Mystery Bars

I found this recipe in Grandma R’s recipe box. Her’s is very neatly organized in an old floppy disk box! It’s marked home ec in the corner. Makes me guess it’s from her highschool home ec class.

I really wish I knew how these bars got their name! What’s so mysterious about them? Maybe how fast they disappeared!

These bars definitely have the gooey factor but stay together surprisingly well.

I sent the leftovers with my hubby to work and someone wanted the recipe! I was so excited to write it out for her on a cute recipe card. It’s the little things right?

I’m going to have to ask around and see if I can find someone that knows more about these.

This one’s written in pencil and a bit hard to read.

As usual I skipped the nuts. I decided to add extra coconut and it worked just fine. If you like nuts the use those!
I’m going to rewrite this one a bit just to make it easier to follow.

Mystery Bars

For the crust.

  • 1 C flour
  • 1/2 C butter
  • 1/2 C brown sugar


  • 1 C brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 C coconut
  • 1 C nuts

Cream butter and 1/2 C of brown sugar. Add sifted flour. Mix to a crumbly mess. Pat it evenly into a well greased 9×13 pan. Bake at 300 degrees until pastry is browned.

Remove from oven.

Beat two eggs until light and lemon colored. Add 1 C brown sugar, 2 Tbsp flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir well. Add coconut and nut meats. Stir until combined. Carefully pour and spread over baked pastry. Bake 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Let cool before cutting.

Use a light hand when spreading the filling. It’s best to pour in a long line across your pastry and gently spread to the edges.

Using a pizza cutter made cutting much easier.

Coffee Cake Muffins

Let me just start by saying these were delicious. It’s well known in my house if something looks ugly then it probably tastes good!

Beautiful right?

I do not excell at things that require using the same amount consistently. Meatballs, cookies, muffins all give me trouble! Next time this will be made in a loaf pan. I’ll let you know how that goes.

When this recipe says “spoon in a small amount of batter” It’s serious. Like a tiny small amount not a big fat spoon full.

Because of this I ran out of batter at 8 muffins instead of 12. I also had quite a bit extra of the sugar mixture. So I just put that on top. It did make them have a nice crunchy top but, they looked burnt. As usual I skipped the nuts.

None of this bothered the teens in my basement. They ate them right up. I try to do my backing when my son has his friends over to play RPGs. It’s at least 2 nights a week so I get lots of chances to experiment on them.

I wish I knew more about who this recipe was from. This was one in the recipe box I bought at an estate sale.

Coffee Cake Muffins

  • 1/2 C brown sugar
  • 1/2 C chopped nuts
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter
  • Combine above and set aside.

  • 1 1/2 C sifted flour
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 C shortening
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1/2 C milk + 1 Tbsp OR 1/2 C buttermilk + 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • Sift dry ingredients into bowl. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles crumbs. Combine egg and milk. Add all at once to flour mixture. Stir just till moistened.

    Grease muffin pans or line with paper cups. Spoon in a SMALL amount of batter, then layer of nut mixture. Repeat layers filling pans 2/3 full. Bake in moderate oven 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until done.

    Makes about 1 dozen.

    As I typed this up I noticed another thing I did wrong. I only did one layer of the nut mixture.

    You can see the sad little layer here.Regardless of all the mistakes they were very good. I hope you will give them a try!

    Banana Bread: Your New Go to Recipe

    Since we have already made Cranberry Spice Bread, an alternative to banana bread. It only seemed right to try out a new to me banana bread recipe to share. This one came to from my grandmother in law’s recipe box. I wonder if she ever made it.

    It seems like I’m forever buying bananas only to have them go bad. Does this happen to you too? As soon as they get too brown I pop them in the freezer. Once I have 2 or 3 it’s time to use them up! I had enough saved up so I decided to give this banana bread recipe a try.

    My son’s best friend is banana bread crazy. It’s one of his favorite things. So I was excited to test this one out on him. He loved it. Hands down better than my other recipe.

    If you have been following along you will know that I don’t like nuts so I don’t use them. Plus they are expensive! This recipe is no exception. I didn’t add nuts or raisins.

    This recipe is very similar and delicious as it is. However you could easily jazz it up with vanilla and cinnamon. Using brown sugar would also be nice.

    Update 7/22/20

    This recipe never disappoints. I’ve made it at least once a month since discovering it. I have switched to only using brown sugar and it really adds a deep rich flavor.

    I finally got a mini loaf pan and this recipe is perfect for it! The pan I got has space for 4 mini loafs. Baking time for mini loafs is only 45 minutes at 325. Having the mini loaf pan really made it easy to share.

    Banana Bread

    2 eggs

    1 C sugar

    1/2 C shortening

    1 C mashed bananas 3 or 4

    2 C flour

    1 tsp baking soda

    1/2 C raisins or nuts

    Mix all together and pour into a greased loaf pan. Bake at 300 or 325 for 70 to 75 minutes.

    Fresh from the oven

    Boy was it hard to wait for this to cool. It smelled amazing!

    It didn’t take long for the teens to eat this up!

    Oatmeal Bars: Quick and Easy

    We love oatmeal cookies so I was excited to give these a try!

    This recipe came from the box I purchased at an estate sale. I wish I knew who Helen Rayner is!

    If a recipe calls for nuts I skip them almost always. I just don’t care for them in baked goods.

    I decided to swap the nuts for coconut flakes and switch the chocolate chips to white chocolate.

    There are so many combinations you could do in these Oatmeal Bars. Just try and stick close to the original measurements.

    I’d like to try M&M’s, butterscotch chips, and maybe even try it as written.

    Oatmeal Bars

    • 1 1/2 Cup shorting (soft or oil)
    • 2 Cups brown sugar
    • 1 Cup granulated sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 1/2 Cup hot water
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    Mix all above well. Add 2 cups flour and 2 tsp salt.

    1 tsp soda
    6 Cups oatmeal (uncooked)
    1 Cup chopped nuts
    1 Cup chocolate bits

    Mix well and spread on two well greased cookie sheets with sides and ends.

    Bake 350 degrees 15-20 minutes or until light brown.

    When cool cut into bars.

    I made a half batch and it was a large plate full. This would be a great recipe for bake sales!

    Cranberry Bread Grandma R’s Old Fashioned Recipe

    If you are looking for a good old fashioned cranberry bread this is the recipe for you! It smells like home while baking and tastes like a visit with grandma! Just plain comforting and good. Exactly what I look for in a vintage recipe. It would be an excellent addition to a holiday breakfast or brunch. Of course goes well with a cup of coffee and a good friend too!

    Vintage, typed recipe card for cranberry spice bread on a lace trimmed linen.

    If you have looked at any of my other recipes you will know that 1. I love sweets and 2. I really love quick breads! This is a nice change from my usual and family favorite Banana Bread Recipe. I also really loved this Apricot Quick Bread, very light with great citrus flavor. This is definitely the best cranberry bread recipe! I know you are going to love it!

    Cranberry bread sliced on yellow plate.

    What are quick breads?

    Quick breads are a type of bread that don’t use yeast. Instead they are leavened with baking powder and baking soda.

    Quick breads have evolved as a distinctly different tradition after the introduction of baking powder in 1850. Before that, breads and cakes were leavened with yeast.

    Crafty Baking

    There are two types of quick breads. Those made with a batter like this cranberry bread and other quick loaf breads, muffins, and corn bread. And ones made with a dough like biscuits and scones.

    Quick breads are so popular because they can be made easily and reliably without having to mess around with yeast! No waiting for the dough to proof. Just mix, pour, and bake.

    Whole loaf of old fashioned cranberry bread on a yellow Fiestaware plate.

    Tips for Cranberry bread

    • Try adding some dried cranberries instead of all or some of the nuts. This will really increase the cranberry flavor.
    • If you can resist try letting the baked cranberry bread cool and rest on a wire rack for at least an hour before cutting. Even better is overnight but I never can wait that long!
    • Decrease the baking time by using a mini loaf pan. Mini loafs are perfect for sharing.
    • You can easily omit the nuts if you prefer. I didn’t use them and the cranberry bread was still delicious.

    Storing Cranberry bread

    Once completely cooled wrap tightly in aluminum foil or plastic wrap. This cranberry bread should keep for up to 3 days at room temperature or up to 6 days when refrigerated.

    This recipe freezes very well. Wrap tightly in aluminum foil, I usually double wrap it just to be safe, then place in a freezer bag. It is good in the freezer for up to 3 months.

    To use after freezing let thaw at room temperature for one hour, unwrap and transfer to a baking sheet or loaf pan. Bake at 350 for 5-10 minutes until heated all the way through. Then let it cool before slicing.

    Cranberry Bread: Grandma R's Old Fashioned Recipe

    • Servings: 12
    • Print

    A good old fashioned cranberry bread. It smells like home while baking and tastes like a visit with grandma!

    – Replace some or all nuts with dried cranberries for a more intense flavor.
    – Let cool on a wire rack for at least an hour before slicing.



    • 2 Cups flour
    • 3/4 Cup sugar
    • 3 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1 Cup chopped nuts
    • 1 egg
    • 1 Cup whole cranberry sauce drained
    • 2 Tablespoons melted shortening


    1. In a large mixing bowl mix the dry ingredients, stir in nuts.
    2. In a separate mixing bowl beat the egg, add cranberry sauce, and shortening, mix well.
    3. Add cranberry mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
    4. Spread into a greased loaf pan.
    5. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.


    Per Serving: 221 calories; 86 g fat; 32.9 g carbohydrates; 4.6 g protein; 14 mg cholesterol; 329 mg sodium.

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    I sure hope you enjoy this easy cranberry bread recipe! Be sure to stay awhile and check out some of the others I have shared.

    Grandma S’s Cheesy Potatoes are the #1 recipe that has to be made for all family events.

    Snickerdoodles are my personal favorite cookie and I just know you will love how soft and fluffy these turn out!

    My blogger friend Erin has an amazing recipe for Old Fashioned Sugar Cream Pie you are going to want to check out. She’s doing a really neat project making a meal from traditional recipes for each state!

    Rachel at Milk Glass Home has the most delicious looking Homemade Butterscotch Pie with an Oatmeal Cookie Crust! Oatmeal cookie crust?!? Yes please!!

    I’d love to see what vintage recipes you are making! Find me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

    Pinterest image of cranberry bread.

    #1 Requested Recipe: Dream Bars

    I posted a picture on Your Everyday Heirlooms Face Book page of a “Cookie Recipe”. That recipe turned out to be for no bakes! You know those chocolate oatmeal treats you grew up with.

    Vintage No Bake Recipe

    I had no idea that they were not an 80s kid thing but actually had been around for quite a long time. Commenters chimed in having had them in the 70s, 60s, and even the 40s! Wow!

    A Bite from the Past shares that they are a depression era recipe.

    I had several requests for the recipe peeking out behind. Dream Bars are apparently a much loved favorite! 

    Dream Bars I found this recipe in the box I bought at an estate sale. The recipe is in two parts.

    First Part

    • 1/2 C butter
    • 1 C sifted flour
    • 1/2 C brown sugar (firmly packed)

    Mix well – press mixture evenly and firmly into bottom of an ungreased shallow baking pan (9×13). Bake 15 minutes or until delicately browned. 350 degrees.

    Second Part

    • 2 eggs
    • 1 C brown sugar (firmly packed)
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1 C shredded coconut
    • 1 C corn flakes
    • 1 C chopped nut meats

    Beat eggs well, add brown sugar and beat. Add rest of ingredients and mix well. Drop by spoonful into the bakes crust. Spread evenly.

    Bake 25 minutes or until done. 350 degrees. Cut into bars while warm.

    I finally made them! And boy oh boy they are delicious! I did skip the nuts and add in white chocolate chips. These will be a regular treat here.