In the month of April, we celebrate peach cobbler and caramel popcorn.

This column includes my mom’s recipe for cobbler and my mother-in-law’s recipe for caramel popcorn. Both are family favor ites.

You will also find a recipe for soft pretzels because a friend shared it with me, thinking I might use it here and also because I like the legend behind the origin of the pretzel. Legend has it that an Italian monk invented the pretzel in 610 A.D. as a reward for chil dren who learned their prayers. He folded the strips of dough to resemble arms crossed in prayer and called them pretiola for little rewards.

The treat crossed the Alps into Austria and Germany, where it was known as the “bretzel” or “pretzel.” Another legend says soft pretzels came to American aboard the Mayflower.

It is a fact that the hard pretzel was born here in Pennsylvania. It happened by acci dent when a baker’s helper fell asleep while watching pretzels baking on the hearth.

More history on the pretzel is available online at wwwkitchenproject.com/history/ Pretzel, wikipedia.org or www.essortment.com/ history-pretzels-41734.html.

 

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PEACH COBBLER

· ½ cup sugar

· 1 tablespoon corn starch

· ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

· 4 cups fresh peaches, peeled and sliced

· 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Topping:

· 1 cup flour

· 1 tablespoons sugar

· 1½ teaspoons baking powder

· ½ teaspoon salt

· 3 tablespoons shortening

· ½ cup milk

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Blend ½ cup sugar, cinnamon and corn starch in medium- sized saucepan. Stir in peaches and lemon juice.

Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir one minute. Pour into ungreased two-quart casserole. Keep fruit hot while preparing topping.

Measure flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Add shortening and milk. Cut through shortening six times. Mix until dough forms into a ball. Drop dough by spoonful onto hot fruit.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown. Serve warm; can be served with ice cream.

 

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CARAMEL POPCORN

· 5 quarts popped corn

· ½ cup corn syrup

· 1 cup (2 sticks) margarine or butter

· 2 cups brown sugar

· 1 teaspoon salt

· ½ teaspoon baking soda

· 1 teaspoon vanilla

Melt butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring to rolling boil and boil for 5 min utes. Remove from heat, add vanilla and baking soda and stir. Pour over popcorn and stir until well coated.

Place coated corn on two buttered cookie sheets and bake at 250 degrees for 30 min utes, turn popcorn and bake for another

30 minutes. Remove, let cool and break into pieces.

You may add raw peanuts to the mixture before boiling, if desired.

 

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SOFT PRETZELS

· 1 package active dry yeast

· 1 cup warm water

· 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, soft ened

· 2¾ cups flour

· ½ teaspoon salt

· 1 tablespoon sugar

· 5 teaspoons baking soda

Coarse salt.

In mixing bowl, combine yeast and 1 cup warm water. Mix in 1½ cups flour, margarine, ½ teaspoon salt and sugar. Beat 3 minutes.

Slowly add remaining flour and knead dough until flour is mixed in and dough is not sticky. Set aside and let dough rise until dou bles in size. Divide dough into 12 pieces, and roll each piece into 18-inch lengths.

Shape into pretzels on greased cookie sheet and let rise until double in size. Pre heat oven to 475 degrees.

Mix baking soda in four cups of boiling water and, using a plastic spatula, dip each pretzel into the solution. Return to cookie sheet, sprinkle with salt and bake until brown, approximately 7 to 10 minutes.

Glen Rock resident Barb Krebs is a native of southern York County and writes news items and this monthly column for the Weekly Record.