We asked these three families to share a cherished recipe that has been taken from the table to become a time-honored tradition in the family kitchen. Each started with a different take on family fare, but all of these stories and recipes have now become staples of a special time and place within each succeeding generation.
Roberta Shelby 'Ro' Higdon Morse
When our family would travel ten hours to spend Christmas with my Gramma Kincheloe in Ames, Iowa, I still remember walking into a house with the aroma of simmering chocolate and peanut butter. . . the epitome of “yummy” for children. This easy recipe has made its way through five generations and continues to be a favorite. That's why I included it in all three of my cookbooks. It's one recipe that my boys gobble up every time we make it. You can't eat just one, especially when they are still a little warm.
Great Great Gramma Hattie Myers Kincheloe (who made these as far back as I can remember), cut them in squares and would bring a heaping platter to family get-togethers. She moved to Paducah in her latter years and even when she was 96, if she knew you were stopping by for a visit, she would make these bars.
Great Gramma Glady, Gladys Kincheloe Shelby (now 92) makes these plus caramels, divinity, and almond candies during the holidays, packs them in festive tins, and has them on hand for guests to sample or give as gifts to her friends at Culpepper Place.
Daughter-in-law Rachel Marie Steele Higdon (34) and my Granddaughter Katelyn Marie Hidgon (5) cook these when craving a peanut butter chocolate treat. For years, I wouldn't make these in my own kitchen because I couldn't resist eating too many.
Now I make them with my granddaughter and the simple combination of yummy ingredients and quick prep makes this a favorite for holiday gift-giving and year-round enjoyment—one of those simple pleasures we continue to share through the generations.
Great Great Gramma's Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup white syrup
3/4 cup chunky peanut butter
1 tablespoon butter
3 cups Special K cereal
3/4 cup chocolate chips
3 tablespoons butter
In a saucepan, bring sugar and syrup to a full boil. Remover from heat and stir in peanut butter and 1 tablespoon butter. Fold in the cereal. Press mixture into buttered 9" x 9" pan. Slowly melt together chocolate chips and 3 tablespoons butter, stirring constantly. Pour over peanut butter mixture. Let stand while icing thickens before cutting into squares. YUM!