Dream Bars

'Menus for Minors' cookbook

Illustrated by Patricia, the cookbook was used as a fundraiser for the school. hide caption

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News clipping photo

From right, Patricia Folger, Mrs. Barton Phelps and Mrs. Peter Montieth assemble the "Menus for Minors" cookbook for the Golden Gate Kindergarten in San Francisco. (News clipping from the San Francisco Chronicle, 1948.) Photos Courtesy Laura Folger hide caption

toggle caption Photos Courtesy Laura Folger

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My mother was a beauty with the soul of an artist, and a deep love for family, tradition and ritual. Food has always been at the very center of our big, rambunctious family. Somehow, even with six children, she managed to create sumptuous dinners every night of the week.

She infused our lives with the art of celebration. Birthdays and holidays were celebrated with the family’s favorite recipes, rituals and song and, as big as the family was, there was always room at the table for a few more.

Mother’s "dream bars" were a special treat in our house. Decadent and hard to resist, they are still regarded by far-flung family and friends as high currency. Although I can think of a host of dishes — a million recipes tumble from the archives of her cookbook and our memories — it is her "dream bars" that may be Patricia Marie Hot-Dog Hippeli Folger's quintessential recipe.


Dream Bars Recipe


1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup brown sugar — packed tightly

1 cup white flour

Mix together the butter, sugar, flour with your fingers and then even out in a 9x13 pan* and bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl mix together:

2 eggs

1 cup brown sugar, packed

1 teaspoon vanilla

Stir in:

2 tablespoons white flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

Add 1 cup chopped walnuts

1 1/2 cups shredded coconut

Mix well and then spread over the cooled first layer.

Glass pan: Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Tin pan: Bake 375 degrees for 20 minutes.

Cool and cut into 1 1/2-inch squares.

* I double the recipe for this size pan

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