The staff at Boston Parents Paper loves to bake goodies for the holidays. Whether you try the recipes below from Senior Account Executive Lisa Braun, try Senior Editor Cheryl Crosby’s recipes in the December issue or online, bake some of your family’s favorites or purchase them from one of these local bakeries, we hope you have very delicious and happy holidays.

Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies


½ cup shortening (margarine)

¾ tsp. baking soda

½ cup peanut butter

½ tsp. baking powder

½ cup granulated sugar

¼ tsp. salt

½ cup brown sugar

1 ¼ cup flour

1 egg

Hershey’s kisses

Mix thoroughly shortening, peanut butter, sugar, brown sugar and egg. Blend in flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; cover and chill. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Shape into 1 inch balls and roll in granulated sugar. Place 3 inches apart on lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until set but not hard. One minute before, remove cookies from oven; top each with a kiss and return to oven. Watch closely – do not burn. These cookies are too good to waste! These can be frozen

Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Cake this recipe was given to me by my mother in law Alice Braun.

The first time I went to their house to meet them I ate almost the whole cake, little piece by little piece. She never mentioned that for 25 years and then once said “remember the first time we met and you ate almost the whole chocolate cake!”


1 stick margarine

1 1/3 cup flour

1 cup sugar

1 tsp. baking soda

1 egg

1 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. salt

2 squares unsweetened chocolate melted in 1 cup boiling water

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Mix the margarine, sugar and egg until fluffy. Melt the chocolate in the water in the microwave. Mix flour, powder, baking soda and salt together. Add flour mixture alternately with chocolate mixture to the sugar/ margarine mixture. Add vanilla. Batter will be thin.

Bake at 350 degrees in 8 by 8 square pan (that has been buttered or sprayed with cooking spray) for about 30 minutes. Frost with butter cream frosting. I double this recipe for a layer cake or 9-by-13-inch pan.

Butter Cream Frosting

1 pound confectioner’s sugar

1 stick of butter

1 tsp. vanilla

Milk, evaporated milk, or cream to make spreading consistency (approx. 3 to 4 tbsp.)

Once mixed, this will make enough for a layer cake! Remember when frosting a chocolate cake, first use a thin layer of frosting to catch all the crumbs, let that dry and then frost with the rest of the frosting!

Banana Bread


½ cup shortening

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

2 bananas mashed (use ripe bananas)

2 cups flour

1 tsp. baking soda


Cream sugar and shortening. Add eggs, mix well. Add mashed bananas, mix well. Add flour and baking soda and mix well. Pour into greased and floured loaf pan (I use cooking spray). Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour or until done (Put a knife in the middle and if it comes out clean it is done!). I often put in a fluted bundt pan and then sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar. This can be frozen. Tip: if you have very ripe bananas, do not throw away. Peel them and put in a baggie or wrap and freeze for banana bread later!

Blueberry Muffins


½ cup shortening

2 cups flour

1 ¼ cup sugar

2 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. salt

2 eggs

2 cups blueberries (or about)

½ cup milk

Blend sugar and shortening. Add eggs and mix well. Sift flour, baking powder and salt. Add dry ingredients and milk alternately to creamed mixture. Mix blueberries in by hand. Pour into muffin pan that has been buttered or sprayed with cooking spray. Sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes at 375 degrees.

Congo Bars


2 ¾ cups flour

2 ½ tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. salt

1 pound brown sugar

2/3 cups cooking oil

3 eggs

1 (6 oz.) package chocolate chips (I use semi-sweet, white and milk chocolate chips mixed)

1 cup pecans or walnuts, optional

Grease or spray a 9-by-13-inch pan. Sift flour, baking powder and salt together. Mix sugar and oil and eggs, Add dry ingredients, chips and nuts if you want. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. (Check to make sure they are done by sticking a knife in and if it comes out clean they are done!)

Chocolate Chess Pie


1 ½ cups sugar

3 ½ tbsp. Cocoa

Pinch of salt

2 beaten eggs

¼ cup butter melted

1 5oz. can of evaporated milk

1 tsp. vanilla

1 9-inch pie crust: I use a frozen one!

Mix cocoa and sugar together, add eggs beaten one at a time and then melted butter, evap. milk and vanilla. Mix well. Put in pie crust, bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes until it is set. Serve with whipped cream.

Chocolate Butter Fluff


1 ½ sticks butter softened (must be butter)

1 cup sugar

4 oz. unsweetened, pre-melted chocolate (buy pre-melted)

2 tsp. vanilla

4 eggs

Cream butter thoroughly, add sugar gradually; beat until light and fluffy. Add chocolate, vanilla and eggs. Beat for 3 minutes until smooth and thick. Chill or freeze.

This can be used as a very rich, mousse like frosting or BEST to make ice cream pies. This makes 2 ice cream pies: use prepared graham cracker or crust. Fill with favorite ice cream. For each pie I use almost a ½ gallon that is slightly softened. Put ice cream in crusts and freeze, then put the Butter Fluff on it thick and refreeze! For one pie, cut recipe in half.