Sticky Toffee Pudding

Name: Nadia Babar
Class Year: 2019
Country of Residence: United Kingdom

Why is this recipe great? What’s its backstory? 

Thanksgiving at Mount Holyoke was always strange because I couldn’t go back home to England, as it was too short of a holiday. Every year, I found myself worrying about what I would do over Thanksgiving, but I was lucky enough to have friends who would invite me back to their homes for Thanksgiving, so every year at MHC, I got to experience Thanksgiving with a different family. During my senior year, I spent Thanksgiving with my friend Shannon and her wonderful family in Reading, Massachusetts. I wanted to contribute to our Thanksgiving feast and make something ‘quintessentially British’, so Shannon and I decided on Sticky Toffee Pudding, an extremely classic British dessert. They were a smash hit with her whole family! While we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving here in the UK, I now make them every year for Christmas!

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Gevulde Speculaas (stuffed speculaas cake)

Name: Silvia Maulini
Class Year: 1980
Country of Residence: The Netherlands

Why is this recipe great? What’s its backstory? 

The birthday of Sinterklaas, also known as St. Nicholaas, is a magical day for anyone living in the Netherlands or the Flanders, especially when small children are around. The celebration takes place on the evening of 5 December and families prepare for weeks ahead, wrapping presents in creative packages (called “surprises”), writing small poems to accompany the gifts… and eating traditional sweets rich in spices and almond paste. Sinterklaas visits children (and adults) and delivers much coveted presents and sweets, leaving the country the next morning to travel back to Spain, where he lives for the rest of the year, at least according to the legend. Gevulde Speculaas is one of the most popular Sinterklaas sweets and it can normally be found in the shops only between early October and 5 December. My family loves this rather spicy cake and so a few years ago I started baking my own Gevulde Speculaas, willing to please all year around. Needless to say, I received no complaints when I offered it along a cup of coffee in mid-February and I now keep a few slabs of it in the freezer for every occasion.

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Gooey Butter Cake

Name: McKay Yancey
Class Year: 2010
Country of Residence: United States

Why is this recipe great? What’s its backstory? 

Gooey butter cake is a special cake that my hometown of St. Louis, Missouri is known for around the country! My grandma (known fondly as Granny) has made this original for my birthday every year! Which is extra special because we share a birthday. I always look forward to my Granny making my great grandma’s Gooey Butter Cake.

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Lone Star Pecan, Pumpkin, & Bourbon Pie

Name: Virginia Ross
Class Year: 1966
Country of Residence: United Kingdom

Why is this recipe great? What’s its backstory? 

Autumn and winter holiday dinners feature a pie made of pumpkins or pecans, but our family favourite uses both ingredients. Pecans, which are abundant locally, come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and tastes – all delicious.

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Pumpkin Quick Bread

Name: Marcia Brumit Kropf
Class Year: 1967
Country of Residence: U.S.A.

Why is this recipe great? What’s its backstory? 

Halloween is a fun family holiday in the U.S. When I started celebrating the holiday with my children, the first step was to carve our own pumpkin. We then roast the pumpkin seeds and make pumpkin bread from the flesh we removed when making the jack-o-lantern. This is a reasonably healthy pumpkin bread recipe and has been much loved for decades by my children and now my grandchildren. And it’s a wonderful activity to do together.

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Bunny’s Very Chocolate Cake

Name: Patricia Simon
Class Year: 1968
Country of Residence: Germany

Why is this recipe great? What’s its backstory? 

This cake was made by my mother Bunny Hutzler Simon ‘39 for all our birthdays. To this day it is requested as THE birthday cake, even by the granddaughter of her ’39 classmate! When I got married in 1971 this was the cake we wanted for our wedding. My mother complied but feared the cake would be not only extremely dense and moist but also too dark. So, she threw silver cake decorations all over it to make it less somber! This was in the day when the only beautifully decorated cakes came from the bakery if you were lucky enough to have a real master baker/confectioner. Needless to say, the dark chocolate color did not dampen the celebratory spirits one bit.

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