It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! So much about this holiday is nostalgia, don’t you think? I was just telling some friends last night that my favorite childhood memories were of the way my family celebrated this holiday every year. Dad cussed up a storm while trying to get the lights on the tree just right (so we were sent into the other room to watch tv until Storm Big Al passed through). Mom would invite us back into the living room to “help”* put the ornaments on the tree and once it was looking all beautiful, we would turn down the lights, turn up the Christmas music (Carpenter’s Christmas was always my favorite) and enjoy some cookies and eggnog in front of our gorgeous tree.
*The ornaments we hung always seemed to find their way to better spots after we went to bed.
Another nostalgic memory of my childhood Christmases in Chicago was going to Marshall Field & Co. on State Street to see Santa. This was where we were first introduced to Frangos. I remember watching in awe as huge melting pots of Frangos were stirred with care on the 13th floor of that flagship Marshall Fields store. Funny, I don’t eat Frangos any other time of the year because to me, Frangos = Christmas. The other
funny interesting fact is that Frangos were actually first created in Seattle (where I live now) by the Frederick & Nelson department store in 1918. Marshall Fields acquired Frederick & Nelson and introduced their Frangos in 1929. So, my friends here in Seattle have similar nostalgic memories of Frangos at Frederick & Nelson and later, The Bon Marche.
Originally, the Frango was a frozen dessert. One of my grandma’s closest friends figured out how to replicate them and brought these delicious treats to my wedding shower in December, 1990. She was kind enough to share her recipe with me and I still hold her original recipe card near and dear to my heart. Now, I can enjoy this nostalgic treat at home no matter who owns the rights to the Frango brand. Marg’s recipe called for 4 eggs, but since this recipe is not cooked, I’ve updated it and made it safer by using pasteurized eggs.
Frozen Frangos definitely = Christmas! EnJOY!
- 1 cup crushed vanilla wafers
- 3 Tbsp. butter, melted
- 1 cup butter
- 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
- 4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, melted
- 1/2 cup pasteurized liquid eggs
- 1 tsp. peppermint extract, or more, to taste
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup crushed peppermint candies, for garnish
- Stir together the vanilla wafers and the butter. Press about 2 tsp. of crumb mixture into the bottom of 48 mini muffin liners.
- Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the chocolate, eggs, and extracts and blend well.
- Scoop about 2 Tbsp. of chocolate into each cup, top with crushed peppermint candy and freeze.