IDEA ALLEY: Kats get cookies and some Franke’s copycats

This recipe, which I wrote about in my Front Burner column last summer, has come up a few times in recent weeks with at least one reader requesting a lost copy.

These cookies are reminiscent of the famous Jackson’s Lemon Jumbles, but they are not lemon jumbles. So, please, do not let your mouth and your brain expect lemon jumbles. If you do, you’ll be disappointed.

But they are quite tasty cookies, and so easy to make.

Easy Lemon Cookies

1 (15.25 to 18-ounce) box lemon cake mix

½ cup vegetable oil

2 eggs

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, stir together the cake mix, oil and eggs. Using a cookie scoop, drop dough by teaspoons spaced 2 inches apart on to the prepared baking sheets. Bake 10 minutes or until set and edges are beginning to brown.

Makes about 3 dozen.

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Anyone who’s hankering for Franke’s Cafeteria will want to save the following recipes, all from our archives.

If you have a copycat recipe for a favorite Franke’s dish, please share.

Franke’s Style Eggplant

1 large or 2 small eggplants

½ teaspoon salt

Dash ground black pepper

2 cups cornbread crumbs or leftover dressing

2 tablespoons melted butter

2 cups canned tomatoes, well drained

2 eggs, well beaten

½ cup finely chopped onion


Heat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a baking dish.

Peel and cut eggplant into cubes. Cook until tender in water; drain thoroughly.

Place eggplant in a large bowl and add salt, pepper.

In a separate bowl, combine cornbread crumbs and melted butter; set a few tablespoons of this mixture aside.

Add tomatoes to bowl with the eggplant and mash thoroughly with potato masher. Add the eggs, chopped onion, cornbread crumbs and melted butter. Add enough milk to mix well. Transfer to prepared baking dish. Top with reserved buttered crumbs and bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until well browned.

Candied Sweet Potatoes (like Franke’s Cafeteria)

4 medium sweet potatoes

1 cup granulated sugar

Dash salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

¾ stick butter

2 slices lemon

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

¼ cup water

Peel potatoes and cut in round slices. Place in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

In a medium bowl, combine sugar, salt and cinnamon and sprinkle over potatoes. Cover potatoes with pieces of butter. Twist lemon slices and place in sweet potatoes. Sift flour evenly over surface; add water to mixture. Bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour. Stir a couple of times to distribute the syrup that develops during baking.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Egg Custard Pie Similar to Franke’s

1 (9-inch) unbaked pie crust

1 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons butter, melted

Pinch salt

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

5 eggs

1 cup evaporated milk

1 cup fresh milk

Arrange pie crust in a 9-inch pie pan. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix sugar, butter, salt and nutmeg. Add whole eggs and beat well. Stir in milks. Pour into prepared pie crust and bake at 425 degrees for 7 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake 25 minutes longer or until firm.

Email recipe contributions, requests and culinary questions to:

[email protected]

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