Reading the book Something From The Oven totally changed the way I think of food, especially recipes. I am alert for mass produced items. What are they selling me? How did this recipe become part of the American food landscape?
It would seem that holiday time is the season when our recipes are so closely tied to products. How many tables feature green bean casserole? A triumph of marketing if ever there were one.
I, myself, make lots and lots of chex mix this time of year. And, I make bourbon balls. I'm not sure if it were the bourbon industry or the vanilla wafer industry I should thank for their marketing genius. I have a hand written, scribbled recipe in my big collection book that I use every year. So far, no complaints. (oh, and if you don't have a food processor, you won't have much fun making these.)
1 12 oz (ish) box vanilla wafers
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup raisins
2 tbls cocoa powder
1/4 cup bourbon
1/3 (very generous) cup corn syrup
Grind up the wafers and pecans until fine. Add cocoa, raisins, bourbon, and syrup. Blend until it becomes a mass. Roll into cherry sized balls and roll in powdered sugar. Refrigerate at least overnight. They are better at room temp. They will keep for months in the fridge, if you have self control. It makes a few dozen, I'm told; I've never counted.