Someone’s in the Kitchen

By Rebecca Sponsler
Advocate News Staff

This week’s recipes and memories come from the kitchen of Rachel Cruse of Greenville.

Cruse states that as we get closer to Christmas, a lot of us sit and reminisce about our favorite recipes from our loved ones. She remembers the years of eating many desserts made by her mother and her aunts.

From rice krispies treats to homemade blackberry pie, there is a lot of joy in the memories of seeing her mother and aunts working in the kitchen, laughing and having fun while making the food for Christmas day.

Now that she is older, she participates in the making of these desserts with her mother and aunts, while helping create new memories and laughter with everyone around.

Peanut Butter Dream Bars

Shared by Rachel Cruse from Cheryl Sponsler

2 cups of quick oats

1 ½ cups of flour

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon of baking soda

¾ teaspoon of salt

1 cup of margarine (or butter) melted

1 can (14 ounces) of sweetened condensed milk

1 cup chunky (or creamy) peanut butter

1 cup of M&M’s (plain), recommend red and green M&M’s for the holidays

Optional: 1 cup of peanut M&M’s


Combine quick oats, flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt into a bowl, and mix well. Add margarine and mix until dry ingredients are thoroughly moistened and mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Reserve 1 ½ cups of crumb mixture and press the remaining mixture onto the bottom of a greased 15 ½” x 10 ½” (jelly roll pan) and bake at 375 degrees for 12 minutes. Set aside for topping mixture.


Combine sweetened condensed milk and peanut butter into a small bowl and mix until well blended. Spread over the partially baked crust within a ¼” of the pan edges. Combine the 1 ½ cups of reserved crumb mixture and M&M’s then sprinkle evenly over the sweetened condensed milk and peanut butter mixture. Press the reserved crumb mixture and M&M’s lightly into the sweetened condensed milk and peanut butter mixture. Continue baking for 20 to 22 minutes. Let the finished peanut butter dream bars cool then cut into 48 pieces and serve.

Betty’s Snow Balls (Mexican Wedding Cakes)

Shared by Rachel Cruse from Marianna Peacock

¾ cup of softened butter (or margarine)

2 cups of sifted flour

Pinch of salt

5 tablespoons of powdered sugar plus extra powdered sugar to roll balls in when finished baking

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

3 tablespoons of water

½ teaspoon of baking powder

1 cup of chopped nuts (pecans are preferred)


Cream the softened butter, salt, vanilla extract, and sugar in a mixing bowl. In a separate mixing bowl, sift the flour and baking powder together. After sifting the flour and baking powder, add the sifted mixture to the creamed mixture, and then add the water and nuts. Mix well until mixture is forming into a ball (dough-like mixture). Pinch a piece of dough and roll into a one inch ball. Place the rolled ball onto a baking sheet. Repeat until all dough is used. Bake the rolled balls on the baking sheet at 325 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the rolled balls from the oven, and roll in extra powdered sugar. Place on a tray and serve.