Recipes From This Texan's Hoosier Heritage

As many of you know, I was born and raised in Southern Indiana with it’s rich heritage of “down-home cookin'” which still influences my cooking today. When I married my husband was in the USAF so we lived away for a few years. Then we returned to Southern Indiana for another dozen years before moving to Texas thirty years ago. This is a collection of some of my ‘Hoosier’ recipes down through the years. Today I am sharing the recipes for Hickory Nut Bread and Old Hoosier Sponge Candy.

Hickory Nut Bread

Those of you who follow my blogs know, I was born and raised in Indiana where native hickory trees were prevalent. Hickory nuts were our favorite nut of choice for baking and making candy. It was a Fall tradition to go pick up hickory nuts and spend long cold evenings around the heater cracking the nuts and picking the meats out. We didn’t mind or consider it work. It was just something my sister and I knew we were expected to do. Dad would use his smaller hammer to crack the nuts on a rock. My mother, sister, and I would pick out the nutmeats. And then we would get some special treats such as a hickory nut pie (like a pecan pie), fudge with hickory nuts and sometimes wonderful Hickory-Nut Bread. If you don’t have hickory nuts in your area, use pecans. That is what I do now that I live in Texas which is pecan country.

  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp. margarine, melted (you know I now use butter)
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup hickory nut pieces

Beat the egg and mix with the brown sugar, margarine, and milk. Add the flour and baking powder. Stir in vanilla and mix well. Add the nuts and stir. Let the mixture stand for 10 minutes. Bake in loaf pan for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Old Hoosier Sponge Candy

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp soda (that’s baking soda)

Combine sugar, syrup, and vinegar in a saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly. Cover pan for one minute until crystals wash down from sides. Cook until candy thermometer reads 300 degrees. Remove from heat and stir in the soda. Put in a 9 x 9 x 2-inch greased pan. Cool. Break into pieces and store with foil between pieces.


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For more of Linda’s old-fashion recipe collection visit her blog at
For more of her ‘sweet’ recipes visit her at

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