Happy Halloween, Wildcats! The holidays—especially Halloween—are always fun at Falvey; Library staff continually planning new ways to celebrate. Last year, Distinctive Collections staff hosted a Halloween Open House with eerie treasures on display in the Rare Book Room including a seventeenth century exorcism manual. Their featured treat was a Prohibition-era mocktail called the St. Augustine (follow link for recipe.) Costumes weren’t mandatory, however, Falvey staff still commemorated the spooktacular day!
Reminiscing on Halloweens past and brainstorming ideas for this blog, I decided to alter a recipe I stumbled upon a few weeks ago. The original recipe was a white layer cake featured in the Prize Cook Book, part of the John Regan Five Cent Pamphlets (no. 4) Dime Novel Collection. Listing multiple fillings for the layer cake including caramel, maple sugar, apple, and chocolate, I chose to simplify the recipe and add the maple sugar filling to cinnamon rolls. Mixing a few drops of orange food coloring to the packaged frosting, I crafted a simple and tasty autumnal treat!
Below are a few images of the Prize Cook Book if you’d like to explore the cake fillings. The entire cook book is available for reading in the Villanova University Digital Library.
The recipe I used for this blog is featured in the second image above. Here are the original instructions for the maple sugar filling:
- Two cups maple sugar (cooked until it strings)
- Add beaten whites of two eggs and beat until cold
I altered the recipe using cinnamon rolls instead of layer cake:
- One (or two) cans of packaged cinnamon rolls
- Orange food coloring
- One cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp. water
Cooking instructions (maple sugar filling):
- Mix one cup of brown sugar and two tbsp. water in saucepan on stove
- Stirring constantly on low heat, bring sugar and water to a boil
- Wisk one egg white and gradually add the heated sugar to the egg white (stirring constantly)
- Let mixture cool
Cooking instructions (cinnamon rolls):
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Grease round cakepan and place rolls in pan
- Drizzle a spoonful of maple sugar filling on each roll
- Bake 15-19 minutes until golden brown
- Spread icing (add food coloring if desired)
- Option to add additional maple sugar filling in lieu of icing (or use both!)
Check out the finished product below. View the full cooking tutorial here.
Interested in Dime Novels? Explore Dime Novels and Popular Literature in the Digital Library. Save the date for Papers for the People: Dime Novel Symposium on on Wednesday, Nov, 4, and Thursday, Nov. 5, from 7:30-9:30 p.m. EST. The virtual event, hosted by Northern Illinois University and Villanova University, will feature panel discussions with notable and upcoming dime novel scholars. These conversations will focus on how dime novels can be used in the classroom and will offer regional educators, academics, and students at the graduate and undergraduate level the opportunity to learn about and discuss dime novels directly with experts in the field. Participation is free. Register here.
While this Halloween will be different at Falvey Memorial Library and Villanova University, there will still be plenty of socially distanced activities for this “Halloweekend” on campus! Hopefully the featured recipes will inspire some quarantine cooking for Halloween and the cooler months ahead. Thank you all for your dedication to the Caritas Commitment. Be well, ‘Cats!