I remembered that Betty Crocker cookbooks had been around for awhile, so I looked up some dessert recipes from her 1933 cookbook. I found a recipe for a food that intrigued me, a Pecan Upside Down Bisquick Coffee Cake. I am an avid coffee cake fan and a full-fledged lover of pecans, so this recipe really excited me. I have only had a pretty basic coffee cake; it had never occurred to me to make (fine, beg my mom to make) this dessert.
What surprised me was that the recipe directions were very brief (as were the recipes for the other desserts that I looked at in the cookbook). It made me wonder if people who tried to execute the recipe had to improvise and make it their own if they didn’t totally understand the directions. I would think that this would have resulted in some different variations of the recipe and difficulty in executing the recipe as it was intended. However, the list of ingredients is thorough and precise, so this would help with getting the amounts of every ingredient correct. Getting the amounts of every ingredient right is really important for getting the overall taste of the finished product right. The recipe directions are also precise in instructing what size and shape pan to use, how long to put the mix in the oven for, and how to tell whether it is ready to be taken out of the oven.
Overall, the ingredients were pretty basic items that I had heard of before and even used. Pecans, Bisquick mix, eggs, ground cinnamon, vanilla, milk, sugar, etc. However, there was one ingredient that I had never heard of: Karo syrup. The recipe lists “1/2 cup of light or dark Karo syrup.” I googled Karo syrup and learned that it is a brand of corn syrup that is frequently used in baking and cooking and less sweet than other syrups.
This is a recipe I would love to make (okay, FINE, eat). If you want to check it out or check out some of the other recipes from the 1933 Betty Crocker cookbook, here is a link to the recipes online: