Confetti Sandwiches
The bad news? These sandwiches had maraschino cherries and gherkins. The good news? They were strangely tasty.

1 ½ pound package Philadelphia cream cheese
12 red and 12 green cherries
2 tablespoons chopped celery
1 tablespoon chopped green pepper
1 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoons Miracle Whip
½ teaspoon dry mustard

Cream cheese and add Miracle Whip and mustard. Combine with rest of ingredients and add 3 or 4 chopped gherkins. Spread on bread and cut to desired size.

Source: Fredericton Christ Church Cathedral Ladies Group

Hot Cheese in Pastry
The recipe called for Gouda. I couldn’t find any at the No Frills. So I got Brie – a decision that would prove to be the night’s biggest controversy. “How is Brie caker?” the Italians wanted to know. I pointed out it was wrapped in crescent dough. They refused to budge. Italians were telling a caker what was caker. I couldn't tell if this was one of the proudest or saddest moments of my life.

1 small round Gouda cheese
1 package Pillsbury Crescent Roll dough

Peel the Gouda and centre it on the rolled dough. Wrap the cheese in the dough. Follow the baking instructions for the crescent rolls. You may want to lower your temperature a bit and increase the baking time to make sure all the cheese is melted. Serve hot. Let people cut their own wedges and serve with or without crackers. Decadently delicious and delightfully easy.

Source: Our Favourite Recipes Cookbook, C.F.B. Winnipeg Ceramic Club

Salmon Cheese Casserole
No one, not even the person who made this, had high expectations for this. But aside from some “bone issues,” most were pleasantly surprised.

1 tin salmon, undrained
¼ cup chopped green pepper
¼ cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon chopped pimento
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/8 teaspoon pepper
5-6 bread slices
5 cheese slices, cut to form 10 triangles
2 large eggs
½ cup milk

Heat oven to 350°. Mix undrained salmon, onion, pepper, pimento, mayonnaise and seasoning together. Line baking dish with bread (or cube it and mix into mixture). Spread salmon mixture over bread. Beat eggs and milk and pour over all. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Arrange cheese slices on top and bake for 10 minutes without foil.

Source: "Let's Break Bread Together," The United Churches in Canada

French Fry SPAM Casserole
Nothing says Christmas like cubed SPAM. All in all, a solid, cornflake-topped, soup-based caker classic. No shame in the SPAM, friends.

1 (20 ounce) bag frozen French fry potatoes, thawed
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
2 cups sour cream
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
1 can SPAM Classic, cut into cubes
½ cup chopped red bell pepper
½ cup chopped green onions
½ cup finely crushed cornflakes

Heat oven to 350°. In large bowl, combine potatoes, cheese, sour cream and soup. Stir in SPAM Classic, bell pepper and onions. Spoon into 9x13” pan. Sprinkle with cornflakes. Bake casserole 30 to 40 minutes or until heated thoroughly.


Copper Pennies
Some people balked at the sweetness of this dish, while others argued it was the tastiest dish of the night. OK, one person did.

2 pounds fresh carrots
2 medium onions
1 medium green pepper
1 can tomato soup
¾ cup vinegar
2/3 cup sugar
½ cup cooking oil
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
½ teaspoon salt

Slice carrots in ¼ inch rounds. Cook until just tender. Drain carrots and add sliced onion and green pepper. Mix remaining ingredients and pour over vegetables. Combine and marinate for several hours or overnight. Drain marinade before serving.

Source: Our Favourite Recipes St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Woman’s League

Cheesy Cruncharoni
Velveeta. Fried onions. And not one, but two cans of soup. The hands-down winner of “Best Dish of Caker Christmas 2011.” I can only imagine how hollow that victory must be for an Italian.

2 cups macaroni
1 can tomato soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 (3 ounce) can fried onions
2 cups Velveeta cheese
1 pound hamburger
½ cup green pepper
¼ cup chopped pimento

Heat over to 350°. Cook macaroni. Drain. Brown hamburger and drain fat. Add soups, green pepper, pimento and macaroni. Place half the mixture in a greased 2 quart casserole. Sprinkle with half the cheese and half the onions. Top with remaining macaroni mixture and cheese. Bake for 25 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining onions and bake for 5 minutes longer. Serves 8.

Source: The recipe book is from Wisconsin, but doesn't have a cover, so I've christened it "Coverless Wisconsin Cookbook."

Pizza in a Tunnel
This one tanked. Big time. Call me old-fashioned, but the only thing that should be made in a Bundt pan is a Bundt. Speaking of Bundts…

3 cups biscuit mix (Bisquick)
2/3 cup milk
2 eggs
2 tablespoons butter
1 ½ cups fresh sliced mushrooms
1 package slice pepperoni
1 (14 ounce) jar pizza sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Grease 10” fluted pan. For crust: in a large mixing bowl, combine biscuit mix, milk, eggs and butter. Beat at low speed for 1 minute. With back of spoon, spread 2/3 of dough on bottom and up sides of pan. Layer mushrooms, pepperoni, sauce and 1½ cups of cheese. Spread remaining dough over cheese top layer. Bake at 400° for 30 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes. Top with remaining cheese. Return to oven for 2 minutes. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Source: High Park Elementary School Cookbook

Black Forest Cake
Ugh. Made by yours truly, this was a dud of a dessert. There was cake powder throughout. Even the dollop of Cool Whip on the side couldn’t save it. If I were you, I'd pass on this one and enjoy a good Dump instead.

¾ package miniature marshmallows
1 chocolate cake mix
1 can cherry pie filling

In a 9x13” pan (spray lightly with Pam), line with miniature marshmallows. Put cake mix on top of marshmallows. Cherry pie filling on top. Bake at 325° to 350° till cake is done. (Marshmallows will come to the top.) Cut in squares. Top with whipping cream.

Source: Paterson Memorial Presbyterian Church 75th Anniversary Cookbook

Sweet Marie Bars
Peanuts. Chocolate. Peanut butter. That Marie's a classy broad. Everyone's sweet on her.

½ cup peanut butter
½ cup corn syrup
½ cup brown sugar
2 cups peanuts
6 ounces chocolate chips plus 1 teaspoon butter

Melt together peanut butter, corn syrup and brown sugar in double boiler until it becomes warm. Add peanuts. Mix well. Spread in 8x8” pan. Melt chocolate chips and butter and cover top of squares.

Source: A.R.C. Industries Cookbook

Some guests brought squares previously featured on Caker Cooking, including Quick and Easy Skor Bars. Another person brought Peanut Butter Marshmallow Squares, but didn’t know what “butterscotch chips” were. (She’s Greek.) Instead, she melted Werther’s candy. The result? Well, let me put it this way. There’s a lot to be said for good intentions.

Speaking of Greeks...


  1. Amazing. I like how you captured various shades of orange and brown in the dishes as well. And Cheesy Crucharoni looks delicious.

  2. OMG, did anyone survive?
    Definitely adding the Sweet Marie bars recipe to my repertoire. Also the Cheesy Cruncharoni, and only partly because I like the name. One of these days I will entertain friends and serve Cheesy Cruncharoni and Girdlebuster at the same meal.

  3. Hi Paronomaniac. I really try to capture each dish's unique hues of cheese in each photograph. Thanks for noticing. And Cheesy Cruncharoni was DELISH. Really.

    Veg-o-matic: Everyone survived, although most paid the price the following day, if you catch my drift. Please send me an invite to the dinner party. I'll fly in on my Caker Jet for a special appearance.

  4. wow, a recipe that combines cream of mushroom AND tomato soup has to be good. And I learned today that fried onions can come in a can.

  5. See all the wonderful things you learn on this blog, Kirsten?

  6. Wow, what a spread! (As in, spread those cheeks and close the bathroom door, I won't be out for a week!) I'm liking the look of the sweet marie bars and those pickle puffs sure look tasty. Maybe if Lee and I ever come for dinner again, we can make it a Caker sort of affair.

  7. If we make it a "caker sort of affair" you'll never come back for dinner. That's usually the way it goes. One SPAM casserole and you might as well kiss your friends goodbye.

  8. I’ve had lots of success with the Cheater Black Forest Cake. But the big difference is we always make the cake batter according to directions first before adding it to the pan. You should really give it a second shot with this change. Delicious!


  9. Tracy, you raise a very good point. Some of these recipes can be a little vague. The more I think about it, the more it makes sense to prepare the cake and then pour it over. I'll have to revisit this one again.

  10. I think I will be making Cheesy Cruncharoni next week. Apparently, I want to kill my husband and then turn it into a murder/suicide.
    But what a way to go.

  11. I wasn't looking forward to Christmas until I just saw this. If people in the UK had ANY idea what a pot luck party was, or ANY idea what a Caker was I would throw myself one of these parties. But hey, what the hell, I'll do it anyhow!

    1. See yourself not as a party hostess, Lya, but as a caker crusader. I'm not saying it will be easy, but when you see your party guests going back for a second helping of Cheesy Cruncharoni, all the pain will be worth it